Monday, March 25, 2019

Succeed At What You Like Best; M.L. from Georgia; 1931

Six years ago I was a stenographer, making $150 a month and a 10% bonus, in a position that I held for ten years and could have held as long as I cared to. Living was not expensive in this town and I had a delightful five-room apartment. I had pleasant friends to play bridge with and many other amusements. I had access to a wonderful public library and I enjoyed my daily work.

Suddenly, at the age of eighty, my father lost his eyesight and with this blow came confusion of mind. I could not bear to think of him and my invalid mother being in the country without one of their children and they would not consider coming to live with me. Finally I gave up my work and went to them.

I decided that I would call the farm my "home"  indefinitely,--not mark time by planning to do thus and so in the future. I had always loved flowers and set out to see how attractive I could make the farm grounds. Month by month, my savings went for comforts for those I loved and I had no money to spare for plants. I yearned for hollyhocks, hibiscus, columbine, delphinium and every flower that bloomed. To that end I planted seed and rooted cuttings, sometimes with success, again with failure.

At first I gave my surplus plants away and then I chanced to think of selling them and so began my business, which started with ten dollars the first year and now this fourth year has increased to $600. It is practically all profit above the postage, for all my business is done by mail. I do all the work myself. Yet, it is only a side line to housework, cooking, chickens and stock and in times of necessity I go to the field.

My father and mother were both taken last year and my friends took it
for granted that I would leave the farm immediately and take up office work again. But I expect to remain here always and I have a business started which will take care of my comfortably.

I say to everyone, do that which you like best--dressmaking, anything--and your customers will seek you out eventually. Success lies in contentment.

Monday, March 18, 2019

ENJOYING THE OUT OF DOORS, 1936 & 1932

By "For More Fun" from Wisconsin, 1936

I am a farmer's wife with two little tots, and I've decided that, no matter how busy I am, I'm going to take time to enjoy my babies.

This morning we found a little blue jay on the lawn. We put it back and sat for several minutes watching it. Yesterday we went for a twenty minute walk to the woods above the pasture. We picked a few wild flowers, ferns and leaves. Some days I load both babies into the little red wagon and take them with me when I carry Daddy's lunch into the field or when I go after the mail. How they do enjoy it, especially if we have to wait. Sometimes it is only a tour of the farmyard where we call on each of the farm animals and visit awhile.

At bedtime, I take them upstairs and tuck them into their beds and talk a little while with them before the sandman comes too close. A few love pats or a few little rubs on tired backs do much to quiet unstrung nerves and bring restful sleep.

They are just "little whiles" in the midst of busy hours, of busy days, of busy years. But long after other things are forgotten they'll look back and remember those "little whiles" with mother.

Love them while we can...

By "Trusting" from Virginia, 1932

When the kiddies are taking their afternoon nap, no matter how many things are waiting to be done, slip out and fasten the door behind you. Be sure you take your worries and discouragements with you. Walk briskly--are there hills in Nebraska? If you haven't a hill that you can climb and stand on top of, find a lone tree. A tree that is large and powerful, one that knows the fierceness of bitter winter winds. Stand under its branches. It will whisper to you, listen well, and while you are listening, your worries and discouragements will slip away. Go back to your house and your little ones, and if you have caught that gleam, you will feel it, a little burning joy that will grow and grow with the years. It is a great possession!

Monday, March 11, 2019

SUNLIGHT IN HER LANE by "Fourteen-year-old" from New York

My mother is forever
Darning holes in endless socks;
But she loves the scent of clover,
And the drifting four-o'-clocks.

Forever patching garments worn and small,
Scouring kettles, baking loaves; 
But the garden pinks against the wall
Give a fragrance keen as cloves.

She washes little dirty faces,
And she kisses bruises, healing pain;
While the shadows blow like fine gray laces
'Gainst the sunlight in her lane.

Each day brings its drab, tired hours,
There are homely tasks to do;
But she had a garden,--flowers,
And a window to look through. 

Monday, March 4, 2019

SHOULD SHE GO?, 1936, Part 2

From "Unsentimental Mother," from New York

My husband I started out by ourselves but mother and dad wanted us to share their home with them. (My husband is one of the finest men on earth and my people think the world of him.) When we had been by ourselves about two years, my father's health failed and they wanted us to come so badly that
we finally went to live with them. But we weren't happy. We tried to be, just to please them. It didn't work. There were many little reasons, but the big one was that it did not give us a chance to show the world what we could do ourselves.

After dad regained his health, we moved out by ourselves again. And because they were big enough to understand it all and let us go, they held our love and understanding as they never could have by keeping us.

They have every comfort and convenience at home to offer us, and we rent a house that isn't as nice as their summer cottage. We have to work very hard and we do without things we both were used to before we married. It may sound as though we are stubborn and foolish, but we aren't really, for here we have found ourselves. Here we are happy. Here we are more than just a part of a fine family. We are a fine family for now we have five beautiful children and are proving to ourselves that we are capable of doing a big job and doing it well.

Please give your "children" the chance Dad and Mother gave us. Let them go with the knowledge that they are always welcome if they decide to come back as they may sometime.

But until they decide, wouldn't you rather they would be away with a deep, tender feeling for your home than to be there always wishing they were away?

And finally from "One Who Regrets" in Michigan

To Mother, of Iowa. I persuaded my son and his young wife to make their home with us. In five years they were parted and laid the blame at our door.

Please let your daughter go to a different home no matter how lonesome you may be. It is the only way that is right.

Note from Laurie: I find it interesting that the magazine never printed any letters from young women who thought that it was a good idea to live with their parents after marriage. My guess is there were not any letters sent in to print!