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  • Writer's pictureM. Virginia Southworth

What's in a Potholder

You may ask, 'what is in a potholder?' Well, my neighbor Linda made me some potholders out of loopers. Are you familiar with "loopers"? When I was in sixth grade, I used to take my pocket money that I had saved, and go downtown to the Aubuchon Hardware store. There they had all sorts of crafts and games in one aisle. I was always drawn to those loopers. It was a miniature loom that came with a bag of fabric loops in a box. I would take them home and make those colored quintessential potholders which magically turned into gifts for my grandmothers.

Potholders made with "Loopers"

One time I was with my Aunt, and she let me pick out something at the hardware store. I remember seeing a Paint by Number of "The Last Supper". She thought that was a bit garish as the real one was a Masterpiece. So I opted for paints to create something on my own.

Now, this Christmas, my Aunt's son gave me some potholders. These are the latest, state of the art, silicone potholders. My cousin Stephen gave me two big red mitts and two red square trivets. These can withstand temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

This was a very thoughtful gift. You see, last June, I was using an oven mitt that another neighbor had given me. I had used it so much, that I was oblivious to the tiny hole that was in the thumb. I was pulling a hot Apple Betty in a pyrex dish out of the oven when 'lo and behold, I felt something piercing my thumb. Quickly, I set the dish down on a rack and removed this mitt. There was a round burn on my thumb. Now it had not really bothered me. It simply looked like a white round circle on my thumb. I tried to lance it unsuccessfully. Several months later, it began to bother me.

So when I went for my regular doctor's appointment, I showed it to my doctor. He thought it might be a good idea to have it removed.

I had to wait a couple of weeks before I could get in and then the first appointment was a preliminary one. They were going to schedule the actual hand surgery for two weeks later. I explained that I was going away and that I was hoping to have it done prior to my departure. That could be done, but there needed to be the timeframe of having the stitches removed before departure. Fortunately, they were able to squeeze me in just before Thanksgiving which was also, the day of my departure to Antarctica.

1791 olde English Rhyme (Mother Goose) collected by James William Elliott

The shot of whatever it was that numbed my thumb was the worst. The doctor said that it would wear off in a couple of hours. Well, my hand was numb for 17 hours! At three in the morning I let out a warwhoop as the pain was real. I learned that they sent that little "bump" to be biopsied. Two thousand dollars and a half dozen stitches later, I am here to tell you that Jack Horner I am not! There was no plum and if there was, I plum forgot! It has been six weeks now, and there is still tenderness in the tip of my right thumb. However, this shall never befall me again. Cousin Stephen has come to my aid. He so thoughtfully ordered these beautiful, big, red silicone potholders. This is what the surgeon recommends too. Thank you Stephen. I will be more careful.

Now lets, put those mitts on, and clap your hands together, "Happy New Year!"

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