Leanne sat on the porch swing with her eyes closed, earbuds in, listening to music on her IPhone. A warm breeze blew her hair across her face occasionally and she swiped it away. Her head bobbed slightly to the beat of the song. A butterfly lighted on her nose, tickling it until she sneezed.
“Bless you, dear,” her grandmother said.
Leanne opened her eyes. Her grandmother was sitting in her rocking chair crocheting an afghan blanket, her usual afternoon activity.
“Thanks, grandma,” she replied. “Are you still working on that thing?”
“That thing is an afghan. It’s a type of blanket, but smaller, to cozy up with when it gets chilly,” she corrected.
Leanne looked closer and noticed that it was different than the one she had seen her making the last time. “How many is this one?” She had gotten up and walked the short distance to the chair and then squatted next to her grandmother.
“Five or six so far,” she told her. “I forget,” she added with a shrug of her shoulders.
“But why so many?”
“It’s a good way of passing time,” her grandmother told her. “It’s productive, unlike sitting on the swing with those things in your ears bobbing your head all day.” She looked at Leanne and made a face.
Leanne giggled. “I suppose I do something else at the same time.”
“You have to be able to multitask to do that.”
“I can multitask. I just don’t do it,” Leanne stated. “I do it in school all the time and school is out now.” She stood up and went back to the swing. “Grandma?” she said, absently pushing the swing back and forth with her feet. ‘It’s summertime. Why are you making all those afghans?”
“Well, if I wait until winter comes, it will be too late to use them.”
I should have seen that one coming! Leanne thought. “What do you do with them all, grandma?”
“I give them to the veteran’s home mostly, and some to the various nursing homes around town.
Some people don’t have any family or they put them there and forget them. I am fortunate in that I have family, I’m healthy, and my family wants me around. If I can brighten their day and give them something nice to snuggle up with, I feel good and they feel good. Win-win!” She smiled at Leanne.
“Oh, I get it. It’s like when mom and I are in the kitchen baking cookies for the church shut-ins. We are passing time together and doing something good at the same time.”
“Well, that’s one way to look at it,” her grandmother said.
Leanne sat there a minute thinking. She pulled her earbuds out. “Grandma, I’d like to make those too, but I don’t know how to crochet.”
“Well, drag up a chair and I’ll teach you. That way we can pass time together.”
“And,” Leanne added sheepishly, “I can be productive and maybe hear some stories about mom growing up.”
“Oh! That would be just fine. Oh, the stories I could tell!” her grandmother assured her, smiling.