Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Summer Dreams....


{photo by Mack Sennett in 1917: He was the person who filmed silent comedies and early talkies, and he made Charlie Chaplin famous. He knew how to film spontaneous moments and comedic moments.He was a photographer, film-maker,actor and artist.This photo shows how he can Catch the Moment....I was struck by how he caught these two girls reaching out to each other in the Moment.}
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I have been having dreams about my Grandmother Flo*. Summertime always reminds me of her. In the summer I used to stay with her and she used to make wonderful Sunday dinners, Baltimore Crabcakes ( her version), deviled eggs, potato salad, tomato aspic,and for dessert Ice Cream Pie. I used to sit on the counter and eat the melted Coffee Ice Cream. She would take me to Church Rummage sales and she let me buy any books I wanted,thanks to her I read Ian Fleming before I saw any Bond movies.She would take me to the library on Saturday mornings and let me lay on the marble floor chewing Juicy Fruit and reading in the Reference Section. I still am amazed that she didn't rush me or even question what I was doing. Later she took me to see Love Story, Dr.Zhiavago, and even my first Bond Movie.She always shared whatever she had, whether it be mini-sprinkled treasured Purells, cold coffee, or stale peppermint lifesavers in her purse.

When she went down the hall the faint smell of Yardley Lavendar soap and Camay soap,White Shoulders dusting powder and Estee Lauder Lemon Spray Mist perfume followed her. I would see my grandfather sniff the air when she walked by. At 10 I thought that was romantic, as much as watching them slow dance on the porch during a Thunderstorm. They had been listening to Johnny Mathis, but the music stopped due to the storm, but they kept dancing. She had her head on his shoulder, the soft auburn waves. He smelled of cherry tobacco and Old Spice aftershave, and he was lightly humming. She was wearing a cotton dress that lightly swished and she had bare feet....And there was an owl hooting in the old elm behind the house,and the scattered hum of crickets and frogs and it smelled of wet geraniums and roses. I dream about that evening alot.

I also dream about going shoe shopping with her. She and I wore the same size, 10AAA, not a real easy size to find anywhere. She had beautiful taste in shoes, she loved the Italian leathers in soft colors. All of her clothes were in soft colors, peaches and lilacs. At 10 she even let me try on the expensive shoes " so I would know what good shoes feel like". And she saved all of her old peach silk slips for me,because she knew how I loved them. And when my mother said" no "to Jeans, she took me shopping and bought me my very first pair of stonewashed straightlegged Lees.And she taught me how to patch them with beautiful scraps, confessing that she wished she could have been younger to wear them. She also bought me my first Carly Simon, and Beatles albums.She understood what a young soul needed.

The summer I was ten I had a bad summer full of normal childhood sufferings, and one night she came in and stroked my head and asked what was wrong. I sniffled "too much". And she continued stroking my head, " Even when Everything seems at it's darkest, it's not. And even when you feel the most alone, someone will always Reach Out, remember that." I have always wondered how she knew What to say, and that I needed to hear that.

We remember what we need and it finds us when we need it. And it reaches us even through the darkest and stormiest of nights.

[Click the title, it is Johnny Mathis singing "Chances Are"]
* [Other posts on Flo include "April 1968" and also" Grandmother Flo].

19 comments:

Anon-Paranoid said...

I don't really have too many good memory's about my youth. The few I do have were generally just sitting quietly on a lagoon bank fishing.

The calm and peacefulness often overwhelmed me. To go back to those days when things look bleakest for just a few minutes would be a great joy.

Sounds like you had a really good grandmother enigma.

God Bless you.

Suzie-Q (S-Q) said...

E4E:

What wonderful memories you have of your grandmother. :)

I too have nice memories of mine... homemade sugar cookies, dresses made especially for me, and stories read to me at bedtime.. :)

sumo said...

I enjoyed that immensely. My grandmother was as wonderful too. Johnny Mathis fan here also.

D.K. Raed said...

