Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I didn't know what it was at first, so I went over to have a closer look.  I thought it might be a pile of old quilt pieces.  It reminded me of Julie's double wedding ring quilts, pieced together from the colorful printed flour sacks of the nineteen-forties.  It had that soft, faded look to it.  But when I reached to touch it, it was much heavier and thicker than any quilt I had ever seen.  Why, it was a rag rug.  A really big rag rug, I thought, as I saw that it was one whole piece instead of several smaller ones, as I had originally thought.  I could tell that it was handmade, and the woman at the flea market booth piped right up to tell me, "It's handmade.  Go ahead and pick it up and look at it."  Her husband (I assumed) hurried over to unfold and lift the rug for me.  "How much are you asking for it?" I asked him, although I already knew I would buy it.  "Twenty-five dollars" was his reply, and I was sure.

"Look at this, Ben'" I said as he approached.  "We could put this rug out on the back porch."  But Ben didn't think that was a very good idea, and neither did the lady who was selling it, it seemed.  "Why, that's a work of art, " she said.  "It's handmade.  A lost art, really.  And I just took it to the laundromat and washed and dried it.  Don't let it rest on the ground like that."  (This last part to her husband.)  "Well, I'll take it," I told her.  "Is twenty-five dollars your best price?"  They assured me that it was, and I was happy to pay it, almost not believing my good fortune.  "I don't know where I'll put it, but I'll find a place for it," I told the woman, trying to re-assure her that I would take good care of it, and the rug was mine.  I was thrilled.

The rug was bulky and heavier than I expected as I carried it back to the car.  It smelled clean and freshly-laundered, not in a yucky fabric softener way, but like it had hung outside on a sunny day.  My mind was busy, running through possible places in the house for my new rug, but there was only one place to put it, really.  I wanted it at the foot of my bed.  It would be soft and welcoming under my bare feet.  The faded colors of the rug were the colors of the quilt on my bed and the prints hanging on my walls.  It would - dare I say it? - really tie the room together.

The rug looked even bigger when I laid it out on the floor in my bedroom.  It seemed huge, as big as my bed!  I measured it at 66" x 93" - five and a half feet wide by almost eight feet long.  Every new thing I learned about it made me love my rug more.  Ben lifted the end of the bed up so that I could tuck the rug underneath.  Need I say that it looks perfect there?  I couldn't be more pleased with it.  And in the late afternoon when the sun has warmed the house for many hours, my room smells like clean laundry.  I don't think it gets any better than this.  I wish the woman who sold me the rug could see it now.  I feel she would approve.


Ben said...

I'd say you got a lot of nice rug for the money. It took more vision than I had to think it would look good in our house, and on top of wall-to-wall at that. A great addition to our humble abode.

anne mancine said...

Glad you like it too!