Ken’s daily trip to our little post office to send and collect mail usually
includes a chat with the Post Mistress and at least one or two neighbors.
I always look forward to his return, hoping for French magazines and
other intriguing bounty. The most exciting days, though, are when I hear
the tooting horn announcing a truck full of boxes. Boxes full of grain sacks !
He wheels them onto our front porch. I run out to slice open the tops. I
can’t wait to see what’s inside. I pull out sack after beautiful sack, as dust,
dirt and all manner of things, remnants of the sack’s contents, fly through
the air. There is good reason to open them outside.
Two of today’s boxes have linen rolls tucked inside. This is good as my supply
of these has dwindled down quickly. This linen, used to make grain sacks in
early days, is prized for upholstery and other design projects today.
Every sack is turned inside out and shaken. Again, stuff is flying. Enough
down feathers for a small comforter, plenty of grain and seeds for a loaf,
other items small enough to ruin a washing machine. I know. I’ve already
done that once.
Next is the laundromat. Ugh ! 11 washers, 11 dryers, 3 hours. But once
they come home and are finally inside the house, I can really have fun
spreading them out, discovering the varying weights, weaves, textures and
colors, choosing the ones for upcoming projects. Happily, there is no dust
or sneezing involved with these freshly-washed sacks.
I also make a pile of the ones that have been pre-purchased and will require
yet another trip to the post office to continue on their journey. I regularly
send photos to the pickers in Germany of furniture and other grain sack items
that I have completed. They express great pleasure in the idea of the names
of German towns ending up all over the United States. They agree that this
is an adventure worth tooting about.