As soon as the temperature drops, I always find myself reaching for my favorite blanket, a quilt of cable knit sweater patches that was given to me in the late 70’s by a small woman whose name escapes me. As much as I love that old blanket, there are few things I enjoy more than buying a new blanket, and now is a great time to find one at US-Mattress. With a wide selection of blankets, throws, and quilts from today’s top brands, such as Sferra, Matouk, and Peacock Alley, you can find the perfect companion for the cold months ahead. In honor of blanket season, I’d like to share an excerpt from one of my favorite books, On the Fallen Red Leaves of Kentwood by an underrated, yet, in my opinion, giant of the modernist movement, Sir Adam Royle.
(From the chapter entitled “Evening’s Strangers”)
After she left me, I found myself with more time than I had expected. I didn’t think she’d leave so soon, and I quickly became bored and decided to retreat to the small cottage I was renting in the Kentwood Hills region of West Burgundyshire. The woman who owned the cottage lived in a larger house on the estate and I spotted her coming up the hill as I began to build a fire. It was getting dark and the autumn winds had risen from their slumber and I was cold.
As the wind ripped through the open plain, it became increasingly difficult to light the fire. Over the heavy handed roar of the wind, I heard the woman calling to me from a small barn where she was now sitting. “Boy! Come here, boy!” she rattled. I slowly walked up to her and made it known that I was no boy, but rather, a skilled outdoorsman of moderate looks and capable hands. She apologized and offered me a seat next to a small fire that was sheltered from the wind. “The days disappear so quickly now,” I said to her. “Well, it’s the time of year, I guess,” she said in reply.
We talked as the moon became clearer and whiter and soon it was late into the evening and her fire was still burning and my body was still cold. I had long forgotten about the woman who had left me for better company earlier in the night, and all I wanted now was to be warm. Warm and in bed. It was getting increasingly difficult to leave, and I sensed that the woman had something on her mind that she needed to say. “Are you okay?” I asked her. “Come here,” she said, waking into the barn. I followed her and, once inside, began to wish that I hadn’t asked her if she was okay and, instead, gone back to the cottage to sleep. She climbed up a rickety ladder that led to the rafters and insisted I follow.
Once I steadied my feet on the rafter boards, I saw a giant pile of blankets. She pointed to them and said, “Here, take one. I don’t use them anymore, anyway. Not since Robert left.” I was curious who Robert was, but I was too cold to ask. Instead, I grabbed the blanket at the top of the pile and said, “This will do. Thank you.” She smiled and said, “I think you should leave. Go on! Git!”
I descended the ladder and left the barn and turned the corner to take one last look at the fire before crossing the estate and finding sleep in the small cottage. That blanket kept me warm that night, just as it keeps me warm this night as I write with a weathered quill by candlelight.
The Snooze Guru