11/26/2009

Retro Musings

























I think that our Moms had it right.

Faith, Country, Family, and Home. In whatever order they choose, and however they chose to impart these values, there was no question of priority, no pull between having it all, wanting it all, and going out and buying it all. That may be the rose-colored glasses view, because the ladies whose name was simply Mom in days gone by had a far more difficult homemaking life than we women do today, but I think, for the most part, their heads were on far more squarely than I think ours are today.

Today, having it all means two incomes, a Mom working 40-60 hours a week at the office, then 40-60+ hours at the "office at home", worrying about illnesses with kids (and how it affects work), pushing through homework (which has increased exponentially in the last 20 years), and all of the other sundry items that cause a household to run. Without question, these sundry items are usually handled by Mom.

But I digress, although not too far.

One of the things that Mom's had right in days gone by, was the use of an apron. I am not the only one who realizes this, there are a TON of places online discussing women returning to what was once a staple and uniform of the Mom and housewife. (The Hillbilly Housewife has an interesting dissertation on just this topic).

The apron was a catch-all for everything that she needed during the day. Protection of her clothes from dirty dishwater or cleaning solutions, a quick pot holder if needed, a fast dishtowel/hand towel, (most times) a pocket to stash small little toys that made there way into rooms where they don't belong, or even an accessory to her outfit when hosting friends and families.

I have spent much time in the kitchen over the past few months. Cooking up a storm, and of course, cleaning up a storm after all that cooking. As such, I have battled many a stain on my clothes (caramel for apples comes to mind!!), and have been coveting an apron to help me stop the "madness" in the laundry center and kitchen.

Early on in the coveting process, I had no idea that aprons were making any kind of comeback. Thinking that aprons were "old school", I picked up a pattern at the local Wally World to make one. The pattern still sits near my sewing machine (along with a really cute fabric), falling into the category of "Someday" - as in "when I am finally laid off, I will get around to it!".

But, I guess because I am looking, I now see aprons everywhere. Walmart. Kmart (where I found this one and liked it so much that I purchased it last night, which means, of course, that it is on sale today!). I see them in artisan stores, out at Shipshewana, the list goes on.

I invite you to take another look at the picture that started this post. No, this isn't a stock photo, sniped from somewhere online. It is a photo that I took in my own kitchen. The plaque is one of my favorite biblical quotes (Joshua!), and the apron that is hanging from the plaque? One I purchased at a Amish Store just outside of town.

Enjoying more modern design, I am not typically an "I like crafties" person, but I saw this apron and just had.to.have.it. Not because I was (and AM) coveting aprons, although that would be a good enough reason, I would think. But because of the pattern used for the pinafore portion of the apron. Look closely, and you may notice that it is a Cathedral Window pattern.

The Cathedral Window pattern strikes love in the heart of all things Mrs. Oz (as well as a few of her siblings, I am sure). For 30 years, or perhaps even more, we watch my mom carefully craft Cathedral Window blocks for a quilt that, unfortunately, was never completed by her prior to her heading off to her reward in Heaven. During piano lessons for my sis, Mom would sit in the hallway at the University of Toledo and sew the small blocks. During doctors appointments, she would sit in the waiting room and sew small blocks. During hospital stays by children and her spouse alike, she would sit and sew small blocks. In between other quilts - wedding, baby, gift - she would sit and sew small blocks. Upon her death, these completed quilt blocks, along with more squares and windows that Mom had pre-cut by the (seemingly) thousands, were given to her daughter-in-law - an incredible seamstress and quilter - to complete as she saw fit.

Upon seeing this design (in purple, not blue with green accents like Mom's), I truly had to have it - and it became mine. And also became my very first apron.

So, in a throwback to our Mothers' days, I have been wearing it in the kitchen - an apron that reminds me of one simple premise - from a woman who has long since passed (and whom I can only remember wearing aprons on limited occasions) - Faith, Country, Family and Home. All of these things that an apron represents. Outside of clean clothes that is.

Like I said - I think our Moms had it right.

1 comment:

DF said...

I looked at the pic and asked K if you had received the Cathedral Window Quilt mom was doing. She said no, but that picture took me back quite a way.

K continues to work on the quilt periodically, but there is not enough of the fabric to make a complete CW "only" quilt. Some improvization will be needed to finish it