Wednesday, August 10, 2016

_The Hancock News_ Column-- August 3, 2016

I love quilts. I love the fabrics, the patterns, and the history behind each quilt. I love how each quilt is like a piece of art, only better because it’s pleasing to both my eyes and my cold toes when I crawl under it at night.

While I love quilts, I’m not a quilter yet. I have many quilting hopes and plans, but over the last decade almost the only pieces of cloth I have a chance to pin together are the diapers covering babies’ behinds.

But my Oma was a quilter. Her daughters, my dear aunts, turn out amazing quilts, and their daughters do, too. I’m lucky enough to have several examples of their handiwork in my home.

One aunt has even sewn a special baby quilt for each one of my children. To be perfectly honest, I look forward to seeing each new quilt almost as much as seeing the new baby.

Each of my children like their special quilts, but one quilt seems a little more loved than the rest. It’s quite an impressive design. Jar-shaped fabrics with bugs, frogs, and other creepy-crawlies sit on brown cotton shelves adorned with an embroidered spiderweb. For more than ten years, my son has kept his bug quilt close by, and while he doesn’t drag it around like Linus in the comics, let’s just say it is showing its age.

Bug Blankie all fixed

One evening last week, I sat down to an overflowing basket of mending. Near the top of the heap was dear bug blankie.  While looking it over, I noticed faded and worn fabric, a torn seam, stains from bloody noses, and small holes caused by a rough spot in the bed frame. 

The words my aunt wrote on the quilt label tell the story of my son’s birth--his name, the date, weight, and height, but if bug blankie could talk, it would tell the story of my son’s whole life. It has been there for his tears and sickness, his giggles and dreams. It’s seen him play, read, and grow too big to fit beneath its edges, and it’s seen him grow up too big to need his blankie the same way he once did. 

The hard thing is that I know one day I will be like that old quilt. I’ll probably need mended, too-- maybe a hip replacement or a new knee. My hair is already fading to gray. Before you know it, my son will no longer need me for all the day-to-day things. My hugs and words will no longer be able to comfort his grown-up hurts.

The thought of that is sad enough that I almost need my own special blankie. Lucky for me, my son’s not the type who easily throws away well-loved, tattered old things.


My almost 11-year-old is not ready to leave me behind yet, and I’m glad he still needs Momma. He is, however, gaining many skills for grown-up life. One of them is cooking, and one of his favorite things to make is breakfast cookies. He makes them in the evening so they’re ready for the next morning, and he likes to experiment and make them different each time. Here’s one of his favorite variations.

Nathanael’s Breakfast Cookies

1 1/2 cups butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
6 cups rolled oats
1 cup of your favorite goodies (nuts, raisins, dried cranberries, M&Ms, or chocolate chips)

Cream butter, sugar, and honey. Add eggs and yogurt. Mix well. Mix in soda, spices, and flour. Then stir in oats and goodies.

Preheat oven to 350℉. Drop onto a greased cookie sheet (about 1/4 cup at a time) and bake for 10-13 minutes.  These are large, hearty cookies-- delicious with milk or coffee!


  1. You have your own blankie - actually two as I recall!

    1. Yes. And that is a whole other blog post!