19 In Life

Last Thanksgiving First

This Thanksgiving I found myself thinking about last Thanksgiving, do you do that too? Try to remember what you did, what you wore, what you ate, who you were with? Before I write about this Thanksgiving, I’m going to share a little bit about last Thanksgiving. You may be aware that I live far away from ‘my side’ of the family. Both my parents were born & raised in Southern Illinois, and while I’ve never lived there, my roots run deep there. While we were there last Thanksgiving, Mom, Mimi {my grandmother, DaddyBoy’s mom}, and I went over to my great aunt Glenny’s house to visit for a while and take a peek at her quilts.


Last year I asked for prayer for Aunt Glenny because she suffered a stroke. She has made great improvements, yet still her mind doesn’t seem to be keeping up with her body and even finishing sentences can be a challenge for her. She somehow was living on her own last Thanksgiving and miraculously still manages to live on her own this Thanksgiving, probably because she’s quite cantankerous! My grandmother let me in on a little secret… Glenny was a quilter. So we went to see…


Each quilt was wrapped in a flat sheet and pinned perfectly to protect it. The sad thing was that she wasn’t even sure she had been the one to make them, when in reality, she had spent hours and hours hand piecing and quiliting each one… we had proof.

At age 12… can you imagine making this at age 12, with scraps, by hand?
My pictures {with my old camera} really don’t even do her quilt’s justice.
They were all so beautiful & colorful.
We were there for an hour or so, and if she didn’t have cats, I would have stayed all night.

Mimi {left} and Glenny {right} married twins, my grandfather Harry and his twin brother Harland. The good thing about having Mimi around was that when Glenny couldn’t {or can’t} finish her sentences Mimi can usually come through with the word she’s looking for or we all just guess until we figure it out. MomandAuntGlenny

It really was such a special afternoon, one I hope to remember for a long time… one that I meant to blog about last Thanksgiving but never did… better late than never!

I even have a couple video clips from our time together… they make me snicker a little because of what Aunt Glenny says! 

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year also and I hope that you did too. I’ll be back soon with a full report!

You Might Also Like

  • natalie @ our old southern house
    November 28, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    oh oh oh! not only do i love her quilts (my grandmother + i quilt together), but i love her six-panel doors and that granite foundation. beautiful!

  • Brittan
    November 28, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    She is precious!! I was thinking back too. West was born 6 days before his first Thanksgiving and we nearly didnt go bc I was scared to death people would want to pass him around! We did go and he stayed tucked in the sling the whole time, want to see him, here’s his hair! lol crazy momma bear post pardum hormones!

  • kendall boggs
    November 29, 2009 at 5:21 am

    Well I’ve sat here and contemplated not writing this but I’m just going to go ahead. I too reflected on last Thanksgiving, but mostly on Thanksgiving 2 years ago. Mainly because my sister in law brought it up and wanted to talk about her. Her… is Becky Clark. I’m only writing this because I want everyone to know how important it is to hold each and every one of your friends close to your heart and never forget to call. There’s never a good reason not to. I have plagued myself with this guilt for two years now. I saw Becky for the last time around this time, right after Thanksgiving. It had been 2 years since we had seen each other, or even talked! I didn’t even know how sick she was. Now this was my all time BEST FRIEND from high school. We loved each other so deeply and so unconditionally and I still can’t believe that I never called her to check on her. Oh, the pain I have put myself through for that…. hence my angel series.. It is she and the Clarks that have inspired me to paint that series. Becky was so sick when I saw her that I barely recognized her. Yet she knew who I was and told me she loved me when I left. The way the Clark family handled her sickness was textbook straight from the Bible. They were so loving. I’ll never forget Abby just rubbing on her mom constantly just to relieve the pain. I don’t mean to post something that doesn’t have anything to do with quilting! I just want everyone to remember Becky and the Clarks at this time of year. I still think of her every day and miss her so bad. Thanks Darbs for letting me tell my story about not forgetting important people in your life.

