Sunday, March 1, 2009

Mrs. Hargrove's Apron

Welcome to the fictitious world of Dry Creek, Montana. I'll be talking about the books in this series and looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the same.
Today, I'm posting about aprons. Something about an apron symbolizes the old-fashioned life in this small town.
The first scene in A Dry Creek Courtship shows Mrs. Hargrove with a letter in the pocket of her apron -- a letter she can't believe she's received and that she wants to hide from everyone. What is a better place to hide it than in the pocket of her apron?

Those of you have read some of the Dry Creek books, know that Mrs. Hargrove (now Edith Hargrove-Nelson) is a primary force in this small town. My sister tells me that I've modeled Mrs. Hargrove after my own grandmother, and she might have a point. My grandmother was independent-minded and knew how to hold her own. She didn't follow the latest fashions, and all the years I knew her she wore cotton gingham housedresses, often with an apron which always had a pocket. It makes me wonder what secrets my grandmother kept in those apron pockets she had.


  1. Mom and I are so delighted you've started a blog about Dry Creek! You're right about aprons: there's just something about them. I think about my own grandmother's apron, and especially my great-grandmother's... Maybe I'll make some.

  2. Hope and Mom --
    Thanks for stopping by my emerging Dry Creek Days blog. I'm coming up with lots of fun ideas on vintage things that give a feel to Dry Creek. I've wanted to do a blog on small town life for some time and this will be a way to do some of the topics.

  3. Nice blog, Janet.

    I'm wondering how you managed to get a photo on your header? I have a blogspot and I can't get one to work.

  4. Anita Mae --

    The photo must be beginner's luck. I am new to this and just followed the steps in setting up the blog. When you customize the layout, you will see a place for the title and below that is a place to select an image.

  5. My friend, Darlene, wanted to share more about aprons and asked me to make this comment for her.

    Janet- I looked thru many old family pictures for one of the women folk wearing an apron to add to this story but seems this working staple was usually quickly snatched off for photographs! My great aunt Leona can remember her mother gathering crab apples in hers to make a wonderful jelly. Similar to what this story states, when we'd visit up north as kids, she'd always wave us in on the front stoop with her long apron like a flag of welcome! mom's 50's styles were shorter and fancier but no less memorable..wearing her's while making your freezer jam gives me confidence!

    Grandma's Apron -- The principle use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, but along with that, it served as a holder for removing hot pans from the oven; It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears. From the chicken-coop the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven. When company came those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids; and when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms. Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron. From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled it carried out the hulls. In the fall the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees. When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds. When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner. It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that "old-time apron" that served so many purposes.