The Apron


apronblogThere is never a moment that I cook with this apron that doesn’t bring a warm serving of love. If this particular apron comes out? they know something homemade comes out of my oven. I am not even sure how long I have had this apron? It has to be over 16 years old since I have had it before my daughter was born.

The thing about my apron is that there are many more of them.. scattered throughout my West Virginia hometown. Mine was given to me by my dear Aunt Rosemary (“Moe). I remember when she handed it to me saying… it’s not much, but it’s made with love..tucked down inside a little brown lunch bag. The ladies from her church had made bunches of them to give away and she had saved one for me.

I remember pulling out the apron from that little brown bag and knew in an instant it was special. She was so good at sewing and crafting, I knew it would become one of my treasures. She went on to tell me that my apron was indeed special since it held a little surprise. I searched the pockets – empty. I inspected it carefully and she giggled and said.. “you won’t see the special surprise.. but you will always know it’s in there”. She went on to explain that every one that was made had a prayer cloth carefully sewn into the fabric. Prayers from some of the most loving women on earth I am sure… passed on to other women that will cook for their families and friends.  I have yet to actually figure out the exact placement.. but I can tell you I feel it’s warmth every single time I wear it.

There are trinkets in our lives, and then there are treasures. As I begin preparing our holiday meal, I will proudly wear the apron. I will remember the reason I love it so. Her. and the women that worked so diligently to give something more than cloth. There are many stains now, some of them from mishaps in the kitchen, I am sure there are some tear-stained places.. who knew the apron was good for wiping those too.

I miss her hot rise rolls… her apple crisp and the smell of fresh coffee brewing in her kitchen and her saying “come on in Neicy and sit a spell.” I can only imagine how her family misses her too.

As you count your blessings this year around your own table, I hope you will find a moment to inhale the sweet savor of the things that matter the most to you and never, ever… take one single moment of it for granted.



I’m the Baby… You gotta love me


From the time he could explain? This has been the answer. I was never jealous that he claimed the “Baby” that’s what he was when he entered my life at the age of four. I didn’t really know what his role was other than he was always “too little” to do anything I suggested to our Momma. Can he talk? no, he’s too little. Can he walk? no, he’s too little. Can he play with me? no, he’s too little. My response was.. “then what’s he good for?”  I’m sure Momma giggled at that one. He was always little. He was always “the baby”

Eventually, he did play and toddle along behind me. Always falling down while falling asleep standing up (he fought sleep horribly.. he would give anything for more sleep as an adult!) see… you should have just slept when you could have!

It would become my past time to read to him, big sisters do that right? Only one problem.. I made it a challenge to read everything backwards to him just for fun. “That’s not the way it goes!” he would say. I always replied, “Can you read, no?” just hush and listen to the story. He then proceeded to tattle, to which I always got.. Denise! He is the “Baby” don’t do him that way. (I learned to eye-roll early on)

Things changed somewhat when he became a little older. I was still able to drag him relentlessly through the house by the feet causing carpet burns, put make-up on him when he fell asleep first and always told him that I knew more than he did because I was the oldest and he was still just the “baby.” I will admit that I was a horrible big sister at times… unless anyone else tried to bother him, then I was his bodyguard. I nicknamed him very early from the words “It’s okay Buddy” I can never really bring myself to call him anything else. He was my little Buddy… and I almost always had someone to play with or.. atleast torture.

By the time he was an angry teen LOL … I was almost married off. His time with his friends kept him busy and away from home. I know he was bummed when he learned he had to take some time to be in my wedding. Girl stuff.. who had time for that, but he did and I’m sure he ditched the clothes and sped off as soon as he had the opportunity. Places to go and people to see. Okay, probably trouble to get into for the long weekend.

If I ever mentioned something he had done? It was always the same line with a funny grin.. “I’m the baby.. you gotta love me.” Yeah, Yeah. I used to claim that I could have my head cut off and Momma would assure me that I would re-grow one.. Buddy, on the other hand could stump his toe and she would wonder if he would ever walk again.

In true sibling fashion we always made jokes about who was the favorite, who was the baby (it was always a dumb question, because I already knew) and he never let me forget that I convinced him he was adopted when he was very small, and our parents were just going to wait until he was older to break the news (okay, I still feel a little bad about that one).

I have always given him a hard time about being the “baby”. The truth is… I have taken over Mommas role in that department since she has been gone. Someone has to do it, right? There are days I find myself worrying about mundane things where he is concerned.

Is he getting enough rest to drive that big ole truck…

Is he keeping his head warm in the winter….

Is he safe in the deer stand…

Is he happy….

Is he sad….

Is he taking care of himself….

The list goes on and on.

I am thankful that there are things about being his big sister that I don’t have to worry about..  like.. Is he being a good father to his boys, Is he making his days count with them..or if he is teaching them the important things in a life…

These things I never wonder about.

As we live out our adult lives, there are times that I still feel the need to baby him…and I often do (He can claim the 5th on this one!) There are times that I just get mad at him for the lack of time we get to share together or the weeks that go by without hearing his voice, or texting one word in reply to my paragraph. There are days I wish we could just grab lunch together, or stop by for coffee. It’s funny how that even now if I get on his case too harshly I can still hear the words.. I’m the baby… you gotta love me.

The reason I chose that photo of him and Momma? it  has always been my favorite.. yeah it reeks “look at me! told you I’m still the baby”  It is also her “happy” .. He had made the eight-hour drive to my Uncles for hunting season.. and she made the drive just to see him in between his hours in the woods. Only for the baby! AHA!

lets just see it again.. awe.







Okay.. that was funny.. I”m still a meanie of a big sister at times.

I am sure that the time is just going to speed up even faster as adults.. I”m still going to fuss at him for not calling or texting enough.. or visiting enough…. yep. and I”m sure once we do get together again.. he will just remind me how I have to love him because he is the baby.

I got it.

but I will always be the Big Sister.. the one that will love you unconditionally, pretend that I am the wisest..fuss at you when you need it..step into mommas role and always be your boo!

Sorry.. not much you can do about it.

You are the baby.. and I have to love you.