Wednesday, October 23, 2013

COUNTRY GIRL STORY; part 2; 1915; From Her "Beloved Southland'

It is evident that her share in the housework is not a small one. She does the sewing and much of the gardening, taking entire care of the flower-garden. She does marvels of canning; she keeps the accounts; she straightens up the rooms, and helps with the cooking. She runs the errands, waiting on the father, who is permanently disabled. To facilitate her work she has a sewing machine, an oil stove, a pump near the door, and a wheel-hoe. What she desires in the way of equipment in order to make her housekeeping easier are these only—her thoughts for herself have not flown very high!--a kitchen cabinet and a clothes wringer. Since they eat a great deal of cream cheese and lots of fruit and vegetables raw, she does not feel that they need a fireless cooker; but she does greatly need a canner.

The recreations of this hard-working girl consist of reading, going visiting, walking, studying nature, making a flower garden, and writing letters. She also naively includes going to Sunday School among her recreations. She takes an excursion to the shore once in a great while; but only seldom has she the time for that. In her community there are perhaps twenty-five young people. They have a dance once or twice a month and a picnic twice a year; and there is a school social every two months. The village has a hall with a platform, a two-roomed school house, and a tennis court, as facilities for a social center.

With delightful frankness this efficient County Girl recounts her financial endeavors. Her chief way of earning money is by raising vegetables for the table and by cutting down expenses by careful planning of the diet. During one year the family of four had only to pay out $71 for bought groceries.

In her earlier girlhood her father paid her a salary of ten dollars a month for her household assistance. That first money she earned, she saved. She let it accumulate for a time and when she had a good opportunity she bought a lot with it. After a while she moved a house upon the lot and fixed it up. The family lived there for about a year and then she sold it, making a good profit. During that time they owned a garden and a cow. The garden was held to be her own special property; but her enthusiasm for the whole farm project was no doubt to a good extent the result of the training in responsibility she had received at the hands of her wise parents.