Monday, December 30, 2013

Home Comforts

I have been reading my enormous hard back copy of Home Comforts with such .well, comfort. Smiles.
Loving home and making it cozy, clean and comfortable has been with me for most (if not all) of my life. My mom said that when I was growing up, she could tell the condition of my bedroom (almost every one was shared with my
sister) by my behavior. If it got too messy, I misbehaved and as soon as it was clean, my mood settled.
I also loved homes of just about any kind because I would find something welcoming or inviting in them. I lived in or visited homes from Georgia to Ohio on quaint streets, condominiums, apartments, mobile homes, two story farm houses, all the way to the most simple of homes in the mountains of TN.

To this day, I recall the dining tables, living room settings, kitchen set ups, and much more.
When I grew up and ended up in my own home (and I've lived in a little shack, apartments, mobile homes, military housing, rental homes, and now the home we hope to stay in after being on this piece of land for over 20 years) ... I love having my own routines, homey places and more. There are aspects to homemaking that I don't love or I only like sometimes (like keeping the floors clean, scrubbing the back and bottoms of toilets, and organizing
paperwork) but I love making our house a home.
 Homemaking inspiration:

Home Comforts with Cheryl Mendelson

The first part of the book has a section on the author's domestic roots while growing up and on through to her own places. She shares some things on how her two grandmothers did homemaking their own way and shared some of what those ways looked like. She shared a quote from The Odyssey that said:
"Each day I long for home, long for the sight of home."

Starting out a Home Comforts series:
One - I know we are busy. I was trying to do this detailed, wonderful, and beautifully inspiring series for us from page one to the end of the book.
I'm realizing that it might never be if I keep such a perfectionistic view of how it must be. I will just share a bit as we go and we can discuss as we decide. Sound good?

Our own Homemaking History: What do you remember of your grandmother or grandmothers homemaking style? Do you remember how she/they washed dishes? Cooked? Had special recipes? Sewed? Crocheted? Cleaned? What else?
What about your mother? What routines did your mother adhere to, if any? How did she manage her work load whether from home or between working outside of the home and being there?

My paternal grandmother died tragically before I was ever able to meet her.
She had 12 children and one grandchild the same age as her youngest child.
She went out on Christmas Eve to get the youngest child (my dad who was
five) and her grandbaby a few more gifts. She got a ride from her friend who drove a mail truck and on the way home, they ran into a blizzard on the mountain. There was an accident and both driver and passenger were killed.
So... I never had the chance to know her or how she ran her home.
My other grandmother was in her 50's and died of cancer a month or so after she was diagnosed and we didn't live close to her for most of my life. I don't recall much but I remember her little home being neat and it being important to her that kids keep their feet warm :) One of my only memories of her was her scolding my mother for letting me go bare footed and putting her own slippers on my feet and insisting I keep them on. I remember the set up of her simple home and the roses she always grew around her porch.

My mother worked after the divorce (she left with the four of us girls to be with her mother when she found out she was sick and she and my dad ended up never getting back together) so there wasn't a lot of domestic things, I guess. I do remember her loving simplicity and the scent of vanilla... she simmered vanilla beads on the stove almost always. She was very, very routine and had her coffee and breakfast by a certain time in the mornings and she was always trying to make her own versions of what we wanted from fast food places or restaurants. This was to save money and because it was healthier. I went wild for the sausage Mcmuffin breakfast sandwiches at McDonald's ... they had probably just come out! ... and she made some at home by cooking eggs as roundly shaped as she could, cooking a sausage patty, and putting those topped with a slice of American cheese on English muffins. She put them in a lunch sack and microwaved them and they were amazing. I had one every morning! 

(for the readers on the email list - this is modified from our present Home Comforts discussion)