I have been working on a new series with a working title of Unbeknownst. I have always liked that word, so archaic and mysterious. I wanted to use some of my large collection of cast off, abandoned and forgotten handwork, mostly in the form of quilts, domestic linens, hankies and doilies. I am intrigued by the idea of how these objects, so carefully made and saved, end up in estate sales, resale shops and in “mystery lots” on ebay. Maybe once the woman who made or used these lovely things is no longer remembered by anyone, the objects lose value and can be discarded in the process of clearing. This seems to take a few generations. My sister-in-law recently brought me a box of such things from my husband’s three Italian great aunts, maiden ladies who lived together and took care of their mother. The aunts lived into great old age and are now departed, and I have many memories of visiting with our little children, but I doubt any of my kids remember them much. And yet, here I am with these lovely linen napkins, embroidered and monogrammed handkerchiefs and pillowcases, turning them into something else.
I heard this bee buzzing in the crocus when I did my first pass of spring raking today. It has been such a long winter.
Winters End Reading:
Winter Loon, by Susan Bernhard; Dear Life, by Alice Munro; Bridge of Clay, by Markus Zusak; The River, by Peter Heller; and a blast from the past, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams (this is the “One Book Michiana” selection and I got the audio version at the library, read by Stephen Fry—a hoot).