Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A is for Always

a.is.for.anna

Whenever I prepare for the holidays, I always think of my American grandmother, Anna Ruth Coble. Her twinkle, her cleverness, her endless work at the kitchen counter, her pies, her potatoes, her laugh, her smile. Several years ago when I was about to cook my first official Thanksgiving turkey in my own home, I thought of this smock-style apron that she always seems to be wearing in my mind's eye. She made it for herself, a fact alone that I adore. It was given to me after she died because we share the same name, and if I had ever thought to ask for just one thing from her home, it would have been this. I knew I had it tucked somewhere, but I almost never wore it so it wasn't at hand. I think I spent so many years with babies spitting and pooping on me that I never gave much thought to kitchen messes. But cooking a turkey was different, I needed her apron. I couldn't find it. I tore the house apart. I realized that I hadn't seen it, perhaps, since before we moved. The dread set in. A sick feeling in my stomach at the idea of loosing it. To bake pies without Grandma's apron seemed almost impossible, like my arms would freeze up rendering me useless at the kitchen counter. But I did. I made Thanksgiving dinner without the apron. It was fine. I'd almost forgotten over recent years that I was missing it. If ever I thought of it, though, my heart would break again.

my grandmas.apron

Until. Last week I was finally putting this place back together after all the Quilt Market messabout. I had taken along the dining room hutch for my booth display which meant I lugged all my linens, platters, goblets, etc. out of it before we left, and they were waiting for me on the studio floor in piles to put back in place. As I carried a pile of linens to the dining room, I dropped a few. And what fell out from between two rarely used tablecloths but the A.R.C. of the Apron! Found! Joy! Thanksgiving! Turkey! Pie! Potatoes! Smile, twinkle, laugh, cleverness and her apron. All of it, it was mine again. Our apron. Thank you, Grandma. We're all headed to George's (my brother) on Long Island tonight to be with him, his wife, two nieces, two nephews, one Juliana and a Juliana-friend too. And the first item packed into my suitcase today? Take a guess.

Now get back in the kitchen!
Lots of love, Happy Thanksgiving, and see you back here soon.
xo,Anna

39 comments:

  1. I know my love of aprons was a gift from my Mema. She too wore a smock style, one of which I still have. So very glad you found yours. Happy T day!

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  2. Thanks for this story, especially today when I just getting ready to cook. I love aprons! I have a special gift from my grandma too, a patchwork half-apron with a filet crocheted pocket. This apron was part of my hopechest. I keep it in my kitchen linen drawer. I never wear it, I just look at it and smile.

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  3. Wow, I thought my family was the only one that held aprons in such importance! I have my great-grandmother's apron (which was an everyday piece of clothing to her)that was passed down from my mother's cedar chest to my cedar chest. My own Mom's aprons are in my kitchen and are used with pride. My daughter hangs her grandmother's aprons that were given to her in her kitchen, with other vintage aprons, where they are used as lovely decoration. Aprons are very special!

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  4. How providentially lovely for you!!
    May Grandma Anna's 'presence' at your holiday preparations, bring you a quiet smile while you share her apron..!

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  5. How sweet you found this treasured apron of Grandmas again. My Mom had a similar apron and it put me in mind of that, or maybe it was me that had it lol I'm 69 years old it could have been.
    Nan

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  6. I am so glad you found it! It made me a little weepy to think of my own twinkling sweet Grandma and her sorely missed pie baking ways.

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  7. Cute story! The power these objects seem to give us...
    I couldn't believe after my grandma died that no one wanted her rolling pin but me! and all her sewing supplies, her big black scissors, her pincushions! It's all mine now, and she lives on in my kitchen and my studio. Lucky me.

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  8. Hooray, what a happy find!

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  9. Lovely! I'm happy you finally found it. I helped my grandmother cut up pumpkin for pies yesterday. It's nice to have family, even if it is only in memories, during the holidays!

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  10. I listened your story with all my heart. Like you were telling me a story that I've know-about my dear-dear Grandma Anna. I miss her badly.
    Happy Thanksgiven to you and your family!

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  11. What a wonderful story of thanksgiving :) - I hope your family eats lots and has a happy holiday.

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  12. Thanks for the sweet story. Again with the awesome storytelling! The one thing that I never forget that was given to me after we lost my grandma was a little (about 2") heart shaped tin that she kept her buttons in. It's in my sewing drawer, with her buttons still in it. That's love.

    Have a great thanksgiving!

