I run my fingers along the frayed hem of Gram’s apron and bury my nose in the fabric. It smells of her laundry detergent and a hint of molasses cookies. Or maybe I imagine the cookies. A fresh wave of memory of an eleven year old girl washes over me.
“Gram, why do you wear aprons?”
The spoon slaps in the bowl of cookie batter. She looks at me sideways and winks. “It keeps the mess off my clothes. I’m a messy cook most days. See?” She brushes flour from the front of her apron. I giggle at her silly antics.
“When I was younger, We only had a couple of dresses. One or two house dresses for the week and one special dress we only wore to church. All the ladies wore aprons to help their house dresses last longer and stay clean.”
“Oh.” I look down at my jeans and t-shirt. “Gram, do you think it’s okay to wear jeans to church? I mean, if they’re your best jeans?”
“Oh Baby, I don’t think Jesus cares what you wear to church, just so long as you show up with heart a ready to love Him.” Gram scoops teaspoons of cookie dough onto the cookie sheet. “We grew up expected to wear our Sunday best and sometimes. . .” Gram leans in close and kisses my head, whispering, “our Sunday best was just as worn out and dingy as our weekday dresses.” Her breath tickles my ear. “He just wants your best, that’s all we’ve got to give and sometimes even our best doesn’t look all that good to our own eyes.” She shakes the cookie covered spoon at me. “But to the Lord, it’s simply perfect.”
Tears trickle down my cheeks and onto my chin. What lessons she taught me. I pull the apron over my head and grab the mixing bowl from the cupboard. A batch of Gram’s molasses cookies are in order. My kids may not have Gram here to teach them, but her lessons and traditions started decades ago will live on through me. This kitchen will be full of wisdom and kindness too.
This is a work of fiction – it came to me tonight as I washed dishes in my Great Grandmother’s kitchen, wearing her apron. I imagined the kind of conversation that might take place with a young granddaughter. I’m so blessed to live in my Great Grandmother’s home. It makes me smile to imagine all the life my family lived in these walls. 🙂 I hope you enjoy the story.