  • kristen
    November 29, 2009 at 7:25 am

    those quilts are amazing! and how fun about the little note on one! 12 years old – amazing as well! i tried to think back to last years thanksgiving and could not remember a thing…ha! i was pregnant, i know that so probably sick and i blocked it out 🙂

  • Anna
    November 29, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Went back trying to find pictures from last year’s Thanksgiving and have none, apparently I was crazy too (preggers, it happens!). Oh well! Your post was great! Those quilts are beyond beautiful and more than special!!!! Thank you for sharing

  • Janice
    November 29, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Those are wonderful memories to cherish. I am a quilter and I can’t imagine having made that quilt when I was 12 years old. And that was in the days before all the fancy gadgets we have nowadays. She used wonderful colours. Last Thanksgiving was a sad time for us. My dear, sweet Dad had passed away just a couple of weeks before after a very brief illness, and my brother had just gone back home. I brought my Mom to spend the holiday with me, before she faced going home alone for the first time. Over a year later, the pain of losing my Dad is just as raw as it was then. Cherish your loved ones while you can. You just never know. (Kendall)

  • Lauryn
    November 29, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    I have a quilt obsession…these are amazing…did you inherit any? PS-i love Glenny!

  • Tara
    November 29, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Those are great videos. It makes me want to start taping my visits with family. There is nothing better than video to capture a moment. Sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Thanks for sharing with us!

  • Beth Fuston
    November 29, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Wow!!! Those are beautiful and to imagine making that at 12 yrs. old. Thanks for sharing the video. Glenny reminds me of my grandmother who passed away several years ago. Totally brought tears to my eyes to hear her talk! Thanks again!

  • Chris Wiggins
    November 29, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Wow, Darby! So I know where you and Erika get your talents! When I was 12, I was really good with the coloring books :/ Just kidding. My grandma Ruby was handy with a needle a thread – quilts, clothes and such. She held on to fabrics for forever. When she died they found fabrics in her sewing room from the 20’s. I only knew her for the first 10 years of my life, but I still treasure the memories of her. The funniest memory of her was when my family (6 kids) were heading back home after a visit with the grandparents, my grandma gave me and my younger sister a small tin of gum balls. Well, we wasted no time in running out to the car ahead of everyone else to pop that lid and delight in our treats, only to be dismayed when the “gum” instantly dissolved to goopy sugar. Must have been some seriously old gum balls. We laughed and laughed about that little episode. Grandma Ruby was an amazing and accomplished woman and I miss her.

  • Katie
    November 29, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    gorgeous! that is so special!

  • wren
    November 29, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Thanks for sharing that story. My mother had an aneurysm when I was seven so I know exactly what you mean about having to finish her sentences. She was also an avid quilter; unfortunately she didn’t get to teach me before the aneurysm.

  • Chrissy
    November 29, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    Those are STUNNING quilts! I’m blown away by them … absolutely beautiful. My husband has some quilts that his grandmother made him but they are so old that I’m afraid to wash them and thus, I don’t want to use them. Any hints on washing old quilts? I tried the whole washing them in the bathtub (can’t remember why he said they washed them in the bathtub but I tried it … the quilts become ridiculously heavy and it didn’t seem to get any dirt off of them). Thanks for sharing your memories!

  • Paula
    November 30, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Those quilts are beautiful and your great aunt Glenny is precious!
    God bless you and your family!

  • alston
    November 30, 2009 at 11:44 am

    those quilts are gorgeous — what amazing talent!

  • andrea
    November 30, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    OMG, those are so beautiful! You are so lucky to have someone like Glenny in your family tree. Her quilts are going to be a part of her legacy to you and your girls! Maybe even your grandkids! I’d love to be able to leave something like that behind. 🙂 God bless…

  • Jennifer
    November 30, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Sigh! If I had a 10th of her amazing talent I’d be a happy girl. Those are beautiful. What precious memories!

  • Melissa
    December 1, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    I knew that street looked familiar! We used to drive through that town on our way from Lawrenceville, IL to Casey, IL where we used to have family. Small world!

  • emily
    December 5, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    wow, wow, wow, wow!!!! her quilts are absolutely beautiful and so timeless!!!

    i noticed mount carmel on the label . . . my brother in law’s mother is from mount carmel and still has family there. unfortunately i only know her married name . . .