Don's Your Apron
I got a promotional email this week from JoAnn Fabrics.
Fall fabrics are 25% off!
I wanted to stop what I was doing and drive right over there. This was exciting news!
Then I remembered I don’t sew.
Let me explain.
Part of me is always pulled to that store. I spent so much time there with my mom over the years. We’d spend a morning walking through the bolts of cotton and rayon and fleece, running our fingers over the silk, the leather, the tulle.
We’d stand and flip through the patterns in the huge filing cabinets. Those industrial manila-colored filing cabinets. Who knew they held magic inside? Each drawer was jammed with guides to make prom dresses, Halloween costumes, and…yes, aprons.
Mom learned how to sew in her high school home economics class. She took to it and became a skilled seamstress. She made clothes, curtains and she hemmed oh-so-many pairs of pants. (I’m barely 5’1”.)
Here’s a classic:
She had a Singer sewing machine. It was in of those tables where you opened the lid and the machine came up ready to go. There was a pedal underneath to start up the machine. I remember that whirring sound so well. (Why didn’t I think to take her sewing machine after the funeral? Damn it.)
When I started culinary school and spent so much more time in the kitchen, she took me to JoAnn’s to choose fabric for aprons.
I had so much fun choosing my fabric and taking it to the big table where a nice lady would measure out the yardage and take a pair of shears to fulfill my order. Inevitably, she’d ask what we were making and we’d all have a lovely chat.
After I lost Mom, I couldn’t go back to JoAnn’s for the longest time. I didn’t even like driving past the store.
I wanted to go there with her. Not by myself.
Then, one day, I did. I walked every aisle, every department: notions; floral; photo albums and frames; scrapbooking; jewelry making. Finally, it felt like home again.
I always wanted to go to the craft store and make things like Mom. Whereas she was a whiz in home ec, I practically failed it. I once saw a bumper sticker that epitomized my identity as a young person:
“The only thing domestic about me is that I live in a house.”
I always admired that skill Mom had to make something from nothing. To have an idea, choose a pattern, choose fabric, take it home and make something happen.
But you know what? I do that. I go to JoAnn’s now for knitting notions, pens and markers for lettering, floss for cross stitching.
And I create in the kitchen almost everyday. Donned with my homemade aprons.
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Thanks again for reading. I care about you. Please don’t forget to eat your greens. Yes, pesto counts in August.