I recently visited Forks, Washington during their Hickory Shirt Days celebration. To my delight, the walls of the new Rain Forest Arts Center were adorned with aprons. Not just a few but lots of aprons. As I wandered along the walls I realized that aprons provide a journey into our pasts.
My maternal grandmother always wore an apron. She used it to gather eggs from the hen-house, lettuce and spinach from the garden, and to protect her Sunday dress while she prepared Sunday dinner.
My paternal grandmother also wore aprons. But, for her making aprons was an art form. She made gingham aprons with fabulous cross stitch designs and she made embroidered aprons with birds, flowers and all manner of kitchen utensils.
My mother also had her collection of utility aprons, but she didn’t live on the farm like Grandma Bochman and she led a much more social life than Grandma Jensen. Mother’s aprons included aprons made for special occasions. She had little sheer aprons that were a rectangle of net or organdy with a ribbon tie. These were often used to serve punch and cake at weddings or Woman’s Club teas. She also had aprons made from holiday prints. Aprons of reds and greens were always available for anyone who came to help with Christmas dinner.
My favorite apron is a crocheted apron made by my late Aunt. It is far too pretty to wear. But it is a wonderful reminder of growing up in the 1950’s.
What memories do aprons conjure up for you?