Yesterday I asked you to stay tuned. Here is the first post about homemaking, as promised. It’s more of an appetizer for the ideas that are coming. 🙂
My Homemaking Journey
When I got married and found myself trying desperately to keep house, I discovered that I knew almost nothing that a married woman would be expected to know. (That was back in the days of feeling good about myself if I actually “cooked” a 3-course meal: Rice-a-Roni, canned corn, and bagged salad.)
I have always loved learning from books, so when I realized how miserably I was failing, the first thing I did was order the book Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson. This was my first experience with Amazon.com, and I was thrilled when the $35 book showed up in the mail 2 days later. The price might seem a little steep now, but believe me, the book was worth every penny. Besides, nowadays, you can buy the paperback for a third of the original cost.
I read the hefty tome from cover to cover. Much of Mrs. Mendelson’s advice changed the way I approached housekeeping and stuck with me over the years (such as rinsing dishes in extremely hot water to avoid water-spots).
I am now reading it again, 17 years later, and her advice is just as appropriate today as it was then. Even more so for me in particular, due to my age and the activities I pursue. I find that I am no longer looking for shortcuts, but the right way to do things in order to enjoy the process and be more satisfied with the results.
Lately, I am finding housework pleasant. And it’s not just the pleasing air of living in a straightened and clean home, but it’s the pleasing activity of actually doing the work, and taking pride in a job well done.
I am finding that I am not as obsessive compulsive as I was in my early twenties. I know this because I am primarily rereading the relevant-to-me sections, skipping over things such as dishwasher use and maintenance because I don’t even own one. (I didn’t own one then either, but I still read every word, lol. I guess I was afraid that someone would ask – “Did you read that entire book?” And some silly part of me wanted to respond with a resounding yes. But no one ever asked…)
Even though I am skipping a few paragraphs here and there, I am still enjoying the book immensely. There are just some books in existence that have to be described as a breath of fresh air. Anne of Green Gables and Little Women come to mind immediately. Few non-fiction books have earned this place in my mind, but Home Comforts is certainly one of them. In fact, it might be the only one. At the moment, it’s my favorite book to read with an early morning cup of freshly-brewed coffee, completed by poached egg on toast and a few blackberries.
It’s a great way to kick off my day and get myself into the homemaking mood!