I have a placemat for my VCR. If I still had a VCR.

The new phone book’s here! The new phone book’s here!

Or, rather, my new issue of Uppercase magazine. You know, the issue that features a piece by me? Yeah, I’m published. Whatevs.

Except it’s kind of a big deal. It makes me happy, and is a gentle prod to keep keep keep writing.

You can see the issue here. However, the resolution isn’t so hot, so here’s my article for your viewing pleasure.

My grandma created many beautiful items. She crocheted baby blankets and tatted Christmas ornaments. Those of us lucky enough to be in her family have potholders and afghans crafted as her slim fingers flew, needle and thread in hand.

Grandma filled her home with lovely things, items that were arranged just so. She loved to have people over, and took pride in providing a comfortable, gracious home. That house on Lacey Drive was always spotless. Grandma took care of business.

So, when the kids encouraged “the folks” to get a VCR, preparations needed to be made. You couldn’t just plop the machine on top of the console TV – it might scratch the wood. And so, the VCR sat on the carpet until Grandma could crochet a placemat.

The placemat was perfectly sized and made of the same creamy yarn she used for countless blankets. It protected the TV from whatever evil was lurking underneath the VCR. We grandkids giggled as we reprogrammed the VCR’s clock for the umpteenth time, but we accepted that grandmas were just wired to crochet placemats for their electronics.

The placemat was in a box of linens that I’ve toted around since we emptied the house Grandma and Grandpa called home for 40 years. Now, I realize this is no ordinary placemat.

This placemat is a work of art. Even though it was created to hide under a VCR, spending its life in the dark, the placemat has a series of intricate patterns. Instead of row after row of plain stitches, it has ribs and meticulous designs. The patterns were thoughtfully laid out to create a perfectly VCR-sized end product. It was created with care.

Grandma loved handicrafts, and the way she and Grandpa lived their lives showed they believed a job worth doing was worth doing well. Discovering that the VCR placemat was no exception was not a huge surprise.

Grandma been gone for 14 years, Grandpa for 9. They were married for 69 years. I miss them every day.

But little things like the VCR placemat remind me that they’re here, that I have a history. And a little OCD isn’t a bad thing. And even work that will be hidden should still be beautiful.

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  • Reply Trixie Bang Bang July 10, 2015 at 12:37 am

    Love this!! And happy for you, you showoffy published author 🙂

  • Reply Becky July 10, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    What a lovely piece. Isn't it fun seeing your name in print?

  • Reply Kari Wagner July 10, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    I love this so much!!
    I am so happy for you!

  • Reply Banjo Unfabulousness July 10, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    LOVE this!

  • Reply Green Girl in Wisconsin July 16, 2015 at 3:04 am

    I LOVE this story! What an terrific grandma-thing to do–crochet a VCR mat!
    Congratulations on the publication, too!!!

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