Today we are at Goose Rocks Beach, Maine, a place we love to visit every summer. One of the best things about coming here year after year is getting together with all of Raymond’s New England family and “extended family.” Into that latter category fall Margaret and Sam, who are from Quebec but have been coming to the Beach for many years, and whom we know through their longtime friendship with Raymond’s sister Jeannie.
This morning we ran into Margaret at the annual Cape Porpoise book sale (where we all buy tons of books each year) and she announced she had a gift she couldn’t wait to bring over for me. Well! You can imagine how intrigued I was. And the way Margaret spoke, I had a very strong suspicion that it had something to do with the Manse.
And it did! This evening Margaret brought over the gift. First the card, in which is inscribed: “Every girl needs a retro turquoise UCW apron. Enjoy!” And inside the gift bag: a hand-sewn (beautifully, by Margaret) full apron, made from vintage-patterned fabric that she had found in Burlington, Vermont. And it’s turquoise! With ’60s-style flowers! And – oh my lord, memories of the sewing lessons from my Grade 7 home ec class at Centre Hastings Secondary School in Madoc are flooding back – rickrack trim! As Margaret said, hitting the nail on the head about changed trends in sewing: “When was the last time you saw rickrack?”
When indeed? Margaret, this apron is classic. There is no other word for it. It made me recall how my mum had a whole drawerful of aprons in the space-challenged kitchen at the Manse; space or no space, any self-respecting housewife had to have – and use – aprons in those days.
Those days are gone. But it is so much fun to remember the sweet and good things about them – like a drawerful of aprons. And now I have one of my own, and it’s turquoise!
What a lovely and thoughtful gift. And Margaret’s citing of the UCW in the card was the icing on the cake. She said it was our secret code, Margaret and I both having United Church of Canada roots. UCW stands for United Church Women.
And that is an organization where there were a LOT of aprons going on.