Grammy Perume

Posted by jael on Oct 11, 2010 in Parenting, Spiritual Journey


Usually, the word connotes a visceral charge.

Many words do.

Makes me wonder.

There’s emotion connected to smells that occupy my thoughts today.

Made me remember what home smells like.

Home smells like welcome.

Baked apples and cinnamon.

From-the-garden, Vegetable soup simmered beneath a blanket of fresh, baked bread.

Coffee permeated the air like bacon.  Its bitter smelled sweet, and the cream was real, thick, cold and ready to pour from a brown, pitcher crock.  Only real sugar on the table in a chipped china bowl.  Not a rainbow colored packet anywhere.  Always time to linger over the mismatched cups.

The table was white and gray Formica.  The chairs around it didn’t match and had cracked seats.  Unless Grandpa was in the first seat on the right by the door, no one sat in his chair.

An apple cookie jar sat at the end next to the wall and neighbored the ever present bottle of Hot Pete sauce.  Always full, it hid the treasure of at least three kinds of cookies for little hands to grab.

40 Hour week.  The fruits of their labor is worth more than their time.

_Alabama, baby_

The one who worked behind this scene was a farmer’s wife.  Every inch a quiet, country town, church-going matron, there was simply nothing my grammy couldn’t do with a bundt cake pan and a rosary.  That smell was magical, and always different.  Butter from her barn, sweet, sweet, sweet.  Prayer-fingered beads blessed us one by one.

I can still taste my childhood when I smell cake bake today, though I can no longer eat it.  Nothing compares.

Fresh eggs straight from the coup smell moist and almost woody.  Their nearly orange yolks painted sunshine in the fry pan.

Grammy’s cheek smelled like morning rain, and like baptism washed us clean.

The cradle of her arms was home.

She was perfume.

And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!

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