A Piece of Home
Hidden by climbing roses, I tiptoed towards Grammy's porch. I hadn't mentioned I'd visit during the Fourth of July vacation; she sat on the glider, back to me, crocheting. Yet as I approached she said, without looking, "Betsy?"
"Grammy," I replied. "How did you know?"
We embraced. "ESP, maybe?" The red, white, and blue afghan covered her lap like a holiday bunting.
"What's this? You crocheted an American flag?" I inspected the lustrously soft afghan, complete except for stars Grammy was now making. "Awesome! Will it be finished today?"
Grammy's crocheting is always beautiful and practical. In Vermont, where my family lives, summer nights are often cool. I well remember snuggling beneath Grammy's afghans on evenings when we gathered to toast marshmallows, or see the annual fireworks display. In fact, all my memories of family events involve Grammy's needlework--picnic blankets, table runners, Christmas stockings...
"Tell me about life in New York!" she commanded. "I want to know everything!"
It had been a challenging, exciting year, but I'd barely had time to process its meaning. Maybe that's why I'd come home for the Fourth. Life needed to make more sense.
"Right now, I'm just trying to catch my breath." I sat down by Grammy; she gave me a bunch of newly crocheted white stars, and her tomato pincushion.
"Pin these for me, dear," she said. "I want their placement to be right before I sew them."
I pinned; she crocheted. Bees buzzed in the roses; birds sang in the trees.
"I've learned a lot," I said. "Not only about supporting myself for the first time, but...about me. It's been humbling. I'm grateful I can come home...to get some perspective."
As I spoke, I felt a new peacefulness inside.
That evening all of us--Mom and Dad, my brother Tom, Grammy and I--went to the high school field to sing the national anthem, hear "The Stars and Stripes Forever," and watch spectacular fireworks decorate an inky sky. When I hugged myself against the chill, Grammy draped the finished afghan over my shoulders. "Take it back to the city, Betsy," she said. "It will keep you warm there, too."
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All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
A story by Selma Moss-Ward.
Selma Moss-Ward is a freelance writer who combines her love of writing and of knitting in her columns, stories, and blog posts. Selma is also an active classical musician and the caretaker of five wonderful pets. She lives with them and her husband in Rhode Island.