So many of our associations with aprons have to do with cooking, with the kitchen. Not surprising, as it is there that so many women through the generations have rolled up their sleeves, put on their aprons, and gotten on with the day-to-day business of preparing food for others – a tangible expression of love, of nourishment, and of care.
As much as I cherish the image of my mother cooking in her own kitchen when I was a child, and later in my home whenever sickness or crisis came our way, I want now to share an apron story from a much less likely setting. In so doing, I hope to remind all of us that women, who sometimes seem to have infinite reserves of love and energy, also need to nurture and care for themselves. They too need to eat, to heal, to rest, and to replenish.
This fall, my friend asked me to put together a girls’ getaway in celebration of her birthday. Seven women, myself included, traveled to Ojai Valley Resort and Spa to relax, to walk, to take photographs, to enjoy the spa, and simply to spend time with one another. When we arrived, I gave everyone a welcome package, which included a copy of Gotcha Covered: A Legacy of Service and Protection.
The book really helped bring us together and generated so much conversation, as we realized how much we could all relate to the stories, and as we shared out own associations with aprons and our own memories. Two days later, we all gathered in the artists’ cottage on the property, old photographs and mementos in hand, to create a collage for the birthday girl. When we walked into the artists’ cottage, seven aprons sat waiting for us! We couldn’t believe it; we had just been talking about the book, about our mothers and grandmothers and friends — about women and about aprons. And there they were, seven aprons, bringing us together and inviting us simply to roll up our sleeves and to make something wonderful.
Isabel has taken her magnificent ability to look after people and combined it with her life-long love of travel to create Sybarisa, a company that offers global concierge services for travelers.<