As I carefully unwrapped each fragile teacup, each plate, I was overwhelmed with emotion. Each dish is over a hundred years old, hand painted from Denmark, and so beautiful. How did the young newlywed, the new farm wife, feel as she carefully unwrapped such fine things on her wedding? A hundred years separates and joins us in a flash of a tea cup.
My beautiful friend, Kat (whom I called mom) had a great love of history, and homesteading, and family. She knew that I might be the only one to appreciate such things as old linens, and wind up clocks, and this and that, and so for each holiday I was gifted with heirlooms. Hilda was her grandmother, a farm wife in Iowa and in my home I have her things. I have never met her but we are connected through time as farm wives. As women. As housewives. We are connected by our love of Kat and by the material things she used that carry memories and love.
Gunhilda was her given name, but she always went by Hilda. Her family was Danish and her husband was from Denmark. A darling looking man named Jorgen, or George once he came to the states. They were married in 1918 when Hilda was twenty-three years old.
I have read her old postcards often. I am fascinated by her friends’ scripts and brief notations. How sweet to receive such correspondence on a snowy day.
I put on one of the aprons that Hilda made. They are starting to fray but they are sturdy and lovely in their simple way. A good sized pocket to gather eggs.
I will make tea for the ladies that might come by for a visit. Just as she would have done in that farmhouse past the rows of corn a hundred years ago and just as women will do a hundred years from now. We are all connected by that nurturing spirit, love of family and community, and of simple things like hand painted dishes so fine.