Sharing the linens love

You may remember my post from last fall, where I asked our community for any spare linens for our dear friends who lost a lot of special stuff when a flood ravaged their South Austin home. Their treasured linens drawer was below the flood line and remained forgotten during the pressing demands of salvage and clean-up.

Well, readers and businesses came to the rescue. Thank you to all of you who shared from your stash, like Lisa from Fillmore Container, the Open Arms Shop and their lovely handmade napkins (a great org that employs refugee women in Austin), and the handful of readers and friends who gave with love.

This bundle of goodies from Marisa of Food in Jars:

These handmade napkins from Melizza:

This brand new, handmade apron from Stephanie at Simply Whimsical Gifts:

Photo courtesy of Stephanie’s Etsy Shop

These lovely words come from Dawna, who shares her family’s feelings about receiving your linens:

Our kitchen is finally completely unpacked, all post flood boxes have been opened, items sorted, hand washed, machine washed, hand washed again, dried and put away. Ten large boxes of unused or rarely used items that were saved sit waiting to be hauled to the thrift store today for donation. As a reward for the labor, this afternoon I will be gently unpacking and oh-ing and ah-ing over the beautiful linens that readers from the Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking blog donated.

I saved this batch of beautiful, gifted linens to be opened last. Many times at the temporary house I reached for this bag, hesitated and decided again not to use the contents until we were home. There is something about sorting through linens that soothes my soul and feeds my heart and I knew that I would appreciate the process of unpacking these at our real home, taking my time and putting them into their permanent place.

Cloth napkins are used nightly at the Fisher-Maloney house. Gathering these from the table and taking them to the laundry hamper seems to be the girls’ favorite after dinner chore (perhaps to put off the leftover packing and dish doing for five minutes or so). Countless games of “look what can I turn this napkin into” have been played around our dinner table (look! - I am a robber I have a napkin over my nose and mouth, look - I am a pirate with a napkin on my head tied in a kerchief, look - I am Peewee Herman with a bowtie made out of a napkin…ah - the never ending costume possibilities of the square or rectangular cloth napkin) 

I am certain my love of linens comes from my Grandma Ollie. I remember my Grandma Ollie pulling out cloth napkins for dinner (lunch to you folks not from West Texas), laying each napkin with a fork, knife and spoon in front of each chair surrounding her large eat in table and how I would hope that I would be sitting at the table setting with the napkin that I loved the most. Most often, the seat that I longed for was the one set with the napkin with pink flowers that had been washed so many times the cloth felt like flannel, soft and so thin that it was a wonder how holes had not overtaken the entire thing. My mom, Mary, continued this use of real napkins at my childhood dinner table. She has a kitchen drawer full of napkins and placemats and tablecloths, right next to the drawer full of pot holders and cloth trivets. Each one has a story - some are scratchy and some are soft - I still reach for the soft and threadbare set when asked to set the table.

Thanks, Kate, and thanks to your readers for giving me this moment to look forward to during the rebuild and giving me this moment today. The gifts continue to flow, we continue to heal.