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  13. Happy Thanksgiving Anna Maria! I'll be cooking in an "Anna" apron too... except it's yours!!! ;)

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  14. What a relief that you found it!
    I wear my Baba's aprons that are a lot like that. A simple, purchased gingham apron that she then added her own cross stitch to. She was an incredible cross stitch artist (like any good Ukrainian Baba) but the stitches on the aprons are simple and large.

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  15. Isn't it just amazing odws just what we need and when we need it? Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  16. Oh, I know just how you feel Anna. The sorrow of having lost a treasure and the great relief and joy at having found it again!! Hip Hip Hurray!

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  17. How lovely it is to have family memories like this!

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  18. Anonymous9:28 AM

    My Mom told me that if your initials spell something that you would be great in life and have a great life. I noticed your Grandmothers initials spell ARC that is great! I am the finder in my family, if anything is lost I am suppose to find it! I alway hate "thinking" that something is lost or gone forever.... then I find it what a relief it is!!!! Lana

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  19. sniff, sniff......thank you for making me think of my sweet Grandma. I miss her dearly and holidays makes me miss her more.

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  20. My grandmother ALWAYS wore an apron.
    I wish I had one of hers.
    I am making aprons for my young granddaughters for Christmas. Every girl needs at least ONE apron, yes?
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

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  21. Betsyef4:49 PM

    Today my daughter and I made a pumpkin pie and an apple pie. It was the first time she showed real interest in baking with me , and she requested an apron. I pulled out an old Marimekko apron I always wear, and she declared "I love this apron!" The apron represents so many special memories, I'm so happy you found your grandmother's apron. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  22. Love this story, especially since I lost my grandmother this past August. I think I will see if she left some aprons around my aunt's house.........

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  23. Happy Thanksgiving Anna! I love this story, I wish you a very, very wonderful holiday - and I almost cried when I read your quilt market post. I can only imagine. Well, the parts about feeling overwhelmed I can imagine only too well - and I do. not. know. how. you. do. it. all. really.

    Also - because of you and your inspirational self - who got me started blogging at all - I mentioned your lovely blog in Artful Blogging this issue as my big source and my giant colorful inspiration! So I know you have been in a ton of magazines already, but this was a jump for me and I tried in some small way to at least give you credit where credit is due :)

    Okay, I know my comment is long - but I just wanted to let you know how much I (and all of the other people who are reading this) really do admire what you are doing Anna, really, really, really!!! and whenever I pop over here, your words and your beautiful photography, not to mention your endless creativity - give me a huge boost and tug at my heart!

    Thank you for being such an open, caring, helpful, beautiful person! I'm so glad we met, and I think it is kind of amazing how the Internet can continue to connect us all in the ways that it does. You are greatly admired and appreciated :)

    Happy Thanksgiving to your entire "fam damily" and big, big hugs all the way from Germany to Long Island!

    xoxo
    Stephanie

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  24. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  25. Happy Thanksgiving Anna! I love this story, I wish you a very, very wonderful holiday - and I almost cried when I read your quilt market post. I can only imagine. Well, the parts about feeling overwhelmed I can imagine only too well - and I do. not. know. how. you. do. it. all. really.

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  26. Georganne12:03 PM

    I admit it. I cried like the little girl I was when I used to bake with Grandma(Emma)in her tiny two-room house. I felt your love for your grandmother mirrored the love for mine. Flashes of memories from nearly fifty years ago came to me like a home movie. Bless you and thank you!

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  27. Oh I loved your story, I lost my grandmother this month and I look at all the things she has given me over the years that have taken up residency in my house with love!

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  28. Aww, I'm so happy that you found your Grandmother's apron! I remember once I thought I had lost my Swedish Great Grandmother's apron... it was missing for about a year, and then I found it when I moved... I had it hidden away in the bottom of a pocket in a suitcase. I'm so happy I have it. Have a wonderful weekend!
    xo,
    Linnea

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  29. Just drooled all over your new fabric at my lqs!

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  30. I love it! Added to my "to-make" list!

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  31. Fabulous! I have had the same apron for over 30 years, misplaced it during a move a few years back....worried about it's wherabouts....and found it by suprise.... I know just how you feel!

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  32. The love of family is always good, it makes us moving so much!

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  33. You write really good articles, very attractive, I feel very shocked. I hope you can continue with your work, come on!

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  34. So glad your apron turned up. A sweet story and a universal one too. My grandma is coming to bake pies with me on Christmas eve. I can't wait!

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