Where's My Apron

What would I do without my aprons? They are an indispensable part of my homemaking equipment and I have a pile sitting in my pantry.

I use them to protect my clothes

Without aprons my clothes would be ruined. I have never been very good at working in good clothes. I have a dear friend who can paint in her high heels and Sunday clothes and not get a drop of paint on her. I am sure she is just as good in her kitchen. Not me. When I paint, I have paint all over me. When I work, I get stuck in, and invariably get dirty marks on my clothes. I don’t like to go around like a rag bag and therefore need an apron to cover me when working in the kitchen.

I have working aprons and pretty frilly aprons for special occasions although I rarely use my pretty aprons. They are part of my working tools.

When it is time for the meal, I take off my apron to sit at the table. If we have visitors coming, I throw it off as I hear their car coming in the drive. Now all my guests know my secret!

I use them to wipe my hands

I keep a towel hanging in my kitchen to wipe my hands. However, I find it much easier to wipe them on my apron. It is right on me and I don’t have to walk a step to do it. Consequently, my aprons become stained and dirty, but isn’t that what they are for!

For awhile I got into the habit of throwing my tea-towel over my shoulder on which I could wipe my hands as necessary while preparing food etc. One time I had to urgently pop down to Office Max to do some photocopying. I wondered why so many people looked very interestingly at me. I thought I must have looked very special that day until I got home and looked in the mirror. There was my dirty tea-towel draping across my shoulder!

I use them as a basket

Aprons are wonderfully convenient to go out to the garden to gather my harvest for supper--zucchini, cucumbers, squash, basil, tomatoes, lettuce, etc. All I have to do is lift up the bottom of my apron and I have a perfect basket to carry them inside. When gathering “things” that have accumulated upstairs and need to be taken down, once again, all I have to do is lift my apron to carry them all down. And if your apron has a pocket or two, they are even more versatile.

It is my symbol as Manager of my home

I do not put on my apron to sit around the house. I put on my apron to work. Although all our children have grown and have now established their own homes, we still currently have many others living with us living in the home and often extras beside that for the evening meal. I have great work to do. It is not insignificant. And when I put on my apron I am aware I am accomplishing good things.

There are young wives today who do not even own an apron. They are missing an important part of the baton that should have been passed on to them. Of course, you don’t need an apron when you don’t work in the home. You don’t need an apron to pop a microwave dinner in the microwave, get pre-packaged food out of the freezer, or open some tins of something for supper. However, when you prepare food from scratch as I do, you need an apron.

Aprons are symbolic of hearth and home. Sandy Driver writes: “The symbol of homemaking most vividly emblazoned in my memory is bright yellow with four large black and white polka dot pockets lining the front. Mother made it from scraps early in her domestic career to hold lots of wooden clothespins. She called it her "hanging out clothes apron" and never dared cook a meal with it on.

"It's too ragged," she said with a discerning look. I would have gladly worn it all day long because it smelled like sunshine and felt like home. When I wrapped those strings around my waist, I was a Mommy, which was every little girl's dream in that long ago era. I loved to fill the empty pockets with crayons, rubber balls and little metal jacks while our sheets and socks blew in the afternoon breeze.

“When my aunt Mamie died a few years back, I added one of her green flowered aprons to my nostalgic collection. It was my daughter's favorite when she was a toddler and she insisted on wearing it whenever she played with her assortment of dolls, even though the big wide strings wrapped around her tiny body three times. "I have to wear an apron to be the Mommy," she proclaimed. I have taught her well.”

A lady named Maggie writes: “I wear my aprons every day now I have come to believe they are like lacy bits of lingerie, only worn on the outside, and quite a bit more respectable. When I put on my aprons the children mind me better, wandering visitors immediately know my role as a stay at home mom. Fred thinks I look cute as a button, and neighbor children hug me more often.

“I like my aprons. They have changed my life, raising my standards, inspiring me to greater feats of home making skills, and making me more effective as a parent. Whoever thought that a dollar’s worth of fabric and lace could effect so many changes on one woman and one family?”

Terry Leib writes:“Woven into the cloth of an apron are unseen threads of a sweet feminine spirit, a spirit of meekness, humility and contentment. That little flap of frilly, feminine fabric tied around a woman’s waist symbolized her acceptance of her role and duties. It was her badge of honor, and represented submission to God, and to her husband. Without saying one word, or one syllable, it shouted, “I am a woman, made from a man. My place is at home, guiding the house, loving my husband, loving my children, teaching my children to love, honor and obey God by my example in obeying God’s Word and my own husband.” Its strings gently tug at us, tenderly, softly calling us to turn back to the old ways, the Biblical ways of order in the home.”

At the turn of the century, children could identify the days of the weeks by the different apron their mother wore each day. I have aprons that tie at the waist and barbecue style aprons, but one of my favorites was given to me by a lady who attended an Above Rubies Retreat. It is one that completely covers my clothes. I think she made it from Simplicity Pattern #3064 B.

Apart from putting on my material apron, I am challenged to put on the attitude apron. 1 Peter 5:5 Williams says, “You must all put on the servant’s apron of humility to one another, because God opposes the haughty but bestows His unmerited favor on the humble.” The apron is an emblem of servanthood. It’s good to not only put on our apron, ready to work hard in the home, but to have the same attitude in our hearts. When we wear the servant’s apron of humility, no task will seem too menial or too difficult to accomplish.

Reprinted from Above Rubies # 65. Above Rubies is a magazine to bring strength and encouragement to marriage, motherhood and family life.


The principle use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath, but along with that, it served as a holder for removing hot pans from the oven. It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and, on occasion, was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven. When company came those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy children. And when the weather was cold, Grandma wrapped it around her arms. Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls. In the fall the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees. When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds. When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that “old-time apron” that served so many purposes.


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