Aprons over the years seem to have lost their usefulness, much like vinyl records, an old butter churn, ice cream maker, rag dolls or often even books! It’s interesting to walk through an antique shop and see those familiar items we used as young people and know without a doubt our own young people would have no clue what the item is called much less it’s purpose!
Times have changed from practical and universally used items for accomplishing all kinds of tasks to technical, computerized, digital devices requiring very little effort. Car engines are digital, as are stoves, watches, televisions, locks, washers and dryers, hearing aids, analyzers, medical equipment and kitchen appliances like coffee makers, microwaves, and a myriad of other devices. Even shopping has changed. The credit card affixed with a computer chip now is more prevalent than those without the chip and the credit card itself is often now preferred over cash. Does this mean those without a computer chip are no longer useful?
Our new and improved way of life is not necessarily any better than the non-computerized or technological ones a generation ago. The newer methods of doing everyday activities like washing, cooking, sewing and cleaning are supposed to be better with less effort. The technological devices are designed to save time and energy with precise capabilities. I admit I have quite the collection of kitchen appliances I really like, yet I see my counter or cupboards filled with a different gadget for each activity I do since the appliances are designed to do one thing, albeit one thing well!
Back in “the day” when handy appliances weren’t readily available, the chores were done with devices that served a myriad of purposes! Now I admit, that didn’t apply to all appliances but the activity itself often required family participation, as did making ice cream or even sweet butter. These activities now only require a trip to the store and then the refrigerator. Some old timers will even tell you being kept busy like this also kept them out of trouble! And as a bonus everyone got to enjoy the fruits of the family’s labors!
Like the other devices that helped build family unity, giving a sense of working together, was the apron. It was a garment worn with affection, as grandmother and even mom wore it; using it to hold, heal, serve and keep us all wrapped in love.