“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” – John Steinbeck
Time for the winter quilts.
The icy season descended upon the Midwestern States with a Halloween snow storm. Mercury lies in the lower end of the thermometer for days. Instead of shivering or turning up the heat, I have opted to pull out the winter quilts.
And there is a stack of them. Vern’s sister, Wanda, stitches together fabrics that project family remembrance and legacy. My favorite is the one she sewed from my father-in-law’s striped ties that he wore as a waiter in the restaurant that he and his brothers ran for decades on the South Side of Chicago.
Another quilt that beckons me to dreamland is an antique fan quilt carefully constructed from fabrics that date back to the 1930’s. My hands smooth the cotton as sleep lowers my eyelids. There is a scent from my childhood lingering to the material. This cozy quilt has lulled several generations to restful nights of warmth.
In the summertime, the living room sports one lightweight quilt for chilly rainy evenings reading a book in the lounge chair. But now, lap-sized comforters lie on the backs of chairs, or join the stack of casually folded leg-warming quilts in a basket near the sofa. An invitation to drink hot chocolate and let the early snow storms blast the fall leaves from the trees.
Some quilts are never used. They drape the bottom of guest room beds. These are the masterpieces created by long gone generations. They are carefully handled because their bindings are fragile and cotton is thin. Too risky to use, but heartwarming in their faded beauty. A reminder of the past and a reason for the swelling feelings of thankfulness that envelope me.
Quilts. It is time to get cozy.
It is time to wrap the body and the soul with the warmth of memories.
It is time to rest the mind and spirit from a summer of activities.
Bring on the cookies and hot chocolate.
“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home. – Edith Sitwell