When I was exploring the idea of opening an Etsy shop, a place to sell handmade items, I learned that you could also sell vintage items (like vintage fabrics). In order to be considered vintage, the items had to be at least 20 years old. Today, my marriage is vintage.

I’m not going to post photos of that day – my husband does not want his picture all over the internet – and I don’t want the reminder that I was thinner then…. Yes, it was a big, beautiful wedding. Even though we were 26 and 27, we seemed so young. We have been blessed with a beautiful family, 20 years in the same (but expanded) home, and the wisdom to appreciate that marriage is not always easy. These 20 years have felt like the blink of an eye.

Inspired by my dear friend Sarah’s excellent blog and her posts on vintage parenting, I hope to write periodically about vintage style.

During the past few years my friends have experienced the loss of a parent. Last summer I lost my own father. How we miss them and all their wisdom. I know that they live on in us in so many ways. There is a new book by Alicia Paulsen called “Stitched in Time” in which she presents projects that help preserve memories by sewing practical items that we use every day. This reminded me that I had such an item….and that item is now “vintage.”

Many essays could be written about the “old days” at St. Jerome’s School and Parish. Growing up there was unique in that you could go outside at any time of day and there would be kids to play with. You ran out the moment you got home from school and didn’t come back until your dad was whistling for you. Everyone in the neighborhood new you so if you got in trouble you could be sure your parents would know about it.

Two of my friends from the “old days” are twin sisters. They lost their dear mother Josephine Constantino last year. Mrs. C. was a fabulous seamstress. She could sew anything. A good cook, too, who converted her Italian husband to Slovenian! I still remember the bridesmaid’s dresses she sewed for Melissa’s wedding. They were in a beautiful pastel rainbow pallette – simple, but elegant. I thought she could sew just about anything, but Melissa tells me that she did not have the confidence to sew the wedding dress.

Well, what does Mrs. C. have to do with my 20th wedding anniversary?

This apron is now vintage. It was sewn by the loving hands of Mrs. Constantino, given to me by her daughters at my personal shower. This apron serves a purpose. If I’m cooking tacos or spaghetti, it will be worn all the way through dinner. You can see that it’s quite well worn. But what foresight Mrs. C. had. She selected a nice dark color that won’t show all the spatters and even was ahead of her time in the selection of the now trendy colors of turquoise and brown!

Her thoughtfulness even extended to my (at the time) future husband.

Notice how the color has not faded on his apron? Let’s just say it has not been used as frequently as mine. Now, in all fairness to my husband, in the years before children, he would often cook dinner. When I stayed home raising the kids, dinner was usually my responsibility. Yes, many of our chores now fall along stereotypical lines. However, I must add that my husband has done, at one time or another, every one of my chores (including cleaning bathrooms and floors while I was pregnant) but I have yet to cut the grass!

For me, a crafter, memories live on in the things we create. That apron holds a part of Mrs. C. that I will cherish forever. Just as I cherish the 20 years of marriage with Mike. Happy Anniversary!