Do you remember what Grandmother’s used to look like? My Grandmother Pearl was about my age or just a few years older when I was spending time with her as a child, but she looked like what I thought a Grandmother should look like.
In this picture she was about 68, but she looked like this when she was in her 50’s. She wore the granny shoes that had the 1½-inch heel and were always black, and they laced up. Her hair was gray and she wore it in a little bun on the back of her head.
Then there was the ever-present apron. She had two styles that she liked, but the one she wore the most was like a cobbler apron. It always had a ruffle around the bottom, and a couple of huge pockets in it.
She also had regular aprons, which she made, usually out of gingham and she always did a cross-stitch design on them. Her aprons always covered her dress all the way down to the hem.
If you ask the kids of today, I doubt very many of them would know what an apron was. The principle use of Grandmother’s apron was to protect the dress underneath. But it also served as a potholder to remove hot pans from the stove. She would wrap it around the handle of the pan a couple of times or fold it over to take something out of the oven.
Then it worked great to wipe a perspiring brow after being bent over the stove or reaching in the oven. It also worked great as a giant fan to cool her off when it was hot out. She would grab the hem of it on both sides and flail it up and down to cool herself off.
The hem of the apron was wonderful for drying grandchildren’s tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears. When she saw company drive in the drive, it was amazing how much furniture that old apron could dust before they got to the door. When company came it was an ideal hiding place for shy kids.
When it was cold and she was on the porch saying goodbye when you were leaving, she would wrap it around her arms to keep warm. Who needed a coat when she had the apron?
In the garden she would pick the beans or peas, and fill up the apron, and then carry them to the back porch where she would shell or snap them. She would sit and take the peas or beans right out of the apron as she snipped off the end of the beans or removed the peas from the pod.
The pods or bean tips would fall back into the apron and she would put the beans or peas in a bowl. Then the old apron carried out the hulls or bean tips to the trash. It was also great for carrying in the fallen fruit from trees, or eggs from the chicken house.
My Grandmother was always wearing an apron, unless she was on the way to church. She took it off as she went out the door, and it was the first thing she put on after coming home.
The only other time she would not be wearing the apron was when we were taking pictures and we could coax her into the picture. Even when she went to town to shop she always had it on, but everyone wore them, so she fit right in.
It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace Grandmother’s apron that served so many purposes. To email Sandy; [email protected]