Sunday afternoons in January are made for puttering around the house and discovering pleasant memories. The Christmas decorations are down and working in the garden is still weeks away so, I found myself rummaging through the attic, thumbing through old books and cleaning out various drawers. As I whiled away the day, I came across a flower press I had bought just a few years after I was married. Since I've been married almost thirty-three years, I think I can safely say that this would be a flower press of a vintage nature as it must be at least 27 years old. It had me wondering just what quantifies an item as being vintage anyway??? I remember the day I bought it. We were visiting the Baltimore Aquarium and I found it in the Nature Store located there in the Inner Harbor close to the aquarium.
Inside, the press revealed preserved flowers in softly faded hues from translucent to opaque in purples, pinks, amber and celedons. I must have placed them, fresh from the garden, in there, so long ago, to try my hand at preserving flowers soon after I brought the press home. I was surprised to see how good they looked even after all of these years. Zinnias, hibiscus, loosestrife and roses, dogwood blossoms, tanzy buds and ruffled leaves, along with my very favorite, lavender, had withstood the test of time.
I had grandiose plans to gather and press delicate blossoms collected from our yard, which was then, a small patch of green attached to a town home in Alexandria, Virginia, far away from Old Town yet fairly close to the airport. In any case, I had an inkling toward flowers, back then, even when my priorities were focused on a pressure filled full-time job in retail management. Looking back, I guess I should have known then this small, unassuming little book of the few flowers I gathered would lead me to Blooming Hill, in some way.
What a treasure to find, on a cold winter day, tucked away in a cabinet, neither hiding nor calling my name but waiting patiently to be opened and discovered again. I don't have the heart to throw them out so, I think I will keep them pressed between the layers and, possibly add to these flowers this coming summer. Perhaps, in another 27 years, or hopefully sooner, I can rediscover them once again waiting patiently in my bookcase.