The first 5 years of my life my Mother did not report to a job. Mom had worked since she was in eighth grade. She was 34 years old when she had me.
With my two older brothers and younger sister she went back to work as soon as she could. I was the lucky one who got her undivided attention from the time my brothers went to school until they got home. The first 5 years of my life Mom and I had a big time together. Sometimes Mom says she ruined me with all that attention, (and my siblings might agree) but I think she taught me valuable life skills. I know for sure we made some great memories that I will treasure forever.
One of the best memories I have is when Mom would pack a picnic lunch in a large picnic basket that had a heavy lid with hinges. She would fill it with fried chicken, dressed bananas, and an assortment of snacks.She might bring a Brother and a cousin or two and we would head out to Moffet's lake. Moffet's lake was a local lake in the county. The proprietors maintained a sand beach and a wooden raft you could dive off. The lake also was teeming with blue gill that often mistook a mole or a nipple as something to dine on. Thank goodness those fish didn't have teeth! But still their bite gave a shocking sting to young flesh.Mom watched us as we swam, or she would help us make sand castles on the shore. I distinctly remember my cousin Heather gripping her little toddler feet in the sand and taking her first steps. She also enjoyed eating it too.
Speaking of eating, eventually Mom would call us out of the water to eat our picnic. She would pull out a table cloth that was given to her on her wedding day by Pauline and Hooker Holt. It was covered with pink and burgundy morning glories over a blue and white checkered background.
When I left home Mom gave me that tablecloth. Surprisingly it has weathered many a picnic with few stains and only one tiny hole. That tablecloth has inspired me to collect other vintage printed tablecloths.
Over the years, I have collected many things, from snow globes to glass refrigerator boxes, but since moving to New York City my space for collecting has decreased. I have given many things away and stopped collecting everything but vintage table cloths. My collection occupies three drawers in an old sideboard. I have ones for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and various prints for all kinds of occasions. I remember where I bought all of them, or who gave them to me.
Mom never was much of a collector. She said it was just more stuff to dust. Even so, I thank her for inspiring me to collect table cloths, and most of all for the picnic memories.