Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Old Time Homemaking

Part of the Grounds at Mrs. White's home in Vermont.

Last week, in the early hours of the morning, we had to drive through a nearby town.  The roads were quiet and peaceful without much traffic.  As we were enjoying the scenery, an unusual sight appeared. It was a beautiful horse and buggy coming down the road.  An Amish family were sitting comfortably in four of the seats, heading home from an early morning drive.  This is a rare vision, for us, because a few Amish families only moved here a few years ago.  I am always inspired by their quiet, old fashioned way of living.  It was like watching a living museum as we passed by them.  I wanted some of their peace, knowing they never watch the news or hear it on the radio.  They continue on each day living their daily, precious ways that many of us have lost sight of. It is a way of being in the world, but not of it.  It is great trust and faith in the Lord for all things.

This has encouraged me in my homemaking.  The last few weeks, I have been home a great deal. I am avoiding the stores as much as possible. I have plenty of time to pace myself throughout the day. I clean and cook and rest. It is a blessing to be productive at home, doing the old time work that housewives have always done throughout the generations.

 We have had to set up a garden this year.  The seeds were ordered in the beginning of April.  Our last frost, in our region, is in late May.  We have been enjoying wonderful, homegrown food.  Even though we do not have much money, I have been able to go outside, each day, and gather a modest harvest to have a simple lunch.

Fresh peas and lettuce from Mrs. White's garden.

 It is easier to live on a small income when one must rely on Yankee ingenuity to get by with limited resources. Even though we have a great deal to learn about growing our own food, and getting the energy to do the work, we have been able to enjoy fresh food from our own property.

Yankee - style garden with homemade posts at Mrs. White's Vermont home.

My husband has been gathering whatever scrap supplies he could find, from our garage, to build a humble garden this season. (His disability causes him to work much slower than he would like. He has to take many breaks.)  We are growing peas, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, strawberries, and blueberries.  We hope to add more next year.

I love to take a break from my housework to go outside and walk the grounds.  We found some wild blackberries at the perimeter of the property.  It was such a sweet treat on a hot summer day.  As we walk, we check the plants, our flowers, linger at the river behind our humble Estate, and then stop to do some necessary weeding of the garden.  We walk and work together so the burden does not rest too heavily on one person.

Sometimes, in the late afternoon, I go into one of the front rooms.  I have rearranged furniture and set up a card table in this room.  I like to listen to an old record of gospel music, sit at the table, enjoying the view, and do a little writing.  Some days I will simply sit by the french doors and do some hand-sewing.  This is an incredible room to just think on that which is lovely and feel the blessing of peace and joy, knowing the Lord will take care of us.

A Room for Writing and Sewing at Mrs. White's Vermont Home. (An old gospel record is on the table.)

I have been listening to The Isom Lee Trio.  This was a church singing group of a father and his two adult daughters.  Mr. Lee was a preacher who encouraged and inspired whoever was blessed to hear his sermons.  Many years ago, my father gave me a tape of Reverend's Lee's last sermon. It is incredible and such a blessing.  Now I have a record of their old time gospel singing. The songs and piano are something like you would hear in old southern churches.  It is from another time, a precious time, of faith and godly living that we dearly need in these modern days.

Dad had a record player here, when he and mother used to live with us.  They lived here with us for 9 years. At one point we had four generations living together in this old house.  I now keep his record player in our front room.  While I sit and hand sew cloth napkins, or do some mending, I can listen to the hymns of Tennessee Ernie Ford or the Isom Lee Trio on the old record player.

The Record Player in Mrs. White's cedar cabinet in the front room, here in Vermont.

Listening to the gospel songs, from the old days, encourages me in living the old ways. This was a time when family was the center of home life rather than materialism or the constant pursuit of entertainment.  It was a time when money was used for practical purposes and frivolity was rare.

Here at our Vermont Estate, we live simply and on my husband's income. We are a one - income family. I am a housewife and am grateful for the privilege of staying home. But there is a cost.  There is a great deal of old time work to live within one's humble means.  We must think of duty and practicality.  There is plenty of work we must do, each day, even if we struggle with our health.  We are very careful with the funds we are provided with. We have to find ways to save money for emergencies, annual bills, and repairs.  One of my children called it a "Walton's Budget," referring to "The Waltons" television program.  The family saved up to meet the needs of problems and necessities. They always expected many rainy days and had to save all they could. I love that thought of calling it a "Walton's Budget."  These modern days, people save for vacations, to buy a new boat, or to go on a shopping spree.   Many have no idea how to live on a limited income.  It is old time family homemaking. It is a way of life that brings great peace and rest in simple living with a great faith in God.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Wisdom from Colonial Days - To Earn and Not to Spend.

Good Management - The Housekeeper's Budget.

Old Time Ways - Standard of Living.

Find Home-keeping Inspiration, and little visits from our home, 
 in Mrs.White's book - For The Love of Christian Homemaking.  
Paperback, 274 pages.

- To find out more about this blog, or Mrs. White, please visit our About page. -


Billie Jo said...

