Changes in Sneezes and times

Pretty handkerchief from Vanity Flair Vintage
As I sit here coughing and sneezing with what has become the annual New Year cold there was a knock at the door.  The UPS man stood there with a package in hand.   I was a bit surprised as I had not ordered anything.  Looking at the address label I found it was from my sister-in-law, Ann.  Thinking it was a very late Christmas gift I opened it.  Inside I found an envelope with a note and a couple of “things to treasure from a time gone by”. We had lost my mother-in-law before Christmas and Ann was breaking up the house.    In it were four embossed and embroidered handkerchiefs.  They were perfectly   ironed and folded.  Her request was to share them with the four little girl grandchildren as a bit of great grandma.  Perfume wafted up from the envelope as I held them.  I got to thinking about what she wrote.  With the tissue boxes and take Kleenex   packages that my grandchildren knew as a part of their life those handkerchiefs probably would seem pretty strange to them.  The other part of those hankies that would be foreign to them would be the time Mama   had spent ironing them.  Mama loved to iron and took it very seriously.  She ironed everything from sheets and pillowcases   to underwear for her family of seven kids and husband.  It was serious business   and I can remember my bewilderment when I learned she even ironed Papa’s underwear which my mom did not do.  Things have sure changed since then and I don’t know that either of my daughter-in –laws has an iron.  Guess maybe we will have to have a little lesson on ironing for the little girls later.  The perfume tried to fill my nostrils.  Ladies never left their house without perfume.  I remember my first bottle of cologne and later at graduation a bottle of special perfume. Definitely another time and a different  normal for me.  Memories are filling my mind and I will have to share them with the girls.  Maybe I need to give them each a new hankie of their  very own as well.    

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