The Second Life of Grandma’s Old Hankies

Old things have gradually found a place in my home. I have a great appreciation for rekindling a period of time when life moved at a slower pace than today. Grandma’s old handkerchiefs have replaced boxes of tissues many times. I keep a hankie in my purse, apron pocket, and bed stand. If my children have rubbed their little noses raw with paper tissues, grandma’s hankies never fail to soften the blow of a cold. The soft batiste cottons of times past are easy on the nose, the economy, and my budget.

Grandma has passed a few stacks of lovely old hankies on to me. Some hankies were folded neatly in a tissue box and paper, with a note about who embroidered them and who they belonged too. My Grandmother is a great family historian. I have found her old handkerchiefs to be a treasure. It is like having a little history in my pocket. I think about my grandmother, aunt, or great-grandmother who finely embroidered the hankie every time I blow my nose, or wipe a tear. Using old handkerchiefs brings me warmth and thoughtfulness for a brief moment. Not one of those hankies can be bought in a store today. I truly cherish them. In a world where paper has replaced finery, I like to bring a little charm back into my life, by incorporating practical pieces of history. For me, grandma’s old handkerchiefs are great additions to my daily life and add a personal touch in a sweet and easy way.

I do not like all things old, for me, it has to save me money, be practical, and it is nice if it belonged to someone I knew. Some other heirloom items I enjoy using in my home are old recipes, furniture, books, and dishes. I don’t keep something for the sake of keeping it. Although, there are a few exceptions to that rule. Overall,  like to be able to use a vintage item, not tuck it away in a chest. My grandmother’s old hankies are certainly one of my favorite keepsakes.