Using my tablet, which is imperfect, so I'll be brief & experiment further tomorrow (pictures, etc.).
First, a brief story: My maternal grandfather, my mother's daddy, fought in World War I, and eventually died from complications from mustard gas injury there. But when my mother was small, he came home with a piece of lace from Belgium for her, and she eventually wore that lace as a wedding cap when she was married in the 1930s. I still havethat Belgian lace wedding cap, and I took it out of its wrapping in my bottom dresser drawer at home before I left Tennessee in July.
I've always known this trip is my mother's gift to me; when I discovered that the flight I booked to Paris would actually land in Brussels, I knew it was mother's doing. So today I had a great day trip to Bruges. I bought handmade lace - 2 pieces in 2 different lace shops. And each time I was so close to tears, and each time, I told Mama's story of her daddy, and WWI, and the Belgian lace wedding cap.
At the first shop the woman, maybe my age, said, "Isn't it wonderful how, in our lives, we get to live things twice? And when we're young, we don't know this." At the second shop the owner was older, and she pointed out that my lace was nearly 100 years old now, maybe more, and that I must frame and preserve it. She was also touched, and regretted that I didn't have it with me, so she could see it and show me how to mount it.
As I pondered it all (didn't Mary treasure many things in her heart?) over my spectacular lunch of MANY mussels and Brugge-brewed beer, I grew teary, and also now as I write this. I thought I was traveling to gather stories and pictures to bring home - who knew that I would also be bringing my stories to a bigger world?