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Afghan Provides Extra Warmth


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.

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.

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.

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

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