Paper Doilies

paper doiliesWandering down the baking aisle at the grocery store tonight I spotted some paper doilies hanging on a display.  With no notice at all my head spun into a wonderful place of memories of Grandma’s house at Christmas.

There was always something to do at Grandma’s.  She had little jobs of all sorts and for some reason they never seemed like jobs.  There was silver to clean and the chandelier to polish, cookies to make and tables to set but when the tasks were in short supply for small fingers there were always paper doilies to colour.

Now I know the doilies really didn’t need to be coloured but at the time it seemed as if it was  important a task as all the others.  It was a very particular sort of duty.

The task began with the very tedious chore of separating the doilies.  They were always kept in cellophane sleeves in the second drawer of the sideboard.  They had to be carefully slid out of the cover and then carefully pulled apart.  The more complicated the cutting in the paper the more difficult they were to pull without tearing them.  Once I had what I was going to colour the rest needed to carefully placed back in the cellophane and returned to the drawer.

The colouring of the doilies varied depending on the season and the occasion.  At Christmas they had to be coloured red and green.  In the spring they were often adornment for cookie platters at a bridal shower so they had to be done in pretty soft blues and pinks.

At some houses the pretty doilies might have been saved for tea parties with only Grandma but not at my Grandmother’s home.  She used them proudly and pointed out the lovely job I had done on them to everyone who took a cookie from the plate.  She told me she saved some for tea with her friends and I have no doubt she did.  Some even made it to the church in those lovely decorative tins that held our cookies when they went elsewhere.

I don’t colour paper doilies any more but the new mandela craze is a close second.  There was something very special about Grandma’s house.  I don’t think it was just her appreciation of everything I did with her but there was an overwhelming knowing I was loved


About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises (, I work as an "Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and as a spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 22 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. A firmly grounded faith and a passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director and I am soon adding to that a license to marry people. As I move toward retirement I am very aware that I have to keep working so I chose to do things which will meet my modest financial needs and also my love of supporting people in their life journey. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
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One Response to Paper Doilies

  1. I like paper doilies too! I never thought of coloring them in, maybe I will give that a go!

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