The Apron

When I was a little girl I loved to wear an apron.  I remember the feeling of tying an old apron around my waist.  The ties were so long they wrapped back around in front and tied in a bow.  I would ask my mom if I could clean.  Of course she whole-heartedly agreed to that proposition.  I would load my large apron pockets with necessary cleaning supplies, and my cleaning would last about 8 minutes.  Or less.  There was a novelty in wearing the apron, but not the chores that came along with it. 

In high school, my waitressing job required us to wear a maroon dress with a white ruffled apron over it.  My grandmother would starch and iron my apron until it stood alone.  Each evening after I came in from work, I would hand her my apron.  As I got ready for bed, she would sit at her kitchen table, empty my pockets, stack and count my tips in nice little piles and proudly tell me how much money I made. 

Now as a grown-up, I own one apron.  It is cow print.  It’s a full length apron that slips over the neck.  I rarely wear it, but I love it all the same.  Over time, aprons have transformed from practical to cutesy.  Here’s a tribute to the apron I’ve been saving in my email inbox.  It makes me happy.  And nostalgic.  I’d like to share it with you.

The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath, 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 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 dinner.
 It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that “old-time apron” that served so many purposes.

It’s funny how 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.

There may not be another article of clothing that carries as much love as an apron.



  1. RB says:

    That brings back lots of memories. Grandmother S always wore an apron usually the bib pined to her dress rather than arounld her neck. I have a coffee cup that reminds me of one of her aprons. I think the apron went out with that generation. O, we used the cute ones for awhile but you don.t see the full ones any more. Just the other day I was wishing I had one of Grandmothers old aprons.. Good memory, good blod. Thanks Ang


    1. Angel says:

      Wish we had more front porches too!! I was born in the wrong generation.


  2. Donna says:

    Oh my goodness Angel .. I think this is my favorite post from ANYONE ! probably cuz you gotta be old like me to remember when those things actually happened! I can still see my momma doing each and every one of those things in that story! My daughter lives in rural Iowa and she quilts and sews beautiful things among them recently … aprons! Went to a beautiful wedding shower in her area for the daughter of one of her friends and among her many gifts were three absolutely gorgeous aprons! She was truly thrilled to get them .. one was truly vintage, one was handmade and the other was purchased, and each one was so adorable! (I think I even got an e-mail from Williams and Sonoma the other day advertising vintage-type aprons) So maybe they are making a comeback! I hope it will be o.k. if I forward the verse on to my daughter. I know she will enjoy it so much. Thanks again Angel for starting my day off with a smile. You are special to many people you don’t even know 😉 Until next time …Donna


    1. Angel says:

      Of course you can share it. Thanks for your kindness!


  3. well, hey, what can I say? this is definitely my kind of post. 🙂 Would you mind if I reposted to my site… with of course a link to your blog? I loved the story. That’s why I started my blog, those aprons are just all about the people behind them… even if they aren’t wearing one!


  4. Lara says:

    Love this post!!! I see my Nanny while I read it.


  5. gail says:

    LOVED this blog! I remember my stepmom and her apron. And my gammy. I have a new purchased gifted apron that I never wear. don’t like to be tied up! But maybe I will get it out and give it a try. Instead of always having to wash my clothes because I got something on them cooking!


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