Post Passover ironing

My youngest and I were both at the kitchen table this evening. He is making himself a duct tape wallet to replace the one he has lost earlier in the week. I am ironing some of the cloths and napkins that we used during Passover.


As I was ironing the napkins pictured below my son mentioned that when I die he does not want to inherit the napkins.  He went on a riff about how it’s stupid to have stuff and not use it.


I responded that these napkins were probably about one hundred years old and were probably not used for the past many decades. They are part of my stash of Vivian treasures. I told my son that many people would not use the napkins because they were so old. I explained about how I liked using them.


As I ironed the dozen napkins I could see how they all had the same monogram but they were not exactly identical. Some of the monograms looked quite different from the back. I thought about how nice it was to use the napkins with my mother’s Israeli embroidered cloth from 1955.


My son then offered that if he could use them as napkins, he would not give them away or sell them when I died.

I finished ironing the dozen napkins and then got to work on some of the doilies we had used during the holiday.   I’m not a fussy hostess at all. I like to keep things simple and comfortable when I serve.  I have inherited serving dishes and linens from another era.  I have inherited so many of them that  it’s simply foolish not to use them.


I had grown up using paper doilies on serving plates for small desserts.   So now I use the real thing, embroidered linen, SAM_0348

This may have been a luncheon placemat from a set or perhaps just a small dresser scarf. SAM_0349


In this case I have both the silver plate bread dish as well as the Battenberg lace trimmed liner.



I know, this rate pretty high up on the list of linens one does NOT really need. But I have more than one.



I even have more than one silver plate bread dish. So now my useless serving dishes can be properly accessorized.

Despite the fact that it’s easy to live a fulfilled and fulfilling life without such frippery, I have become quite fond of these small pieces.  Most of my mother’s elegant stash of linens were hand made but for commercial sale.


Much of Vivian’s stash was made at home for a particular household.  Some pieces are pieced together from bits of older linens that had seen better days. Some are just a bit wonky, perhaps made by a young needlewoman early in her career. Others seem to be cobbled together from bits of pieces of trims that were hanging around. Some are beautifully patched. As I use these old pieces and launder and iron them, I feel like I am having a conversation with the women who made them decades ago for a different sort of a life in Austria.


After a while my son noted how restful it felt making something. Well, yeah.


His wallet looks awfully good and even has a pocket for a guitar pick.


On a different note, my husband and I are going on vacation for a week, no kids, just the two of us. It’s the longest we have been away without kids.


  1. Cloths are special. full of memories like old books.
    I hope you and your husband have a wonderful time. DON'T talk about the kids. well, talk about them once a day if you need to. ;-D


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