I've gotten into the habit lately of cleaning without cooking. I do dishes and polish the kitchen two or three times a day. I have a little help, but mostly enjoy the work alone, while listening to sermons, or gospel, on my kitchen radio. It is a peaceful, happy time, working in the kitchen. I also keep the other rooms neat and do most of the laundry. I enjoy this work very much.
But if I add cooking the meals to that? It would overwhelm me. My teenagers have taken over the cooking for now. Amy (17) often makes the lunches or suppers. John (15) makes tea, snacks and some of the meals. Matt (19) will occasionally make a meal for us all, but mostly makes himself something easy to eat very quickly, since he is on a busy schedule. Mr. White makes a big breakfast in the early morning hours, each day. Whoever is awake gets to enjoy a hearty meal with him. But we are all mostly asleep at that time!
As the cold weather is approaching our rural Vermont town, I will want to start making beef stew with biscuits, or lasagna and Italian bread. But first I must build up my strength and get some energy. To cook and to clean when one is often weary can be too much!
The other afternoon, I sat in my parlour chair with a nice book. Matthew was in the kitchen making an early dinner. He brought me some ginger-ale. I was delighted! The more rest we mothers get, the more work we are able to do pleasantly.
To do my work in a slow-paced manner, I have to have plenty of helpers. Children and teenagers have a tremendous amount of energy. They can sweep a floor, take out the trash, clean a bathroom, sweep a porch, do dishes, cook meals and many other things very quickly! But I wouldn't want them to do everything. I would feel left out of the fun of housework!
So I rest as much as I can, doing enjoyable things - like reading or watching an old movie. I also love to visit with the family in the parlour. I consider my housework my "breaks" from my "rest." I can spend much more time resting, and doing what I want, if my breaks are the chores. (It's kind of like rushing through doing dishes during a commercial.)
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