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New Life in an Old Place: the Open Air Shrug

June 29th, 2014

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This story is from our newsletter called Pattern Journal which brings a warm-hearted, wholesome story to your inbox to read every month. We’re sharing the most recent story here in the blog. If you enjoy it and would like to subscribe, click here.

The house was left to Liza. Grammy had known she was its spiritual heir. Liza was the only one who’d never wanted to leave on Sunday nights, who adored her summer vacations there. Grammy’s house — “the old place” — had been in the family for generations. There Grammy taught Liza needlework and baking; there they hand-washed dishes, drying them with Grammy’s crocheted towels.

Liza still couldn’t believe that Grammy was gone — quickly, as if someone had casually switched off a parlor lamp. Walking through the house, she felt Grammy everywhere. If I open the front door, Grammy will be on the porch, crocheting. When she sees me, she’ll smile…

***

Moving through the quiet rooms, slowly inspecting closets and drawers, Liza found Grammy’s project basket with its neat balls of yarn and metal crochet hooks. She sat in Grammy’s favorite chair, embracing the basket — remembering…aching…

Then she knew what to do. She’d crochet something, just as Grammy used to.

Liza chose the Open Air Shrug pattern. Generous and lacy, it reminded her of all she loved about Grammy. Even the word “shrug” evoked feelings close to her heart — living lightly, without worry. Crocheted from soft Kitchen Cotton, the shrug had a comforting feel. Its color, Blue Ice, was like the noon sky on a cloudless day.

***

“Where’d you get that lovely thing?” Steve asked. It was Friday and he’d just arrived on a train full of passengers escaping summer in the city. Liza picked him up at the station. Steve reached across the car’s front seat, fingering the openwork sleeve. “It’s very charming,” he said. “Nice to touch.’”

“I crocheted it,” she said, “in only a few days. I’m so glad you like it!”

“I do,” Steve said. “It’s kind of retro and kind of modern, all at once. Just like you.”

“Like me?”

“Exactly like you,” he said. “Romantic, whimsical, beautiful you.”

All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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.

  • Diane

    I think this is dead grandparents week or something! My grandmother just passed away (funeral Friday) and everywhere I turn, this is the kind of thing I’m running into. Lovely story, just for me… it’s bad timing.

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