Willie Ford Belongs to Me


We have one perfectly cozy green blanket in our home. His name is Willie Ford. At least, that’s what is stitched along the hem in haphazard capital letters made of pale green embroidery floss. He is warm. He is soft. He is as ugly as it is possible for a blanket to be, but he has stolen my heart.

Maybe it’s because he’s just the right size for tucking around me from my shoulders to my toes while I watch movies from the cushy recesses of our couch. Maybe it’s the way he’s always waiting for me in the linen closet, ready to protect me when the evening chill pokes its harsh, bony fingers through my sweater. Maybe it’s the romantic riddle of his unexplained origins.

You see, we have no idea where Willie Ford came from. He just appeared one day in a load of clean laundry, smelling like Tide and saying nothing, only holding out his fuzzy green arms for an embrace, which I quite naturally gave. Mystified, we called around to friends and recent visitors, but no one had lost a Willie Ford.

His adoption into our family was immediate and enthusiastic, and he’s been with us ever since. He plays on the floor with the kids, content to be a picnic blanket or an army tent. He sticks close when any of us is sick, keeping the drafts at bay and standing guard through long, feverish nights. He makes a great cocoon for curling up with the latest Anne Perry mystery and a cold Diet Coke. And though Willie Ford is loved by all, I know in my heart of hearts that he came here for me. We were meant to be together.

I don’t know how he found me, but the mystery of his coming has long since been swallowed up in gratitude for the wordless comfort and unconditional warmth he offers.

God bless you, Willie Ford, wherever you are. I promise to take good care of your blanket.

21 responses »

  1. That is the coolest thing ever! Book have found me, plants have found me, animals have found me, but I have never had a cozy soft, cuddly warm blanket find me and call me his own before!! Wow, you are so lucky to have Willie Ford!!

    Wanna hear something funny? I know Willie Ford!! I’m ASSUMING you got this blanket while at HU, if so, I can tell you who he is, but not how his blanket ended up with you. Now, that said, Willie Ford is a great Christian man (mostly worked with youth) who is rather large & was at my church camp almost every summer. He may be around Dave Reeves age or older but he did attend HU. I’ve told you before that Mike Reeves was also there every summer. Well, that being said, I can tell you, Willie Ford is a great man so I’m sure you’re blanket is just as big & just as great!:)

  3. Hmmm…to quote Alice, “Curiouser and curiouser.” Willie actually appeared long after we left Harding, when we were living in Richland, Washington. I’d just had the youth group girls over for a sleepover, but all of them swore that the blanket wasn’t theirs.

    Yes, Paul–I, too, would weep if Willie Ford stepped forward to claim his blanket. But who am I to deny another human being the joy that has been laid at my doorstep?

  4. I’m just saying with the Reeves & Becky (being from NW) it very well could have made it’s way from Rogers, Arkansas to Dave’s car, to the NW where he met Becky campaigning & then somehow to your doorstep. Just a thought. But no worries…..I’ll never tell.;)
    PS I have an email into Tim Hobbs, so we’ll settle this all soon.;)LOL

  5. That’s my blanket!

    Okay, not really. That would be funny, though. I even thought about creating a fake blogger profile called “Willie Ford”. But, I decided it was a long way to go for a silly joke.

    Lovely writing.

    Hello, Katrina.

  6. Boy are you going to be sorry about blogging on this topic when Willie is contacted and steps forward to claim his long lost, beloved blanket that his great grandmother made for him just before she passed away. The same blanket which cradled and comforted him through a long serious episode of scarlett fever, the same which comforted him the time his first love broke his heart, which he brought to college with him to ease the transition from boy-at-home to man-on-his-own, the one which he had planned to put away safely until he had his own newborn William to wrap in the safe and comfortable folds of his cherished blanket, ney, friend. But you enjoy that novel and Diet Coke…

  7. now i feel guilty about laying the guilt trip on you. not very Christmassy of me and, as i desperately want to avoid the infamous “naughty” list, let me recant my previous post and assure you that willie would be thrilled that his blanket has found such a grateful and loving home.

  8. What a cool story! I love a good blanket…and why is it that kids love blankets…and find those tiny tags comforting? 🙂

    If I need to throw a fake substitute at Willie for ya, so you can keep your beloved blanket, let me know!

  9. Wish I had a Willie Ford of my own… We have a few throw blankets around, but none that are large enough to cover my entire body at the same time – and I’m onlly 5’4″, so it’s not like I’m that large!!! If I want to be entirely covered, I must fold myself into the fetal position and lay just-so so that I can be warm – comfortable is relative.

  10. Ohhh…if I ever lost my blankie I would be so sad. It has been with me for 34 years. Each of my children have used it for snuggling, and now the youngest uses it for her super hero cape (just as I used to).

    I’m glad you are giving willie ford a good home. i would hope someone would do the same with my blankie if found.

  11. It sounds like a lot of us identify with Linus’ attachment to his beloved blanket. Thanks for all the thoughtful replies! This Christmas I’m hoping for a blanket of snow, a blanket of laughter, and a nice, thick blanket on my parents’ guest bed, since there’s no room for Willie Ford in my suitcase!

    Scott–Don’t do that! My heart stopped for a second…

    Kathy–You’re this close to the naughty list now. The only way to make it up is to offer to drive me to the airport at four-thirty a.m. on Saturday… … … …Um, you’re not saying anything.

    Rose–A fake Willie Ford, now that’s an idea! Unfortunately, he is so uniquely ugly that I wouldn’t have the faintest idea how to go about duplicating him.

    anonymous–Thank you so much! What a lovely warm fuzzy (not unlike Willie Ford himself!)

  12. Will He or Will He Not reveal his origins. Did you ahve any secret admirers of that name well if there were its benn a secret I guess.

  13. how can a story of a blanket make me teary?? thats wonderful. im a sentimental person so that tale of Willie hits home.

    so sweet. thank you for sharing!

  14. Hi, Willie Ford here. I must admit that as a young man I carried with me a blanket. However, after examining the photo posted I see that it is not mine. Mine was blue with a satiny trim. If anyone sees it please contact me immmediately. If you’d like to do a little more research on possible owners of the mystery blankie check out my website: willieford.com

    Snuggle close to Willie Ford and tell him you your blankie is.

  15. Well, Willie—I had a tiny panic attack when I read your first couple of sentences, but I’m selfishly glad my blanket doesn’t belong to you. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for your wayward blue beauty.

    I thought you were having me on about the website, but, in fact, there you were, and what an outstanding assortment of thoughts and services you do provide. Thanks for the mention of Notes, and good luck selling that house–it looks cute!

    • That’s funny! You’re the third person to tell us that they know a Willie Ford. Who knew it was such a common name?

      Does the blanket look familiar to you at all?

  16. Tim says he doesn’t recognize it, so I guess it isn’t a family heirloom after all. I dug down into the deep recesses of my mind (didn’t take too long), and I tried to recall if I had seen it before…and came up with nothing. Keep on snuggling guilt-free! 🙂

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