Sunday, May 15, 2016

"Grandmothers of Yesterday"

Many of you may not have a grandma that fits this category.
I share with you an article sent me by Tom...and hopefully, to some degree,
you'll gain 'respect for the apron'!

The concept I have of Grandmother Lily is not only of her 'old fashion methods' but that she wore purple a lot. So, when young, I associated this colour to be worn by 'old women'! Today it's a favourite colour of mine!

I don't think our kids today know what an apron is. The principle use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses (which had to be ironed)...and aprons used less material.

But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.
It was wonderful for drying children's tears ...and on occasion was even used for cleaning dirty ears.

From the chicken coup, 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 (from the woodhouse) 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 the hulls. In the fall, the apron was used to bring in the apples that had fallen from the orchard trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that apron could dust in a matter of seconds. When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch...waved her apron...and the men folk knew it was time to come in from the fields to the noon-hour dinner.

Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool.
Her grand daughters set their pies on the window sill to thaw.

Today, “Do-Gooders” would go crazy trying to figure out
how many germs were on that apron.
I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron...but Love!

My grandma baked her own bread...and cut it, holding against her chest...and never cut herself.
She cooked on a wood-burning stove that had to be lit each day.
Her stove heated water to wash or bathe or for hot drinks.
She churned her own butter...and made farmers cheese.

I could go on, but this was 'farm life'. City folk had it a mite easier perhaps; maybe didn't need the wood stove...but those aprons were still there. For those who didn't have a grandma like this...well, you did miss out on a very unique part of it was in those days!

Merle Baird-Kerr...written May 12, 2016
Comments or


  1. ROSEMARIE WRITES: "So True! As I was reading your blog,
    on visualization of the apron, I could visualize the uses so clearly."

  2. Yes, Rosemarie, we are the next generation...and I wonder how our children, when grown, visualize us!

  3. FROM MEG: "Thank you...that was a lovely reminder of years gone by. I didn't have a known grandmother, but I knew many ladies whom you describe."

  4. AS always, Meg, I appreciate your interest in my many written pleased they often retrieve memories that often are quickly forgotten.