Thursday, September 27, 2012

Time-Traveling Smell

A few weeks ago I finally broke down and mopped my kitchen floor.  I had put it off for quite some time citing that drippy, summer popsicles and juicy, slurp-worthy peaches made mopping the floor a moot point.  But soon it became obvious that spot-cleaning wasn't doing the job and the patch beneath our overly generous water dispenser in the fridge was noticeably sparkly and clean.  Hence the need to mop.

I pulled out my bucket and rummaged under the kitchen sink for my bottle of lemon-scented floor cleaner.  As hot water poured into the mop bucket, I unscrewed the cap of the floor cleaner and I was instantaneously transported back to my childhood.

Suddenly I am nine years old standing in the locker room at the Ouray Hot Springs Pool, shivering from head to toe as I fumble with my locker.  I stand on the cold concrete floor in front of row upon row of metal cubicles, dripping in spite of my towel haphazardly draped across my shoulders.  My fingers and toes are wrinkly and puckered and my arms and legs are covered in goosebumps.  A puddle is forming at my feet, water running down my legs from my soggy Speedo.  I hear the clang of other locker doors slamming shut, the giggle of fellow swimmers and the steady shhhshing of the showers.

And I smell the lemon-scented cleaner the pool staff uses to sterilize the floors of the locker room.  Pungent, powerfully strong and lemony-clean.  Apparently the same cleaner I use on my kitchen floor.

It's astonishing how one little whiff can wash away 28 years and send me back to a pool filled with swim team memories.  Complete with goosebumps.

My sissy and I ... in our pre-swim team years.
I used to be taller than my sister.

#1 - Describe a smell that brings back memories.

Mama’s Losin’ It


  1. I think smell is a very powerful memory-enhancer. Lysol reminds me of my mom cleaning house, and diesel fumes remind me of my school-bus days.

    What a cute photo of you and your sister!

  2. Those were the good ol' days!

    I remember you kids all smelling of chlorine, too. Mmmmmm : )

  3. So true how smells can transport us! Cute pic!


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