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.