It sat on the closet shelf for nearly 50 years. I didn’t use it, but because it was something I had when I was growing up, I never wanted to give it away, either.
Now, my childhood blanket is helping settle the dispute at our house over where to set the thermostat when we go to bed.
Jenny always is warm and wants the thermostat no higher than 68 degrees. She says 68 is warm enough for any house at night. If I turn it up another degree or two, she complains about the heat. She even wakes up sweating.
Meanwhile, even though we sleep under a sheet and blanket, I’m always cold. Of course, the blanket is one of those modern-day thermal things, the kind where you can see through the loose weave. I can’t figure out how something with a bunch of holes in it is supposed to keep you warm.
I think the problem is the temperature is not really 68. The thermostat is in the hallway at the other end of the house. I’m pretty sure it’s often 7 or 8 degrees colder in our bedroom than what it says on the thermostat.
“Good,” says Jenny, when I whine about the difference. Her solution was to buy me flannel pajamas to wear to bed.
They didn’t seem to help much. But one night a couple of weeks ago when it was particularly cold, I noticed my red, wool blanket folded nicely on the shelf. My mother always had told me to take special care of it because it was a Hudson Bay blanket.
“I’m 66 years old; what am I saving it for?” I thought.
I put it on the bed, folded in half. It looked a little silly because it didn’t cover quite half the bed. It was made for a double. It would cover enough to cover me, though.
But by the time I got ready for bed, Molly, our beagle who sleeps on the end of the bed, had rumpled up the blanket, curled up and gone to sleep.
Oh, my goodness, what would my mother have said about a dog sleeping on the special blanket? I wondered.
I made Molly move. A couple of minutes later, she was back on the blanket. I made her move again. Soon she was back.
“She must be cold, too,” I said.
Jenny gave me that look, the one she reserves for when she thinks I’ve said something totally stupid.
“Well, she can’t sleep on my special blanket,” I said. “She’ll tear it up.”
Jenny rummaged around in a drawer, found an old flannel nightgown and threw it on the bed. Molly immediately curled up on it and went to sleep.
Now each night I put Molly’s nightie on the bed and then unfold my special blanket. Molly’s happy and I’m happy – and warm.
And Jenny? She puts up with it. That’s because she won; the thermostat is still on 68.
T. Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the Gazette, can be reached by phone at 662-534-6321 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.