"Gonna take a sentimental journey, gonna set my heart at ease, gonna make a sentimental journey to renew old memories. Never thought my heart could be so 'yearney,' why did I decide to roam? Gotta take this sentimental journey, sentimental journey home."
Les Brown and Ben Homer wrote Sentimental Journey in 1944. It is a staple of the Big Band Era. I really like the sentiment it expresses. It was a favorite song for many a soldier and his sweetheart during and after World War II.
Today I am gonna take a sentimental journey in my "Memorymobil" powered with free fuel called memory. I have not heard a singing teakettle for too long. I remember my grandmother had one and it would chirp and whistle and let her know it is time for tea or coffee. My mother had one. It was silver color and because our water was straight out of limestone rock the inside had a coating of lime at least a half inch thick. My memory is not clear on the depth.
A singing teakettle announced that the house was warm, and that the kitchen was the center of good eating and conversation. It just made the day seem more cheery and happy. I can smell the wood burning in the cook stove and see the glow in the fire box. I can also smell the ashes as I removed them. It signaled the water was ready to provide steam vapors to help me breath when I had a bad cold. Mom would put some Vick's Salve on my neck and up my nose and then I would drape my head with a towel and breathe in the steam.
It also provided my dad with hot water to shave. He would pour water into an enamel coated wash basin, splash it on his face and use a brush to lather his face with Williams Shaving Soap. I would watch him and wish that I was old enough to shave. He would often put a dab of soap on my nose and cheeks. I loved it. Now that I have been shaving for many lustra, I don't enjoy it quite so much. Then he would use his single edge Gillette razor to scrape off his whiskers. He bought five blades in a package for a quarter. A single blade would only last for a few shaves before it rusted. Today I use Barbasol foam and a Gillette Fusion five-blade razor. They come in a package of four cartridges, cost about $13 and last several months and they never rust.
A singing teakettle said "Welcome to this home. You are accepted as a welcome and friendly guest. Sit down and let's visit for a while." Many happy hours were spent around the kitchen table with the kettle singing in the background.
I would love to go back and sit in our warm farmhouse kitchen with my dad, mom, sister and brother around a table laden with tasty food mom fixed and talk about the day's events.
Larry Vandeventer grew up north of Calvertville, graduated from Worthington High School and can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or at 6860 Sunrise Drive, Plainfield, Ind., 46168 or by phone at (317) 839-7656. He has written five books about his experiences.