I’m not sure if this happens to you or not, but I thought I’d ask. Do you ever get one of those “Aha” moments? You know, the ones where you keep looking at something, and one day, it’s different? Like a route you’ve been taking for years, and you notice a special tree or sign that you didn’t notice before. Or a house with a color of paint you love and one day you notice that the windows are trimmed in a beautiful color you never saw before.
Well today, it happened to me, and it was, of all things, a calendar towel. You see, when I’m on my travels, looking for vintage linens, I come across things I can’t toss. Oh, I’m sure you know the feeling; that pair of shoes you “have to have”, that dress/outfit that “so fits you”. Well, this calendar towel, when I saw it in a box so many years ago, is the one thing I can’t toss. Calendar towels were popular way back when (maybe they still are?). Made of durable linen, a calendar for the current year is printed on the front, with some sort of artwork. I’ve seen apples, chickens, trees, and hearts. But the calendar towel in question is an old Northeastern barn with a wooden silo next to it, in winter.
I didn’t keep the towel for the barn or the winter scene; I kept the towel for the (shall I say it?) year. A particular year, long ago, a year full of many trials, and some happiness. A year of struggles. The year when the Vietnam War was slowing down, “de-escalating”. The year when my husband came home, and the year I experienced my first PTSD episode with him. And the year when my child was born. In fact, I wanted the towel to remind me what day of the week my child was born on. Why? Well, you know that saying for days of the week and what day children were born on ? You know, “Sunday’s Child is full of grace, Monday’s child is fair of face”, etc.. I wanted the towel to remind me of the special “attribute” my child has. Whether it’s true or not, it’s something for me to consider.
This may sound silly, but it’s why I kept it. And today I noticed that this towel has the most beautiful saying. Seeing this saying was my “Aha” moment, and yet I’ve had the towel for a number of years. Why didn’t I notice this before? Here is the saying:
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
Well, heck, that about sums it up, don’t you think? “Unknown by anything that’s new”, as if old things have thought. But isn’t that true of vintage linens? Don’t they have a “depth” to them? This calendar towel now has a “depth”.
What do you feel when you see something that reminds you of something else? I can remember things when I look at the linens I use to make items for Aunt Mayme’s Attic. A deer with a fawn, a phrase from a song, such as Hush Little Baby (blog post is here), even dotted swiss (see that blog post here)
There is no name as to who wrote it, no quote marks—nothing. Just the saying in a beautiful script.
PS: To let you in on a note, when I started this post, I wrote the towel had a “covered bridge” in winter. I had to go back and edit it to a barn, because that too, today, was an “Aha!” moment. Now isn’t that funny?