Monday, January 3, 2011

Prell Shampoo


The most romantic couple I have ever known were my Uncle Howard and Aunt Mildred. Howard was one of my mother's two older brothers. He had been an airplane mechanic in War World II and continued in that field after the war. Aunt Mildred was a homemaker and later, secretary for the Kawasaki company. I never wanted visits to their home to come to an end.


Their home was quintessential 1950's Early American. Knotty pine walls yellowed with age, oval braided rugs, pipe stand and fringed lamps. High backed couch and step down end tables, walk around fireplace. Starched white Priscilla and Miss America glass pattern. Big open kitchen, bread and butter pickles, homemade biscuits, Uncle Howard at the sink. Every evening after supper he would wash the dishes for Mildred  while whistling happily. He said he loved this chore because he could really get his nails clean after a day working on airplanes. Aunt Mildred at his side quietly drying and putting away, the light above the sink in the darkening kitchen just for them. The dishes done, a breakfast spot set for Uncle Howard's early rise, coffee cup turned upside down on it's saucer, their quiet dance done for the evening.


In the bathroom to prepare for bed, Aunt Mildred knocked softly. She was a tall and elegantly slim woman, her hair in an up sweep. Her voice was the softest I had ever heard. "Why don't you run yourself a warm bubble bath. Everyone is washed for the evening, you can take as long as you like." I had never had a bubble bath. My father wouldn't hear of spending good money on such a thing. My aunt showed me how to sprinkle the granules into the running water and swish my hand back and forth to form the bubbles. Before leaving me she opened a cabinet and handed me a bottle of liquid green. I could not believe my eyes. Silky, shinny hair could only be obtained by using Prell with it's formula thick enough to float a pearl. I can remember every moment of this bath! A bubble stole about my shoulders, an up sweep of shampoo, greeting my admirers in my softest voice. Feminine heaven!


My last visit to Uncle Howard and Aunt Mildred's house was the same as my first visit as a child. The simple sharing of the routine of the day showed me the type of love I wanted for myself. Aunt Mildred was very ill on that last visit. Uncle Howard slept on the floor by her bedside so as not to disturb her painful sleep. He said to me, "I have never spent a day apart from her. She has given me so much, I am happy just to be near her." Uncle Howard would pass away very shortly after the death of Aunt Mildred. I have always loved to wash dishes. I know this is because of this most romantic couple.




33 comments:

Pieceful Bits said...

What a sweet couple! Thanks for sharing that love story. Now I long for my own bubble bath with Prell Shampoo right now. I received your check in the mail today. I'm hoping to receive the puffy hearts in the mail very soon. Your sweet lovebirds will be sent right away.
(~~)
Julie

home made gorgeous said...

Such a lovely story and so beautifully told! Wishing you a very Happy New Year. Sarah x

Cindy said...

Hi Elizabeth.Beautiful valentines...beautiful stories.

I had aunts and uncles similiar to this...what a special era it was.

I wrote about the valentine swap over at my "Mornin Glories" Blog today.

Hugs to you...Cindy from Rick-Rack and Gingham

cindy said...

What a beautiful story of true love. It was a time when love was given freely and nothing was asked in return. My Grandparents were much the same. Within a year after my grandfather passed, my grandmother passed, and she was 25 years his junior. I believe she died of a lonely heart because her soul mate was no longer beside her.
Thank you for sharing...
~Cindy

Sewn With Grace said...

Oh how I LOVE this story. They are the kind of people that we all want to be. What a love story. I received my cards and just love them! Thank you so much. What an absolute treat for me! Blessings!

Stevie said...

Such a beautiful story! It reminds me of my Grammy and Pappy, oh how I do miss them! I love your valentines, so sweet! xoxo

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

That is a very sweet love story, Elizabeth. I haven't thought of Prell shampoo in years! : )

Debby said...

Oh what a sweet story. I remember Prell shampoo. Your valentines are just adorable.

Nan said...

I loved this story and the bubble bath and I haven't thought of Prell shampoo in years. I used to use that as teen. I too am working on Valentines and such.

vivian said...

