In going through a loved ones things I found a vintage linen calendar towel from 1970, the year of my birth. I have always loved these multipurpose items, a calender for one year and then a kitchen towel for the remainder of its life, and always wanted one from my birth year so I was very excited to find this piece of special linen. Not only is it my birth year but it has a winter scene with a beautiful red barn which reminds me of home, far away in Virginia. As I unfolded the piece I was happy to see that it was in fair condition, the loved one who had passed away kept her linens in beautiful condition but she also used them rather than being afraid they would get a stain. What is it about lovely things which makes us afraid to use them, afraid they might show some sign of wear? I am, and always have been, a firm believer in using and enjoying everything rather than storing them away for a “special occasion.” After all, what is more special than a life lived fully each day?
The best part of this wonderful discovery was the verse at the bottom, as they always have a proverb or bit of wisdom under the calender. The verse on the towel reads as follows: I like old things that time has tried and proven strong and good and fine; I like old things–they have a depth unknown by anything that’s new. My eyes filled with tears that day, sitting in the floor with a lap full of old linens, surrounded by all the beautiful things this wonderful lady, who was such a colorful character, had collected. It was if these words had been whispered to me in lieu of nursery rhymes as a child…I like old things that time has tried…I have always loved old things with a story all their own. I have a rich history with women who never threw anything away, who always found a use for things, and who didn’t discount something because it had a dent or a bit of paint missing.
When you shop at second-hand stores, flea markets, yard sales, you will not find perfection. You will find character, history, finger prints, stories, and a sense of mystery as to where the items have been and what they might be able to tell us if they could talk, oh, if only they could talk!