Thursday, 1 October 2020

Gran Fry

I was reading The Lost Language Of Cranes By David Leavitt with my feet in the sun which created a rectangle of gold on the new carpet framed by the little square living room window

The cottage faces south and by 1pm the stone front has become quite warm after the autumn chill of last night.
I must of fallen asleep, just for a moment 
But as my eyes opened and head jerked back slightly the room was suddenly filled with the scent of cold cream and talcum powder.
It was intense and almost overwhelming 
and it was as if my grandmother has just bustled past,
Her big arms filled with laundry 
Her face wide from smiling 
A broad plain blue dress with short sleeves and a short apron

She’s been gone some thirty seven years now
And just occasionally 

I do miss her so 

108 comments:

  1. My gran would have called this a 'visitation', where you ancestors check you are ok.

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    1. This never crossed my mind
      I put it down to a half asleep psychi romp

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  3. Poignant! I wonder if something about that book brought her to mind? I haven't read it in decades but I remember loving it when it came out back in the '80s. Is there a grandmotherly character? I can't remember...

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    1. Yes there is , but I haven’t really read much yet
      I had forgotten the book as I too read it years ago

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  4. I love moments like that. TCP reminds me of one grandmother and gas fires and weights ciggies the other. Not as beautiful as cold cream and talc but no less welcome when I smell them. xx

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  5. Isn't is both comforting and surprising when this happens... I choose to believe your Gran was lovingly checking in.

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  6. What a lovely post, smells are so strongly linked to memories x

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    1. A dream triggering off the memory then the smell, in that order?

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  7. My grandmother used Johnson baby powder, drives me crazy when I smell it I miss her soooo much, she’s been gone for 50 years,

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    1. A little burst of memory out of the blue

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  8. Lovely memory John. Reminded me that the smell of coffee, bacon, chicklets gum and lilac done by Avon takes me to another time.

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    1. my grandmom used to have plenty of boxes of chicklets around the house. I can remember stuffing a whole box of 12 in my mouth at a time.

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    2. I had to google here AM

      Description
      DescriptionChiclets is a brand of candy-coated chewing gum owned by Mondelez International. The brand was introduced in 1900 by the American Chicle Company, a company founded by Thomas Adams. Wikipedia

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    3. Yup! Crunchy on the outside. I think they were really developed for smokers. Strong mint

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  9. Don't you love it when that happens?! My maternal grandma died 23 years ago. I always say that Mother Theresa and Princess Diana died in good company. The smell of her lavender still wafts on occasion from her afghan on my rocking chair.

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  10. Your Gran was thinking of you and came by for a quick visit. My Mom comes to me in dreams sometimes to visit, my Dad who passed away in February 2020, briefly visited me in a dream about 2 weeks after his death, where he turned his head so I could see his full face, and smiled such a wonderful smile at me. My Grandma and Grandpa never come to me in dreams, but will suddenly enter my thoughts out of the blue for a brief visit with me..

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    1. I never thought of today as a “ visit” clearly I am in the minority

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  11. Where I currently live ... well, this apartment has been home to so many before me and one day, last year ... as I was sitting on the couch in the living room ... the room filled with the most wonderful perfume! I had no idea what the scent was or who may have wafted through! I even checked the kitchen and my bedroom but the living room was the only scent-filled area!
    So many have passed away here at the Manor, a senior residence, so to have someone come back to check out the old place doesn't surprise me at all!
    If it would have been To A Wild Rose by Avon ... well, that would have been my Mother!

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    1. Perhaps one day my niece or an old friend will turn a head suddenly after smelling clique Happy

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  12. grandmom doesn't visit, but drops by my mind and into my thoughts. she also watches me knit sometimes, for it was she who taught me to knit.

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  13. As you get older, this will happen more often, out of the blue. The memories are so sweet they're almost painful. We can sense our past as if it's all contained in a cloud that surrounds us, making sure we carry them with us all the way. May your dear Grandma be resting in Peace. She must be to have given you such a happy and unexpected visit. ♥

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  14. If my gran would have stopped by today i would have smelled Oil of Olay and clean sheets... She's been gone a long time now too. She had the power to make you believe everything would be okay no matter what was going on in your world... I miss her too..

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    1. That’s what grans do, they make things better
      They make everything better

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  15. A hug from gran. We all need one.
    I smell pipe tobacco and know my grandad is with me.
    He isn't any longer, but it was my safe place when young.

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    1. Safe place?
      I never saw my grandparents house as a safe place, but of course
      It was

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    2. A place I was truly and unconditionally loved. Not knowing at the time , but realizing as I am older that that feeling is so important , to me anyway.

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  16. That's wonderful, John. It's a special feeling when someone we loved checks in on us.

