Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Cedarwood Soap, Caramel, and Sea Breeze Memories from the Jersey Shore

The day started out like a typical workout day:

Dog walk, Coffee, Spanish, Carboload, out to the park before 9AM.

I seem to enjoy going around in large lazy circles on plastic wheels with ceramic bearings.  Ceramic, like your coffee mug made out of Sapphires.

Long story, I won't go into that here.

I was out at Mills Pond Park in Fort Lauderdale.  If you aren't from the area, this is the same park that Jackass did some scenes for their own insanity.  Jumps and leaps over partially submerged ramps is not my preferred way to get Beta Endorphins.

I did my 18.7 miles for the day and came home.  That would be 30.09 KM if you're counting.  Good day for a workout too, temps in the high 70s, light winds, bright sun... that sort of thing.  Even the grounds were watered in a way I could get through them.

Kids, don't try this at home.  I have Ceramic Bearings in my boots so I CAN get them wet.  If you try that with "regular" skates, they will rust solid before you can get them cleaned at home.

After having lunch it was time to clean up.  Shower time, Coach!  I selected some music to play on the speaker and set the volume.

Classic Disco Mix.  I was feeling retro today.  I do that frequently.

One other thing I do frequently is make my own soap.  I have been for a few years now.  I do it so I can dial in the quality I demand, the scents I want, and just the right amount of moisturizing.  It works well and it helps me work through the chemistry that I aced in High School.  The teacher was a big stoner and used to give us labs that we would finish while he went out and "relaxed" with the math teacher for a bit.

He also knew that I was there and would help people out.  I used to get 99.5% or better of theoretical results on my Chem labs. 

So my soap is down to a science as well.  I have a couple scents that I like but this one... well it gave me a flash back to childhood.

It was a "Cedarwood" scented bar. 

If you are a Jersey Boy like I am, and no I don't mean like those Noo Yawk Idiots that go and do the Jersey Shore nonsense on TV, you know the scents of the Boardwalk.

I mean "Boardwalk" as in Atlantic City.  I also mean "boardwalk" as in Ocean City.  Both in New Jersey.  Almost everyone there were from South Jersey and Philly anyway since we were inconvenient for the New Yorkers to get that far South.

It's "Boardwalk" in AC.  And ONLY in AC.  Because someone named Board built the thing.  Anywhere else it should be in lower case. 

There's a "scent" to that part of the Jersey Shore.  Think Cotton Candy, Popcorn, Caramel from the Salt Water Taffy, Roasting Peanuts, and when you walk into a store, Cedar.

A quirk of these Boardwalk and boardwalk shops was that you could find trinkets all made of Cedar.  Smelled like "Mom's Cedar Chest". 

And so does that soap.

There I was finishing up soaping my head with Cedarwood Soap, and I tend to not send that stuff out when I make bricks since it's for me.  On pops Bonnie Pointer singing her heart out that "Heaven Must Have Sent ... You Baby, For Only Meeeee"!. 

I'm getting a childhood flashback.  Sitting in Dad's Old Buick Limited.  It became mine after he died.  The timing is a bit odd since I'm conflating a couple Jersey Shore Memories, but stick with me. 

When you're driving a Big Old Buick down US 30 towards ACY you hit a curve around Pomona NJ.  That's where you get that smell from the Jersey Shore.  First dad would say "Hey smell that salt air" to us, and we'd breathe deeply.  In the summer he would switch off the air conditioning in the big car so we could smell it.  Pomona was where the "thermocline" was and the temperature would drop a solid 10 Degrees F on the right day and you got nice and cool.

Then as you got closer to your destination you would catch that smell from the shops.  I swear they pump that stuff out the windows of the shops so you would be dragged in.  It's like being near a Cinnamon bun place in a mall, Remember Malls?

Of course we would go in there and get some stuff to give our pre-teen selves a sugar high and head to the water to look for shells and clams and lay out for a "couple-a-hours".

Down-a-shore we would go.  Dig a hole, hit the water table in less than a hand's depth, and build a drain for it to get to the ocean and you would have a sand castle with a moat.

I was in that shower, warm water, cedar scented soap, and finishing up with Bonnie Pointer singing.  It all reminds me of when we piled into that Buick later those two weeks between High School and College for a vacation.  Me and my buddies in a cheap hotel room doing the last gasp of childhood.  We drove down and hit that spot in Pomona and rolled down the windows and took it all in.

So if I catch a whiff of my own private stash of Cedarwood soap I just may be thinking of Ninth Street Beach in Ocean City, NJ and if the radio is playing just the right track, I'll be smiling.

Hey, youse wanna go downashore?  Just watch for those seagulls, they'll steal yer food right from yer hand!

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