Yes, tomorrow, May 25th, is Towel Day. I know, hard to believe it’s here again, right?
Okay, I had no idea until just recently that Towel Day is such a thing. But it must be pretty cool. After all, my friend Baddest Mother Ever is the one who told me about it here.
It is all good fun, and I am excited about picking out which towel I will carry around all day with me. ‘Cause that’s what you do to celebrate. And folks won’t think you’re crazy at all. Especially not your visiting in-laws. Just sayin’. Ahem.
In mentally reviewing which towel would be just perfect, I started thinking about how some pretty special moments and some pretty extraordinary ordinary moments have been marked in my life by towels. And so I share my towel anthology. (Yes, I know an anthology is a collection of written works, but can I have a little poetic license here, considering it’s Friday and all the excitement over the coming celebration? Thank you very much.)
The first towel I remember being given as my own was probably a beach towel given by my great Aunt Hattie. She was an awesome gift giver. I used it in the backyard and to “lay out” on the trampoline. I may have taken it to Lake Tobesofkee a time or two as well. Mostly I remember it in its later years used when Mama was canning to spread out the fresh beans or peas from the garden as part of preparation or to cover the jars after they were done.
Then there was the “college” hand towel that Santa brought me my freshman year. As I was in the Purple Knight class at Wesleyan, Santa splurged and got me a purple hand towel. I say “splurge” seriously…..I used it constantly and that cotton pima is still hanging around today. It’s now a lovely purple-y shade of gray. And still soft.
When I was expecting my first precious baby, and my second, and my third I received sweet and funny towels. There was the duck head complete with beak when Aub was born that I remember the best. And with my next baby girl, there was a particularly sweet and soft light green with baby bears embroidered across the hat. My favorite one for my baby boy is the one he can still use–handmade by a friend who used a thick towel and washcloth to make a hooded towel for him, accented with a cars and truck ribbon. His first truly boy towel!
When my husband and I married, we were preparing to combine homes and move to Japan all at the same time. We put towels on our wish list–the ones with the embroidered rubber duckies for Aub’s bathroom and the purple with embroidered dragonflies on the border for ours. We still have some of those cycling through the house ten years later.
Some of the others in my anthology include a pink floral set, given to Aub when she was four or five by her friend’s grandmother. She came to the house next door to keep her grandson. One day she was cleaning out a shed and found this towel set among other things, and she decided it was made for Aub. When I’m folding clothes and come across that one, I still think of her and what a sweet and gentle soul she is.
Over at Mama’s there is a lime green towel that is MINE. (I hope my sibs are reading this one.) I’m not exactly clear as to how Mama wound up with it, but it had something to do with my great Aunt–maybe she was cleaning out? I don’t know, but I know that Mama, whose favorite color was green, never really cared for chartreuse. But she brought this towel home with her, and whenever I stayed there, she set it out for me. That towel just hollers, “You are loved,” whenever I see it.
I have quite a few towels that, when we were cleaning out my great Aunt’s house a couple of years ago, I brought home with me. They remind me of her and her style and good times there. I expect they will be around a while, as she didn’t play when it came to linens and the like.
My great Aunt Hattie sent great gifts at Christmas that were surprises, but she also sent standard ones. Like the box you KNEW was the Whitman’s Sampler. If we could make our case for why we thought that was the one, Mama and Daddy would let us open it a couple of days before Christmas. Quite the treat, I’m telling you. But her standard gifts that I think we maybe took for granted as children were dishtowels for Mama and bandanas for Daddy. To this day, it makes me smile if one of my siblings replicates one of these gifts. A happy, happy memory. It was just this past Christmas, when Mama wasn’t up to doing a lot of shopping that she asked me to take her Kohl’s discount card and pick up some dishtowels as gifts. I had fun doing this, as it had become something of a “thing” for my littles to pick out seasonal fingertip towels and give to Maemae over the past couple of years. She would sit them out for the grands to use as much as they needed. And to enjoy.
So I picked out different hand towels and took them to her for review. She loved them. She sent some as gifts, and picked out a special one for each one of her children, unbeknownst to me. Until Christmas morning. I opened up my gift of the hand towel that I had probably loved the most. How she knew I don’t know, except, well, Mama always knew. Aub loved it, saying it reminded her of the patronus in Harry Potter. Y’all know I love me some Harry Potter, so I only loved the towel more. (And the fact that a patronus is a positive force, provoking hope and happiness. All righty then. I can always use that. Perfect.) It hangs on my oven bar in the kitchen. Year round.
Isn’t it funny? When I read it was Towel Day, I laughed and thought what fun. I didn’t realize how many stories are connected to them. But I do know that as I fold my towels, I think of my brother who gave me this hand towel as a remembrance of Aunt Hattie. Or this towel that hung in my great Aunt’s house. Or this towel that I embroidered for Aub when she played basketball. Or this one that I wrapped my baby boy in…..
And so many more.
Now before I get all weepy and need all the towels I own to wipe up my mess, I’m off to sleep to prepare for tons of fun tomorrow. Y’all go pick out your own towel. Or two. How will you celebrate Towel Day? Happy Memory Making!