So nice to visit with you here tonight.
I learn so much from you, especially the appreciation of home and family. We share the joy of being home. God bless you and your family!

omgsharon said...

I, too, have spent a lot of time at home these last few months, more so than usual even for the housewife that I am. The forced seclusion has brought to light the excessive wastefulness of our spending. I did not intentionally tighten our budget, the current events did it for me, but I am grateful for the reminders of living at home in a peaceful setting. I often think of you and your wish for pretty dishes... I can’t remember the pattern name... Friendly something. My mother-in-law just moved halfway across the country to live with my sister-in-law. She gifted me an almost complete set of Pink Swirl Fire King dishes. I have them all washed and ready to go into my cabinets this morning. Removing my old chipped melamine that we’ve had for years. For the last couple of days, I have been going back and forth about whether or not to use such a pretty set of dishes. Last night my husband said, “We don’t have a china cabinet large enough to display them. You should use them if they make you happy. If one breaks, it breaks. Such is life but love what you have been given and if it stays in a box in the basement you will not be happy with that either!” So I am going to pull 8 pieces from the set and put the rest away for replacements of future broken items. They might as well be used for making our home pretty and happy. I was surprised that the manly man is not opposed to eating off of girly girly pink dishes.

Amelia said...

Beautiful. Like a cool drink of water reading this...

Loved your writing of what you have been doing or not doing...Contentment.

I will have to look into that singing group, I love the old fashioned things too, it makes my home more peaceful. And your gardening sounds wonderful. I just ordered some heirloom seeds yesterday and so look forward to a fall garden, something new for us. Your window room is so nice, I too now have a window room where I sew.

One income families do have that creativity don't we? *big smile* Ahhh... The Waltons. We've enjoyed a few of those shows lately.

Enjoyed my visit ever so much. And by the way? Have you ever tried Peas and Pasta? It's an old time Italian favorite in our family that my daughters and I will serve up from time to time in our homes.

God bless you as you have blessed me! : ) ~Amelia

Tammy said...

I have been home from my part time job since March. Dh has no kidneys-surg to remove for pain from PKD, and is on dialysis 3 days a week. My job is very public, and here in Ga things aren't going well, so home I stay. It's been good, but I will admit, boring. We have accomplished several things on our 6 acres so that has been a nice distraction. So happy to see you write this am. It always makes me happy.

becky said...

So happy to see your post!! We grow and can and dehydrate a lot of our food from our garden -it’s a lot of work as we are in our early 60’s . The Waltons are our favorite show! Take care and God bless!

Unknown said...

Good morning Mrs White. Here in NZ we were in lockdown for quite a few weeks and it was lovely and quiet and then the lockdowns were removed and it was like it was before which made my head ache. Life became more busy without me intending it to be and for others their lives were crazy.
Now Covid has returned and our Govt does not know how it got here again with our borders being closed and all returnees going into Govt managed facilities for 14 days but here we are. The virus was probably lurking waiting to pounce again.
SO today i am doing my last shop for a VERY long time. I have LOTS i can do at home and apart from seeing our daughter who lives 1-1/2 hours away i will not miss going anywhere.
All in all i have the peace from God which surpasses understanding and am over hearing about the virus and your President ( no offence to anyone) on the news.
It was so delightful to hear from you again and your message was encouraging and food for the soul.
God bless
Karen NZ

Deanna said...

Hello Mrs. White. Visiting your blog is always a treat. When I did afternoon laundry before the pandemic I used the local Laundromat with a television sitting area to where I once again could watch THE WALTONS. Brought back very good memories. Your garden sounds wonderful. I haven't had a garden for years, but my daughter does and hers is rather large. I try to stay away from town to shop and stay busy at home. I listened to LR Sheldon Sr.'s audio sermon that you have on your page. This is the second time I've listened to him. Very good sermon about marriage.
Blessings to you,

Deborah Montgomery said...

Always, always such peaceful place to visit. We grow herbs on our deck, but a full garden sounds wonderful!

Lady Locust said...

Home is indeed such a dear place to be. And you are quite right~ there are ways to budget and save even on a single income. Wise words.

Learningmom said...

I was wandering if your books are available any where else besides Amazon? Thank you so much!!

Moccasin Creek Quilts said...

I see you haven’t posted in a while. I hope everything is okay. Take care.

all for Jesus said...

Dear Mrs. White,

I am so encouraged by your writings and your books. Your site is full of uplifting reading, I'm grateful.
I hope all is well with you, I am keeping you in my prayers. : )

Blessings and Joy,

Mama Said No said...

Dear Lady, I haven't seen a new post in a while, and I am concerned for you and your family. I pray that all is well, and that this lull in posting is simply due to you being wrapped up in caring for your grandbabies and Mister. Please take care.

Mrs. Laura Lane said...

I've taken a part-time job, and while it helps a little with groceries and such, it really cuts into home time.

I miss the simplicity of being at home even though it was sometimes hard.

Happy Thanksgiving,
Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

Deanna said...

Missing your writings. Pray you are well.

Amelia said...

Dear Sharon, How are you? I've tried to find a way to email you and am unable to see it here anywhere.

I hope all is well dear one, Love, Amelia