Friday, September 28, 2007

Glimpses At the Classics - Little Women (also a glimpse into our home this week)

Because I spend so much time in my home, the sights and smells greatly affect my mood. A few years ago, when housekeeping was exactly like playing dollhouse, I could greatly identify with this passage from Little Women ...

"Like most other young matrons, Meg began her married life with the determination to be a model housekeeper. John should find home a paradise, he should always see a smiling face, should fare sumptuously every day, and never know the loss of a button. She brought so much love, energy, and cheerfulness to the work that she could not but succeed, in spite of some obstacles. Her paradise was not a tranquil one, for the little woman fussed, was over-anxious to please, and bustled about like a true Martha, cumbered with many cares. She was too tired, sometimes, even to smile, John grew dyspeptic after a course of dainty dishes and ungratefully demanded plain fare. As for buttons, she soon learned to wonder where they went, to shake her head over the carelessness of men, and to threaten to make him sew them on himself, and see if his work would stand impatient and clumsy fingers any better than hers. They were very happy, even after they discovered that theycouldn't live on love alone. John did not find Meg's beauty diminished,though she beamed at him from behind the familiar coffee pot. Nor did Meg miss any of the romance from the daily parting, when her husband followed up his kiss with the tender inquiry, "Shall I send some veal or mutton for dinner, darling?" The little house ceased to be a glorified bower, but it became a home, and the young couple soon felt that it was a change for the better. At first they played keep-house, and frolicked over it like children. Then John took steadily to business, feeling the cares of the head of a family upon his shoulders, and Meg laid by her cambric wrappers, put on a big apron,and fell to work, as before said, with more energy than discretion.While the cooking mania lasted she went through Mrs. Cornelius's Receipt Book as if it were a mathematical exercise, working out the problems with patience and care. Sometimes her family were invited in to help eat up a too bounteous feast of successes, or Lotty would be privately dispatched with a batch of failures, which were to be concealed from all eyes in the convenient stomachs of the little Hummels. An evening with John over the account books usually produced a temporary lull in the culinary enthusiasm, and a frugal fit would ensue, during which the poor man was put through a course of bread pudding, hash, and warmed-over coffee, which tried his soul, although he bore it with praiseworthy fortitude."

apples waiting to be made into something delicious (above)

yummy banana muffins for breakfast (below)


Sometimes, when I walk downstairs first thing in the morning, a malodorous aroma greets me. Yep - the kitchen trash needed to be placed in the garage last night. Or when I walk into Lena's peaceful room, I am greeted with the sound of her piano music, two sweet hands lifted to Momma -- and the gut scrambling smell of her diaper pail. But sometimes - there is a lovely candle smell, or a wonderful cooking smell drifting from the kitchen. Other times, there is a clean smell emanating from a freshly scrubbed bathroom.

Walk closer to the table, and you'll smell fresh flowers!


Oh hello, come in! If its the middle of the day, you may see some messy spots! But after all, we live here, and we love to have fun together!

trying on new hats (above)
running to the bathroom for a mirror glimpse of a little head in said hat (below)

floor puzzles are fun!
waiting for little fingers to play "This Little Light of Mine"
ok -- in reality it sounds like something from a more modern composer - ;-)


A messy house makes me feel disorganized and out of my element, but I have to be honest and say that my house is very messy at some point in each day. I try to make sure Lena feels that she can mess it up and have all the learning and fun she wants. She is learning to put her toys away, but invariably I'll find a plastic apple in my coaster basket. Before Daddy arrives, we make sure everything is as neat as can be so he will feel a peace upon coming home.

And those smells, well -- its amazing what a well-placed candle can do!


Mimi said...

loved this post... you have such an adorable family... and yes it is absolutely necessary for the house to be messy at least once a day and sometimes two or three...
it is more important to do puzzles and read books.. and have some lovin that to always make sure that the house is tip top!!!
When Lena is grown she will remember the fun times and the times you kissed her boo boos... but she won't even think of the time you spent picking up her toys!!!or mopping the floors !!!

Maxine said...

I liked being at your home this evening.:)It's a fun place! I hope it will always be the way it is now. Every home that worth being called such, has to be messy or smelly at some time or another. What Mimi says is so very true. You're making memories.

Beka said...

Beautiful post, Bev!! I enjoyed the passage from Little Women, and the glimpse into your home, which is always so peaceful and full of love. You are indeed making memories-- precious ones.

Anonymous said...

'Little women' is such a precious book - thanks for reminding me that I own it, will have to reread it sometime soon :-)

Your blog always reflects that your heart is so much in your home! Your whole personality is so much about caring - for your hubby, Lena, the house... I am sure that this love will come back as a blessing to yourself!

Have a blessed new week!

Joel and Jaime said...

I know it's easy, at least for me, to fall into the trap of 'wishing' for things that I don't have--life in the city, a career, interesting things to do away from the home--you know, a 'social life.' But then, when I stop and make myself really look at the things I have, like you do, I realize that everything/body I'll ever need has already been given to me, and those blessings reside in my home!It makes my 'wishing' for other things seem what it really is-selfish and immature. How could I ever want more than what God has already given me? Thanks for taking the time to remind us all of that!

Laura S. said...

yes I agree. If I ever get married and have kids, I want to keep my house neat, without a ton of trinkets everywhere, nice and simple, with bamboo shades! :)

Elise said...

ALL of your posts lately have just been so lovely. This one evokes such a cozy feeling - such great tips! I want to come over! :)

Cathy said...

Little Women reminds me of how my mother used to read it to me. I loved your pretty pictures. Little Lena's piano is so cute. :o) Sounds like you have a very happy home.

Jodi said...

Oh, Beverly, Little Women is one of my all time favorite books! I had the *joy* of sharing it with my daughters last fall as a read aloud ... a sweet, precious time with my girlies! :o)

Learning to accept a few messes goes a long way to experiencing the joy of parenthood. I have seen far too many mothers abandon homeschooling because they cannot cope with their house being messy, and they've never taught their children to participate in the cleanup.

And I so agree ~lol~ a nicely lit candle can cover up a multitude of *living*! ;o)

Baptist Girl said...

When ever I come to your blog, I feel a calmness with the music that is played and the words that are shared. Thank you for sharing some of your life with your readers and friend's in Christ.


Vicki said...

Ah, the sweet memories being made in your midst! Precious cute little Lena, such sweetness....enjoy this blessing called motherhood. I miss the times my own were small.