Grandma's Apron

Painting by Darryl Armstrong

The strings were tied, it was freshly washed, and maybe even pressed.
For Grandma, it was everyday to choose one when she dressed.
The simple apron that it was, you would never think about;
the things she used it for, that made it look worn out.

She may have used it to hold some wildflowers that she'd found.
Or to hide a crying child's face when a stranger came around.
Imagine all the little tears that were wiped with just that cloth.
Or it became a potholder to serve some chicken broth.

She probably carried kindling to stoke the kitchen fire.
To hold a load of laundry, or to wipe the clothesline wire.
When canning all her vegetables, it was used to wipe her brow.
You never know, she might have used it to shoo flies from the cow.

She might have carried eggs in from the chicken coop outside.
Whatever chore she used it for, she did them all with pride.
When Grandma went to heaven, God said she now could rest.
I'm sure the apron that she chose, was her Sunday best.


  1. Tina -
    Thank you for visiting my blog and for leaving a comment on my post about my grandmother's apron. I appreciate that you let me know this poem was yours! Please visit my blog again and see the updated version. I hope you will visit my blog often.

  2. adrienne...thanks so much for everything. :)


  3. Dear Tina,

    My name is Kate Vaught, and I am a Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent for the University of Kentucky. I advise a non-profit organization called the Campbell County Homemakers. The theme for their annual meeting this year is "Grandma's Apron." I came across your poem, and I really enjoyed it. I was wondering if I could print it in the program (with your name included of course). Thank you for this consideration.


  4. Sure you can Kate, thanks for asking. I'd be honored. The woman it was written for came from Kentucky. :)

  5. Well I will make sure to mention that she was from Kentucky :). Thanks again!

  6. Hello Tina:
    I have been selling my "re-vintaged" aprons for a couple of years here in Missouri. Without fail, at least two or three women will ask if I've seen your poem about Grandma's Apron. Of course, they don't know who the true author is, but they've had it emailed to them. finall, one woman actually sent it to me as promised, and I was happy to get it. Then I started to wonder if there were other versions, so I did a search. I discovered Ellynanne Geisels' blog and voila! your poem and comment. So now I'm here and would like to ask permission to use your poem in my exhibit. I've been selling my aprons at the Kristindle Markt in Hermann, Missouri, a German-settled city on the Missouri river. there are many wineries, and the Dierberg Foundation is funding some wonderful improvements in the city's tourism. The Hofgarten is downtown: 2 lovely buildings & patio designed for educational & historic events. Joan Treis, the director, asked me to prepare an historical display about aprons to go with my apron sales. I eagerly dove into the project using Ms.Geisel's apron book and also one written by Joyce Cheney. I have been pleasantly surprised to discover that all ages of people (kids to elderly) have stopped to look and read the information. I also have my small collection of vintage aprons to display. I will be re-vamping my exhibit this next year and would like to include your poem (the original version!)with your name added to it. Perhaps it will help to clear up the mystery of its author once and for all!
    If you could reply to my email address, I would appreciate it very much: lennalou76@yahoo.com
    Thank you so much for sharing your lovely poems, Tina. What a great gift you have!
    Elena D.
    Columbia, Missouri

  7. Hi Tina,
    I am hosting a bridal shower this weekend for my son's fiance Flavia. I am making aprons to give as favors to our guests and was looking for something that speaks about aprons to share. I would like to read your poem as part of the presentation and will most happily give credit for the poem to you. I have my great grandmas apron and I was thinking that the bride should wear it. Best regards. Dawn

  8. Tina,
    The pledgerism goes on. I found a 'version' of your poem on a social website I visited today. If you want to see it yourself, email me at margaretmonteleone@hotmail.com

    This poem shows, at the bottom that this women shows it being copyrighted and signs her name.

  9. Hi Tina,
    I also discovered you and your site after receiving another 'anonymous' version of your poem and googling it to see where it originated. I am the editor of a new magazine - Our USA, and would like to use it, and possibly some of your other works along the way, for inclusion in the magazine. Of course you will be credited.
    Warm Wishes,
    Cher Valentino
    Our USA Magazine

  10. Thanks Cher. Have sent you an email.

  11. Tina, I write for the Farm Credit System and am writing an article about aprons. I would like to include your poem in the article, with full credit, of course. Would that be all right with you? Thanks! Suzanne

  12. Tina,
    I work at the Perquimans County Library in Hertford, N.C. and am compiling a book about residents and their apron stories.
    I would like to use your poem "Grandma's Apron" in the book.
    May I have your permission to do so?
    Please contact me as soon as you can.

