Friday, February 1, 2008

Grandma's sheets

My grandmother's house burned down in July. It was a horrific experience, one that our family is still coping with, even now. Thankfully, only her possessions were destroyed, but those possessions included family photos and keepsakes.

I've been keeping flannel sheets on my bed this winter but the other night I changed my sheets and didn't get the flannels washed in time for bed. Out came my warmer weather sheets, the ones with the insanely high thread count. It's been awhile since I used these so slipping into the sheets, I was surprised at how soft they really were, especially compared to flannel. While marveling at the softness of the sheets, I thought about the sheets my grandma used to keep on the spare bed in her home.

Lord knows that those sheets weren't high thread count. They were basic cotton, but they were worn to a smoothness that rivals silk. Instead of getting nubby, as sheets usually do with frequent use, they were soft. Grandma's bed had these soft old sheets, a scratchy wool blanket topped with a quilt that too was soft from use, and feather pillows. The old wood bedframe creaked and the clock in the living room chimed way too often. Waking up in the morning in that bed, the scent of bacon and coffee wafting under the bedroom door, those sheets felt as soft as anything.

Those sheets, that bed, that clock, everything is gone. It had been years since I'd slept in that bed. Grandpa was still alive then, I was probably still a teenager. I can't even remember why I would have been staying in her house since it was right next door to my parents' home, but I was there.

Funny the small things you remember. Something as simple as sheets can prompt a memory.

*For those wanting to soften up new sheets, try a 1/4 cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle. It helps removing the sizing and other chemicals added to new sheets.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful post! I was right there with you. Great great great. Although I am genuinely sad about the fire. And then delighted with the white vinegar tip. Boy howdy you have me all over the emotional map with this one - excellent post!

Lorraine said...

Sheets are on the top 10 list of most evocative things ever. You've inspired me to change the linens on our bed.