Those are such good memories. I love your Grandma Flo. It's funny that the sense of empathy for the young sometimes skips a generation. She knew what you needed.

One of my favorite things to talk about with my Grandma was what exotic place we would like to travel together when I grew up. We finally settled on New Orleans. We read all about it, planned it all out, as if we were actually leaving tomorrow. It is one my biggest regrets that by the time I was old enough to make such a trip, my grandma had already suffered a few strokes & was in no condition to travel.

Here's a coincidence: my grandma also used White Shoulders. We also wore the same shoe size, but we had the opposite problem as you. Our feet were so small, we could rarely find anything outside the children's dept. We used to joke that we didn't know how our little feet could hold us up, why we didn't just topple over. I inherited some of her chinese silk slippers, the ones she used to wear while playing honky-tonk piano. ~~ D.K.

fallenmonk said...

It is nice to have such good memories and thanks for sharing them. Sometimes it is the little memories that add together and produce the strongest emotions.

Kvatch said...

I how you feel. I only had one set of grandparents and have very vivid memories of them. My grandfather died 25 years (and a month or two) ago, and I've been thinking a lot about him lately.

Woody Tobias, Jr. said...

'skuze me, 'skuze me. I finished the filum, Kink of Hearts

azgoddess said...

what a beautiful story -- and being a nana myself - i can say that without the daily grind of raising kids - i throughly enjoy my grandchildren...i now have more time to play and read and explore with them - and i'm also wiser now, thought my kids would disagree with that - smile - and know what we should be doing for our children...

big hugs!!

LET'S TALK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LET'S TALK said...

I know not what type of grand parent I am, but if I could be just half as concerned, helpful and spend time with my grand kids as my grandmother spent and gave me, than I cannot complain.
Great story of memories of your Grandmother you shared with us. Thanks!

enigma4ever said...

Wow...I have been on the job trail and I come back and find such nice warm comments and sharing...you all really don't need for me to even pour the coffee....I loved hearing thoughts about others childhood memories as well as grandparent revelations...I can only hope that all of us learn from the people in our life...and that we touch others lives in a way that matters...

Namaste...

DivaJood said...

Lovely story, Enigma. I have wonderful memories of both sets of my grandparents, but my California grandma and all my aunties are the ones that produced the funny stories:

When I was a child, we'd visit out in California - we'd go to the Desert; I would inevitably get a bad sunburn - and they would chase me around to put vinegar on the burn - it eased the burn, they said. I spent much of my childhood smelling like a tossed salad.

dada said...

Oh enigma....what a lovely way you have with words, esp. when talking about your youth, Baltimore, and Grandmother Flo. Inevitably, I end up comparing our youths and the fond memories we stole away with into the 21st Century where we unwrap them, remember, and are renewed because of those experiences.

Truly, you have a wonderful way with words. Thank you sooo much for sharing!

enigma4ever said...

aashhhh Dada ..thanks...I just write ...and when I remember her and those times it just comes out...I think because of all the heat and thunderstorms I have been dreaming of that time...

Diva...that is toooo funny...a salad...( does that really work ? vinegar ? it sounds painful??)...but Aunties alyways have those weird "solutions"...like lemon juice on freckles( no it does not work)...

Mary said...

That was beautiful.

aballoflight said...

thank you for sharing what you "just write" Enigma.

reading those and the other words you've written of your grandmother and aunts is like opening fractal nestings of Faberg├ęd Matryoshka (babushka dolls) - each intricate recollection a joy to behold and each of which release a flood of my own memories...

the last memory i have of my father's mother was of a visit to her home when she was 97. i knocked on her door, she opened it, and holding on to the doorknob with one hand and her cane with the other let in my wife and daughter. as i crossed the threshold into her home, she reached up with her cane, knocked off my brimmed hat and said "Don't you have any manners?" i now take off hats any time i am indoors.

enigma4ever said...

Thanks Mary and also Light...we all have memories that we need to hold dear...

Robert Rouse said...

Thanks.

enigma4ever said...

Robert : you are more than welcome...grand moms are so special...