Afghan Provides Extra Warmth: WNIJ Perspective

By February 7, 2017Uncategorized, WNIJ
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Afghan

Whenever I crawl under the afghan Bruce’s grandmother knitted, I feel her love wrapping around me, a firm, warm hug, though I never met her. Perhaps she prayed for me, the woman who would marry her grandson, while her needles clicked and looped the gold lime and white yarns in repeating chevrons.

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Repeating chevrons

Bruce’s grandmother came from Poland and settled in north central Wisconsin, where the rocks are plenty and the soil barren. She ran the farm while her husband and his brothers traveled to Pennsylvania to work the coal mines. Her husband would return just in time to make another baby. Then he’d make the hard trip back to the hard mines.

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The Home Place

Boosha’s life had to be harder than we can imagine with the bitter Wisconsin winters, her husband away for much of the year, and raising five boys and two girls. Yet by the time she was an elder and my husband was a boy, she skillfully knitted strands of wool into an afghan big enough to cover a bed.

There’s a trend these days to purge our stuff, but if we’d sent this blanket off to auction or worse the trash heap, we’d have denied ourselves its efficient warmth when the cold creeps through our windows. We would have denied ourselves the patient love of a woman Bruce barely knew, but who knitted that love into every strand of this afghan. We would have lost the story.

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I’m Katie Andraski and that’s my perspective.

If you’d like to hear me read this click here.

9 Comments

  • There are so many kinds of warmth in this world. We need them all, and your afghan seems to provide them.

  • Mark says:

    She DID pray for you, Katie, as she prayed for her grandson, Bruce. And she saw you too, through eyes of faith. Boosha’s prayers still cover you both as surely as does her beautiful afghan!

  • Christine Guzman says:

    I recently dismantled the contents of my parents home as they both are in nursing homes now. Before I did so, I took a picture of all the objects in it and sat down with my Mother to get the stories behind many of these objects. We had all the children/grandchildren pick out objects they liked. Not everything stayed in the family – it was good to give some to friends who valued their connection. The remaining given away to others who needed it or recycled. I don’t like the current trends of disposing of all knickknacks and memorabilia – homes without any personal connection to the owners. The few items I took have value to me – but I could only take in what I have space for.
    So…enjoy your afghan and it’s loving connection to Bruce’s grandmother.

    • katiewilda says:

      So good to hear your voice. This cleaning out our house is very much on my mind as a friend is cleaning out her mother’s house and we are in our sixties and I want to get a jump on this process. We don’t have children but we do have nephews that I hope would want Bruce’s parents’ things. I am sending some beloved books to a young friend who is studying those authors.

      What a wonderful thing to do–to have your children/grandchildren pick out object that they might love as well as to let friends of the family in on the process. I was like that with my parents’ things. I only took what I had space for, but later regretted not taking more, but my brother was prickly about the stuff. After he died I got a little broken table that was very precious to me. These things do have histories and are important for remembering our history through the generations.

  • Lynn D. Morrissey says:

    Surely, we do need to purge the extraneous from our lives all a-clutter, but oh . . . there are some things we keep for warmth of memory and love. While you never met this precious and sturdy soul, her painstakingly knitted afghan is testimony to her care of her loved ones–a way to keep out the winter cold from their home and their hearts. So lovely, Katie. Thank you for sharing *your* warmth here!
    xxoo
    Lynn

    • katiewilda says:

      Thank you so much. Hopefully this spring Bruce and I can purge and clean our house at least at one level. What a kind thing to say about Bruce’s grandmother. Beautifully said. And thank you for being my friend. Love, Katie

  • Lynn D. Morrissey says:

    Ditto!

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