Friday, January 20, 2012

Security in the Senses

Smell is a potent wizard that transports us across thousands of miles
 and all the years we have lived.
~ Helen Keller

Last weekend, Greg, the girls and I went to visit our parents.  My Mom recently had knee replacement surgery and I had not been able to see her since she had gotten home from rehab.  I was anxious to see how she looked and how the recovery was going.  The first thing I noticed when she answered the door was how rested and beautiful she looked.  Then, when I went in for a big hug, the smell of Burberry, Mom’s perfume, comforted me in a way I can’t really explain. A little bit emotional, I immediately let her know I couldn’t believe how well she was getting around…already going up and down stairs….I was impressed! 

Mom and I Christmas Eve, a couple days before surgery.

Greg took the girls over to his Mom and Dad’s house so that I could have some one on one time with Mom (Mr. B is a wonderful, thoughtful husband) and spend the night.   We spent time talking about how she had been feeling, getting Christmas decorations down and put away in the basement ( I made Mom sit in a chair and tell me what to doJ), watching the Cardinals play in the snow outside her kitchen window, and I took notes while I watched Mom and my Step Dad, Joe make “The Roast”.  
Outside Mom's kitchen window.  See the Cardinals?

When we sat down to eat, the aroma of the Roast and Vegetables as well as the taste, transported me back to my childhood and the security you get from a home cooked meal made with love.  That night when I went to bed, looking around the guest room, I was given the inspiration for this post. I thought about Mom's hug from earlier that day and how just the smell of her perfume made me feel like she was okay. I started thinking about how we get the feeling of being secure via our senses.  I thought about when I was in 1st grade, I would take my Mom’s empty Revlon “Coffee Bean” lipstick container to school in my pocket.  If I would start to miss her or feel upset, I would take it out and smell it.  Immediately, I would feel better. 

Then there is Pond’s Cold Cream that my Mom would put on every night to take off her make-up….to this day, when I smell Pond’s, it comforts me. When I was growing up, my Dad had a shaving kit that he kept at the end of his dresser.  It was off limits to the 6 girls in the house, Ha!  Dad kept his own stash of toiletries in there and I remember sneaking to use his toothpaste.  The first thing I would smell when I unzipped the brown leather bag was Old Spice Aftershave…I visited him not too long ago and he still uses Old Spice.  My Dad also listened to talk radio, 840AM, all the time….he still does and I do too.  When I am missing my Dad, I turn on talk radio or Bluegrass music.  He always had the radio on when we were at home.  Dad listened to a variety of music; I guess that’s where I get my love for music. 
One of my favorite Bluegrass singers.

I wonder what the girls will associate with their Dad and I.  Olivia did an assignment at school a few years ago where the students had to choose and describe their favorite place to be....she chose her home.  I framed it and put it in our kitchen.

What do you remember from your childhood that still comforts you today?  


  1. The timing of this is ironic. Had lunch with a group of girlfriends at one of their homes yesterday. We were celebrating 2 birthdays. We usually go out to lunch but decided to do it at someone's home and a friend said, "Breaking bread with family and friends in your home is one of the most intimate ways to spend really all.
    Then we were sharing stories and I told how when i graduated from hight school, my mom sent me a dozen pink roses and on each rose my 1st-12th grade picture was tied with pink ribbon. I still think about that and the thought and love that was put into my mom planning that and tying each picture on the roses. And one other thing that gives me comfort is when I help Levi wash his hands (and I felt the same feeling with the older 3)...the sensation of his hands inside mine and the soap and water and me standing behind him while we wash our hands always makes me think of my mom...just what a loving mom I had that she was helping me wash my hands and I can still feel the softness of her hands on mine...brings tears to my eyes thinking about it...beautiful post, sweet friend. And Mr B does incredibly loving to gift you with time to share alone with your mom. XOXOXO

  2. The story about your mom and the roses was so beautiful Kim, so much love and thought was put in to making you, her child, feel special. I am teary eyed thinking about that and her standing over you washing your hands. The truth is, we all remain a child at heart and nothing ever replaces the security we feel from our parents. Thank you so much for sharing. Love and Hugs.

  3. Thank you for your story, Dana. I felt like I was right there with you and Ms. Carol. I love her hugs at church and I associate her perfume with her as well. Your quote by Helen Keller was a perfect way to begin....smell does transport us right back into a moment. What a sweet, gentle way of storytelling you have. I always look forward to your next entry. You and your sisters are the sweetest girls I know. What a blessing to know you all. :)

    1. Thanks Jennifer, I appreciate your kind words and I hope you will visit my Bluegrass Nest often.:)
      One of the reasons I started this blog was to try and navigate myself, with God's guidance, to a life of authenticity and encourage others to do the same. It's so easy to get caught up in how the world thinks you should be or what you should do. It's comforting to know that people out there (you) embrace me for me...just telling a story about my life. XO

  4. Dana- what a precious story. Thank you for sharing. I'll have to visit your blog more often. I can certainly relate to security in the senses. There are so many moments as a mother that I resort back to childhood but I especially do through sense of touch. My Mom was very affectionate. Most nights I walk into my daughter's bedroom after she has gone asleep to check on her. Often I am overcome with emotion just at the sight of how precious she looks sleeping. I will sit next to her bed and rub her hair or her back and I am transported back to childhood where my Mom would sit next to my bed and do the same thing. I would pretend to be asleep because I didn't want the moment to end. I felt so special and loved knowing that she took time to love on me even when she thought I didn't know she was there.

  5. Hi Trina, thank you for visiting and sharing such sweet memories. Hope to talk with you again soon.