a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

blanket coverage

Father Rodger's Blanket

< by Mark >

I never knew what to expect from my uncle Roger for Christmas but I could always count on it being something great. He was after all a single guy (a priest) who always came through with the coolest gifts.

The 1971 annual gift grab was about to happen at my grandparents and my most anticipated gift was from uncle “father” Roger. I was 16 years old and imagining the possibilities.

The gift-opening free-for-all had to wait until after Christmas dinner and the washing of all the dishes afterward. (Who made up this rule?)

Finally the time had come, so my five cousins and three younger brothers tore into a frenzy of gift opening.

I assembled my pile of gifts and assessed them carefully before opening. Items suspected to probably be clothes were unwrapped first, gradually working my way up to the “one.”

With hands clammy and trembling slightly I ripped off the wrapping and there it was …

A plaid wool car blanket … What the H***!!! I did not say this out loud (I’m in a room full of Catholics and a priest) but rather, sat in stunned silence. When the shock finally wore off I weakly thanked father Roger for the gift.

Since that day my car blanket has protected my body from the harshness of vinyl seats in winter and summer. Swaddled my cold children. Hosted picnics, fireworks, and parade watching. Provided a funeral shroud for various pets, and sheltered mice.

I think father Roger knew when he gave me this blanket that if I accepted this gift and used it I might learn the difference between wants and needs.

Forty-one years and I don’t remember how many cars later my plaid wool blanket still rides with me wherever I go.

Thanks Uncle Roger!!

1 Comment»

  Larry Who wrote @

Somehow, car blankets seem to survive over the years. Great story.

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