My grandma (second in on right) lived with us for many years and because we shared a bedroom and a bed for my formative years. I remember watching her as she went about her routine before coming to bed for the night; finally she would exhale, and sigh deeply before closing her eyes.
Grandma would sit down on the maple chair, open the doors to her matching vanity-dressing table and turn on the small pull chain light. Her arthritic fingers would struggle to twist open the Pond’s cold cream and I watched as she dipped her fingertips into the milky white magical cream. Looking into the mirror, she began rubbing it all onto her face and would then use tissues to wipe it all off, followed by several wet cotton balls full of what I now know, was Witch Hazel, to clean off all remnants of the cream.
How fascinating to a four or five year old little girl to observe this nightly ritual! And the final step was to take a white bottle from her treasures, (Jergen’s lotion), and squeeze out a quarter size drop and rub it into the palms of her hands and up her arms. She smelled heavenly! It always reminded me of the fragrance the cherry pies emitted that she labored over—almond flavoring! Even today when I smell Pond’s cold cream, Jergen’s lotion, or cherry pies baking in my oven—I remember Grandma with warm, loving thoughts and much melancholy longing.