The Chill is Gone

Assignment: Write at least 100 words about a piece of clothing

The air blowing out of the coal stove is cool, despite the red glow from within. No matter. The old serape folded across the chair warms my back, as it has done for three decades. As I pull the material tighter around my shoulders, I remember purchasing the serape from a booth in a farmer’s market for ten dollars. It was one of the first purchases I made with money I earned at my first job. I returned to the market several times after that to purchase a few more, in different patterns. I still have them all, save one I gave to my sister.

Made of acrylic, the serape is as warm as wool. But softer than wool. Somehow, it has never lost its smooth feel, never pilled the way most woven fabrics eventually do. It is made of two rectangular pieces, sewn together for half their length. The stiched half goes against the back, and the two free ends are pulled over the shoulder and crossed in the front.

As warm as it is, the serape is useful only when sitting or walking. It is impractical when cooking, or washing dishes, or playing the violin. It has no fastening, and so flops about with movement and gets in the way. But when the coal stove is blowing cool air over me as I type on a cold Winter’s evening, it is perfect for warming my back.

Gail Hunn ©2013