Friday, August 17, 2007

An Apple in an Apron

I am feeling a little nostalgic, so bear with me. You might have noticed a red gingham apron that shows up in my pictures from time to time. As I have mentioned before, it is one of a pair that were passed down to me from my grandmother. We keep it around here in case anyone wants to feel pretty while they are helping with the kitchen chores. Sunshine put it on the other day when I asked her to help me wash some apples for lunch. I don't usually wear an apron, so I was surprised at the instinctive way she picked it up to dry the dripping apples. As I watched her perform this simple task, I thought about my grandma wondering how and when she last used this apron. How many apples has it dried? How many times did it wipe away the tears that were cried?
I like to think that nothing would give my grandma more pleasure than this right here.

Later in the day, I had a conversation with a friend who was teasingly insulted by the headline Texas Braces for Erin which reminded me to have The Professor update our hurricane tracking chart. It is an old magnetic one that, as the story goes, my grandma won for her husband the farmer who had been using a map as weathered as himself that the newspaper printed one year. She won this fancy-schmancy magnetic map from a nearby radio station. Not sure it was the grand prize she thought it was although it has always been treasured by someone. Check out the location of some of the major cities. Look closely. Notice anything a little odd?
Click to make the picture larger.
According to this map, there is nothing south of Austin and I think they confused San Antonio with San Angelo. I have stared at this map for hours and have moved the magnets around hundreds of times while watching the geckos scamper all over the screened back door of the farmhouse (doesn't every farmhouse have a front door and a back door in the living room?) and I never once noticed the odd placement of the major Texas towns. It wasn't until it was bequeathed to The Professor and we brought it to its new home that I noticed the mistakes. Maybe I should check the other states? Anyone from Louisiana or Mississippi care to chime in? Oh and if you want your very own super snazzy, perfectly precise (Jim Cantore would never allow such inaccuracies!) hurricane tracking chart you can find one to download from The Weather Channel. Just scroll down to the box that says Hurricane Helpers.

Hang on, this train of thought has one more stop to make. Pondering that map, cherishing that apron and watching the thermometer creep closer to 90 degrees before 9 AM made me remember that farmhouse fondly, but only one other thing could bring it into sharp detail for me. Raw cauliflower. Have you ever had the experience of a taste or a smell that literally transports you to another place? Raw cauliflower is my portkey back to that quiet little house where the inhabitants beat the sun out of bed just to sip their cups of coffee and watch the news in black and white. Where the plastic accordion door did very little to keep the heat from escaping the kitchen on a sizzling before sunrise kind of day. Where the groaning floorboards gave away all secrecy the shuffling old bodies were trying to maintain so as not to wake the young granddaughter still asleep in the mint green corner bedroom. I don't know why raw cauliflower triggers these reminiscences. I don't even remember the first time I ate cauliflower in that creaky little cottage. Though the house is gone now and so are the dear ones who made it my home away from home, I remember fondly and try to share these memories with my dearest ones.
Excuse me... I think I need an apron.


  1. How sweet.

    Funny that the cities are mixed up. Though how anyone could confuse San Antonio for San Angelo is beyond me.

  2. I have some fabulous "taste memories" related to my grandma,too. The taste of Coke takes me right to her kitchen. And hot tea with milk and sugar. Isn't that the great think about our memories? They are not just limited to thoughts.

    A couple of years ago I put together a scrapbook of memories for my grandma. I had very few pictures, so mostly they were memories written by my brothers and I, including smells and tastes that we remembered, as well as stories. It was priceless!

  3. I can speak for Mississippi, Jackson and Vicksburg, that is.
    Jackson and Vicksburg are almost on same line, not Jackson below. We also line up almost with Dallas if you were drawing a line with your finger across the map (we would also line up with Shreveport LA) THinK 1-20 corridor and that would be us!
    Love the apron!

  4. Hurricane season always stresses me out!

    Anyway, I like the red gingham apron. So pretty!

  5. Very sweet post, Matilda....

    One may need an apron when they read it...


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and yourself!