Blankets with a Cedar Smell

I was cold the other night, so I took our thick comforter out of the cedar chest and got under it. I was soon warm, but what I noticed first was the smell of the cedar transported me back to my childhood. In a flash, I was back in the cold upstairs of my childhood, shivering under the covers, with my back up against one of my sister’s to get warm. I recalled how, as each cold season approached, we would put a warm blanket on our bed. When that was not warm enough, we’d pile another on our bed, until we had a pretty big and heavy pile of blankets that would have to keep us warm through the winter.

We had no heat in our upstairs, and our walls were not insulated, which meant it got as cold in our upstairs as it was outside, minus the wind (mostly — if we got too close to the windows, we could feel the wind coming through the cracks). We’d take our nightgowns down by the wood stove and change into them. We’d wrap a blanket around ourselves and then run for our beds and dive under the covers. As a young child, I would do that in my bare feet, and then the challenge was getting my feet warmed up. Later, I wore white cotton socks, which helped a lot.

Getting up in the morning was brutal. I used to describe it as having to jump out of a warm cocoon into freezing water. Most of the time we didn’t have privacy by the wood stove in the mornings, so we had to get dressed upstairs. Brrrr! Our teeth would chatter!

Most Amish homes had a register in the floors upstairs, which would allow the heat to rise. My sisters and I kept asking for us to put one in, but it never happened.

Memories like this always make me ever more grateful for what I have now. So this Thanksgiving, I will add “living in a warm, comfy house” as one of the things I give thanks for.

Photo of our house today after completion of a “deep energy retrofit”
Before the house was insulated and when we could feel the wind coming through the cracks of the windows.

What is one thing you are grateful for this Thanksgiving?

I hope you all have a holiday filled with love, health, warmth, and good cheer!

See you soon! 

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7 thoughts on “Blankets with a Cedar Smell”

  1. Happy Thanksgiving Day and God’s blessigns for You!
    I must write it: in Polish TV tomorrow (at 7.20 p.m our local time) there will be document about Amish family in Poland. I will watch it, because I read much about them in past. Your blog is also very interesting for me.
    We in Poland don’t have Thanksgiving Day, but I’m grateful for salvation, my home, food, water, friends, family, peace in my country… There is a lot of things.
    Heartly greetings for You.

  2. Happy Thanksgivings, Saloma! We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving like you do in the USA, but I am grateful for soooo many things! I do work in a creatorium and today there was a ceremony for a 19 year old boy (car accident), so I am very grateful our girls came home safe and sound this evening ..

    I just finished reading your book. What a childhood! I do recognize parts of it as far as my own life is concerned (agressive father etc.) but nevertheless had goose-flesh. Thanks for sharing and thanks for that personal touch of writing a few nice words for the reader!

    Have a nice day & Dutch greetings,

  3. What a beautiful home you have! We, too, have made a great many energy-efficient changes to our home over the years. Like you, we are both so grateful for warm shelter every single day, specially when so many have none. This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for family & seeing 2 grandchildren which we rarely see. Such a gift! Blessings to you, dear Saloma.

  4. Your home is absolutely lovely. I hope you and your family enjoy it for many years to come. I am thankful for my daughter and husband. They are a constant source of joy for me. God bless us all!


  5. Debbie, I did have a nice Thanksgiving, thanks. I hope you did also.

    Zim, I had no idea there are any Amish families living in Poland. I would love to learn more about them. What a nice list of things you are grateful for… so often we take many things for granted.

    Carolien, isn’t it amazing how there are reminders for what we have? That is a very poignant one you shared. So glad you could relate to my story. It is always gratifying to know when that happens.

    Ladybug, thank you for your beautiful message. Grandchildren are a wonderful gift, aren’t they? I hope to receive that one someday, should it be in the Plan. Blessings to you, too.

    Manuela, thank you for your thoughts about enjoying our home for many years to come. And what a warm embrace of your husband and daughter.

    Thanks, all, for your comments. To used Manuela’s words, “God bless us all.”

  6. A few years of my childhood we lived in a converted schoolbus. Started out with 8, then my sister left home so there was still 7. (I am the 5th of 6 kids, 4 being boys.) It would get so hot in the summer. And very cold in the winter. We had a small electric space heater. I remember trying to get dressed under the covers in the morning because of the cold.

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