Grandma’s Fragrance

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I wish that I could tell you the name of the perfume that my Grandmother Radabaugh wore if, indeed, it was perfume. Maybe it was just a powder or a fragrant oil ,but whatever it was she smelled the closest thing to heaven as I could imagine when I was growing up. A hug from her was two-folded. You were embraced with a strong and secure energy of love and you were comforted by an undeniable sweet and clean fragrance that was distinctly all hers.
Before I got too far along into this writing I decided to call my Aunt Anna Lou ( Grandma’s daughter) and  ask  what the name of the fragrance was. “ Oh Mom never wore perfume,” she said. “ She didn’t care for it. She always used Camay soap.”
Proctor and Gamble introduced Camay soap in 1926. The original packaging of the bar of soap, which many of you will recall, was a soft pink paper wrapper with the black silhouette of an elegant-looking woman on it. They attributed the success of their  product to the “clean and feminine smell of a true lady.”
Being 60, ( you can forget that number, I am only including it to show you the span of time) I can remember that distinctive fragrance as if it were yesterday. That is a long time to remember a smell. Yesterday at church one of the  a ladies who hugged me as I was leaving  smelled just like my Grandmother. I have only been attending this  church for a couple of weeks, so I didn’t think it proper to ask her what perfume she was wearing.  But I will. And it got me to thinking. So I did some research on Camay soap and found out it is now almost impossible to find in a store. I contacted Kroger, Wal-Mart and CVS, to no avail. To my delight however, I have found it can be bought online and my order is now in. If I were wealthy I would buy each and every woman who reads this column a bar of Camay soap so that you could at least,if you haven’t already,enjoy this mesmerizing smell. I can not convey its power any more in words than I could explain the beauty of a blooming pink hibiscus to a person with no sight, or the contagious giggle of a tickled baby to a person who can not hear. I guess the difference is that in most perfumes you smell what it wants you to smell like. With this wonderful Camay soap, it enhances you and makes you smell fresh, clean and memorable. Priceless.
 
I told someone recently that I felt like there were three things I have been successful with in my life. I have been a good mother, a good cook, and a good gardener. Some of my happiest times are when my daughter or son calls me up and ask me how to make something. My chest sort of puffs out a little and I willingly share my recipe and instructions. Once my son called and asked about lasagna. After giving him the recipe I said to remember and put a sheet of waxed paper down on the lasagna before you put the foil on. “ Why?” he asked.  Well, this keeps the acid that is in the tomato base from eating at the foil. (I am sure some of you have noticed those little pieces of foil on your casserole when you take it off) A hint graciously shared by a friend.
My grandmother was a success at many things. I will always fall short of her grandeur.She encouraged me, taught and loved me and was a factor in the woman I have become.  I am sharing a recipe for some good old fashioned apple crisp that will also make a delicious aroma in your kitchen while it is baking. What’s more American than apple pie? This apple crisp.
 
Country Apple Crisp
 
6 cups Granny Smith diced apples
1 T  Lemon juice
½ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
½ t ground cinnamon
¼ t. Nutmeg
1/8 t. Salt
6 T butter
1/3 cup old fashioned oats ( optional)
 
Preheat oven to 375
Toss the apples with the lemon juice then place a in 8x8x2 greased baking dish
Mix remaining ingredients until like coarse meal
Top apples with this mixture and bake for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly.
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3 Responses to Grandma’s Fragrance

  1. ernestwilson says:

    As usual Jeanie you have done quite well in keeping my attention. Your writings of you personal life are like reading a short story in readers digest. I love your work. You have an amazing talent. Don’t ever let your passion for writing dim
    let the light burn bright .
    Thank you Jeanie for sharing.
    Ernie

    • jmmill says:

      Thank you for the kind words Ernie. When people appreciate my writings it makes it worth while..
      Thanks again… It’s what a writer likes to hear…
      Jeanie

  2. Jane says:

    Lovely story Jeanie. Fragrances surely do evoke memories of far away places, people long past, happy times and sad times. With me the fragrance of Lily of the Valley reminds me of my mother’s top dresser drawer! She didn’t often wear the perfume but when one opened the drawer that delicious smell wafted out. The other smell that reminds me of my mother is Jergen’s Lotion. Thanks for the memories.

    Jane B

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