"Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction"-Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Have you heard of Fresh Sugar Lemon? It's a fragrance that Philosophy sells and it retails for around $65. A little out of my budget at the moment I'm afraid. And not that I would spend $65 on a fragrance without at least smelling it in person...although it's name alone is hard to resist. Did I mention I'm addicted to lemon?

Perhaps it's my southern blood, but I think there is nothing quite as divine as the smell of lemon. It's heady scent is fresh, clean and embodies all the things I love about the south and home. Growing up my absolutely favorite thing to eat was Granny's Lemon Pie. Later on as I had my own space to live in, lemon brought to mind cleaning and a fresh glass of iced sweet tea (and shouldn't all tea be sweet?), and then memories of my favorite cousin, Kathy, dipping a slice in her Diet Coke. And even later when I really needed a touch of "home" to the wild and crazy life I had in my late teens and early twenties, it brings back memories of one of my closest friends, Karen, and her Lemon Meringue Pie that she could seemingly whip up out of nothing in her very homey kitchen. I loved afternoons there. Whether she knew it or not, it was a balm to my soul during those years.

At any rate, lately I've been wishing for more "lemon" in my life. Perhaps it's all that decluttering and nesting I've been wanting to do. So, when Josh and Reagan and I were out shopping at Marshalls and I ran across a body scrub so bright yellow you couldn't help but smile, and with the name "Lemon Lust", well, I had to buy some.

Let me tell you. It's heavenly. When you first open it, I have to admit, it smells a little like Lemon Pledge, but by the time you get it on the loofah and start lathering up, it smells JUST LIKE you're scrubbing up with a package of lemon drops. Remember those? I do. In fact, every morning I get in the shower my thoughts run back to a particular package of lemon drops....isn't it amazing what a certain smell, a certain sound or something that catches your eye can bring back to your memory?

Lemon drops always remind me of a boy I knew named Jim Butler. Yep, I still remember his name although it was about 20 years ago. He was 12 and I was 10. He and his Dad moved into the apartment complex that my parents and brother and I lived in. I was a tomboy in those days. I don't think I spent more than a few minutes indoors. I certainly don't remember eating lunch or taking baths or doing anything inside other than collapsing into a deep sleep late at night after all the stars had come out. I spent those long summer days racing around on my bike, collecting clips from the water meter, fighting ninjas, building ships and houses out of pine straw, teasing rolly pollies and fighting right along side He-Man as we defended the Universe from the evils that sought to destroy it.

When Jim moved in, all those boy-girl feelings started coming to the surface and I was about as confused as a 10 year old tomboy-girl could be. I distinctly remember him trying to kiss me (which would have been my first kiss!) but I used an evasion tactic and hit him with my purse! (This should have been a warning for all my future boyfriends!) I'm still not even sure why I had a purse in the first place...after all, I was a (say it with me) TOMBOY.

But shortly after Jim arrived, I was spending all my time playing with him, writing about him in a teeny tiny little diary covered in purple hearts and showing off to him my extensive stuffed animal collection--a collection which no doubt a 12 year old boy could have cared less about, but he was kind enough to humor me.

And how does this tie into the lemon you might ask? One of my favorite memories is of sitting on the steps, just sharing a package of lemon drops with him. And even though it was 20 years ago, the smell of lemon drops can bring back so many memories that should have been buried under so many others. The shock of dark brown hair falling over his eye, the old white bronco that his dad drove, the diary of purple hearts.

Oh I know it's not the lemon drops that burned these memories into my mind. It was more his situation...his parents divorcing, his mom all but abandoning him---pieces of him that stood out to me and at that time, little did I know, in two years they would become my own reality. Maybe that's why his memory is so indelibly inscribed in my mind.

And when I think of him, I begin to wonder about other people whose lives have touched mine for a brief moment. Fragments of ribbons twining briefly around me and then vanishing...which might be why I hate change so much. (I did label this post ramblings didn't I?)

Did I ever mention that about myself? I detest change. I simply cannot handle it. It makes me want to cry. In fact, it wasn't until shortly after Reagan was born that I realized this about myself. I was watching reruns of the Nanny and Will & Grace and realized I couldn't handle the end of the show's run that was coming up. It simply made me sick to realize that that was the end...finale...done. And sure it was just a tv show, but it was mimicking life much too closely for me to handle.

Now keep in mind at this point I was extremely depressed, had just been diagnosed with Post Partum Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which had in turn caused me to develop Obsessive Compulsive Disorder..oh yes, you didn't know I was crazy? I'm kidding. I assure you I'm not crazy anymore than you are. I have, however, lived through a very difficult and amazing pregnancy and birth (and almost death of myself and our child) which made me a little more ill at ease with the whole notion of life and how easily it can be taken away. So having these psycho moments due to a tv show, was, at the time, actually pretty understandable. But I digress.

I always wonder what happened to those people whom my life entwined with so briefly..and wonder if their brevity in my life and all the changes my life has undergone didn't help but cause a little bit of my freak out when my daughter was born......and now.....she, too, hates change. And I hate that for her..because, while change can be very bad, it can also be very good.

Getting a new job, buying a new house, making a new friend, getting married, having a baby...those are all good things. And I want her to appreciate the good things that change can bring. And even if change sometimes does bring bad tidings, you can still appreciate the good in what happened BEFORE the change (does that make sense?)..you know, your own 'lemon drop' moments, the Jim Butlers in your life.

How do I help her appreciate those moments and deal with change as best as it can be dealt with? These are questions I ponder and don't understand the answer to, but perhaps many of those answers lie in uncovering whether I'm completely over the changes that have occurred in my own life. Have I dealt with them the way they've needed to be dealt with, or have I simply pushed them away, where they feel free to come out and taunt me at a later date?

Yes, heavy questions. New Year. Should be interesting to see how it unfolds..but no matter what happens, I hope I can carry a little "lemon" with me into 2010.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails