I am a small boy, a toddler, really.
I have a grandmother, a very large grandmother. Her name is Ludie Banks Cobb and the comfort of her ample lap holds childhood fears at bay.
She also loves to quilt. A quilting frame hanging from the ceiling of her “front room” is as much a part of her home as butterbeans in a black pot hanging in the fireplace.
The frames do two things.
1. They hang from the ceiling, can be raised for family living, lowered for family quilting.
2. The frames have peg holes, can be rolled in or out dependent on the progress made on the quilt.
One other thing.
When lowered and at full size, the quilt in progress made a wonderful place for a little boy to play.
My grandmother seemed to always have a quilt going and I spent an awful lot of time under the quilting frames doing whatever it is small boys do during a quilting session. But there is one memory that jumps at me whenever the mind wanders back there.
It is of ladies in black shoes with legs spread. Their stockings are rolled and knotted just below the knee to keep them from falling and scandalizing the preacher if he makes a house call.
So what verse got me to this sermon?
“Put another quilt on the bed.”
Actually, the line is “Put another log on the fire,” but if you need another log on the fire, you darn sure need another quilt (NOT blanket, for goodness sakes!) on the bed. And my grandmother had quilts. Boy did she ever have quilts. My paternal grandmother, Hattie Cook Smith, had more than a few, too.
So did my mom. And the blonde’s mom. And my late Aunt Lura from out west, my Aunt Lois in Heflin. Which means, of course, we can open a quilt store out on Arrow if times get really tough. With beautiful quilts, too … as in “Have you ever seen a truly ugly quilt?”
Don’t laugh about that. I went online and checked out some quilts for sale.
From the Amish in Intercourse, Pa. (Honest, I’ve been there), you can get a “Grandma Log Cabin” for $1,140. At the lower end is a Dresden Plate for a mere $745.
I know my grandmother was not Amish, but my guess is one of her quilts would bring like $400 or so. That’s not bad. It certainly beats selling pencils out of a tin cup on Noble Street.
Moving on …
The lady at my house can make a bed look like something out of Southern Living. She has about as many store-bought bedspreads in the house as homemade quilts. Throw in pillows and cushions and some things I have no idea what they are and, well, you get the idea.
The only time you’ll see an ugly bed at our house is like around daylight when I kick my way out from under the covers (quilts) and head for the coffeepot.
But I am happiest and feel most comfortable when I walk in and the blonde has “made up” the bed with one of her quilts and a couple of pillows. It could be that there are some things about the good old days that were not all bad.
A quilt-covered bed is one of them. You can tuck a kid into a feather bed and top him off with two or three quilts and he wouldn't know if hell froze over. The kid slips into peaceful slumber with quilts tucked up around his chin.
On our bed, beneath a store-bought “comforter,” there is a lovely quilt. The blonde says it is a “Drunkard’s Path.” It feels good at night.
And when I go away, you can forget the new black suit, white shirt, and red-striped tie from Wakefield’s. Just wrap me in one of Grandma’s quilts and close the lid.
I hate being cold …
George Smith can be reached at 256-239-5286 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org