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Saturday
Nov212009

2.3 The Story

Cable Knits
Where are your sweaters? You probably know. Some people store them in the attic, or in plastic bags in the basement. Others hide them in cedar chests or in boxes under the bed with the dust bunnies.
 
I have never noticed anyone who, in a flurry of spring cleaning, chucks all the winter garb. Experience tells us that no matter how sweltering August may feel, frosty mornings are in our not too distant future. 
 
So we take the challenge head on and buy sweaters... maybe even a handmade Irish cable knit, or an apricot cashmere for special occasions. We need to have a strategy for retaining body heat in January so we may as well make it pretty. 
 
Marital heat has a way of escaping too, when the wintry blasts scour through the rafters. I have  neighbors that know how to get ready. On the anniversary of the death of their daughter they prepare a special day.... canoeing in a river, volunteering at Ronald McDonald house, building a play structure for their grandchildren. Instead of letting the painful memories chill them to the bone, they bundle up, plan ahead and fill the emptiness with good things. 
 
My family of origin had a secret weapon too. One of the struggles we trudged through was an income that hovered a little above the poverty line. I have almost no memories of buying new clothes, and certainly none of vacations involving anything more expensive than gas to Aunt Muriel's house in Maine, but whenever he could find a candle to light and a dessert to serve, my father would say, "We're havin' a party!"
 
It worked, by the way. When he said those four words, with a smile I can still render up, I was suddenly transported to a celebration in our own dimmed livingroom with nothing more than people and Boston cream pie.
 
John has his own version of the warmies. When we are doing something that we actually agreed we enjoy doing, but I am too caught up to notice, he says, "Does this count?" It can be as ordinary as chopping vegetables together, or singing in the evening by the piano. It may be as spare as looking up at the clouds on a brisk fall afternoon, or the sweetness of two girls curled up reading on the couch.
 
It may not be angora, but it keeps us warm.