Friday, November 19, 2010

An Elegant Home Despite Poverty

Maid Cleaning Ambassador Laurence A. Steinhardt's Residence Bathroom

Sometimes, my house seems beat-up and old. Well, it is old! It was built in 1850 for a lawyer who had a wife and 10 children. When we first bought this house, I went to the memorial museum of our small town and searched the history. I also bought some old books which were written by residents many years ago. I saw old pictures and enjoyed reading their history.

All around me I see wealth and beauty in classy, new homes. I see elegance and distinction. Then I look at my own estate and see the house needs a paint job and the porch steps are falling apart. I am reminded of my life as the old country wife who lives in poverty - like in the movie "The Dollmaker" starring Jane Fonda. Didn't that one just make you cry? Or what about the mother of Loretta Lynn in "Coal Miner's Daughter"? Those are the women I relate to - The hardworking mothers of humble means.

I was just looking at some photographs of my house. I see holes in my kitchen linoleum. But the floors are shiny and clean in the sunlight.  I see an old country kitchen, but it is pretty and tidy. I see walls in desperate need of a paint job - but there are children smiling and happy, playing cards or laughing, in the photographs.

I go about my day in an apron and dress. I clean and tidy and make this place a home. To me, it is a home of elegance. It is a precious place I love, and take pride in.  Even though my furniture is old and second-hand, it clearly speaks of an old fashioned, creative homemaker.

Mrs. White

-Inspiring essay, relating to poverty, by Washington Irving, 1800's, - The Wife -

 Hard Times - No Income and the Basics of Life

I am Just a Regular Mom

Remembering a  Special Dinner

For Home-keeping Inspiration, order my book - For The Love of Christian Homemaking

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 



KellyinPA said...

I've been a regular reader of your blog for the past month or so and have really enjoyed it. Your home is lovely, it has character and history. I can just imagine the 10 children of that lawyer and his wife sitting down for meals in the dining room and running around the lawn. What those walls might say if we could hear them talk? ;)

Marmee's Pantry said...

Excellent! We, too, live in a home that's 170+ yrs old. We've been here for 13 & were just about to do some up-dating: painting, putting in hard-wood floors (as a previous owner took them out), up-dating a bathroom...& then my DH was laid off in 4/09 & we needed all of our savings just to KEEP the house. I still clean the cheap kitchen floor & cover up the worn slits w/country woven rugs; I still run the sweeper over the stained carpet & wish they were hard wood; I still look at the dingy-&-needs-painted walls, but, like you, I see priceless photos of my family & pictures that had belonged to my grandparents & were passed down to me.

I am blessed to be a keeper of my home. I am blessed...period. Thanks for the reminder of the real spender that we live in.

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Donna @ The House on the Corner said...

I completely agree with you. I live in the home that was built by my grandfather for his family. There is lots of work to be done and sometimes I feel like I need to apologize for some of my home's "issues" but I look around and remember that my family created this home. They lived here all their lives and what's important is what's in these walls - not on them.

Mrs. Stam said...

I love this post! We move to a older very small house in the country and each day I thank God for his provision, making our small house a real home :-)

Ps, I love dress and Apron, they are my daily uniform

Deanna said...

Hi Mrs. White!
With Thanksgiving coming may you have a blessed time of fellowship and health with your sweet family!

Like your post today.
I'm so glad to know you through blogland.

Your willingness to be a wife, momma, homemaker are a blessing. Pat yourself on the back and smile in the mirror. You are royalty and bring light into a dark world.

God bless,
d from homehaven

Michelle said...

I love old, historical homes! I think it is lovely and much more so because a godly, loving family resides there!

Amy said...

Thanks for the pictures. It help to be able to picture your family and home when I read your wonderful blog.

busymomof10 said...

I loved seeing pictures of your home and your family!! You are so blessed to be able to be at home and to be pouring your life into your husband and children as you keep house daily. Many of those elegant homes are just empty shells -- with the lady of the house and the children away from home for many hours each day. Then when evening comes, perhaps they bring home fast food or go out to eat or pull out frozen dinners as they rush through homework and prepare for the next day. nothing glamourous about that!!! Besides, old homes are so rich in history and CHaracter!!! I *hate* "cookie cutter" houses -- if you know what I mean! You are truly blessed -- and one of the "wealthiest" women on earth!!!!!!! I appreciate you and love your blog! Thanks for sharing your life with us!

One of your avid readers -- Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

how wonderful to have the house history that you do! and a picture too!
your blog is such a blessing to me.

Taryn said...

We lived in an old house for 13 years. Matthew 6:21-"
For where your treasure is,there will your heart be also." I realized after we moved that the reason we were there was for my three older sons to find their wives. I told a friend years ago how frustrating it was- that every house I lived in there were things I would change. The house I was in was brand new at that time. She said that I had a home- some people have just a house. We are "missionaries" in a sense. Looking back since we were married in the Baptist church in 1973 I see the reason we lived in each house. A few houses I thought were going to be permanent. Homeschooling was a blessing in many ways. We're living in our 8th house.

Taryn said...

Now that I'm thinking about it- the house that we put the most money into-then sold-was the hardest to leave. I still remember driving away from it. That was 1981.

aspiritofsimplicity said...

It is not where we live but how we live that matters.

Joyce Ackley said...

I found this quote on Tracey McBride's Blog, Frugal Luxuries. I really like what it says!

To live content with small seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, never a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious...grow up through the common...this is to be my symphony.

---William Henry Channing

I like it so much I may copy it onto pretty paper and place it where I can readily see it and read it often.

Rebecca Knox said...

I love your attitude and I thank you for sharing this. Our home is old, too, and, by everyone else's standards, badly in need of repair, but, like you, we are content. It's a rare thing to hear of (or read of) women who are truly content in today's world. God bless you, Mrs. White! You truly are a blessing to me!

All My Love,

not accidentally tuesday said...

How awesome to live in a place with so much history. I enjoyed reading your blog. Blessings, Debbie

Jenny Lynn Whitworth said...

Mrs. White, I am Loretta Lynns grandaughter and I have recently been using your blog as a source of encouragement by the way of Sherry Hayes website; she once made mention of her respect of you. Dear Christian Ladies like you give me moral support to homeschool my five kids and continue in GODs work and not be weary in welldoing!! I get a little discouraged and I read GODs word and read a post from you and will weep with thankfulness that there is someone out there who relates to the drama of a Christian homemaker, wife, and homeschooler. Thank you and blessings to you, you are a mighty tool in the hand of the LORD. Jenny Lynn Whitworth