"Bleached to within an inch of their lives."
I grinned from ear to ear when I heard Anita Best use that expression recently in reference to how the 'old timers' would treat flour bags before they would use them to make quilts. I had not heard the expression in years but I am pretty sure I grinned from ear to ear the last time I heard it.
A lot of things were bleached or washed to within an inch of their lives 'back in the day'. And then, just when you thought there might be cause to bury something, it would be mended back to life.
I have a quilt that lies somewhere between these two worlds; it cries out 'bury me' and 'mend me' at the same time. Perhaps more of a scream than a cry, in all fairness. It is called 'The Nan Blanket'. It was a wedding present from Nan Parsons in 1986, a crazy quilt that Nan made by hand from old scraps of material. Recycling, long before we knew what recycling was.
To put it mildly, the Nan blanket is well used!
Aside from being a mainstay on our bed for years, whenever anyone in the house got sick they got the Nan blanket. Kinda like calling the doctor. And, not unlike the doctor, it may not have cured you but it sure made you feel better. And that is not a bad thing.
I have considered mending the Nan blanket. But I kinda like the stories it tells in its tattered form. I am thinking that the Nan blanket may have to live forever between two worlds!
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