An Ode to Yardley

Dollar Tree - An Appreciation


Not long ago a change happened in our ‘hood that made me soooo not happy. Mainly Seconds, my favorite “go-to” discount store closed its doors, replaced by yet another dollar store. I was so upset, I wanted to picket.

Gone were the terra cotta and pottery garden pots, small and large, from Mexico and Eastern Europe. Gone were the pretty, colorful flowering plants for $4.99 that I plopped into pots and scattered around my deck…not to mention the beautiful poinsettias that I would buy by the hundreds (well, my husband thought it was by the hundreds) at Christmas time at prices nobody in town could beat. Gone were the “seconds” china, bouquets of artificial flower, greeting cards, knick knacks, garden furniture, and wicker baskets. And, gone were the aisles of Christmas decorations put out every holiday season. 

In its place are aisles of stuff you can find at the zillion dollar stores in the city and valley. Did we really need to have Mainly Seconds, a funky, eclectic store filled with treasures, replaced by a store that sells items that are a dime a dozen? These stores are multiplying faster than Starbucks.

So it was a huge surprise to me when I fell in love with our new dollar store, the Dollar Tree.

As I was tooling around the ‘hood doing errands with my husband a few days ago, he wanted to stop at Dollar Tree for something. I reluctantly joined him, resenting being there and resenting everything on display, no matter what it was. As I followed him up and down the aisles I caught the fragrance of a lovely, long ago scent that was mingling with the pungent odor of cheap deodorant soaps. Visions of my mother as a young thirty-something filled my head. As I explored the aisle for the odor’s origin, more and more youthful memories ran through my brain like a filmstrip…

 …I watched my mom making supper on her cherished Chamber’s stove, saw her lovingly cleaning and bandaging my scraped knees, felt her warm presence as she taught me how to embroider, and heard her huffing and puffing softly as she ran behind me holding onto the seat of my first two-wheeler, making sure I maintained my balance as she taught me how to ride a bike.

Like a bloodhound, I found the source of those memories. There it was, piled proudly in a bin along with Irish Spring, Dial, Jergens and Palmolive: Yardley’s English Lavender Soap. I couldn’t believe it… Yardley’s English Lavender Soap!!! My mom’s soap! My mom’s scent! The scent I smelled every time I snuggled up to her for love and comfort.

For years and years my bath soap of choice has been tuberose from Neiman’s – a far cry from the Dollar Tree. I love the way the scent lingers in my bathroom after I’ve showered. But, as much as I love the tuberose perfume, it doesn’t wrap me up in my mother’s arms. It may have been decades since I bought a bar of Yardley’s lavender soap (heck, I didn’t even know they still made it), but I had to have it.

No more Neiman’s tuberose for me and my bathroom after a shower never smelled lovelier.

A wonderful flood of memories… certainly worth a dollar.

Thanks Dollar Tree.




Ilona Saari February 14, 2013 at 09:01 PM
Thank you guys - and Happy Valentine's Day one and all!!!
MickMil February 15, 2013 at 01:17 AM
Beautiful memory piece and a lovely Valentine to your mother. Nice going!
robert February 16, 2013 at 12:53 AM
I love that Dollar Tree on Magnolia. Its so convenient and has allot of brand name stuff for cheap. Love the 2 for a dollar cards. Love the key-lime pies. Yum.
Ilona Saari February 16, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Hmmmm - key-lime pies. Gonna have to check that out. ;o)
robert February 16, 2013 at 09:16 PM
Yes. There are very delicious. You can usually find them in the freezer in the back but I have to warn you, they are very hard to get because of their popularity. I grab at least two every time they get them in stock.


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