    Earline White
    Library Technician
    Perquimans County Library
    Part of the Pettigrew Regional Library System of Northeastern NC

  13. Good afternoon Tina,
    My mother is preparing an exhibit of her vintage aprons for our local historical society in May 2010. She would like to include your poem, "Gramdma's Apron" as a part of a handout, giving full authors credit to you of course. Might we have your approval to do so? Many thanks for your consideration.
    M. Provost

  14. Tina - tonight I went to a Mother-Daughter Banquet at my church. The theme was 'aprons'...I have been inspired to write something on my blog regarding them and did some googling when I got home. I found the 'fake' Grandma's Apron poems first, then found yours. I would much prefer to use yours, with your permission, and of course with credit given to you and a link provided to your blog. Would this be ok with you? I will probably not post it immediately but rather wait for Grandparent's Day in September.

    Mine is an genealogy/family related blog...please check it out before giving me your ok or nay. I will not post anything original without the owners expressed permission. The site is http://marysellslv.blogspot.com Thanks Tina!

  15. Tina,
    My mother-in-law is self-publishing a book - Siskiyou County Italians Book II and she would like to use your poem, Grandma's Apron, in the book with your name of course, and anything else you would require.

    Thanks for your consideration. Hope to hear back from you soon.
    Check out her website: siskiyoucountyitalians.com


  16. Hi Tina, a few days ago someone sent me the re-edited version of your poem in an email. I just loved it, and wanted to make a vid using it. I thought I would try and find out who wrote it, that is when I found your version of the poem. I liked both versions, and did not know what to do. I eventually decided to use your original version, but I added a few lines here and there from the re-edited version. I have explained this at the start of the vid, given you full credit, and added (uk) for unknown, under the re-edited lines.
    Here is a link to the vid, hope you like it, and hope I have not offended you by adding a few lines from the other version.
    Sandra Barr

  17. Hi Tina,
    Our historical society is putting together an apron exhibit for our museum and I remembered seeing an apron poem on line a few years ago. So I decided to research it a little and was so pleased not only to have found versions of the poem, but to find your site and the original version of the poem. Would you allow us to use a copy of the poem giving you credit? You say so well just what an apron was used for in days gone by. Thank you for considering our request.
    Pat Williams
    Warrenton-Hammond Historical Society
    Warrenton, OR 97146

  18. I love this poem. It reminds me of my mamaw. She passed away in 2002 and I miss her dearly. I have her aprons she would wear and I cherish them so.

    Lauren Weaver

  19. Hello Tina. I'm in the midst of a week of apron posts at my blog, and wanted to let you know that I quoted part of your poem (http://littlepinkhouse.net/2011/09/grandmas-aprons/) and directed my readers here to read the rest. Thanks for sharing such a sweet piece of poetry!

  20. Dear Tina,
    I am completing a book and would like to quote your poem. I will need a copyright agreement; would you mind emailing me as soon as possible and let me know how to contact you directly with the forms....I can tell you more about the book when you do. Thank you for your consideration!
    Ann Collier, Ph.D.
    Department of Psychology
    University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire
    or 715-836-2487


  21. Hi Tina,

    I just want to tell you how much I love this poem! It made me think of my own grandma. In fact, it inspired me to create a blog post around both your poem and my grandma. Thanks so much for your beautiful work. Here's a link to the post http://www.modernstead.com/grandmas-apron/

  22. Hi Tina,
    May I quote your apron poem when I exhibit my fine art photographic exhibition "Imagining Mum" in which one of the pieces is a montage that has mostly my mother's aprons in it.
    If you would like to see this pic, let me know or you can go to http://sharongreenawaysphotos.blogspot.com/2011/08/imagining-mum.html
    to see some of the images.

  23. Hi Tina,
    Looks like I'm only one of a long list of people that would like to include your "Grandma's Apron" poem with your credits. My daughter and I are publishing a companion book will be included with aprons my daughter designs and sells as well as in stores and online. Although not vintage aprons, hers are designed with todays fabric designs, adorned with decorative buttons that tell a story. Our book, "Among the Apron Strings," projected publishing date August 2012, tells the history of aprons from industrial to baby bibs and everything in between along with our favorite recipes.
    Looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your insightful popular poem.

