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Monday, January 15, 2001


Sat, Jan 13th, 2001
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Editors note: Charlene Oates of Lime Springs wrote the following essay about her mother, Leila Tienter of Spring Valley. Leilas children thought the Journals readers might enjoy the sentiments conveyed in the story.

Moms Apron Covered it All


Websters dictionary defines apron as a piece of cloth worn over the front part of the body to protect ones clothes. I have no idea when Mom started wearing an apron, but it has been a part of her daily attire for as long as I can remember. Initially, it probably was to protect her dress, but it served many other purposes.

When she dresses in the morning, an apron always goes over her dress. She ties it behind her back in an effortless gesture. It is not a frilly little thing that barely covers her front side. It is more the Mother Hubbard style that has a bib on top, goes over the shoulders, and wraps 3/4 of the way around her. All of Moms aprons are homemade. They are usually a floral print depicting her love of flowers. There is a pocket for her handkerchief and any other treasures that she may find during the day. On the bib there is a safety pin or two because you never know when you may need one. There are everyday aprons, and there are good aprons to be slipped on over her Sunday dress when putting dinner on the table after church.

As a child, I remember Mom securing the corners of her apron and instantly transforming it into a basket. It could then carry fruits and vegetables from the garden or eggs from the hen house. When a mother cat decided not to care for her kittens it was Moms duty to put them in her apron basket, carry them to the house, and nurture them herself.

If a child were to fall and skin a knee, the handkerchief in her pocket would wipe the blood from the knee, and the apron would wipe tears from our eyes. The apron was also a dust rag, a potholder, a shield for a timid child, and much more.

On Mondays, there would be Moms aprons proudly displayed on the clothesline. They would be washed, starched, and ironed meticulously. If there was a hole it would be neatly mended. She wanted her uniform in tip-top shape! It was always a sad day when one of her aprons made its way to the rag bag, but it was still serving a purpose. It would appear to wipe up a spill, or perhaps it would end up in a rag rug.

A piece of cloth to protect ones clothes seems like an understatement. Our family has many more definitions for apron. We all love to eat and we love to work. I believe the apron symbolizes both. It is also a symbol of Moms thriftiness, her creativeness, her proud manner and her love.

When I wear an apron, I think of Mom. I think of all the food she made, of all the work she did, of all the tears she wiped; always adorned in her Beautiful Apron.

By Charlene Oates
Lime Springs , IA

Editors note: Charlene Oates of Lime Springs wrote the following essay about her mother, Leila Tienter of Spring Valley. Leilas children thought the Journals readers might enjoy the sentiments conveyed in the story.

Moms Apron Covered it All


Websters dictionary defines apron as a piece of cloth worn over the front part of the body to protect ones clothes. I have no idea when Mom started wearing an apron, but it has been a part of her daily attire for as long as I can remember. Initially, it probably was to protect her dress, but it served many other purposes.

When she dresses in the morning, an apron always goes over her dress. She ties it behind her back in an effortless gesture. It is not a frilly little thing that barely covers her front side. It is more the Mother Hubbard style that has a bib on top, goes over the shoulders, and wraps 3/4 of the way around her. All of Moms aprons are homemade. They are usually a floral print depicting her love of flowers. There is a pocket for her handkerchief and any other treasures that she may find during the day. On the bib there is a safety pin or two because you never know when you may need one. There are everyday aprons, and there are good aprons to be slipped on over her Sunday dress when putting dinner on the table after church.

As a child, I remember Mom securing the corners of her apron and instantly transforming it into a basket. It could then carry fruits and vegetables from the garden or eggs from the hen house. When a mother cat decided not to care for her kittens it was Moms duty to put them in her apron basket, carry them to the house, and nurture them herself.

If a child were to fall and skin a knee, the handkerchief in her pocket would wipe the blood from the knee, and the apron would wipe tears from our eyes. The apron was also a dust rag, a potholder, a shield for a timid child, and much more.

On Mondays, there would be Moms aprons proudly displayed on the clothesline. They would be washed, starched, and ironed meticulously. If there was a hole it would be neatly mended. She wanted her uniform in tip-top shape! It was always a sad day when one of her aprons made its way to the rag bag, but it was still serving a purpose. It would appear to wipe up a spill, or perhaps it would end up in a rag rug.

A piece of cloth to protect ones clothes seems like an understatement. Our family has many more definitions for apron. We all love to eat and we love to work. I believe the apron symbolizes both. It is also a symbol of Moms thriftiness, her creativeness, her proud manner and her love.

When I wear an apron, I think of Mom. I think of all the food she made, of all the work she did, of all the tears she wiped; always adorned in her Beautiful Apron.

By Charlene Oates
Lime Springs , IA

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