Saturday, August 15, 2009

Household Happiness: Grandma's Afghan

I know that the heat of August doesn't quite lend itself to the need for a warm afghan on your lap, but being in California reminded me of family, and it got me thinking about my afghan.

My grandmother Dorothy, an expert knitter, made it for me. When the weather cooled, she could often be found with a knitting project on her lap. I almost wrote slowly covering her lap, but that's not quite accurate. She knit with precision and speed and her work was exquisitely exact, quickly spreading itself over her lap and overflowing on the floor as her latest project neared completion.

I received this warm afghan blanket more than twenty years ago, when I was in college. From dorm rooms to apartments and houses, it has provided warmth and comfort in my life ever since. It's so essential to my idea of home that when I first moved to Nashville, it came in the tiny car with me. Since then, it has been at the foot of my bed or on a chair in my living room. The afghan helps to make my house a home.

It washes easily and is a favorite of cat and child. My mother and sister both have a version of this blanket in their homes. In the winter, without even asking, I can be sure that my mother is stretched out on her sofa, tucked under her afghan with a book in her hand and a cat on her lap. JT and I take turns doing the same in our home.

He met her once, but JT never got the chance to know his great grandmother Dorothy. Though she was in her 80s, she died unexpectedly in 2000. Earlier that year, both my sister and I had given birth to two baby boys and after the birth of my nephew S, my grandma wrote me a letter (we wrote one another often). It was filled with a few newspaper clips and a note in her beautiful handwriting that reflected on meeting the newest baby in the family, Spencer, who was yet another blessing in her life. As my grandmother wrote that April, "My cup runneth over with three great-grandsons."

I enjoy the thought of those great-grandsons growing tall underneath their great-grandmother's blanket. Some day, they will pass it on to their own children. And then their grandchildren. This afghan is made to last.

1 comment:

Jason said...

That's lovely - both the afghan and the story.