Feb 10, 2008


by Marsha Ward

Actually, I borrowed this, one of those stories that make their way around the Internet and through email forwards. However, I think it's pertinent to the kinds of stories I write. And yes, I believe I recall that a character in one of my novels used her apron in a way similar to these examples.

I don't think our kids know what an apron is. 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 that was 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.


  1. Marsha, I have come to be a faithful wearer of aprons. I don't know why it took me so long to discover them. My shirts sure last a lot longer and my chores get done quicker. I wear aprons with big pockets so that as I clean and come across small items that need to be put in their place, I just hold them in the pocket until I get to that room. No more putting something away and getting distracted by the cleaning that needs to be done in that room...and then not getting any rooms cleaned! Aprons can make a statement too. I made aprons with the kid's hand prints for my Grandma. When she passed away, I was given her aprons. The one with the most wear was the one with the hand prints. It made me shed tears of joy. You know what! I think I am going to make aprons for my family this year. Thanks Marsha!

  2. You're welcome. We can start an apron revolution, yes?

    How poignant that your grandmother best loved and used the apron with the hand prints. Good for you, Kari!

  3. I hate to cook; so the apron that someone gave us remained a decorative object on our pantry until this weekend. My niece who lives with us right now for school has declared an interest in cooking; and the first thing she did was put on the apron. All I could think was finally the poor thing gets to serve its purpose.

  4. Thanks for triggering a pre-school memory of an apron my mother made.

    When Mother left her scissors on the table and rushed to the stove to keep a pot from boiling over, I, her little helper, helped. I cut a nice big V into the folded material already cut out to be the front of a new red print apron. For some unknown reason, Mother did not praise me for my assistance. Instead, she looked aghast when she discovered it. Not one to waste cloth, and still needing an apron, she stewed for some time, then cut from the only scrap large enough, a nice, fat heart, put red bias tape around it, patched the hole, and sewed the bottom part of the heart over the patch to form a pocket.

    Mind, it hardly sat in a usual spot for pockets, but maybe somewhere another decorative pocket just off center and a little high could possibly have been in fashion. "It looks even better than I'd planned," Mother told me.

    Though I may have learned a lesson, I still felt a certain pride whenever Mother wore that 'heart' apron.


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