Monday, June 24, 2024

Evenings at Home without Television

An Old Fashioned Television at Mrs. White's House.

We have Amish neighbors in the next town.  They moved here from Pennsylvania a few years ago.  Shortly after they arrived, I had a lovely visit with the Grandmother at their bakery stand.  They had spent their first winter living in the barn on their new property.  A house was being built by the family.  I saw sweet little children running on the farm having a wonderful time.  They looked so precious and happy.  Sometime later, a beautiful house was all ready for them to live in. 

Have you ever wondered what the Amish do with their free time compared to the rest of us?  I imagine it is just the way it was for us in the old days before there was such thing as a television set.

Work and chores were done by the family members.  Everyone helped, from the little ones to the elderly.  The toddlers followed the older ones around and delighted them with their efforts. It is a blessing to have a little baby with you when you do the sweeping and the laundry.  Babies and toddlers are like little darlings to keep you company as you work.  One cannot help but smile, even when we have to say,  "Little one, what are you getting into now?"   Those are the happy moments when we do our work at a slow and steady pace, making time for mistakes and distractions. We find joy in the effort.

In the evenings, children are never bored.  They make up their own games, color, draw pictures, tell stories, and read.  Mother and Dad sit on the couch and read books. Often mother will be mending socks as she sits comfortably near the children. On some nights she might say to her young daughter, "Go get that pretty rose fabric and we will start making your new dress."   The boys may be at the table playing chess or getting things ready for homemade popcorn. When the clock chimes out the time, Dad notices it is late.  "It's time to get ready for bed," he announces.  One of the boys gets out the family Bible and hands it to his father while they all sit nearby to listen.  Scripture is read and a hymn sung. Then a prayer of protection and thanksgiving is humbly given.  The children go off to sleep with happy thoughts and grateful hearts.

As the years go on and twilight comes, Mother and Dad are alone. The children are all grown with families of their own.  There is less work to do. There is a sense of quiet about the rooms.  But the memories of a precious family fill their thoughts.  The parents keep doing the same routine of sitting on the couch reading by the fire.  Mother does some sewing while Father reads.  When it is time for family worship, they pray and thank the Lord for the honor of having raised children. They are content and happy with an old fashioned way of life. 

Lately, in my own home, I am having more quiet evenings. I do not want to watch DVDs or television. I want to mend in the living room and enjoy living like they did in the old days. I want to "play house" and bake by lamplight. I want to set the rooms to right and make everything look pretty. I want to do little projects for recreation instead of being entertained by programs.  I want a rested heart by just being home in the quiet of the evening with grateful thoughts.  

An evening at home without television can be a wonderful break from the outside world.  


Mrs. White

From the Archives -

A Simple Life - How to Stop Buying Things that Clutter up the Home

Old Time Frugality - Keeping the Family Homestead

Come for a Visit - Home Tour of our 1850's House.


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For happiness and cheer in the kitchen:

Mrs. White's old fashioned cookbook focuses on serving meals and setting the table in a humble home.

"Serving in the Kitchen: Cookbook with Recipes, Advice, and Encouragement for the Christian Home"

152 pages, paperback






Luba @ Healthy with Luba said...

Mrs. White,

Thank you for saying this: "I want to do little projects for recreation instead of being entertained by programs. I want a rested heart by just being home in the quiet of the evening with grateful thoughts."

My goal is very much like yours. Let's enjoy peace and quiet rather than entertain ourselves.

Elizabethd said...

So very true, Mrs White. I think we feel built up in the calm and peace of an evening without Television. My childhood was very similar to your description, and all the better for being without outside influences.

Martha Jane Orlando said...

I'm not sure I could do the same thing as you have done so successfully, Mrs. White, but there certainly is Godly merit in this.

Lady Locust said...

We haven't had TV for over 20 years. I don't miss it. I do think I would miss life if I had it ;-)

Deanna said...

Lovely read. Our tv seldom comes on during the day and there was a time I couldn't say that. Slowly I weaned myself off of soap operas. Don't miss it in the least, but I cannot say this about late night movies yet. Still addicted. Not watching programs is helping to detox from the outside noise that is geared to ramp people up. Blessings, ~d

Mrs.T said...

We haven't had TV for over 40 years. The first winter we were married we were living in our unfinished house and trying to continue working on it. Someone loaned us a TV set from their summer place and we put it in our bedroom. We found ourselves "too tired to work on the house" after a long day at our regular jobs, and went to bed and watched TV. We learned from that experience that it is a huge time waster and not conducive to restful sleep either. We decided then and there that we would never have one.

Patty B said...

We gave up TV about 15 years ago and certainly don't miss it. If we are at a doctor's office or motel and there's a TV there, we will sometimes click through the stations to see what might be on. Within minutes we have it turned off because there is simply nothing of interest on television. We spend our evenings doing hobbies, or playing scrabble or cards, or just reading. Now during the gardening season we are usually busy with outdoor things until dark. We live near a lake so listening to the loons calling in the evening is far superior to anything on TV!

Tracy said...

With two sports mad males in the household, our television is on a lot of the time, but I really enjoy winter evenings when it is turned off and everyone sits reading. Bliss! At the moment I escape to the garden and work on it in the cool of the evening and that is bliss too.

Debbie said...

There is such peace in an evening that holds other activities, rather than the television. We've been going out later to water the plants (to avoid the heat), and it's nice to just add that evening chore to the time when we would normally be watching tv. We still watch a few things at night, but breaking it up with some enjoyable tasks has felt even better. Having an empty nest is so opposite of having your evenings taken up with children and baths, reading and bedtime shenanigans. Sometimes I have too much time on my hands and other times I'm busy. It is what you make it. I want to spend it wisely. Just sharing some thoughts :)

Have a wonderful day, Mrs. White :)

Amelia said...

Hello sweet friend, What a beautiful evening you have described. We do watch television in the evening but it is very, very carefully selected, usually a very old movie with a lesson or lately it's been "Wives and Daughters" from pbs (the 90s), from the Elizabeth Gaskell novel that I am also reading now, the television viewing is very intentional. But of course what you are describing is just the best ever! I have been bringing reading and sometimes mending to our living room as hubs studies at times. Lovely food for thought as usual.

Blessings to you dear, ~Amelia