As someone who has only one dining room table, how many tablecloths does one need? I must have a couple of dozen but I won’t go count them for fear of embarrassment.
When I go shopping I don’t go looking for tablecloths but if I’m in a Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Ross, Marshall’s, etc. I always gravitate towards the house wares section to see if there are any styles/colors that I like. I’m thankful as many times I find a pattern I really like but it’s not in the size I need. Whew. In the past I’ve bought a size that doesn’t fit any table that I own but because I really liked the pattern and was sure I’d find some use for it, I’d buy it. See, that’s called an addiction.
The other day I was cleaning out my tablecloth drawer. The drawer (36”w x 20”l x 8”d, no small cubby here) was packed plus there was some more in the hall closet. Oh my. Yes, it’s time to purge. Seeing that I bought a new table after my remodel and some of the tablecloths don’t fit the new size, I had to let go.
Through this process I found a very nice surprise. It brought back such vivid memories of my first trip to Italy. You see in the bottom of the drawer I found a bundle carefully wrapped in tissue paper. I sat down and carefully unfolded the tissue paper trying to remember what I had purchased. There in front of me were delicate handkerchiefs in different patterns, several placemats that I use as table toppers, and one white starched linen tablecloth with delicate embroidery with matching napkins and one beige linen tablecloth with a lot of crocheted details also with matching napkins.
When I read while researching for my trip to Italy that the ladies of Burano hand made the lace I knew without a doubt that I was going there. I had to see these linens that someone put their heart and soul into. I was enthralled with Burano, such a quaint island that you can walk 15 minutes in any direction and be on the other side. I loved that each house was painted a different color, bright melon next to pale mustard next to mauvy brown. It’s like each home owner put his hand in a bag and pulled out what color they would paint their homes.
I walked around the island enjoying each shop I came to admiring their wares. They were just beautiful. I found the linens that I wanted and made my purchase. This was my first real purchase in Italy (I had bought a printed picture from a street vendor in Florence for €5 but I don’t think this counts). The sales lady delicately wrapped my purchase in a light rose colored tissue paper secured with a printed sticker and then placed in a very sturdy brightly printed bag with handles tied with colored ribbon. I was surprised by the flourish that went into bagging my purchase knowing that in the U.S. it more then likely been put in a nondescript plastic bag.
The only downside of my purchase, I didn’t realize how heavy the bag of linen would be and that I had to hand carry this the remaining two weeks of my time in Italy as I only had a backpack and was using the train system most of the time. Some day soon I will post my journal of my first trip to Italy. I warn you it’s long but entertaining and would need to be posted in many installments.
I'm out to run some errands, what? no I'm not stopping at target... er, bye!
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