Monday, April 09, 2012

My Grandmother's Apron!

Below is a remembrance written more than 100 years ago by Sandra's paternal grandmother, Cecil May Richardson, about her grandmother, Phoebe Richardson. Cecil's mother died when she was just 2 and she was raised by her grandmother. I saw this for the first time recently and was struck by its loving, simple authenticity, evoking a time and a place and a relationship with life that is too often lost in today's world.

Phoebe Richardson was born in 1832. While she Cecil were 19th century people, their values are timeless.

My Grandmother's Apron

Just a scrap of cloth, blue and white check
or maybe flowered instead,
Gathered at the top, hemmed at the bottom
Sometimes matching a sunbonnet she wore on her head.

A basket she made as she sat in the shade
'Neath an apple tree there by the well
Of the apron she wore with a bow in the back,
As she gathered the hem in her hand.

Oh the apron my grandmother wore
Made a bonnet and cape for a doll
That she'd make from a worn paisley shawl.

Then she made it warm from the oven's heat,
And tucked it in bed - and I was
warm from my head to my feet.

Apples, pears, peaches, apricots,
red currants (she made into jell)
Ripe purple grapes-my goodness sakes,
The things that apron could hold,
And the stories that apron could tell.

Hay for the cow, weeds for the pig,
Corn for the chicks-they paid her in eggs
which she carried home in that apron so big.

It was a lifesaver too for baby chicks that had strayed
And got caught in the shade of weeds that grew tall
When the summer rain came quick and soaked each little chick,
Till more dead than alive, they were searched for
and found-then tucked in the folds of the apron she wore.

There they shivered and shook while she gently took
them into her kitchen small,
And tucked them in from their tails to their chin
And covered them with a scrap of that old paisley shawl.

Then with a wiggle and squirm and a peep and a peck,
Each chick, dry and warm was gathered up then
And taken to their mother, the hen,
In the gathered up apron my grandmother wore.

A stove lid lifter, pot holder, a duster too,
So many things with that apron she would do,
That apron with the bow in the back that my grandmother wore.

Memories of her Grandmother by Cecil May Richardson


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