My friend Laine sent me these sweet thoughts on Grandma's Apron because she knows how much I love vintage aprons and all they stand for. Laine didn't know who wrote this essay, so I can't offer any credits, but will say this... it clearly comes from someone who was well loved. To the right is one of my favorite paintings and it's one of Laine's. The painting is a portrait of her grandmother as she always remembered her, either greeting or saying goodbye on the front porch of the farmhouse where she lived and always in her apron.
And what good timing. My friend Steve recently moved to Denver leaving me many aprons and homespun items that had belonged to his grandmother and other ladies in his family. They are precious pieces of his heritage, but the time had come to let them go, and he didn't know what to do with them. Steve, I've contacted the Tennessee State Museum to see if the curator would like any of these for their permanent collection of every day clothes of Tennesseans through history. With luck, these pieces will be cherished for the treasures that they are and future generations can enjoy seeing and learning from them.
The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons 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, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears. 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, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids. And when the weather was cold Grandma wrapped it 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, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.
In the autumn, 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 folk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner. It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.
Send this to those who would know (and love) the story about Grandma's aprons.
Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.
They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron. I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron - but love...