Post Holiday clean up


We just came off of two days of holiday followed by Shabbat. That means lots of meals. Followers of this blog have seen lots of the prep work that went into those meals. Given how I was brought up, it isn't enough to cook a good meal, the presentation of that meals matters a whole lot as well.

Each meal is presented with a set table. Each table is set with  an table cloths and appropriately selected cloth napkins. During the week, those napkins are every day napkins that may or may not get starched and ironed. For holiday meals I go into my stash of vintage napkins.

Today I was ironing the napkins from all of those meals. While I ironed, I remembered other meals eaten with those very napkins. Some of those napkins came into my life early in my marriage. Others came into my life via Mary, Uncle Irving''s long -time girlfriend. Those have been used in our house for the past nearly twenty years.

When my mother closed up her house, she gave me many of her table cloths and napkins. Some of the napkins arrived as gifts to my mother when I was a little kid. I remember my mother opening  the gifts, fingering the fabric, and then her commenting on how much she enjoyed or hated ironing the cloths and napkins. Some of the linen was a bear to iron. Some of the napkins were purchased by my mother before I was born.

There are other napkins that came into my house when older relatives of friends died, or closed up their homes. I am known as a girl who loves textiles so I am often the recipient of  vintage table cloths and napkins that other folks have no use for. Ironing doesn't scare me, as it seems to, others.

So as I go through the task of cleaning up after the holiday, I also explore the lives of these textiles that are a in many ways a peripheral part of the holiday experience.

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