I have very special memories of both of my grandmothers. I was very blessed to know and love them and have that love returned.
My Grandmother Horan was my mother’s mother. She was an amazing, intelligent, funny, self-sufficient woman in a man’s world. In another time and place, she could have been a CEO for a large corporation or a dynamic political figure like Eleanor Roosevelt. But she only finished the fourth grade in school; and when her mother passed away giving birth to her stillborn thirteenth baby, Grandmother was 16 years old, helping to care for nine younger brothers and sisters in Cobb County, Georgia.
A year later, the family moved to Cedartown, and at 17, she went to work in a cotton mill making 50 cents a week. On her first payday, she purchased a small New Testament. She was a self-taught Bible scholar who wrote beautiful notes in her Bible, memorized long passages of scripture, and quizzed me with Bible questions when I was a little girl so that her influence still reverberates within my soul. She taught me to love God’s word and to be happy when good things happen to other people.
My Grandmother Smith was my dad’s mother. When I was a little girl, she was a prim and proper preacher’s wife and full-time homemaker whose snow-white hair was never out of place; a woman who whistled while she worked. There was never a speck of dust to be seen in their home. She washed and ironed their white ruffled organdy curtains six times a year. Beds were made up every day, and you wouldn’t find dirty clothes anywhere! My granddaddy wore hand-washed, starched and ironed dress shirts every single day. Only when she was dressed for church would you see her without an apron, usually made with flour sacks, to protect her cotton house dress.
Dementia stole her from us. She didn’t know me the last time I saw her before she passed away. But I recently ran across an article that reminded me of her. I want to share it with you. God bless!
This is precious. I don’t think our kids know what an apron is.
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 kids. 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.
“Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.”