Tag Archives: aprons



The unofficial uniform of the Southern lady…

Granny had a uniform of sorts. She always wore an apron. ALWAYS. Even when old age and ill health prevented her from cooking or doing other household tasks, her daily uniform consisted of a dress made by Aunt Ruby, stockings rolled to her knees, clunky old-lady shoes, and a bib-style apron. The ones I remember were printed fabrics, and they had pockets. I thought that was the best thing ever. I still do. All garments should have pockets.


The apron has fallen into and out of favor and fashion over the years, for numerous reasons. But its function cannot be disputed. Whether it is a purely utilitarian model or a frilly ruffled number, the apron still serves the purpose of protecting the wearer’s clothing from kitchen and household spills, cleaning solvents, dirt and messes of all kinds, from sticky little-kid handprints to paint spatters when that furniture refinishing project goes a little sideways.

But there’s more. For me, an apron represents comfort. The fabric of Granny’s apron was always well-worn, soft and gentle against my cheek when she used it to wipe away a smudge, or a tear, from my face. And those pockets held all kinds of wonders…tissues, a tiny pencil, random rubber bands or pieces of string, a piece of butterscotch candy.

Decades after Granny had died, when Aunt Martha passed away, we were going through her belongings to decide what should go into the estate sale and what should be distributed among family members. Stowed in a drawer, in their original packaging, were two old-fashioned bib-style aprons, no doubt from Granny’s belongings when she died in 1973. Those treasures found a home with me. I don’t bake or cook as often as I would like, but when I dive into a messy kitchen project, I don The Uniform like Granny did before me. And I use her sifter and rolling pin, tools that passed from her, to Mama, to me. And I give thanks.


The Song Of My People


My kind of Southern…

A Facebook quiz recently asked, “How Southern Are You?”, and several friends of mine had taken the quiz and shared their results.  I was curious about the questions and what my percentage might be, so I took the quiz.  I had done 19 of the 36 things listed, giving me a paltry 53% Southern score.  I was disappointed until I realized how limited the quiz was in its scope.

This whole thing started me thinking about what “Southern” really means, realizing that it varies by state, region and individual.  My reflections on Southern-ness are unique to me even though many other people will have shared the same experiences.  So, if I may wax rhapsodic for a few minutes, I would like to share a bit of what being Southern means to me.



The song of my people

is dinner on the grounds and

breakfast for supper


front porch swings and rocking chairs

and the squeak of Granny’s old aluminum


always moving

never going



aprons dusted with biscuit flour and

women like Southern tea

sweet and strong


white-glove gentility and

hard-nosed grit


I can talk about my family

any way I like

but you

you best not


cast iron skillet and mason jar

vessels of promise


fifth Sunday hymn service

and shouts from the Amen corner

the song of my people