Ponder this:

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ramblin' around in my brain

One night last week, through some oversight, our front porch light got left on overnight. I woke up in the almost-dark and even though that little bit of light troubled my sleep, I wouldn't get out of bed to come downstairs to turn it off. 
Remember when everybody left their front porch lights on all night? Why did they do that?
Was it for their own protection, to enable them to see intruders knocking at the door? Or was it a quaint practice held over from the days of hobos and community and hail good fellow well met? 
Another odd thing. In those days when the whole family went out and planned not to be home until after dark, the one light that was left on was the light on the kitchen stove.  Anybody passing the house would have known there was no one home; the house had a look of waiting with the light on for us. Surely that dim little light was no impediment to would-be burglars. 
I wonder: What was the point?

Liverwurst is not the very best kibble mix-in to entice failing-kidney-poodles to eat. The protein makes them pee frequently. And a lot. Their little bladders fill up fast, the kidneys being unable to concentrate the high-protein waste material. And the inevitable race to the door, a great percentage of the time, inevitably, fails. The solution is potato mix-in with the kibble!  The veterinarian suggested it to me to try to get a little meat back on Max's dwindling frame.
If I had known these dogs would eat potato with such relish I would have saved myself countless supper and breakfast wars over the years.

If you wander around looking at enough trees, you'll see how they catch and hold their own (and other trees') dead branches. 
Those limbs hang suspended, completely disconnected from the original structure, through windstorms, ice storms, snowstorms. 
The living tree greens up, hosts birds and squirrels, goes on with its life, all the time holding up the dead weight.  
For years. 
I am glad glad glad that mammal amputees don't do that.
I might be the last person on earth to learn that I can watch movies online for free. On Thursday evening, I enjoyed 1937's Topper
Oh my. 
The shoulder pads. 
The luxe automobiles. 
That accent. What is that dialect the actors used in those old movies? Part British-y, part old money New England, meant to indicate upper class breeding and lifestyle. 
I love it all.  
I gather, however, that if I overdo this new pleasure, the monthly cost of our cell phone contract (through which I have my computer connection) will go through the roof. 
That's all right:  Any pleasure, too much indulged, becomes less pleasurable.  

Long before I was the sundries supplier for the household in which I lived, my family devotedly consumed certain brand names.
Prell shampoo, Tide laundry detergent, Crest toothpaste, Ivory liquid for dishes, Dial soap.  Procter & Gamble had our household sewed up.
I'm still stuck on Tide, and Dial soap's scent, although it is not the only soap we use, feels like going home. 
In the early 1950s Dial was yellow. 
Yellow only. 
When it began to be produced in colors, I recall asking my mother, in great puzzlement, why blue soap didn't make blue bubbles. 
My preference in Dial soap is still . . . yellow. 
When we built this house, I envisaged and demanded that the downstairs bathroom be yellow and white. Nothing in the room would be other than yellow, white or green. One of my rules for the bathroom was that the soap in use would be yellow Dial soap. That rule's long gone by the wayside, but last week I did find in the closet one remaining bar of the stuff, and temporarily replaced my [green] Emeraude shower soap with it. Nice.
Yesterday I bought a multi-pack of Dial. I spent an embarrassing amount of time in the soap aisle debating over color: yellow or white? Pink was out of the question.
I checked the scent: same with both. Would the white soap be as comforting to my senses as good old yellow? 
I bought the white. If I don't like it . . . if it doesn't make me feel like a safe, comforted child when I use it every morning, I will be sad until it's used up. 


threecollie said...

I have loved the scent of the yellow Dial since the kids were babies..that is what was used in the hospital. I guess it conjures up warm memories or something. No one else likes it, so I rarely buy it but every now and then I do.

Tracy said...

I like this post; reminds me of simpler days and times when we never even locked our house or cars...
I also have a draw to Johnson's Baby lotion because I remember it from younger days!

Hilary said...

What a great set of rambles.

I always keep the porch light on. I do feel it's a matter of security. And I'm guilty of keeping the stove light on too. But it's always on in the evenings even when I am home.. so my burglars will never really know for sure. ;)

I also notice how the trees support one another. There are more fallen branches than I would have once believed.

Prell was THE shampoo at one time and I don't think we ever really used it. We had Breck or Baby Shampoo but I always wanted to drop a pearl into a bottle of Prell. ;)

Fun post.

June said...

Hilary, you would have loved, too, turning the bottle upside down, right-side up, upside down, right-side up over and over again, and look at the world through the emerald green bubbles.
It was quite the coup when Prell was buyable in breakproof plastic tubes! :-P

June said...

Tracy, isn't that funny...
I just got out of the shower (with my Dial soap) and I am all slathered with Johnson's Baby Cream. That scent! Smells like a new Christmas baby doll.

Recycled Cottage & Garden said...

I leave my stove light on so the house is not dark when I come home, I rarely turn it off.
The dish soap I buy is the green original scent palmolive. It is one Mom used and I still love how it smells. Tried the other scents, but I still go back to the original and I remember making homemade soap bubble mix with it on summer days. Its a good way to amuse your cats too.
Glad I'm not the only one with random thoughts.

Darla said...

