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Sabadosa: The humble apron, a symbol of motherhood

BusiAnnAbramowicz | Supplied photo

Busia Anna Abramowicz | Supplied photo

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Updated: June 6, 2013 6:15AM



We will celebrate Mother’s Day next Sunday. I recently received a really sweet email from my friend Beata White regarding aprons and how they were a true symbol of motherhood.

For me, it evoked some wonderful memories. I recall that my Mom donned an apron frequently, but I tend to associate them more with the ladies of my grandmother’s generation.

I had a Polish grandmother, Anna Milewski Abramowicz, and we called her “Busia” (pronounced Boo-sha). Like many from that era, at a young age she traveled across the ocean to find a new life in America — leaving behind her home and her family.

She met my grandfather, Wiktor Abramowicz, in the States, and they built a life for themselves and their five children in Chicago. She was proud to be an American.

Busia was one fantastic cook and baker. She was hardly ever seen without an apron. In fact, she probably had more aprons than dresses. The main purpose of an apron was to protect the few dresses that women owned back then. Aprons were easier to wash than dresses.

Aprons were truly multi-functional. I recall seeing Busia use the ends of her apron to carry hot items from the stove, no need for potholders!

The pockets of her apron were usually filled with interesting items, and we grandkids had fun exploring their contents. Her apron also came in handy when our faces needed wiping or there were tears to dry.

It is said that aprons were often used for carrying eggs from the chicken coop. As far as I know, my Busia didn’t raise chickens, but they did have a rabbit hutch. My Mom told me some interesting stories about that. She and her siblings were encouraged to not become too fond of these furry friends because they would occasionally end up as dinner.

Busia also grew vegetables in her back yard and used her apron for harvesting and carrying them into her kitchen.

I can almost bet her apron was a hiding place for many a child or grandchild when Santa came to call on Christmas Eve, which always happened at her home.

I know her apron often served as a quick dusting cloth when there would be an unexpected knock at the door. Visitors loved to stop by at Busia’s, often without advance notice. One would never walk away hungry or thirsty from her home. She loved company.

My grandmother died in her sleep on the Feast of the Assumption in 1973 at 77. I was blessed to have had her in my life until I was 19. She was truly an inspiration for me as I grew up and dreamed of the day I would become a wife and mother.

The invention of the apron was rather ingenious, don’t you agree? When I recently shared Beata’s email with my contacts, I got back some interesting comments.

Evidently, aprons are making a comeback. Several of my friends have purchased them recently. You can find them in boutique shops and at craft fairs.

An interesting comment in that email was how the “government would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.”

But my favorite comment was, “I don’t think I ever caught anything from an apron but love ...”

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers out there — whether you have a child or have just been that much-needed mother figure for someone.

News from our neighbors

The Reavis High School Drama Department and CRAST invite all to their spring musical, “Peter Pan,” which will take place from May 8 through 11 at the school, 6034 W. 77th St., Burbank.

The cast and crew of more than 60 students are fresh from their championship performances at the Illinois High School Association finals and hope to take their audiences on another magical ride.

The cast features senior Kassandra DeGrado as Peter Pan, junior Sara Witasik as Wendy, senior Adam Sikorski as Captain Hook and Jonathan Morsovillo as Smee.

Performances will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and at 2 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for students or children and free for senior citizens. Tickets may be purchased at ShowTix4U.com or at the theater box office on the night of the performance.



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