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  17. Barbara Anne3:45 pm

    What a sweet delight to have had your Gran visit you! I, too, have had that experience with both fragrances taking me elsewhere in a flash or knowing someone long gone is near. I've also had a couple of sightings of my dad in the hours and months after he died in 1983. Perhaps sometimes there is "thin space" between the here and the hereafter?

    Hugs!

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    1. Another pause for thought
      “ thin space” another new thought

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  18. She was just checking you were okay. xx

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  19. Believe it, baby. Believe it.
    I haven't "seen" or "smelled" but I have "felt" and even then, I have later doubted my perceptions. But in the moment they happen, one seems to know for sure. -Kate

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  20. Stubblejumpers Cafe3:56 pm

    By the way, John, your blog is top of my list to be read as soon as I see you've updated, which you so reliably do! I don't often comment because you have such high comment numbers that I don't want to make you have to read more to hear what I have to say to you! But I read faithfully. -Kate

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    1. Kate I love all comments except ones from trolls

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  21. The sense of smell being the most evocative of all the senses, it's strange how it also works the other way around. Even when there's no immediate evidence of its origin an involuntary 'posting' from the memory bank can trigger it. Both curious and often beautiful.

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  22. Beautifully written John. I know that feeling of someone from our past being there - sometimes I feel the farmer is in the room - I almost but not quite catch a glimpse of him. And sometimes it is my first husband who almost but not quite brushes past me.

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  23. Well, spooky October IS here! By the way, I love that book "The Lost Language of Cranes." I read it twice, back to back, it was so good!

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    1. Yes it was made into a TV movie with Brian Cox

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  24. I love when magical moments like that occur.

    Also, I should read Lost Language of Cranes again. Exceptional book that I barely remember now.

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  25. That's lovely. Grandmothers are the best.

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  26. I believe your Gran visited you today-she loves you and sees now you are settled and Happy in your life-You are at one with the Universe and so saw the Golden Triangle which would I think be a spiritual sign that Everything will be just fine xx

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    1. Flis, another thought I never figured upon

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  27. It is a lovely feeling knowing that a loved one is still checking on you. I have felt both my grandmothers presence at various times, normally when things have been really rough. It's very comforting

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  28. A blessing of an experience. I miss my Nana, too. We were so close. I am called Nana and try to make a close relationship to my grandchildren because I think it can be so important to them, as it obviously is to you.

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  29. I love, love, love that book! Leavitt wrote others, but that was my first.
    Funny how smells have such strong connection to people and places.
    Grandmas rule.

    XOXO

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    1. It has a depth to it hasn’t it...so gentle and profound

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  30. Very comforting.

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  31. I have most of my grandma Maudie's furniture, and sometimes I can see the pieces where they were when she was alive. Thank you for the smiling picture.

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  32. Miss my gran something rotten sadly more than my mum who I didnt see eye to eye with. Lovely vision.

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  33. I have a lovely spirit that visits me. He smokes a pipe and the smell of the pipe tobacco is often really strong. He usually sits next to me but sometimes I catch the scent as he walks across the room. It's not a scary feeling but I have no idea who it could be

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  34. Good to know that you are being kept an eye on.
    It does happen, and memories come through different senses.

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  35. The veil is thin as All Hallows approaches.

    lizzy

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  36. I believe your Gran was showing you she approves of the warm and beautiful home you’ve created John. She was comfortable doing the tasks that were typically hers ‘back then’ . It’s a compliment and a sign of her great affection for you.

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  37. Oh...I adore this post. And I believe she was saying hello.

    I read that book. And I think I'm probably going to read it again soon. It was my first gay related literature that I read. Yes, I think I'm going to break it out again...

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    1. I have other favourites
      The object of my affection by Stephen McCauley
      A boys own story Edmund white
      Tales of the city Amustead Maupin
      On the red hill mike Parker

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  38. Lucky you. I never knew any of my relatives other than immediate family, and as I age I realise that I have missed a lot.

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    1. Missed what deArheart x?

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    2. I never knew my grandparents either... I would have loved a safe place like that

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  39. Nope, I firmly believe your grandmother visited you. A couple year ago I had something similar. Middle of the night. A awoke to the strong smell of rose water which mine used to sprinkle on. But on only the smell. There had been a indentation on the bed as if someone was sitting there. I'm sure she stops in from time to time.

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  40. Wonderful, I miss one of my grandmothers greatly.

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    1. I think all gay men love at least one grandmother very dearly

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  41. I truly believe your Grandmother paid you a visit. I am very happy for you. She is watching over you.

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  42. Made me think of my Gramma, pink powder puff in hand,dashing powder on her ample bosom. Searching my memory for the name of that powder's name.....

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    1. I wonder Mary if your Gramma's powder and puff was Apple Blossom by Helena Rubinstein?x

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  43. Anonymous10:56 pm

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Put a name to a comment

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    2. Anonymous11:08 pm

      Why "allow" anonymous comments if you don't allow anonymous comments? As you have clearly discovered before, anyone can use any name they want.

      Norman (does that help?).

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    3. Everyone has to put a name to what they write
      There is a long history to this

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    4. Norman helps for sure

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  44. Your Gran has visited you! How wonderful! My Mother visited me only once so far, but I will always remember. Trust the maternal love.

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    1. People keep,saying this I’m not so sure

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  45. Hi John,

    How lovely. I suspect there has been a need for a special "cuddle" even if you have not vocalised it. Your Gran was giving you what you needed "reassurance" and unconditional love and confirming that everything is alright despite you having been taken out of your comfort zone quite a bit in the last year or so. Personal experiences like this are your truth and your experience cannot be proved or disproved. It is also a confirmation and acceptance that everything does not always cease on passing. Just because we cannot physically see things does not mean that they are not there. You feel - you are very in tune with yourself and your sixth sense - your inner voice which will never let you down. Learning to listen to that inner voice though is the hardest lesson. You just know things or sense things without rhyme or reason. Nurses are often more attuned to such things. A special reassurance for a special person. Olfaction the sense of smell. An Olfactory experience. Every so often I get my mum with me. She used to wear Paris perfume and every so often I get a strong waft of the perfume - I don't wear this perfume myself. Just her keeping an eye on me - a blessing. Take care Pattypanx

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  46. How uncanny. This weekend i was just relating to friends an experience I had with my Nan in a dream. She told me she was alright and hasn't been to visit since. Grandmothers are special people. You were lucky to have such a nice one.

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  47. I had a dream with my gran in it this week too. We were in New Brighton, feeding the seagulls on the sand. I try to emulate my gran, she loved me and showed it everyday. Thank goodness for our grans.
    Jo

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  48. She looks a very nice person. Sadly I never knew either of my grandmothers,

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  49. What a lovely thing to have happen. Your Nan paid you a visit to let you know; by allowing you to smell familiar smells; that she is near and is watching over you and your lovely cottage. She has probably been around many times before but this time the time was right to allow the recognition. I agree with flis that your are aligned with the universe at this time after all you have been through it is definitely a breakthrough and a sign that you have turned a well deserved corner. You will be totally fine going forward.

    Jo in Auckland

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  50. *you are

    doh!

    Jo in Auckland

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  51. You are lucky to have grown up with such a lovely gran who has left such an imprint on your life, I think as we dream we often travel back in time and it seems as time has stood still and for a moment we are there so I think we should just enjoy those moments as a gift.

    As I read your post it was like reading the beginning of a good book John.

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  52. Every couple weeks I get a faint whiff of my Mom’s favorite scent. She wore it years ago, and knew not to overdo it (Estee Lauder it was). Mom passed 11 years ago, but about four years ago I woke up one morning knowing that I’d spent the night talking to her. I also swear I hear my Grandma calling my name sometimes.

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    1. Catrina, I've had several experiences over my lifetime of hearing a voice say my name. It was either my dad or, one time, my brother-in-law; at any rate, only once did I do something about it (brother-in-law was away on a fishing trip, so I got up and checked on my sister, her child, and her newborn, and made sure there was no fire and that all the doors were locked; but nothing was wrong so back to bed I went). Never heard a deceased loved one, much as I'd like to! -Kate

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  53. This happens to me occasionally. There is the smell of plaster and it is my brother who was a builder.
    Your Granny visited you, take comfort.

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  54. John you're going to kick me off the comments if I keep this up, so I won't. Just want to mention that there's research showing that at least 50% of people around the world have had "unexplained" experiences like this that, although very meaningful to them, they have rarely told others about. -Kate

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  55. Yorkshire Liz9:07 pm

    The definition of true love that never dies. Heart breaking but beautiful. And I bet she is so proud of you

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  56. When I was 11 my Grandma died in my bedroom where she was being cared for by my mum her during her illness.I had moved into the smaller room.Some time after she passed and I had returned to my room after it had been decorated early one morning she placed her hand on my back but I was afraid sadly.Another time I was in our garden and I was shocked to see her watching me from the same window as she had done when she was alive x

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  57. My nanas were lovely ladies, calm and loving when there was sometimes chaos at home.

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  58. My dad used to come to us every Sunday for lunch. For months after he passed over we could smell the Old Spice aftershave he used, but only on Sundays at lunchtime. We used to say he was still eating with us.

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  59. I hope, one day, years after I have shuffled off this mortal coil, my grandchildren have these moments and say, in voices filled with longing, "I miss her so..."

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  60. My da is a Fry, from Liverpool, who emigrated with most of his family to Oz. I wonder if we're related!

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