Stephen Winn

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A Tale of Two Blankets

Posted by Stephen Winn
It's seldom that I complain about something, but the two blankets referred to in this article were not just any two blankets. They belonged to my dear departed mother. My sister bought them for her and spared no expense. Both were Hudson's Bay blankets and each was made of pure soft wool. The more expensive of the two was ivory white, known as a "multistripe iconic point" blanket. It has the traditional green, yellow, red and blue wide stripes across it horizontally at the top and bottom.

At the date of this writing, just one of them will cost you well over $400. The other blanket was beige/brown, patterned as I recall, and my sister paid a big buck for it as well. I mention the cost only to point out that they were by no means just a couple of ordinary blankets that someone would fail to notice or would neglect to return if borrowed. They were soft, thick, and welcoming; and after my mother passed away they became mine.

The material cost of replacing the blankets would certainly be something to think about for some people, but irrelevant to me. The fact that my sister wanted me to have them as keepsakes after my mother passed away is the only important factor. However, the blankets vanished from where I kept them at my property up north and I’ve had a difficult time trying to stop thinking about them. It’s like they keep calling to me.

The property I’m referring to that these precious blankets disappeared from is my recreational property in central Ontario, Canada, that I use as my getaway. If you see Algonquin Park in Ontario, Canada, on a map, you’re getting warm to where my place is. It’s my ‘go to’ haven to relax and veg out. I also do some writing up there when I’m not cutting firewood, setting a fencepost in the ground, or trying to catch a fish. The entire property faces water and has a beautiful stand of red pines on it, as well as some other species of beautiful trees. It also has a private beach at the southern end that terminates at a creek. The entire frontage on water is about 800 feet. The views to distant hills and low mountains surrounding the area are truly breathtaking. The air there is always fresh and clean. I smile whenever I think about it.

Many family and friends have visited and I've been very generous when it comes to making the property available to all of them. Some have stayed indoors, while others have preferred to camp outside for a more rugged experience.

So...did anyone use my two blankets to stay warm on a particularly chilly evening? Probably, and that would have been fine. Where we ran into a problem is that during a visit someone made off with them, though I can’t imagine who would do such an awful thing. I refuse to believe that it was anyone that I know.

The last I saw of them was when I placed them in a large storage drawer at the foot of my queen-sized bed. Recently, I decided I would take them home because I was worried about mice chewing on them after I discovered some mouse droppings on the floor nearby. Those pesky little critters will get into just about anything up north, so it had me worried. But when I went to get the blankets they were gone. I searched everywhere they could possibly be. My son Evan even joined in the hunt, but they couldn’t be found. That was when I experienced first-hand how absolutely infuriating it can be when someone takes something from you. It’s even more the case when that someone is likely in a group of people you know and trust and have been generous to.

Maybe the culprit thought those blankets weren’t important to me, or that I wouldn’t miss them, or that they were too good for that environment. I can certainly afford to replace them as everyone knows, but that's far from the point. The worst part about them going missing is that I feel violated and empty. I’ve been taken advantage of and can’t do anything about it. Nothing. I feel completely helpless without any proof of who the nasty sneak was.

So, as my dear dad used to ask me frequently, “What’s the bottom line?” The bottom line is the eighth commandment, ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ Please add the golden rule, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’

I don’t want to keep thinking about my two missing blankets but I know I will. The disappearance of them gnaws at me; troubles me. That’s because my mother’s unconditional love, comfort, and spiritual guidance are the magical memories really woven into those two blankets...those special blankets of mine that now someone else has. Such a pity.

Have you had a frustrating experience like mine? I'd like to hear about it, so please take a moment or two to write about it.

Stephen Winn              

Posted by: Stephen Winn


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