My grandmother put her apron on every morning right after she put on her house dress. She wore an apron every day, even to parties. She made all her clothes, including her aprons. She always chose a small flower design and used colorful seam binding for trim around the edges.
I also wear aprons, but only when cooking and eating. . . saves many an outfit from food stains.
Today’s prompt is: Aprons
Thank you, Kathy Myers, for the inspiration to hang my aprons in the kitchen.
Thank you, Pam Swanson, for emailing so many years ago, “The History of Aprons.”
THE HISTORY OF APRONS
The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath. Because she only had a few dresses, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.
It was wonderful for drying children’s tears.
From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
When company came, aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.
And when the weather was cold, Grandma wrapped her apron around her arms.
Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.
Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
From the garden, the apron carried all sorts of vegetables.
After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.
In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.
When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to eat.
It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that ‘old-time apron’ that served so many purposes, especially what many children and grandchildren received from the simple apron. . . Love!
Adapted from: The History of Aprons, which may have been originally from Grandma’s Apron.
Writing Prompt: Aprons
I don’t know why it did, but mostly it happened on a Sunday morning. I guess it had to do with the morning warmth of the kitchen, the smell of bacon and eggs…but believe me I remember it exactly, the sizzle of the bacon, the cracking of the eggs, the snugness of it all and mum; her beautiful hair tied back with ribbon, and wearing her favorite gingham apron. I might have been ten, but no more than twelve years of age. Sometimes we think of things that we cannot remember clearly or understand why we are even thinking about them. Not me, I knew at that age, at that moment, I would always picture my mother standing at the AGA, above which our clothes were hung to dry, wearing that apron and smiling, coming to me, cupping my face in her flour-dusted hands, telling me not to be late in for lunch.
Typing now, flight of fingers over the keys, I finally understand what my mother understood; that her real happiness happened right there in the kitchen, not feeling tied there, not because she had nowhere else to go, but because she loved it; she could be creative, industrious, and fulfilled. I don’t know if the modern man can say such things today, fearful of the liberated woman’s retort. Perhaps my view is that of a child, an innocent. I’d argue that my mother was so deeply loved, adored by my father, a man whose skin was like leather, his heart marshmallow.
My father might occasionally wander into the kitchen while she was busy with breakfast; she would look at him, her eyes glinting with mischief, hands firmly planted on her hips: “Are you lost, Frank?” She would ask. He would look up, check his surroundings, and leave, muttering under his breath how he had missed the study! You see, it was in the study that his love her for took on its music: his love for his wife revealed through the punched black ribbon of a Smith-Corona typewriter. Occasionally, Dad would read her some of his stories. His gnarled stubby fisherman’s fingers gripping the pages as he read. I would sit with my mother, snuggled into her apron, smelling of jams, listening intently to his tales of the sea, looking at the paper punctures on the back of each page, wondering what fabulous creatures would come alive.
The kitchen is where my mother would sing: ‘Red sails in the sunset, way out on the sea…’ I was hooked. Not to the song, though it remains one of my own favorites, but to the sound of my mother’s voice and the contentment on her face as she sang along.
I no longer have their physical presence. All I have become is in my father’s words, written in his diaries, those completed stories, the many scraps of writing never finished, and his love of life. That’s who I have become. My life continually affected by the spirit of his writing; its effect borne out by the way I live my life.
Whenever my father wasn’t fishing, he’d be sitting in his vegetable patch, with a pencil scribbling notes, and that evening I’d hear the clickety-clack of a forefinger punching down on a typewriter key, one after the other, like dominoes going down in slow motion. His inspiration; and you must believe me as if my palm was upon an open page of the Bible, was my mother, her smile, her pride to wear her apron. Their love was a cleansing cloud, a place for me to play, it was shining stones, shrubbery that smelled so good and held me safe. So my dreams may have faded, but still I hear my mother…
Red sails in the sunset, way out on the sea
Oh, carry my loved one home safely to me
She sailed at the dawning, all day I’ve been blue
Red sails in the sunset, I’m trusting in you
mcullen Post author
Kelly, you create, or recreate, a lovely kitchen scene with your writing. . . I enjoy the wonderful ambiance this family experiences in their every day activities . . . each being fulfilled by their daily chores. I especially love “a man whose skin was like leather, his heart marshmallow” and “like dominoes going down in slow motion.” Oh, I like all your writing! I’m like the little child sitting in his mother’s lap, savoring the words being read to me. I also like “looking at the paper punctures on the back of each page.” I would love to hear more stories about these endearing and enduring people.
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