Category Archives: In the Village
Aprons enjoy a long and illustrious history, as a protective garment, as a fashion accessory and to indicate status. The word ‘apron’ comes from the French word ‘naperon’ meaning little tablecloth.
Soldiers of the French Foreign Legion wore leather aprons as part of their ceremonial dress and Egyptian pharaohs wore jeweled-encrusted aprons.
Distinctive aprons could also indicate a man’s trade. English barbers wore checkered aprons. Stonemasons wore white aprons to protect their clothing from the white dust created by their tools on the stone. Cobblers wore black to protect garments from the black wax used on shoes. Butchers wore blue stripes. Butlers wore green aprons. Blue was commonly worn by weavers, spinners and gardeners.
Native Americans wore aprons for practical and ceremonial reasons. The early American colonists often wore aprons. People of that era owned few garments and had to protect and keep them as clean as possible.
Aprons became very popular in the 20th Century as the icon of the perfect housewife. It signified a cozy kitchen and enough food for everyone. Aprons were often the first garment made by someone learning to sew. They could be simple and tough or delicate and attractive fashion accessories.
Homemade aprons were a popular use of fabric remnants and made welcome gifts or sale items at church bazaars. Aprons can be made of cotton, muslin, linen, canvas, leather, rubber or lead. The apron has long been a symbol of generosity and hospitality.
My mother wore an apron every day of her life. It served, of course, to protect her clothing from spills and dirt. She cooked, cleaned house and did laundry in that apron.
As I look back now, I see that her apron had many other functions as well. It was a washcloth to clean a dirty child’s face and a towel to dry wet hands. It was a potholder to remove a hot pan from the stove or oven and it wiped many a sweaty brow on a hot summer day.
Mother’s apron could be used as a fan to cool you down or wrap around your arms to warm you up. It could be used to clean a surface when needed in a hurry or dry a plate for an extra setting.. It was an all around tool that could be used wet or dry, for everyday or holiday. It was always there, always available, always the right choice.
Some of mother’s aprons were plain and worn to the bone, some were fancy with ruffles and lace, some were homemade, some were gifts. All of them were used for the proper occasion or event. Several of the aprons were even holiday specific. She employed and enjoyed them all.
When I got married, mother saw to it that I got several aprons as shower gifts. She saw it as her duty to get me started off right in the “domestic household” department.
Today I wear an apron when I cook. It just seems the right thing to do. Every time I put on my apron, I think of mother and her apron.
And I smile.
It’s Never Too Late
My daughter just recently told me the most exciting thing. Her biggest regret in life has always been that she was never able to march in a DCI Corp. She absolutely adores music, marching and performing with a flag.
As a family, we have followed Drum Corps and loved it for over thirty-five years, so she comes by her addiction naturally.
A few months ago, one corps, celebrating a sixty-fifth anniversary, issued an invitation to alumni, other corps members and anyone interested to join a performance at the International Finals this year. Well, my daughter was certainly interested and applied. She was accepted and will be performing with a Drum Corps this year.
Her all time wish has been granted! Her excitement is beyond belief for a middle-aged woman fulfilling a dream she has had since she was a teenager.
And as she said to me – it’s never too late!
How true that is! A dream is a dream until it has a deadline and then it becomes a goal. A goal then requires action to become a plan. My sweetie has graduated to a plan from a dream after thirty-five years.
She never gave up. She never lost hope. She never let her dream fade. And Voila! She is going to be living her dream day this August in Indianapolis.
My son-in-law wanted to fly since he was a little boy. He couldn’t see how that could ever happen when he was growing up. It seemed too far away to ever become a reality for him.
As an adult he finally had the time and the finances and began taking flying lessons. One at a time, step by step, over the years, he progressed to the point where he qualified for an Airline Transport Pilot rating.
And one day, he was hired by a Regional air carrier. It wasn’t too late after all! He could fly for a living, revel in his dream and support his family, all at the same time. He was one happy soul.
Living your dream brings a joy like nothing else, even if it comes after years of hoping and wishing. Maybe even more so because of the years of hoping and wishing.
The secret is to keep the ambition alive in your soul. Keep feeding it with hope and possibility. Never let it die. Never let it disappear. Never let the negative words in your head convince you it will not happen.
Because it is never too late!
Such good advice for a new year. My sweeties, you are all worth believing in!!!
Granny’s Ridiculous New Year’s Resolutions
- Will lose weight and keep it off.
- Will remember to send cards for each of my family and friends’ birthdays and anniversaries.(Because of course, my memory will be getting better, not worse this year.)
- Will eat a salad everyday. (Yuck!)
- Will finish one quilt before I start another. (Hah! Like that’s going to really happen!)
- Will never disagree with my husband.
- Will not lie. (See #5)
- Will lose weight again and keep it off. (Pardon me a moment while I laugh right here!)
- Will share control of the TV remote. (Really?)
- Will never go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink. (Not even a single glass?)
- Will keep all my resolutions all year. (See #6)
I don’t know about you, but I have been so busy these past few weeks. Always looking at the next thing on my list – what comes next – what is ahead. Constantly peering forward. Hardly paying any attention to what I’m doing.
To stay on time, I have to hurry, which means I have to be early. Rush, rush, rush. That’s the name of the Christmas game. Get everything done and get it done fast.
Who cares how you feel while you’re doing it, right? Just get the stuff done! Oh my, I’m exhausted just thinking about it, much less doing it.
I can hardly remember everything I’ve accomplished this last month or two. I don’t remember having very much fun and I don’t remember . . . well, I hardly remember at all.
And that’s the sad part, isn’t it?! I can’t remember being in the moment for any of it. My mind has always been a step ahead, going to the next task. My body was performing one task while my mind was performing another.
Always there was that disconnect because I was never really there to enjoy any of my Christmas. It has been very forgettable and exhausting at the same time. So this year I’ve decided to slow down and take one task at a time, mindfully. I’m going to be present for my Christmas Day. I want it to be a conscious Christmas where I notice details, little things and nuances.
I want to remember everything – bits and pieces, words, looks and touches. I don’t want to miss a thing, not anything. Every precious moment I want to savor and record as a memory. Faces, tastes, smells, lights, songs, laughs, hugs, warmth, everything the day has to offer, I want to enjoy and memorize.
Being aware of the present truly makes the future easier and less hectic. You really don’t have to be early for all your deadlines. Be brave. Be fearless.
Live for now. Look around. See what and who is there. Make a memory. Be present.
Welcome to Christmas inside my head! It’s like this every year! Merry Christmas my sweeties!