20 August 2011

Flour + Water = Glue: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History

Week 34.  Smells.  Describe any smells that take you back to childhood.  These could be from meals, fragrant gardens, musty basements, or something entirely different.

Mrs. Trigger's Kindergarten Class 1962-63
Deckerville Elementary School, Deckerville, Michigan
(Third Row-Second from the Right-That's Me!)

There are many smells that take me back to childhood, corn on the cob cooking, yeast raised bread, donuts frying, lilies of the valley growing, and glue! 

The smell when I mix flour and water together takes me back to Mrs. Trigger's Kindergarten classroom.  She wasn't one of my favorite teachers.  She had blue hair, for goodness sakes!  Well, maybe it was just blue to my five year old self, but what do I know I had a bad home perm!  I digress, one of my favorite times in Kindergarten (no, it wasn't nap time!) was when we would do art projects. 

Out came the flour and water glue!  We didn't get to mix it ourselves, it just magically appeared on our table.  We would have to share it; I remember there being at least 4 people to a table.  We would get our paint shirt on, one of Dad's old shirts, that we had brought from home and go at it.

I remember using(recycling before it became hip) the tops off of the glass milk bottles and making flowers out of them.  I remember in the spring we would pull the fuzzy part off of pussy willows and draw our own stems and glue the fuzzies to the paper.  I remember some sort of paper mache type project, not sure what that was.  A lot of our art projects required the use of glue and it is one of the smells that takes me back. 

And then, I remember the clean up!  Our hands would have the dry, crusted flour on them.  The shirts, too.  The next time we went to use the shirts, you could peel the glue off of it. 

Isn't it funny how different smells trigger(no pun intended) different thoughts and feelings.  For me, anytime I smell flour I think of if you add water, you will get glue!

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin, of the We Tree blog, is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.


  1. Great post! It jogged a memory from my childhood: the smell of paste in first grade.

  2. Thanks, Amy! Paste came a couple of years later, I think. Did you have the kind with a spatula like spreader?

  3. Our paste was in jars (like the kind baby food comes in) and we used our fingers to spread it around. Gross, I know. Half of the jars were dried up because kids forgot to put the lids back on.