Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I LOVE aprons. They come in lots of styles and colors, ruffles and pleats, some with pockets, some without. Some are just for lookin' pretty and others are strictly utilitarian. (The folks on the food channel like the utilitarian kind!)

It's fashionable today to collect "retro" aprons, the older the better. Flea markets and antique stores decorate with them. And in the past few years the fabric stores have stocked patterns so we can make them ourselves. The fabrics are fabulous and so much fun.

Aprons mean different things to different people.

My grandmother wore one everyday! She wasn't dressed until her apron was covering her dress. Her favorite style was the ALL-OVER kind that covered everything but the arms. They were washed, starched and ironed and were very colorful! They NEVER matched the dress she was wearing, they weren't supposed to.

It seems they were always made of a tiny-print-cotton fabric with brightly colored seam tape covering the edges and the long sashes that tied in the back. There were no buttons and velcro wasn't invented yet.

They served SO many purposes....and I remember them all.

Granny wiped her hands on her apron and also used it to wipe my tears. She scooped up apples in that printed cloth and carried them to the house. Her great-grandsons hid behind her apron playing hide-n-seek all the while she was stirring gravy at the stove. She never hesitated wiping a child's nose on the lower edge or pinning a wild flower at the shoulder.

She'd fan herself and us with her apron while we were swinging together on the front porch swing, usually while singing some ancient hymn. An apron could be an emergency tourniquet or a wash cloth if needed out at the water pump. She wore her apron all day long, sunup to sundown.

Oh, yes, and it did protect her from the splatters from the cooking stove.

Today I wear aprons, make them, give them away and hang mine on a hook in my back hallway as decoration. They are colorful and fun. When I tie one on I'm headed to the kitchen for some serious cooking. It's true that if you LOOK the part you perform better!! (I think this works for golfing, snow skiing, and cycling across France, as well.) There is MUCH anticipation that something good is going to happen in the kitchen if I'm dressed for action.

Maybe that's what an apron symbolizes....ANTICIPATION AND PREPARATION for whatever comes my way. If I'm wearing an apron I'm "armed" and ready for anything that should happen. I'm absolutely positive that's what Granny would say, don't you think?

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