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My Grandmother's Apron

Updated on August 23, 2012

Memories to Cherish

Recently, my mother gave me one of my grandmother's aprons. You see, I recently learned to sew. Sewing was an art that I had yet to master. My husband had given me a sewing machine as a Christmas gift knowing that I was eager to try my hand at sewing. Upon receiving the gift, I asked my mother, a former recipient of the Betty Crocker Homemaker Award, for a few sewing lessons, and pretty soon I was on my way!

Now, back to the apron. I mentioned to my mother that I was looking for sewing projects and mentioned the possibility of making aprons. While rummaging through her collection of aprons and looking for ideas, my mom happened upon an apron that once belonged to my grandmother. Knowing how much I love retro and vintage items, she passed the apron on to me. What makes the apron extra special is that it was made by my grandmother's hands. When I tie it around my waist, it is as if she is still holding me in her embrace.

I lost my both of my grandmothers over 30 years ago, but I can still remember them. I can also remember the influence that they had on my life. When I think about my grandmothers, I remember their aprons. I guess it is easy for me to remember this feature about them because when you are six years old, you are only waist high to most adults. I also remember that the aprons always had pockets on the front for tissues, handkerchiefs or hard candy. I especially remember the hard candy!

My Grandmother Parrish lived with us, and my childhood memories are filled with her presence. I remember that she would read the Bible every afternoon. Sometimes, I would crawl into her lap while she read to me. I can also remember her working in the kitchen making homemade biscuits, sitting in the basement at her quilting loom, or helping my mother can and freeze vegetables from our garden.

Thinking about the aprons has made me realize that aprons are not as important to women as they once were. Back in the day, aprons weren't for just keeping your clothes clean. An apron served as a makeshift bucket for gathering tomatoes, cucumbers, apples, pears, or peaches. Likewise, an apron could be used to hold eggs from the chicken coop. The apron could also be used to shoo the errant chicken that may have escaped from the coop.

Yes, my mother has passed a real treasure on to me. I don't have any children. If I did, I wonder what memories they would have of me. What would my "apron" be for them? With this thought in mind, I believe that I will start making aprons to sell at our local farmer's market next spring. Perhaps I will create an apron that will make a sweet memory for another child thirty years from now. Memories are made to cherish even if they are memories of an old, handmade apron.


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