    Dawn Janov
    Author, columnist, free lance writer, blogger
    PO Box 788, Georgetown, CO 80444
    Amazon.com "Cooking with Memories in Historic Georgetown, Colorado" by Dawn Janov

  24. Tina,

    I would like to ask permission to repost your Grandma's Apron poem on my website. I would be happy to include your name with it.

    Please contact me at giftexpressions@frontiernet.net to let me know.

    Thanks so much!

    P.S. I wasn't sure how else to contact you, so I posted it here.

  25. Hello Tina,
    Our granny GANG[ Grandmothers of Alberta for a New Generation] is one of 250 similar groups across Canada supporting African grandmothers left with the task of raising orphaned children in 15 countries in Africa. We do this through the Grandmothers To Grandmothers Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation.www.stephenlewisfoundation.org
    Our current fundraising project is publishing a book of recipes and the memories evoked by them, including heritage recipes. We'd love to include your poem about Grandma's Apron and would be happy to acknowledge your name and website if you allow us to use it.
    With much appreciation and advanced thanks,
    Grace Hamilton

  26. Grace, I'd be honored to have my poem in your book. I checked out the website. What a fantastic cause. Thank you.

    1. Thank you so much, Tina. Our book of old recipes and stories related to them, honor our mothers and grandmothers while saluting the courage of those African grandmothers. And many of us remember the aprons! For current updates on our GANGs activities see www.edmgrandmothers.org

  27. I thought I'd stop back and let you see how I"ve used a portion of your poem on my website, Tina. It fits in perfectly. Thanks for sharing it:-)

  28. Sorry - I should have said to look at the bottom of the page.

  29. Laurie, I didn't see the poem. Can you post a link? Thanks.

  30. Sure...
    http://www.apronsforwomenonline.com - look at the bottom of the page.

  31. Hi Tina: I have always loved my Grandma's, and my Mom and my own aprons. They have all been used for many things. I am in charge of a cookbook for the United Methodist Presbyterian Church in Rifle, Colorado. This will be to celebrate our 125th anniversary. I would like to include your poem "Grandma's Apron" with credits for you on it. we would like to have a picture of many of us ladies on the church steps wearing, what else, Our Grandma's Aprons. If you could let me know somehow if that would be ok or what I have to do to get permission from you I would appreciate it. My email is rhoadeks@yahoo.com. Mailing is Karen Rhoades, P.O. Box 605, Rifle, Colorado 81650. Thanks for your consideration. Karen

  32. Hi Tina: Over the last 4 years, I sent a weekly Email to my church members and friends of the church. I always included a note in each Email that ranged from 1 line to 3 or 4 pages. In one of those Emails, I included a version of Grandma's Apron that I found on the internet I am thinking about publishing a book consisting of all the Email notes. Will you please allow me to publish your poem, Grandma's Apron, as one of those notes. I will give you full credit as the original author and point readers to your website.
    Curtis L. Nail, Sr. 106 Hursthaven Court, Madison, AL 35758 (256 774-3128), curtn@hiwaay.net
    Thank you very much.

  33. Oh the memories invoked by this precious poem.....Ladies unite
    in bringing it to the attention of other ladies wherever they
    may gather.

  34. Hi Tina.

    I love you poem "Grandma's Apron". I help manage a genealogy Facebook page and would like to use your poem, giving you credit, in the following wave. Post it on an appropriate image and add a link to to the Facebook page. We have done this and found the photos tend to go viral fairly quickly.

    Here is a link to our page so that you can check it out:-


  35. Hi Tina,
    My church is currently working on a cookbook as a tribute to the older ladies in our church. May I please use your poem in our cookbook? Many of the ladies fit the profile. I was six when my grandmother died and I still remember her apron and the love I felt when around her. This is an awesome poem. Thank you.

  36. Hi, Tina, my name is Cecilia and I'm from Mexico, I really enjoyed your poem, my dear Granny is now in heaven, I'm sure as you said she chose her most beauty and loved apron. Thanks.

  37. I seen a post on a page that I am with and I was going to share this author unknown poem. I then checked out the poem and found two stories about it and was led to you. I am going to repost this on my Facebook page, with a link leading to this blog. I love your poem. I never caught anything but love too!!

  38. Hi Tina. I am a staff writer for a newspaper called the Hometown Focus out of Virginia, MN. I am looking to do an historical piece on the history of aprons and wondered if I could have your permission to use your poem on your grandmother's apron. Please email me at kirstenr@hometownfocus.us. Thank you for your consideration of this request. Kirsten Reichel.