Buddy and Carol Ann, ca 1942

When I was growing up in the 1940s, my favorite aunt was my mother’s sister, Mabel.  Her two children, 9 and 6 years younger than I, were my favorite cousins.  They were the babies of the family and I loved watching them grow up.

Carol, Buddy and Mabel

Every year on Washington’s Birthday, February 22, we had a holiday from school and went to Mabel’s house to celebrate her little girl’s birthday which fell on February 23.   Mabel would have a cake purchased at the grocery store and decorated with the little hard sugar flowers and letters to spell out Happy Birthday, Carol Ann.

Carol Ann, Third Grade

Yesterday, for the first time in over 60 years, I enjoyed a birthday lunch with my cousins.  My daughter and I invited them to meet us at the Cracker Barrel where we lingered for a couple of hours reminiscing.  As it turned out, it appeared to be a party for me because of all of the gifts Carol brought.  She has been an antique dealer for years and chose some special items from her personal collection that she thought I would like….

A tiny nesting hen covered dish…

A Jadeite hobnail bowl with handles…

A Snowbabies ornament, a Bakelite Scottie button, and a notebook dated 1939, filled with handwritten recipes.

In addition, she brought a stack of greeting cards that my family had sent to them in the 1940s and 50s ….

All of the things I love the most.

After all these years, they’re still my favorite cousins.  Happy Birthday, Carol.