This has been such a tough week — politically on a national and state level, and then the tragedy in London, I thought it might give us a welcome break to read and think about handkerchiefs. I wrote this blog just over five years ago. Since then I have been the grateful recipient of an incredible antique lace handkerchief, as well as the beneficiary of a remarkable cache of generations-old hankies once belonging to the mother of a dear friend.
And so, dear reader, I hope this brings you a smile.
I ordered handkerchiefs to give as birthday gifts to my daughter and granddaughter. And I wonder if either of them has ever had handkerchiefs before. Maybe my daughter did, as a little girl, the ones embroidered with days of the week. Or was that underpants? I know that my first hankies, seven of them, did come so marked, and I made it a point to carry them on only the appropriate days.
I still have some handkerchiefs from the old days, kept in a pink satin case, specifically made to store such lovely linens. When my mother died, I took two of hers to remember her by, both of which were gifts from me, one still wrapped in scented paper.
No more department stores, with precious linens protected in glass cases. No more being sure that a clean handkerchief was part of every day’s checklist before leaving the house. It is still part of my day though, although it is not always a fresh one.
So, a set of embroidered hankies for them. Perhaps one day they will appreciate the gift, a reminder of a gentler, more delicate, refined time than today’s realism. Always a trade-off.
I also ordered three for me.