Love Begets Love: The Tablecloth Project

One of the gifts I received when I graduated from 8th grade was from my Grandma Martha, my Dad’s mother–a hand-crocheted tablecloth. Though I wasn’t exactly thrilled (being a typical teenager then), I packed it away, to be used after marriage…I don’t think I’ve used it but once for its intended purpose.

Martha was 69 years old when she lovingly began crocheting each 3-inch floret–there are 616!–which had to be joined by over 600 more florets, so you can imagine how long she worked on this magnificent piece.

Back at the beginning of November, as I was unpacking Christmas things to make new decorations, I pulled out the tablecloth…and that ‘little voice’ said, “It’s time to wash this and repair it!”–which I did!

Here are some of the repairs I encountered, and mind you, I do not crochet, so I had to carefully join the original loops with some older white thread I had kept–as the tablecloth is now going on 53 years old!













Finally, this project has come to an end…though I somehow ‘felt’ my Grandma looking over my shoulder, as I struggled to join loops properly.

When I began, it was difficult to figure out what loop went where, but each time I picked up the project again, I got the same feeling of love…that I was doing things the right way.

It was almost as if Grandma was guiding the needle for me, because the task became very easy.

Twice, I laid the tablecloth over my bed, and found even more repairs needed, which should have been frustrating–but were not, you see, because I could picture myself as a child, sitting on her carpet, looking up and watching her pray her rosary and crochet at the same time!  What a multitasker, eh?

In fact, the very first oil painting I did back in 1975 was that very memory!  (Sorry, no image available)

About a week and a half ago, I finished!


The tablecloth is now packed away in a plastic carrier, because it’s too large for my table!

I may hang it at the window, but it will get dusty and dirty, and I really don’t know how many more washings it can take.

What I do know is:  this gift was made out of  love, and when I repaired it, I gained more love, not only for my Grandma, but for all those who persevere and achieve a goal, no matter what their circumstances!

Just to prove…

Gosh, I look pretty tech/painter here, don’t I, especially with my ‘Streisand-look ‘do’–ha-ha?  That’s because I was…sometimes-carpy/mostly painter/sometimes-designer.

…with one of the few photos ever taken of me as an adult (which I am reluctant to post, but I guess I didn’t look too bad for being 33–half my life ago now)…

…I DID work with Mr. Howard Keel, in 1979, at the now-defunct Melody Top Theater in Milwaukee WI.

We did a ‘turnover’ every two weeks, and Mr. Keel had been rehearsing “Paint Your Wagon” the previous weekdays.

When he came off of dress rehearsal, he walked immediately back to the shop (where I, the Assistant Scenic Designer/Scenic Painter, kind of lived most of the week in that shop).

He asked one of my people if he could speak with me.  I came out from the back of the shop…a little bit scared, because I knew “STARS” could be angry about the smallest things.

He asked, “Why did you paint the floor?”

I answered, “Because it is turnover, and dress is today.  We repaint it overnight.”

“But why?”, he continued, and smiling, said, “You erased all my cues!”

He and his family, who had accompanied him to summer musical theater, were some of the most patient people, with very well-behaved children.

A great man (in my estimation) from an even greater time…when celebrities actually acknowledged those who made their lives better…on stage.

Shortly, I was called by IATSE Local 18, Milwaukee, to go to Chicago to work a few weeks on “The Blues Brothers”.  But that’s quite another series of stories I will tell.

And so he sat…and then…wasn’t it only yesterday?

Sure, I sit here, too, in the middle of your night, thankful that my soon-to-move noisy neighbors have not disrupted my life yet again.

And as John wrote, I also watch the wheels keep turning ’round, because, at almost 66, I am classified by most of the world as OLD…to be forgotten, and gotten rid of, apparently.


Shoot…wasn’t it only yesterday I lost my youngest son?

It sure seems to be…not 15 and a half years.



And wasn’t it only yesterday I lost my dear Dad?

It sure seems to be…not over 17 and a half years.



I’m sure it was only yesterday I lost my Mother?

It cannot be 30 years now, can it?



Or 12 years, since my dear older son has been gone?

It seems so, so like yesterday.



A Sunday, Wednesday, Friday…or

Just another Monday.

Copyright 2012


Paul McCartney wrote this for John Lennon, just as I wrote the above for my family now lost.