Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Blanket (excerpt from Growing Up Stories)


The Blanket

(From: Growing Up Stories - True Stories of a Brown Dirt Boy)

Kenny A. Chaffin

All Rights Reserved © 2013 Kenny A. Chaffin

I have this beautiful handmade blanket and on many a winter evening I snuggle down into my favorite chair and pull it on top of me to ward off the chill. Tipton, my cat is always there to claim his place in my lap. A good book completes the scene. This particular evening however I find myself taken by the fancy stitching holding the muted colorful squares together. Those wonderful warm flannel browns, reds, oranges and a bit of bright green and yellow thrown in for flair and all embroidered with fancy intertwined x’s of stitches. I think of the work that must have gone into making this blanket – certainly tens if not hundreds of hours. First the selecting of the red flannel backing, picking the complimentary colors and textures for the squares, choosing the many-colored embroidery threads, then the cutting of the squares, three inches on a side followed by the real work of selecting squares and connecting them stitch by stitch in their multi-colored pattern. In my mind I imagine the quilt in progress on her lap, as it is now on mine, her eyes peering through the Walgreens’ over-the-counter glasses at the stitching as her fingers push and pull the needles in and out wrapping the threads around and back to form the interconnected x’s holding the squares. Tipton purrs and wriggles, happy to be in a warm lap, snoozing as I read the letters of the name she so carefully stitched at the edge of the blanket so many years ago – P. Chaffin 88.

I never thanked her enough.

About the Author

Kenny A. Chaffin writes poetry, fiction and nonfiction and has published poems and fiction in Vision Magazine, The Bay Review, Caney River Reader, WritersHood, Star*Line, MiPo, Melange and Ad Astra and has published nonfiction in The Writer, The Electron, Writers Journal and Today’s Family. He grew up in southern Oklahoma and now lives in Denver, CO where he works hard to make enough of a living to support two cats, numerous wild birds and a bevy of squirrels. His poetry collections No Longer Dressed in Black and The Poet of Utah Park and his collection of science essays How do we Know are available at He may be contacted through his website at