Little Joys—Blankets

I begin my day on a recliner in our office with a blue throw blanket my daughter, Lydia, bought me. Its tassels are slowly being gnawed off by our puppy, Ruby, who also chewed up not one but two blue pens while lying on it, so now there are a few indigo splotches here and there, but none of this changes its softness.

Once everyone is out of the house and I’ve gotten myself ready for the day, I sit down at my desk and drape a different blanket across my lap. Sometimes it is a patchwork quilt assembled by my grandmother-in-law and her daughters, my mother-in-law and her sisters. We have at least three of these lap quilts. They’ve accompanied me outdoors with my kids when they were younger, for picnics and rare days we sat in the shade of a tree and did nothing except sit together, or times we went to baseball games to watch Brandon or one of the other children play, and a toddler grabbed at Cheerios and grass. They are durable blankets, sewn together to stand the test of grass stains and time.

Other times, there’s a crocheted blanket that used to rest on the back of my great grandmother’s sofa in her trailer where she let me spend the night, play checkers, and bake peanut butter cookies with her. She taught me how to cross-stitch, a craft I have continued on and off ever since. She had one hundred million house plants on the windowsill and grew as many varieties of flowers in her yard. Somehow, the gold and brown and orange yarn has held together.

In the evenings, after dinner is made and kids are tucked away in their rooms doing their own thing, Brandon and I take up our spots in the living room and there again are blankets, there again is comfort spun out, crocheted, quilted, sewn, and tied, the weight of women’s handiwork pressing in and wrapping us in their warmth, mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts, and daughters, cloaking us in their care.

Blankets are love in fabric form.

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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