Once again you tell such a wonderful touching story. You know, you could write a book. And, youve made me want to take a bath! and.. though I hardly ever buy it, I love prell!
youre a gem my dear friend!
xo
vivian

JUDi said...

I love to read your posts. They are not only fond memories but beautifully told! Thanks for being a light in my day... :)

Lisa said...

What a lovely story! If everyone knew that kind of love as between your aunt and uncle the world would be a much better place.

Mary said...

Oh Elizabeth, I love seeing that you have a new post...such a sweet love story. You have a gift for writing. I could see your aunt and uncle as I read and see them washing dishes together, so sweet. The valentines are precious!

laurie -magpie ethel said...

I will never look at a container of Prell without thinking of your aunt and uncle. Great memory and they sound like an wonderful couple. (If only the packaging on prell looked like the good old days!)

Anita Kehn said...

Such wonderful old fashioned love and we can have it today! The story made my heart feel soft and fuzzy. Prell shampoo was the best thing, why did I quit using it??

She'sSewPretty said...

Aunt Mildred was a lucky woman to be so loved. He sounds a lot like my hubby. I cook so he cleans up. A fair trade in his eyes but it means so much more to me. I think I may be a lucky woman too!

Margie said...

Oh, I love the story of your aunt and uncle! I wonder, did they have any children? I can just picture them in my mind, and their house too! What a lovely story you weave ... I SO enjoy your blog!

Paula Clare said...

Oh E! This story brought tears to my eyes! As a therapist I see couples when they are in distress...rarely when they are blissfully about the quiet chores of everyday loving each other to pieces in the process...THANK YOU for sharing this endearing story!

And Prell! I remember the smell! And the floating pearl...what a luxury to spend time in the tub surrounded by such foam...and such love!

Your Valentines are so dear! I love them!

Tamera @ the Stone Fence Cottage said...

What a sweet sweet story---and the valentines are adorable!

Holly- Girls At Heart said...

Aw, I love your aunt and uncle! Thanks for sharing about them, E! What a blessing that you have so many family memories. I had so little family growing up.

Your valentines are looking very cute! That pink gingham flower looks like something I need to know how to make! ♥

Lynne said...

The new puppy Valentine is just the sweetest one ever!
Happy day to you!

M.L. @ The House of Whimsy said...

What a precious story. Thank you for sharing it with us, Elizabeth. I've been MIA, but I hope your Christmas was wonderful...just like you. : )
xo,
Mary Lou

Sweet Bee Cottage said...

What a sweet tale of a loved and lovely couple. Your stories always take me back in time - as I'm sure they do you too - and I love it.

Loretta said...

Elizabeth, this story brought tears to my eyes. Oh, if every couple on earth would be like this. What a sweet example of love. Thanks for sharing.

A Vintage Chic said...

Such a beautiful love story, Elizabeth! We all need gracious women in our lives like you dear aunt to teach us about those feminine joys of life!

Wishing you a most wonderful day, my dear friend...

Julie

Angela said...

I love that story! They were one of those couples that really couldn't live without each other.

Suz said...

And now, my dear, I am crying buckets. I love this story more than anything. Being married to your soul-mate is a mixed blessing but I think I can imagine how your uncle felt happy just lying on the floor next to your aunt. That's where I want to be, too.
xoxoxo,
Suz

Dawn said...

You have such a gift for story telling. I love reading them. You paint such a vivid picture it's like being there with you. I love your blog!!

BucksCountyFolkArt said...

Just make me cry why don't you!!

tammyCA said...

I just love this love story! Your description is so vivid it feels we are right there. "Sharing the routine of the day" - love that!

Val said...

What a sweet, sweet story. I hope that someday my niece might say the same thing about her aunt and uncle! And what a great description of their home interior. You're right - that was very much the look of the period!

My Vintage Mending said...

Miss E. Thanks for stopping by today. I am all ready for the link this weekend. I took photos of the supplies today and can't wait to share. I really had trouble with the theme, I had too many! I narrowed it down to Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes. Thanks so much for the opportunity to share...love. love. love the autograph dog.

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