Sunday, December 13, 2009

Classic Old Fashioned Housewife

Library of Congress: Winter in the Country, Currier & Ives, 1863.

My husband’s mother passed away at the beginning of this year. I have been thinking about her a lot. She was a true homemaker. She stayed home to care for the family and did not work. She kept her house neat and clean. I don’t think I ever saw any clutter in her house. She raised six children and lived in a large Beach house in Massachusetts with her husband. She certainly had many hard times and financial troubles, but I have learned so much by just observing her daily life.

She would get up very early in the morning to make coffee. She would clean and cook and make things neat. Then she would sit at the kitchen table for a break. She took many breaks throughout the day. She would even visit with guests who came by. These were mostly her grown children.

I remember her looking out the window, into the yard, to watch her grandchildren play. She would smile and was so content. After that, she would go back to some household chore, do it cheerfully, and then go back to the window to watch the children.

We called her “Mem” (short for the French term for grandmother – “meme”). All her children adored her. The grandchildren loved her very much. She had a way of making each person feel special. Her entire life revolved around that house. She had no outside care or responsibility.  Money was not an issue for her. If she had none, she went without. She did not complain or scheme to find a way to get some. She was content with whatever was provided for her.

Mem rarely left the property. She was the true Keeper at Home. Everyone knew exactly where her heart was. We knew home and family was everything.

This is the classic old fashioned housewife I have tried to be for all of my married life.

Mrs. White

**(update) - This post was published in my book:

Find Home-keeping Inspiration, in Mrs.White's book - For The Love of Christian Homemaking.  Paperback, 274 pages.

From the Archives -

The Beauty of an Ordinary, Simple Life - Standard of Living.

A Blessing in Making an Effort - Peaceful Homemaking.

Quiet Days of Homemaking - Keeping an Old Farm Journal.


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Lisa~ said...

What a blessing to read!

Michelle Gibson said...

She sounds so peaceful and content. I can see this in your posts as well. *Ü*

Jenn said...

I absolutely loved reading this post and feel so blessed that you shared this. It is refreshing to hear a real life example of a keeper at home, and I appreciate that you even went through what a typical day of hers looked like.

Mrs. Laura Lane said...

I remember my grandmother like that too. I don't remember her ever going anywhere but to church.

Linda said...

What a lovely tribute. Home is such a peaceful place and a true 'Keeper of the Home' is the one who creates that. Your Mother in law sounded like a beautiful woman to look up to. Blessings to you ~ Linda