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On the Apron Strings of a Southern Woman

Updated on July 22, 2012

On the Apron Strings of a Southern Woman

Nowadays, most women work outside the home. But thirty years ago, this was not as common as it is today. Women who lived in the south did work very hard (just not at a paying job outside the home.) But they were rewarded beyond measure with the jobs they performed within the home. A smile on her husband's face after eating a well-cooked meal and pink teacup roses she had grown made into a corsage for her daughter's first piano recital were rewards that she held deeply in her heart. She didn't need for it to be verbalized to know how much she was appreciated.

Just how hard a southern woman worked could only be understood by another southern woman. Often times, they would meet and share recipes and many times during canning season, they would help each other with this task. The children would run and play in the front yard and maybe, if they were good, they would get a scoop of ice cream in the afternoon.

I grew up the child and grandchild of two hard working southern women. My favorite times were playing out under the big oak tree in the front yard. My grandmother would set up her wooden quilting horses and drape a blanket over the top to make a tent. I just thought that was the best thing. My great grandmother was not in the best health so she could not help with the canning and cooking any longer so her main job was sitting with me in the front yard. One time when we were sitting out under that tree, a snake fell into her lap from one of the tree limbs. After breaking both hips, my granny didn't move so fast anymore but let me tell you, she didn't waste any time in jumping up out of that chair to get that snake off her lap. I can still hear her hollering to this day and that was 40 years ago.

In the evenings, it was a treat to go outside and catch lightning bugs in a jar. We would bring the jar inside and watch it for hours. Of course, we always let them go before going to bed. But the best part of the evening was crawling up in momma's lap for that little bit of snuggle time before being tucked into bed. Now, we didn't have an air conditioner. All we had was a window fan. I can tell you that by morning time, that window fan was enough. We would be reaching for the blanket by morning.

Then our day started all over again. We always knew momma was going to be there. She knew our cries when we were hurt. She let us lick the batter bowl when she made a cake. She gave us a hug when we needed it but she also swatted our legs with a peach tree switch when we had done something wrong. But we still loved her! As a southern woman, her jobs were never done. She never complained about it. She got up every morning, started again and finished the jobs that didn't get finished the day before and started a few new ones.

I grew up on the apron strings of a southern woman and I wouldn't trade one minute of it! Well, maybe I 'd trade the peach tree switches to ones padded with cotton........


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