Since she was a little girl, lavender has always been Sophie's favorite fragrance. Such a delicate little flower in relation to the abundance of scent it releases; it's always been a curiosity to her.

Sophie's grandparents, Mary & Angelo, lived in Monticello, NY. They moved there from Brooklyn, where Sophie still lives.

With their life savings, her grandparents bought a big Victorian-style home and rented out rooms during the summer as a bed & breakfast. The lavender grew pervasively on the big property, and the breeze would carry the scent in through the open windows.

Sophie's summer days there were leisurely and warm. Her grandmother was up early everyday, cooking in the big kitchen for her guests. When Sophie woke up each morning, Mary would fix her granddaughter toast and tea.

She adored her grandmother's tea cups. Translucent and ancient, they were faded pink flower blossoms on bone china. Sipping the sweet tea from one made her feel grown up and sophisticated.

Sophie always chose her mother's Beach Plum jelly, it was her favorite. She knew it was special, because her mother explained that the fruit only grows on Long Island and New England shores. It has a delicious taste that is both sweet and tart.

Sophie helped her mom collect the purple fruit on the family's frequent visits to the Long Island shore, and sometimes along the railroad tracks.

She knew her mother liked making the jelly, because she always hummed as she stood over the stove to cook it. Sophie's mother hummed a lot, and she was in her glory as she packed the warm jelly into small mason jars. It made her even happier to proudly give it away to lucky family and friends.

In the year of 1923, Sophie is a modern woman; but she still keeps her favorite things close. She hoards her moms homemade jelly, and enjoys an icy Gin Rickey, when she can get one.

And the scent of her favorite lavender bath soaps always bring her right back to those unhurried summer days in Monticello.

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