Thursday, December 29, 2011

Rural Housewives

Vermont Farmland, Country Church Amongst Houses, Aerial View

It is bitterly cold here in Vermont. We end up almost trapped at home. It's too cold to go outdoors, but we must for chores and errands. Winter is the time to settle inside near the fire, but it can be a very lonely experience.

One way rural housewives, in the old days, would pass the time was by listening to radio programs while knitting or sewing. This was during breaks from their household tasks. I have heard about something called, "neighboring over the air," or "radio housewives," which included programs of homemakers telling stories or sharing recipes over the airwaves.

There were other programs, including news segments, or ongoing stories that even the children would gather around to hear.  These might be suspense, mystery or westerns.

I love the idea of sitting by a large piece of beautiful furniture that was called a radio, while mending or knitting. It would be a lovely way to pass the time.

Housewives would also do their baking and try to have something special in case an unexpected visitor came by.  -We need to keep the cookie jar and breadbox filled!-   When someone stops by our house, I love to have freshly baked cookies, brownies or fudge to offer our guests.

I realize rural housewives often feel alone. Sometimes they need a little encouragement, a funny story to cheer them up, or some little bit of advice about the work they do all day long.  The radio programs and occasional neighborly visits were a blessing. Church services and other events were also greatly appreciated.

Today, radio programs are mostly talk shows, music or a myriad of commercials. Occasionally, we can hear something like Adventures in Odyssey while driving down the road, or listening in on the old kitchen radio. I wonder what would happen if they brought back a homemaking program on the radio? A little visit over the airwaves might be just what we need!

Mrs. White

The Difficult Days - Brave Mothers Who Walk Into Walls.

Encouragement for Mothers - What Sundays Used to Mean to Housewives.

It's Okay to Feel like - The Kitchen Martyr.

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Kristin said...

I am also a rural housewife. I love the stories my grandparents share of the good ole days. I am really enjoying reading your blog. I am a young, new wife (2 yrs) and you are very inspiring.

Michelle said...

It is always so comforting to read your posts and be reminded that so many of us are in this together.

I find that being a New England mom, with the long winters, can be very isolating, if we allow ourselves to focus on that!

We ended up postponing our trip to Vermont after all. The weather patterns had changed. Perhaps in the Spring-Lord willing!

Have a blessed New Year Sharon!

Laura in AZ said...

Hi Mrs. White,
Your post reminded me of a book by Fannie Flagg called "Standing in the Rainbow". It's about a housewife in the midwest who does a radio show from her living room, in the 1940's I believe. She has local guests who come on and share stories & recipes, and perform musical talent now and then. She gives out advice and makes announcements relevant to life in her small town.

I read it several years ago, so can't remember a lot of details, but your post this morning makes me want to go re-read it!

Have a great day and enjoy that cozy winter weather.

Dawn E. Brown said...

Sharon, your postings are so appreciated. Also, I loved the picture you posted recently of yourself. You are a beautiful lady. I too am a housewife,I love being home, making a place of rest for my dear family.I do not care if I ever leave home, except for church.This is my safe haven, my place of rest and comfort. Thank you for sharing your life with us ladies, we need each other's prayers and times of refreshing.Dawn E. Brown

Katrinka said...

Does anyone remember the radio program, "Ranger Bill, Warrior of the Woodlands" ?! It was wonderful, especially for little boys!!

Cindy F. Adkins said...

I've learned to appreciate the beauty of winter, but yes, it often gets lonely. I live outside the city limits of a small town - plus I work from my home, so isolated in some ways. I love your blog! Beautiful photo on this post, by the way.

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