Winter. Minus 20°C frost. The white veil of snow around blinds my eyes. Mom and I are skating at the local ice rink. Mom holds my hand tightly and I feel good and warm because of this. I am wearing my new woolen mittens, which my beloved grandmother Lina knitted for me. These fond memories pop into my mind as I look at these tattered mittens. They are with me now, far away from my homeland, in a country where there are no such severe frosts and howling blizzards at night. One look at them keeps me warm and fills my heart with joy through the pop-up images of my grandmother, family evenings, snowdrifts, a snowman, through the smells of Christmas thick spruce and hot tea with cinnamon and orange peels. Thick, dense mittens knitted from the wool of a young goat with traditional embroidery in the form of Slavic decoration. In the old days, traditional embroidery and patterning on various objects were designed to protect against evil spirits or to attract wealth and prosperity. Linen, household items, furniture, parts of buildings were also decorated with appropriate patterns (to protect the family and home). Tiny, not my size anymore - these mittens were not the first necessity in my modest luggage on the way to America. But for me, going through my first major immigration, it was important to have them here as a reminder of who I am and where I come from, of my roots, of a far snowy country. Or as an amulet?