Monday, September 5, 2011

Apron Strings

There's just something about sewing that gets your creative juices flowing. I just made a kilt for my husband and it lead me to pull out other items that needed to be repaired or tweaked or remade. I'm a sucker for fabric and I've even been known to buy clothing at Goodwill just because the fabric is wonderful. I buy wool sweaters there too and bring them home to felt them in the washer and dryer. It's exciting to see what you're going to get. No sweater is alike in the way it felts. Sometimes you luck up and get a wonderfully tight beautiful weave, and sometimes it's just so-so. Steve sometimes wonders what will become of all my sewing projects. I have a collection of finished my mind. One day there will be time for hours of cutting and sewing and altering. But for now I have to tackle the little projects. Like aprons.

I have become interested in creating aprons here lately. I find myself out in the yard with a dozen or so chicken and duck eggs or a handful of peppers or tomatoes in desparate need of a big pocket. I also tend to have wet hands and need a towel to wipe them dry, usually using my shorts...ugh!

Aprons lost their charm during the liberation of feminist movement. They were seen as a uniform of the socially opressed and utterly downcast woman who was destined to live out her life stuck in neutral on the homefront. I mean really, what could be more exciting than new found freedoms out there 'over the rainbow?' So the delicate apron was cast aside like a 70's bra burning and trampled under foot as women stampeded out to the work place in search of new found freedom.

I have been around long enough to see the apron come full circle. Freedom we got, empowerment we felt, but time marched on and a longing set in that women didn't expect. A longing for home and family. A longing for making their castle a beautiful place of rest and relaxation. Longing to nurture, to love, to be loved, and to grow up the children that God placed in our protection. I've have lived it all. I haved worked my way through school, and college, twice. I have had a promising career. I have created a stay at home business, homeschooled my kids for 7 years, changed diapers, driven the carpool, continued to grow as an artist, and the list goes on and on.

As empowered as I have felt in the workforce, nothing compares to keeping the home fires burning. Nothing is as fulfilling as putting nurishing meals on the table for my family and being there for them when they need me. I can't point to a single time in my life that I have been more excited about than right now. As I teach my children to read, write, reason, think on their own, and do math I have the satisfaction that I was the one who did that. As we raise our own meat, vegetables, and fruits it makes me see how great a responsibility this really is. As I care for our farm animals and grow them up from babies I love seeing the characters they become. So, here I am in the new millinium and I don my apron with pride. I even have an apron that belonged to my grandmother. It has hand smocking at the top and I wonder to what era in time that belongs. Who was president? What was the cost of gas? Was she pregnant? Did she string beans in it? Did she smock it herself or was it a gift from a crafty friend?

We also have a favorite apron in our family. When Steve and I were newly married we stopped on the way home from college one night for dinner. The place was Rocky Bobocky's Pizza in Atlanta. It was packed and we had to park around back. When we came out there was an apron laying in the mud by my door. Being poor, we were always on the lookout for roadside treasures. It took 7 washings to get all the mud out, but it is the most comfortable apron we have. It is white linen and worn to a wonderful softness. It's only fault: there isn't a pocket! Perhaps another project lies in it's destiny.

These days aprons are coming back with a vengence. They are frilly, classy, dressy, cozy, plain, for men, designer, and good enough to wear out on the town, not that I would;) I even saw some in a magazine that looked like cocktail dresses!

Aprons: on the rise, even in Urban settings, or so I hear. Long live the apron, and womanhood, and the need for big pockets. Long live those women who are still exploring the work place, and those who have found their way home. Long live choices that we didn't always have.

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