Thursday, January 27, 2011


I have a few things I've collected over the years. Santas are the ones my kiddos would probably say first if asked what their Mommo collects...but I also collect these little beauties..vintage tablecloths. I've picked a few up at yard sales, or antique shows, but I scored really big the last few years from a friend who's Mother-in-law started paring down her own collection. Estelle is almost 90 and I've been blessed to have her pick out a few of her favs for me to take home and cherish. By the way, if you met Estelle you'd never guess she's that age. She's tall, ram rod straight posture, beautiful, with lovely red hair that is perfectly coiffed by her hair dresser daughter. She's an artist too. Her paintings are amazing! I'm very thankful that she trusts me with her "babies"..Why do I collect these? Why do I love them? I guess I always wonder what was happening when these were on tables back in the 50's..times when families sat together for meals, when days were a bit slower. After the sadness, and darkness of WWII... brightness was needed. The homes of the 50's showed that brightness if you look back at photos or look at what was popular in furniture and appliances.
The colors are so vivid and the flowers so beautiful. They cheer up the dreary days and add more life to the sunny ones!
This tablecloth really isn't vintage..well, perhaps it is if you consider 1976 a vintage year. My Dad had passed away a week before Thanksgiving that year and Jack had just graduated from the Chiro college. We were packed right after Christmas and leaving Chicago for Ashland. I was excited to go on to this new adventure, but the timing was a bit off. This wasn't how it was suppose to go down. Dad was suppose to be here to help us move. Maybe Mom wouldn't be as torn up about her oldest daughter flying the coup with our year old baby if Dad was there to soften the blow. My family is Catholic and there's a Mass that is held 40 days after someone passes. After that Mass for Dad, the clan all gathered at my Mom's for dinner. This tablecloth dressed her table. After dinner everyone started writing little notes to us on it. Sweet sayings, cheerful wishes, sad "I'll miss yous", and many other send off good byes. My sister embroidered some of them before giving it to me and I've treasured it ever since. Many who took pen to cloth that night are no longer living. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, my Grandma...but I have their thoughts and all their love they shared with me all my life on that special linen. Many times I've taken it out just to sit and read what's there, remembering that dinner and as I read those notes in their own handwriting I swear I can hear the noise, the chatter, the laughter and the tears of a family gathered around a table, sharing much more than food.


Stacy Crawford said...

Wow! How fun those table clothes are. They remind me of my great grandmas house. I loved going to grandmas she always had something fun to do when I was there. You know the fun things were just learning to cook, sew, garden, and talking. She always made me feel special. I lost her about this time of year when I was in 6th grade. Her's was the first name I took through the temple. I love the sealing blessing!

acorn hollow said...

Love the one that is written on so many memories. I love vintage tablecloths. Remember sunday dinner when all came home for dinner? I want to thank you for your wonderful posts on my blog you always make me smile. thanks for being my blog friend.
stay warm

Donna said...

I'm a table cloth lover too and remember those from my childhood on Grandma's and Mom's tables which were lace.
Your story was marvelous about the tablecloth from the after funeral dinner! So heartwarming, it gave me goosebumps!
You never fail to entertain! Even walking out of staff meeting this morning you had me in stitches! You da bomb!

karen said...

I love those vintage prints from the 50's. I've seen nice tablecloths from time to time but haven't purchased one - maybe next time I will. The handwritten one you have is priceless, and I loved the story!

Hope said...

I've never thought about collecting table cloths. lovely idea. I had a table cloth at my wedding that dressed the wedding book table and every one signed it and wrote blessings and what not on it.

love the photo's and table cloths

Sue said...

Such a lovely and touching post! And beautifully written.

I love the vintage table cloths, but most of all I love hearing about the special one with your family members' messages of comfort and remembrance on it. Warms my heart.

What a treasure!


rosaria said...

That is a beautiful memento! I too collect tablecloths and napkins, preferring the lacy and embroidered ones, beauties I could never produce myself. They remind me of my mother's beautiful tablecloths.

Catch the Kids said...

What a lovely story. I have things my grandparents left me and I love vintage, but your floral tablecloth is really special. This is one of my favourite of your posts. It's just beautiful.

Darlene said...

What a neat thing to collect! I have a few of these that my mom had and I treasure them. The one with all the notes and good wishes from your family is really special. I can just imagine how much it means to you.

My mom made a lot of doilies and crocheted handkerchief edges. I had enough to give all my daughters one and I think they treasure them. It is so nice for them to have something their grandma made.

I used to collect too. I have a lot of elephants and I too have many many Santas. I have told my kids though not to give me any more "stuff" because I just don't have room for anything else and in fact I am giving them stuff now at Christmas time that I either bought or has been in our family. They seem to like that and I'd rather do it before I die, than to have them do it after. Too much stuff to go through and distribute.

Keep on collecting those linens!

Miss Sadie said...

I've just dropped over from rosaria's place, and I can see why you like her writing. It is so much like your own. Personal. Thoughtful. Reflective.
Thank you for the wonderful story!

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Honey I love old tableclothes too and hate that I never collected them before now because now they are very pricey. lol
Love that you were able to get yours from the sweet lady downsizing. I know you will enjoy everyone of them.
Your tablecloth that is signed by everyone that day is of course priceless. I have never seen this done and what a lovely thing to do.
Shows how loving your family and friend were toward your dad.
Loved your comment about Patience. I should of let you write it. Yours was so much better than mine.
Have a wonderful weekend
Love ya

Midge said...

I remember the day and time well, and still miss you guys always....unfortunately we now have become those vinatge bring light, love and laughter to every event and we cherish more now that even then the faces that decorate our lives. As a grandparent it is now a huge responsibility to display and use those vintage cloths so maybe our children and children will appreciate the true worth of a dining room table.....

Karen Whittal said...

What beautiful treasures, and memories to pass on to your children. Although my table cloths are not treasures, i love to theme my dinner parties and having a daughter who sews helps, I have loads in all colours, everytime i see a piece of material I like, I buy it and then organise something