The smell of country air and sweet laundry soap wafted up from Grandma’s flannel sheets. I loved it. Nothing said wintery comfort like burrowing under the covers on a cold winter morning and feeling the soft flannel warmth. The quilts Grandma used on her beds when I was growing up tended to be sewn from fabric scraps. Some of her quilts were deemed “crazy-quilts” because of the random patterns, but others were more thoughtfully and artistically constructed. In general the quilts tended to be a bit heavy, but wonderful. It was all I knew until I discovered down blankets. Oh my. Warmth and lightness. Snuggly, crushable, comfort. Who knew it would become a point of negotiation between my husband and I?
My husband loves the weighty feel of the old quilts. He’d be happy to have about ten of them piled on top of us in the dead of winter. The effect leaves me feeling like I’m being pressed as a flower for drying and display. Ironically, despite the heft of multiple blankets, he feels flannel sheets “sleep too warm” and grumbles when I bring them out. My dream bed would combine the quilting artwork of my grandmother–perhaps as a duvet– on a down comforter, combined with thick flannel sheets. Somehow I’ve lost this battle. We’re supposed to be dipping down into the below-zero temperature range tonight. The sheets are icy-cold cotton. The blankets are heavy. But, my husband’s arms are warm and inviting, and they are the best part of my day.