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Weaving Away the Summer

“Gran, did you get more loops?” Lucy and Annabel have asked this question many times recently because these two Grands are weaving potholders.  Cotton, square potholders like many of us made when we were children.

            I’ve had a metal loom and a supply of loops for many years since our oldest Grand could understand over and under and his fingers were strong enough to pull a loop over a hook and his patience long enough to complete a project.  All our Grands have made one special potholder for their mothers, but after Lucy, age 9, made three in one sitting a few weeks ago, I casually said, “Maybe you could sell some of these.” 

            “How much?  Where?” Lucy asked, her eyes open wide.  I sent pictures and a text to two friends and they bought Lucy’s first for-sale potholders.  A picture couldn’t capture Lucy’s pride and excitement when she exchanged potholders for money. 

            Lucy and I made a deal:  she would make and sell potholders for $5.00 and give me one dollar to pay for supplies.  I’d advertise and drive her to make deliveries.  By the next day, she’d made five more.  I sent a picture of those to three people thru Facebook and all agreed to buy.

            Annabel, Lucy’s older sister, wanted to get in on the action so she began weaving.  When each girl had five completed, they sent me pictures and asked, “Gran, can you put these on Facebook and see if anyone will buy them?”   I did and offered in-town delivery. 

            Within hours, those ten potholders were sold and there were orders for more.  The girls were excited and I was a bit surprised.  To date, we have delivered twenty-six potholders and there are orders for twenty more.  

            I asked Lucy and Annabel, “Why do you like making potholders?” Simultaneously, they said, “Money!”

            Then Annabel added, “It’s fun to make them,” and Lucy said, “We get to talk to people.”

            Neither of the girls has a plan for their money, but each can tell you exactly how much they’ve collected.  “Maybe I’ll get something special with it,” Annabel said.  “I just like having it,” said Lucy.

            Making potholders wouldn’t be so much fun if the community center swimming pools were open and my Grands could go places and enjoy their normal summer activities. 

            Lucy’s answer sticks in my mind, “We get to talk to people.”  She and her four siblings have seen very few people since early March.  That Lucy likes to talk with adults, most she’s never met before, while standing outside their homes and while all wear masks, is a sign of the pandemic.

            Lucy and Annabel will remember this summer when they couldn’t go to the pool or have friends over to play or go to church or even go to the grocery store.  The summer when they had fun making and selling potholders.  What began as a way to keep Lucy’s hands busy one afternoon turned into a silver lining of the COVID pandemic and I’ll buy loops as long as my Grands weave.