Thursday, May 27, 2010


The fragrant smell of roses takes most of us back to another time, another place and sometimes to another person. The scent reminds me of a time when I wore Yardley Red Roses.

It was in the 60’s I gave up the fragrance when working for the encapsulation division of NCR. Barry Green was the inventor of encapsulation. I was secretary who was part of the experimental testing. Just so you know, encapsulation is the process that allowed copies to be made without carbon paper, the source of time-released capsules and a process that influenced many industries. I even have one of the very first mood rings. Again, heat reaction on capsules imbedded in the ring. Yardley wanted a product that introduced the fragrance to customers each time the cash register stamped out a receipt crushing the little capsules full of Yardley Red Roses. So I was put to the task of typing on various samples of coated paper to see which worked best with the perfume. The scent of roses filled the office, clung to my hands and began to make me nauseous. However, nothing could turn me away from the comforting scent of roses. The mild scent of summer’s eve, the memories of childhood or a favorite beau, the beauty that never ceases to draw us in. Roses. A reminder of Neff Road.

When I was growing up, roses were not tended. They rambled along fence rows enticing bees and little butterflies. They clung to the fences and the old wind mill beside the house. They sometimes ran wild in ditches.

After the house was remodeled and the garage added, flowerbeds added to both sides of the garage. On the east side of the house, she planted her roses. As with remodeling the house, she remodeled her roses. She and Dad checked them daily. They were tended and appreciated.

“Ruth, come out here and look at these roses,” Dad often called to Mom. Before cutting the roses to bring them into the house, they would appreciate them on the source.

Mom carried long stemmed, yellow roses on her wedding day. She wore a blue velvet dress, a golden cap and strappy shoes. We never saw a colored picture of the wedding, but we did see her dress. The yellow against the crushed velvet must have been beautiful. The scent of roses surrounded her on this special day. I remember once when Dad surprised Mom with a bouquet store-bought, yellow roses. This was a rare event. She cried.

Ah, summer, I sense your arrival in the fragrance of the huge, red roses that are blooming in my backyard. It is the rose season, the welcoming of a new season. The Portland Rose Festival opens next week.

“Grammy, can we go to the Rose Gardens,” asked Gabby last week. Oh, yes, we will go to the experimental garden teeming with many colors and varieties of roses.

Roses remind me of those days back the lane. The scent takes me home again and again. Yes, the fragrant roses and the stories that surround then will continue to bloom in this family of mine.

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