My Great-Grandmother was known to half the county as “Mama Howard.” One year when I was in my twenties we were all having Thanksgiving at my grandparents’ house and my mother called to invite Mama Howard over to eat with us. Mama Howard declined the invitation and Mother was horrified, “But it’s Thanksgiving.” Mama Howard told her she did not need a special day on a calendar to be thankful. She was thankful every day. Besides, she was busy and couldn’t spare the time. Later that afternoon, we went over to visit her (and to see what was keeping her so busy she couldn’t stop for lunch). When we got there we found her busy at her sewing machine, piecing quilts. Before she died, she had made quilts for all of her 11 children, 33 grandchildren, 66 great-grandchildren, and 11 great-great-grandchildren. I think tonight it’s cold enough to cover up in my quilt and be thankful.
The pictures with this post were taken in the 1970s by my cousin Bill Howard. Bill is officially my mother’s first cousin. But in our family, the sophisticated designations like second cousin twice removed are way too complicated. We are all just plain cousins.