Thoughts About Aprons

Don’t you just love aprons! I know. I’m old school, but I have a couple hanging in my kitchen for those times when I’m making a mess with the cooking thing. Which is pretty often. Not the cooking. The messing. They are a lot of fun, and come in many colors and forms. My sister-in-law uses an old short robe to cover her clothes when she cooks. Kinda clever, and she is often in the kitchen because she is a very good cook!

I worry that young grandmothers may not know what a great thing an apron is! But my mother knew. What I remember most is that her aprons were usually made from a worn out dress.  She wore one all day as she went about her work, unless someone came to the door. Then! The apron came off, to reveal a nice clean house dress beneath, and she was ready for the “company.” Didn’t hurt that the apron pocket held a little tube of lipstick for a quick touch-up. I also saw her use it to carry practically anything in, especially apples or eggs from the chickens. Some good memories.  

I also know a teacher of 1st and 2nd graders, who knew the value of a good apron. Miss Connie (Our Original GoodGrandma) used them in her classroom. She made one for every occasion and celebration that might come during the year, because those occasions usually called for a very fun, but sometimes messy craft. She was heard to say, that when she took her apron down, and started to put it on, the children knew it was time to clean up and get ready for work! What a great idea. What a great teacher Miss Connie was, and continues to be for her grandchildren.

Years ago, I received an email describing the many uses of an apron. I think I’m gonna share that with ya’ll today, cause it’s fun. You will notice that some of the things I remember are included in it  Hope it invokes some memories for some of you. Wish I knew the author/composer of this, but that wasn’t included.

Grandma’s Apron ~ Thoughts From the Past

Grandma’s gift to her grand daughter on her wedding, was an apron. It was usually made from an old dress, and the scraps were made into hot pads or woven into a rag rug. (Fabric of all kinds might come into the house, but it never left. That’s the way it rolled in our house anyway).
Aprons were dabbers and wiper-uppers, for any spill encountered. It was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds when unexpected company drove up the road. 
An apron kept the dress clean and protected, because mother only had a few dresses, and the apron was easier to wash than a dress.
The apron could cover a baby when the weather turned chilly, and it could wipe noses, dry tears, and was used as a fan when it was hot. It was even used on occasion, to clean out dirty ears, or spit upon to clean a child’s dirty face. They wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.
It would hold harvested apples, tomatoes, plums, etc. (told you.) πŸ˜Š And kindling for the fire.
It was used as a pot holder for removing hot pans or lifting hot lids from the pans. From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be carried into the house and placed in the warming oven to finish the hatching process. 
When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids, and when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.
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 wash up for supper.
Aprons serve as a good history lesson for those that have no idea how the apron played a part in the lives of families back then, but it will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace it with anything that served so many purposes.
I suppose they would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron, but I don’t think i ever caught anything from an apron, except LOVE!

Now, I want to recommend two children’s books I am familiar with when it comes to aprons. The first is Ma Dear’s Aprons by Patricia C. McKissack, and illustrated by Floyd Cooper.  Received 4 1/4 stars on Amazon and costs about $8.99 new. This is a charming story about a single African-American mom and her little son David Earl. They lived in the South at the turn-of-the-century, and David Earl relates how he could tell what day of the week it was by the color of his Ma Dear’s apron. Monday was a blue apron, which meant wash day. Tuesday was a yellow apron, to lift Ma Dear’s spirits because it was ironing day. Boy, can I relate to that one! Ironing was never my fav!

Anyway, the week goes on, with a fresh apron and different color for each day except Sunday.  That was the now work day, and they enjoyed their time together. I always bought Patricia McKissack’s books for my library. She has a real gift for writing. You will very much enjoy Mr. Cooper’s beautiful drawings.

The second book is by Eric Carle and is entitled My Apron. This can be readily found in bookstores or Walmart. Cost for a hard cover is about $13.00. It is very brief and simply written, so it would appeal to the younger of those grand-babies of yours. It’s about a young boy who helps his uncle, who is a plasterer. He loves the apron! It has a pocket! So his aunt makes him an apron just for him, and he becomes his Uncle’s assistant. I think this little book shows a loving relationship between a boy and his uncle and aunt, but also portrays satisfaction in work well done. Happy trails, gals. Hope to chat with you soon! ~ Book Guru Grandma Judy

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