Blankets

by Ruth Z Deming

A GIFT FOR MAKING THINGS

PART ONE

Crocheted Blankets

Let's go back in history a bit.

Her husband, the rug and linoleum merchant, so wanted to retire. Their son-in-law Doug was waiting in the wings. Why did he change his mind?

Too much work!

Specialty Flooring came out six times to my yellow house, installing spectacular carpets and lovely white squares of linoleum for my kitchen floor. Every single piece a "second" or "remnant" to save me money.

They knew me, my taste.

Sandy's blankets which she crocheted in many colors were irresistible and I bought every single one.

I even use them in summer, they are so comforting.

She always waited in the car while Nick, seventy-eight, came inside, stomped his shoes on my mat, and looked around.

My living room is different. Mobiles I made hang from the beamed ceiling.

Was his wife agoraphobic? Or simply so in love she must spend every moment with her man.

He loved Sarah Palin, McCain was okay.

I needn't ask. He thinks Trump is wonderful. And the world is a "far better place," as a Dickens character would say, with Trump in the White House.

He would overlook, I am sure, "the guy things," as he might call them, the president brags about. Touching.

Some people give up friendships for politics.

Not me.

I have sent Nick Della Guardia a greeting card today.

No need to tell him I never purchase the cards. I get them for free in the mail.

"The Mouth Painters" and the "Lakota Indians" would be delighted I send them to people who appreciate cards, even though they are goddamn Republicans.

PART TWO

Cornmeal Pancakes

This is the time of the coronavirus. I stay inside much of the time except for walks around the block. Not particularly easy for this seventy-four-year-old woman, but necessary.

Atop my table is a blue package "Jiffy Mix." Filled with cornmeal. So difficult to open I had to get my X-acto knife. Scary using it. You could cut off your pinkie.

I went online - a great boon to all of us who quarantine ourselves indoors - and found a recipe.

A terrible recipe, combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients.

White flour, two eggs, sugar, salt, cornmeal. I added cinnamon, from Vietnam. Don't remind me.

Would you believe it took me two hours (!) to finish one batch.

What do I mean by "one batch?"

I had enough batter to feed my entire street.

Of course I listened to music as I stood for hours, WXPN. They play new music. I've gotta keep up with the times.

For sure.

So I'm in the kitchen and I look out the window, which leads to the back yard deck.

Holy cow! Can that be real?

A yellow finch, one of the most beautiful birds around here, was flying and singing - twee twee twee - and building a nest - a nest! - in my green birdhouse out back.

I would be a grandmother soon!

Oh happy day!!!

I was so excited I called boyfriend Scott and my friend Beatrix, a former birder.

On the Internet, I looked up how to freeze pancakes. The answers were odd. They said to grease the sheet for pancakes and then freeze.

I did it my own way.

When the cornmeal pancakes had cooled, I popped them into Zip-lock bags.

And then placed them gently into the freezer, the worst goddamn pancakes I had ever made.

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