A warm'n'fuzzy post of ponderings past and present...loved it!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Random thoughts are the best sort of all .
And I only have to smell Imperial Leather to find myself back in my mother's bathroom .

Freda said...

Childhood for me was lifebuoy soap (rough and red), vosene shampoo (green and surgical) and on a Sunday night a tablespoonful of malt extract. No wonder I like nice smellies nowadays.

Rosanne said...

I enjoy your ramblin thoughts...using that word makes me think of going to the grocery store, stuffed into the back of our neighbor's Rambler station wagon with at least three other kids and no seat-belts! :) We always left our porch light on and never locked our doors. Boy, those days are gone. Oh, and I still use yellow Dial.

Lynette said...

Any pleasure, too much indulged, becomes less pleasurable.

Worthy of the next anthology of aphorisms.

Vicki Lane said...

I'm glad to hear someone else is picky about soap color. I miss the red Lifebuoy soap . . .

June said...

Vicki, depending on how much you miss it, you can have it. The Vermont Country Store sells it: $11.85 for a 3.99oz. bar.

#1Nana said...

I haven't thought about Prell for years. When I was in junior high it was THE shampoo. I was in heaven when my mother bought it, but no brand loyalty in my house; we had what was on sale.

I always disliked Dial and that horrid yellow color...go figure!

Pauline said...

Now I want to go home again! Interesting how your post was so scent evocative - remember the smell of new rubber boots? Baby powder? Breck shampoo? We didn't have an oven light but the porch light was always on if someone in the family was out and about after dark.

morningbrayfarm said...

Loved this as always... you made me smile with your ramblings about the light on above the stove. I so remember that. :)

Sally Wessely said...

I loved the images, memories and even the memory of smell that this post brought back to me.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

All kinds of interesting information, June... But I got stuck thinking of PRELL Shampoo. I used that for years and years... I used to use Dial soap--and still like it. BUT these days, we use Irish Spring Body Wash and LOVE it.

I still use Tide --and even though I've switched to others through the years, I seem to go back to Tide...Guess I'm set in my ways!!!!

About lights being on, years ago--that was a welcoming sign telling people that we were home and to come and visit. These days, it may just be a security thing. I know that when we go out-of-town, we have a couple of lights on timers --which come on at certain times so that people think we are home... Interesting how times have changed all through the years.


Lord Wellbourne said...

The light thing....I always believed it was to welcome the wayfarer in distress. Made me always feel safe to know there was someone out there to help me if I needed it.

The dialect thing....Oh dear, I have that British-y New England accent thing working. No old money though. Just the new stuff.

You feel about Dial Soap the way I still feel about Lava handsoap. I love that scent! Smells like the aftermath of a job well done.

Barb said...

I love Jergens hand lotion but not all the newfangled ones - only the original almond scent will do - it smells like my Mother. Here is a kernel of wisdom I'll remember from this post, June: "Any pleasure, too much indulged, becomes less pleasurable. " I hope the white soap has brought you the nostalgic pleasure you deserve.

June said...

Lava soap....ooooo....the gritty texture is what I remember. My father used it regularly. When I tried it with my tender-skinned little hands, it gave me a rash. Or maybe it just wore off the top layer of skin...

Oh yes, Barb. Cherry almond Jergens! Another favorite!

Bernie said...

I too enjoy following strange roads to see where they go. I explored most of Door County when we first moved here and when I went up to Lake Michigan to fish off the pier every night.

Enjoyed this post with your random thoughts about small things that are really important to our lives when you think about it. What is more used more often than soap and shampoo? And the smell are the evokotive element. Is that spelled right? Looks bad. My brother could never use Palmolive because it reminded him of my mother and made him sad. I always gave my mom a bottle of dime store Evening in Paris I think it was called in a blue bottle for Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas--have a blessed one.

Friko said...

Sorry I'm late but I'm very glad I came. A brilliant, rambling post.
Full of things about you, the sort of things that tell the reader what kind of person you are.

I like you.

Joey said...

I keep the porch light on when I'm waiting for someone, or for my daughter to come home.

I also leave the back porch light on for my pups because they romp and play at night.

And yes... I leave the light on over the sink on when we're gone. I also leave the television on so the pups don't get bored. They love the music.

We use Dial, I ask for white, but my husband gets yellow.

I just loved your blog. It was great reading!

Susan said...

I always loved Prell with the pearl, but I really loved those Breck Girl ads. I used to love the smell of Dove soap, but since it almost melted away, we always had to use Ivory. My hubby still loves Ivory. When we did dishes, I loved that Lemon scented Joy. Jergens was the hand lotion of choice and the hairdryer had a hose on it. What a fun post, and I agree Vermont Country Store online is a great place to fulfill those nostalgic cravings. Have a great weekend.

June said...

By the by....the white Dial smells the same as the yellow, but slightly less so. I like the yellow better. Still.

LydiaO said...

Front porch light on, Check
Light over the stove. Check.
I loved Lifebuoy and and I really miss Clairol Herbal Essence. It had a wonderful green smell. I topped it off with lemony Jean Nate or Love's Babysoft and sometimes Tabu by Dana. A scent my Mom wouldn't let me wear as it was "too old for you." Ah the remembered smells of childhood.
Who all remembers putting iodine in Johnson's baby oil to make tanning oil?