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Voice from the Middle We Are Family

Grandma’s afghans

My grandma was a gentle, strong, quiet woman and I loved her. She also crocheted and knitted my entire life. I remember my older brothers wearing her homemade knitted vests in the 60’s and early 70’s. She taught me how to make scarves and granny squares when I wasn’t even close to 10 years old.

From all those yarn projects, she’d take the leftover yarn and make granny square afghans for us. I still have two, pictured here as the building blocks for a living room fort with my grand.

Back in the years when the TV show Roseanne was so popular, the Connor home had a granny square afghan draping the back of their sofa. (Shoot, they still may have it on the reverb.) It’s Americana. I thought it was a nice touch of the set designer.

It was around the Roseanne hey-day years that a neighbor made fun of my granny square afghan. I think her point was I was a little low class — red-necked. <insert eye roll emoji here> Maybe.

My grandma also made us our own special afghan that she would pick out the style and color and give to each of her grandkids when they graduated from high school. I remember my older brothers and sisters getting theirs. I remember how special I felt when she showed me mine. She kept it in the closet waiting for me to graduate. It’s the pink afghan in the picture above. This color pink was the color of my wedding.

When I had my twin boys, Grandma came with two little white afghans. My daughter used these for her dolls. I still have them.

Years later, while visiting Grandma, who was a bit more frail and didn’t walk as fast, she showed me her treasure trove. On her second bedroom closet shelves, were stacks of finished baby blankets. For the future family babies to be born.

I loved my grandma. If having granny square afghans make me low class, so be it.

— Namaste

By Debra Happe

Debra Happe is a writer and marketing professional based in Des Moines, Iowa. Debra does business, magazine, and freelance copywriting work. Specialties include science-based, environmental, and technological. Connect on LinkedIn for professional inquiries.

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