Telling a Norwegian woman what to do is never good for your health shirt. THOUGHTS OF A RANCHER: When I saw this post on FB the other day it caused me to have a flood of memories about my paternal grandmother Gina Johnson. The post was about the history of aprons and I remember her apron so well. Although the woman in the picture doesn’t look exactly like my grandma the fact that she is wearing a apron and the house in the picture with the round support posts triggers so many memories. My Grandma Johnson always seemed like a stern Norwegian woman. She was physically strong for a woman hardened by a life of hard work.
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One of the things I remember about her was that she had large wrists. She always had a hard time finding a wrist watch that would fit her comfortably. Perhaps that explains why my dad had large wrists and hands that exhibited incredible strength. When I was young I would stay at their place for a week sometimes two either alone or with one of my Higdem cousins. Though she seamed stern at times that was not the case when I stayed there alone. But this story is more about the apron she always wore.
Her apron had so many uses. One of my favorite days was bread baking day. On that day she would make a flat patty of bread dough and fry it on the cook stove. Then she would serve it with melted homemade butter and sometimes a little cinnamon. A great treat while we waited for the bread or buns to bake. When it was ready she would use her trusty apron as a hot pot holder to take the pans from the oven. It also worked equally as well for a warm handle on a pan on the stove. Another thing I enjoyed is when she would ask if we should go for a walk in the “woods”. The woods were a tree claim that my great grandfather planted when he homesteader in the 1880’s.
A Norwegian woman and her health
There the milk cows would graze until we would go for a walk to retrieve them for milking. Sometimes we would be surprised to find either June berries or Gooseberries ripe for the picking. Without a receptacle to put them in she would have me hold the ends of her apron as she picked it full of berries. Then she would fold it and give it a couple of twists so we could carry them home. My job at milking was to hold the cow’s tail so she wouldn’t get hit in the face. When the pail was full she would use her apron to pad her hands as we carried the milk to the separator. Grandma Gina lived to be over 90 yrs. old. Her final years were spent in the Retirement Home in Northwood. She was a stoic private woman that kept her personal things private.
She told me once that the one thing that angered her the most was the fact that people with dementia would come unknowingly into her room and go through her drawers, and sometimes God forbid her underwear drawer. It was because of that conversation that when I served on the board of directors for the facility I pushed to establish a Special Care Unit to be established. When you Telling a Norwegian woman what to do is never good for your health shirt. NORTHWOOD had one of the first if not the first one in the state of North Dakota. I’m thankful that a post about a apron can trigger so many pleasant memories. Maybe women will start to wear aprons again. But Maybe Not.