By Dee Thompson
My grandfather, Bob Hasty, retired when I was a toddler, and for a while he ran his wife crazy, because he was bored. He was married to my grandmother, Wilma Butler Hasty, known to me as “Memaw,” for 50 years.
Papa Hasty loved cakes, but he didn’t know how to cook. Finally, Memaw showed him how to make a basic pound cake. He then decided to teach himself how to bake all kinds of cakes. One of my most cherished memories is him tying on himself a great big flour-sack apron — he was 6-feet-4 — and tying a much smaller, matching apron on me. Then I would sit on the kitchen counter and “help” him make a pound cake. I felt so important wearing my little apron like a real cook.
Memaw was an excellent seamstress and made all my mother’s good clothes for years, and all my school dresses. (Until fifth grade, I could wear only dresses to school, never pants.)
So naturally, of all the linens in my home, the ones I cherish most were made by Memaw. We have a quilt she made when she was pregnant with my mom in 1933, a couple of dresses she made for my mother in the 1960’s, and the aprons. My memaw could sew anything.
My mother explained to me how Memaw felt like the flour sacks made terrific aprons because the fabric was sturdy yet pliable and easy to sew. Today, we don’t have any dishtowels made from that exact material, but we have been able to save a couple of those flour sack aprons, and I treasure them.
It’s funny how picking up a piece of cloth can bring memories flooding back. Despite all the moving over the years, and the passing of my Memaw, handling things Memaw sewed brings her back to me, and I feel connected to her and all the generations of strong women that came before me. One day I hope to be able to show the aprons and other handmade items to my own granddaughter, so she will feel that same connection.
Dee Thompson is a freelance writer and editor, and has written for many publications. She loves to cook, and she has been blogging at The Crab Chronicles since 2005.