Apron Chronicles

The other day while at the laundromat, I watched a woman walk in, carrying her basket of clothes. She wore a clean, light blue house dress with tiny floral print, and a crisp white apron with pockets was tied firmly around her waist. Her brown hair was pulled back into a low pony tail, but wisps of hair had escaped and fell forward. With wire rimmed glasses perched on her nose, she went about the business at hand of sorting the clothes, spraying any spots with stain remover, and putting the clothes in various washers. She poured bleach in, added some kind of powder detergent,  and went back and added something else. She was so involved with this job of washing clothes. It seemed important to her. And she seemed content. She probably wasn’t much older than me; yet she appeared older by the clothes she wore. It was a breath of fresh air, really, a reminder of simpler times, when my Mom wore a house dress and an apron and baked every single day.

I thought about how nice it would be to wear an apron, with roomy  pockets to collect all the things I'd find during the day, all the odds and ends, like a paper clip, pens, coins, etc.  The pockets would also a good place to keep a kleenex, especially during a bad cold!

I am a MESSY cook. I always seem to splash a little bit of this or that on my clothes as I stir, mix, or fold the ingredients. Grease splatters on my shirt, spaghetti sauce sputters, and fried eggs talk back! If I wore an apron I would save a LOT of clothes and heartache on laundry day! I keep saying that I will buy one, yet I never do.

In my post on Flashback Friday, I spoke about the Grace Museum in Abilene, Texas.

 Their visiting exhibition was this wonderful exhibit entitled, "Apron Chronicles". Two large ropes were hung criss-cross spanning the large room, with 300 aprons clothes-pinned to them!

Special Holiday aprons

With blurry eyes, a thick lump in my throat, and memories of my Mom weighing heavily on my mind, I gazed lovingly at the delicate pieces of fabric hanging before me. There were all kinds of aprons, from downright fancy that you wouldn't want to spill ANYTHING on, to everyday aprons.

The exhibit is based on the book, "Apron Chronicles" by EllynAnne Geisel.

EllynAnne collected stories in this wonderful little book about people and their relationship with aprons, their memories of their moms, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, etc., wearing aprons and the chores that they did like gathering eggs in the folds of the apron, sticking fresh picked vegetables in the pockets, wearing certain aprons for doing the washing, etc. Kristina Loggia took the photographs in the book, which are gorgeous.

The above photos of the aprons are courtesy of www.apronchronicles.com . No cameras were allowed in the exhibit. I recommend you click on the link to get a glimpse into the book, read some of the pages, and feel the warmth and love that this book exudes.

This video is a little long, but quite interesting, of the exhibit. Please watch it - you will surely enjoy it!

And finally, when my Mom died in 2000, I grabbed a couple of her old aprons, her banged up old measuring cups and some of her other cooking utensils, and put together a shadow box for all my siblings. I cut pieces of her apron and put it over a batting for the background, then placed a hand-written recipe card, a picture of Mom sitting in the kitchen, and some of the above pieces on the apron. Even though I am NOT a crafty person, I was happy with the way it turned out. My sister took this picture for me of her shadow box - mine is packed away. If you look closely, you can see that on the recipe card, my Dad added his two cents! It says, "Try 6 first".

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