Saturday, July 11, 2015

ARE YOU HAPPY? By E.H.C., North Dakota, June 1925

Dear Farmer's Wife:

Our happiness depends on ourselves and not our surroundings, our circumstances or our associates. It is not having what we want but making the most of what we have.

My desire has always been to have a home full of my own children, not three or four but a dozen or so with at least one pair of twins! Instead I find myself "an old maid," my sisters and brothers all away from home and my nieces and nephews so far away they seldom even come for a visit. But his old world is just full of children--I have some under foot most of the time--and there is a world of joy to be had from these children that are not our own. Then there may be a father, grandmother, grandfather, uncle or aunt in the home or near us who is hungry for the love that we could give them. Do not think their life is overfull of pleasure because they do not complain.

Have you lost one very dear to you? Do not waste your life pining and regretting. They are just a few steps ahead of us and waiting for us. Do what you cannot do for them for someone else. There are other children who need love; someone else's mother to whom you may be considerate and gentle; some young person away from home who could appreciate your help in any way. Do for them what you would wish done for one of your loved ones if among strangers. At the same time enrich your days and make a glow in your heart. All of us have happiness within us if we only cultivate it. Above all, never sour your heart with a grudge. Grudges are poison. What has happened to you is only "bad" in the degree you make it--forget it and be happy, if not because of your trouble, but in spite of it.


Friday, July 3, 2015

LIFE HAS LOVELINESS TO SELL; The Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt; Pages 88-89

Dear Friends:

I want to express my thanks to those of you who have taken the time to leave a comment about one of the letters. Forgive me for not always responding, but please know that your input is much appreciated. Thank you for your kindness!

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed rinsing and cutting up strawberries yesterday. The window was open and the wind was blowing and I was standing at my kitchen sink! When we bought our property sixteen years ago, it had two homes on it; a large, old farmhouse, and a small, equally old, little house. We have been slowly fixing up the little house and I hope someday (I am 59 years old) to retire there (at least as much as a housewife ever retires!) The big house kitchen sink faces an inside wall, but from the little house sink, I can see the clothesline, a cornfield, the garden, and best of all, the sky.

From "Wealthy" Minnesota; September 1935; Quilt Block: Sara

Years ago I remember Mother asking Dad to cut a window above the kitchen sink. He finally did, after some coaxing, and I helped him with hammer and nails. I doubt if either of us understood just why she wanted a window there when all she saw from it was the road going out to the highway, and the spirea hedge and the pansy beds. Then it came my turn to have a kitchen sink, with a window above it, and I remember my mother's insistence.
 
Several hours a day I stand or sit by my sink and watch the parade of beauty pass my window: Spring, with its new buds and clouds of plum blossoms, its rain-drenched lilacs and flash of returning birds. Summer, with its blue skies and blooming flower beds, its afternoon picnics in the shade of the big oak, with sunlight filtering through the leaves to fall on tousled yellow heads. Fall, and sturdy young bodies marching off to school, turning for a last wave and smile.

Frost laying a mantle of white over the green grass, giving a thousand colors to elm and oak and maple. Winter, with snow piled high against the hedges, casting blue shadows for snowbirds to bathe in. Sunshine on ice-coated evergreens and spruce; a snow fort and snowmen.
Dishwashing and canning make the kitchen sink a busy place. But with my window to let in beauty of sound and line and color, it ceases to be merely a busy place and becomes a marketplace, for, according to Sara Teasdale, "Life has loveliness to sell." And we may buy it at the kitchen sink.