I grew up with my Mom wearing aprons. Some of her aprons were used for everyday work like cooking, baking or canning. Some were fancier and reserved for special occasions like serving guests for a Sunday or holiday meal. My fondest memory was of her handmade red and green one that she wore every Christmas.

Grandma Dubs (mom’s mother) wore an apron too, the kind of apron with wide straps that went over the shoulders, and with deep, large pockets. We’ve often wondered what she kept in those pockets. Was it her hankie, money for the market, medicine for the cows’ eyes, her pocket Bible? She used her apron for carrying eggs, chips and kindling wood for the fire, all sorts of vegetables like a half- bushel of snap beans or three-dozen ears of corn. Grandma’s apron was part of her farm attire!

Later in life, when Grandma was in her 90’s, she would still wear her apron, puttering around the house and out in her yard. She’d wipe the perspiration from her face and fan herself with it. She’d tuck her napkin into it like a bib before eating a meal.

I’ve followed suit. After my Mom passed away, Dad let us girls go through her closet and divide up her tablecloths and aprons. The white islet apron was my favorite, especially for entertaining! While in the kitchen my apron is the great protector, as the original use of an apron was to protect the dress underneath. But along with that it served as a holder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It’s a new day and age where aprons may not be used in the same way or even as often, but I’ve learned that aprons are not just accessories! Even though there seems to be a new trend in fashion of cute, hip and fun aprons, they each have their own story, as memories fill my mind each time I tie them around my waist. My bright pink dingle-berry one reminds me of my friend Anne who brought it back from New York, and my Valentines apron reminds me of my friend Barb, and her daughter Joy, who sewed it for me! I also love my see-through holly Christmas apron that I got at Hoppi’s garage sale. And then there is the blue Pampered Chef apron that I wore into over 150 kitchens. That one got washed the most!

I have a servant’s mentality when I wear an apron and my whole family reaps the benefits of my hands at work.

My prayer is that what Mom taught me, and what Grandma Dubs taught Mom, will flow over to my children and ultimately the next generation, as they see me working cheerfully in my aprons.