Aprons, a journey into our pasts–

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?100_2324






What do you think?

Life is full of surprises.  Recently I heard that the Western Flyer, the boat that John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts chartered in 1940 for their journey into the Gulf of California, was in the Port Townsend boatyard just an hour from where I live.  In the Log from The Sea of Cortez, Steinbeck and Ricketts describe the boat:

was new and comfortable and clean….

…The engine-room floor was clean and all the tools polished and hung in their places….

Steinbeck boat 1

I had great expectations.  I started out on an adventure.  I was looking forward to exploring not just a historical boat, but a boat of literary historical significance.  The Log from The Sea of Cortez is Steinbeck’s account of this journey.

As you can see, I should have done my homework first.  The boat had been sitting in Anacortes, Washington.  Its current nickname was The Gemini.  Unfortunately before it made its way to the Port Townsend Boatyard it sunk not once but twice.  When I arrived in Port Townsend, this is what I found.

The current owner had hoped to make the boat a hotel centerpiece in Steinbeck’s hometown of Salinas California.  What do you think?



She was a splendid boat

Until she ruptured a plank

And then she sank.

And needed more than a

Jackass to get her afloat.

Three word Wednesday:  Jackass; rupture; splendid.