Thursday, December 4, 2008
Both my grannies wore an apron. Usually made from a feed sack, sometimes from cotton that she got from a bolt at Grace Gibbs store. Granny Hunter wore her apron tied around the waist. Granny Doshey wore the kind that had a top part with a strap that went around her neck and also tied at the waist. The apron had a pocket where her handkerchief was kept. I’ve had many a tear wiped with the hankerchief, my face washed with a dab of water on the tip and scrubbed. I remember the tears being wiped away and everything that hurt a child was also wiped away.
Granny’s old apron was used every day, wiping the flour from her hands as she made the morning biscuits, holding the handle of a hot pot she lifted off the wood cook stove, or wrapped around the stove eye lifter as she added more wood to the cookstove.. She wiped the sweat with the bottom of her apron as she worked day after day in the field, it held her “gatherings” as she walked around the farm. Eggs from the henhouse, apples from the old tree above the barn, walnuts from the tree next to the rock wall in back of the house. We’d walk out to the garden and granny would gather the vegetables for supper. We’d grabble a few new potatoes, fresh corn, tomatoes and an onion. All placed in a special place in her old apron. She would sit in the old rocking chair and string beans, letting the strings fall into the cup of the old apron.
Granny and I loved to go to the woods in back of the house and gather roots, leaves and herbs for her pharmacy of cures that she kept in jars in the attic. When we got back to the house and put the treasures away, we would sit on the porch and she would get out her box of Garrett Snuff which she kept in her apron pocket. The smell of branch mint, beech leaves and bitterroot mixed together with Garretts Snuff and horehound candy strike a memory in my mind of simpler times, quiet times and times when an apron was the mainstay of women’s wardrobe.
The print of “Granny’s Hands” by Jill Pritchett (Kilihill@mtnart.com) takes me back to my granny, her apron, her beautiful hands and the times gone by.