Monday, March 7, 2011

Story Pieces

My treasure
I have a blanket.  Okay, not the blankie I had as a little girl.  That square of satiny, soft loveliness has since gone the way of my teddy, my collection of Care Bears & Rainbow Brite, and my totally rad neon sunglasses.  But this blanket I posses now is made of special stuff.  It is the thing I grab in case of emergency.  It is what I want when I feel sick.  It is what I bundle up in whenever the house is cold.

You see, this is the afghan I saved from an untimely demise after my grandma passed away. 

I found it peeking out of a garbage bag in her garage, bundled with the items destined for Goodwill.  My dad had no idea what this afghan meant to me or my siblings.  This was the afghan that her sister knitted for her years ago.  It is a hideous shade of brown.  It is worn in spots.  Her sister knitted it while getting chemo for leukemia that eventually took her life.  It is the afghan she would wrap our feet in on cold winter days while rubbing them firmly to warm them up.  The same afghan she would bundle us in when we fell asleep on her "davenport."  It could be found in the closet between her front door and entryway door.  It could be depended upon, much like grandma.  Before saying one word, I snatched it out of that garbage bag and threw it in the front seat of my car.

Today, it rests on the back of one of our over-sized sage-green chairs in our living room.  It is in easy reach whenever you need a bit of comfort.  What is most special about it though is that, even after eight years, it still smells just like grandma's house.  We can't figure out why; it just does.  Nothing else I have from her house has held on to that distinctive smell-one of Pond's Cold Cream, Palmolive Dish Soap, Dippity-Do, the many lipstick brands she possessed, and the general warmth and love we found there.  Whenever my siblings visit, this is one of the first items they reach for.  I catch my son wrapped up in it once in a while.  And when I feel my feet tangled in its scratchy warmth on a cold winter day, I can almost feel her hands squeezing and kneading the cold right out of them. 

We never know what objects in our homes will become the treasured items to our children and grandchildren.  I'm sure grandma had no idea what this afghan meant.  Life will make these decisions for the future generations.  It may be the coffee mug we clutch each morning, the mixer that makes the holiday feasts, the beautiful wooden cutting board purchased as an anniversary gift, the garden tools worn with use, or even the cup you put milk in for your child each morning.  Each of these objects holds memories, small as they may be, they all tell stories.  What are your stories?  How do the objects in your life tell them?

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