Mother added a large deep pocket to the skirt that could be used for a hundred purposes.This big apron assured that her dress was well-covered and remained clean while she did her many demanding farm jobs. (It would have been unthinkable not to wash on Mondays!) House dresses were never starched but the aprons were always dipped in heavy starch, then hung on the wire clothesline to dry in the sun and be fluffed by the wind.Later, they were sprinkled and ironed with heavy flat irons heated on the cook stove.The laps of those big aprons were especially handy for whatever needed carrying quickly around a busy farm.
At those times the apron hung behind the kitchen door waiting to be snatched up for another non-stop work day. Like all farm women at that time, Mother had her own patterns to use when she made her aprons and house dresses.
When she made eye-contact she used the flounce of her apron to summon everyone that 'SOUPS ON' and you better hurry.
When Mom would get 'flustered' Even though it's been many years since I grew up and left home, I remember so clearly the times when Mom would get so 'flustered' with the heat, yelling at kids, or just too many irons in the fire, that she would just have to stop for a minute to collect herself. Note: I wrote back to Chuck that the only person I had seen wearing a work apron in recent years was Tom Chaney of Horse Cave.
When a sudden cold rain caught the baby chicks in deep grass away from the mother hen, Mom would gather up the wet chicks in her apron and place them in a box behind the cook stove where their peeping delighted my younger brother and sister, Dale and Phyllis.--- When those same chicks grew up and scratched in Mom's flower beds, she chased them away by flapping her big apron at them.
Later, you would see her tossing cracked corn from her apron to those same chickens.