Nanny and her momma Miss Lottie both wore aprons,
especially when preparing a meal; it was basically made to
protect your clothing from splatters while working in the
kitchen but contrary to old southern rules, there are industrial
ones for everyday wear and nicer ones to show off on holidays.
You can purchase new aprons in some specialty stores and find
vintage ones at yard sales and online at site that sell
everything from junk to antiquities.
Nanny made her aprons from scraps of dresses she
produced from her endless set of paper patterns, and completed
them on her trusty old sewing machine; in the early years it was
an old foot pump model but when I was about ten years old
Granddaddy Scott surprised her with a brand new Singer machine.
She enjoyed the modern Singer model and became an expert at
working button holes.
There was a learning curve but Nanny was
determined to efficiently operate the new electric model and
insisted that I watch the process in hopes that I might one day
became the accomplished seamstress she and her mother were.
Sadly, I do not remember many of those lessons but I still have
a great amount of appreciation for those who are able to fashion
Nanny pinned her creations and my job was to
remove the pins as Nanny patiently sewed the seams and hems; she
cautioned me to be careful not to get in the way of the "foot"
and put all those pins into the pin cushions so they did not
rust or get lost.
Nanny insisted on aprons that had large and deep
pockets because she carried all kinds of things around with her
while doing daily chores and household assignments. Some of her
secret items included a safety pin, a piece of yarn, and a small
pocketknife; she was ever ready when she needed to mend or fix
something. She used the pockets when she picked a few peppers
for the table or found a handful of pecans. And yes, there were
situations when she carried a handgun but we cannot talk about
those kinds of things in my column, however she was always
prepared for whatever situation she encountered.
One year for Christmas momma purchased beautiful
material and commissioned a friend to fashion several phenomenal
aprons for my great-grandmother, Miss Lottie. She was a quiet
lady who never smoked, drank alcoholic beverages, and did not
speak discouraging words about anyone. In fact, she was
described as a "God fearing woman" by all who knew her.
She carefully unwrapped the beautifully adorned
package and had tears in her eyes as she examined each
custom-made apron. The gold one with a black ruffle was her
favorite and she modeled it for the Scott Clan that memorable
Christmas day. Once in a while we saw her wearing one of the
aprons but she usually saved them for special occasions,
especially at family Christmas gatherings.
Happy birthday Jesus and Merry Christmas to all.