After my doctor’s appointment yesterday I went to Target and got some odds and ends for baby….pacifiers and yummy Burt’s Baby Bee soap and lotion, and the little blue booties (which were only 75 cents).
After Target, and a stop in to visit my sister, I went to Barnes and Noble and treated myself to lunch–soup and half a sandwich–which I ate while browsing through the pages of a book that I ended up buying because I liked it so much.
It’s so inspiring….I’m not going to try to do a book review, but I encourage you to try to find it for yourself, and take a peek.
I will share my favorite page, however…….from a section in which the author is describing her fondness for older domestic paintings, paintings of everyday life from years gone by.
I LOVE THIS PAINTING!
It is titled “A Life Well Spent”, by James West Cope (1878). It pictures a mother, knitting with a book on her knees, her two young children standing in front of her, and her daughter sitting on the floor, reading a book and rocking the baby’s cradle. In describing the painting, the author of the book had a lot to say, including these quotes which I underlined in pencil:
“I believe that for some women this (the domestic life) has been and still is, indeed a life well spent.”
“This mother was doing something incredibly valuable and enjoyable.”
“I reckon that any mother who knits red-and-white-striped socks while listening to her son’s catechism must have hidden depths.”
I enjoyed the painting and thoughts so much because I can relate in such a personal way. I’ve recently begun what I imagine will be a lifelong love of handiwork….the crochet projects will start out simple, with simple stitches until I feel comfortable enough to do more challenging work. The small embroidery projects, join the already constant baking in the kitchen….all with various sized little ones about me. It truly is a life well spent, and worth enjoying every ounce!
After taking the pictures and looking through the book this morning, AND working on my own crochet, I happened across an old letter from my Great Grandma (who has since passed away). In it, she described to me the projects she herself was working on (at 90 years of age):
“I did an afghan that had 836 little squares in strips of 38 and 22 rows put together with white 3 times around each strip.”
“I am just finishing up another Granny square afghan 8 squares wide and ten long. I’m putting the edging on it and then I’ll be finished.”
“My morning glory bush is beautiful, lots of blossoms. My sister Beatrice took a picture of me by it but I don’t know how it turned out.”
Part of the reason why I’m so excited to get involved in sewing, crochet, gardening (the gentle arts of domesticity!) is because I feel a connection with the women in my family as I work. All of them…mom, aunts, grandmothers, cousins, sister, all have done their part to inspire me ….. by their example of being brave enough to try new things and enjoying their projects. Painting, drawing, candle making, soap making, canning, sewing, knitting, crocheting, baking, LOTS and LOTS of gardening, painting and decorating the rooms of the home, I’ve seen all of those things as I grew up in a large family. And now I’m awakening to it for myself in a larger way, and truly seeing what a beautiful life we women can make for ourselves in our homes.
And I can’t tell you how tickled I was to have Jacob, Ethan, AND Grace all crocheting with me today! (Rich, however, doesn’t QUITE know what to think of his boys with crochet hooks, LOL).
Just a couple more random photos before I go:
Jacob took this picture for me. A darling chickadee got in the “grapefruit swing” for a treat! And, do you see the other bird in the upper right corner flailing, trying to get his balance on a flimsy weed? Cute.
Also, I thought Grace and her Dad were so sweet together today. They went for a walk, down to the ponds to see if our skating ice was ruined (it is)….Miss Grace took her bunny along (it’s on a harness).
Daddy and his girl. It’s a pleasure to watch Rich interact with her, I’m so proud of him…and we are both proud of our Grace.
She’s quite famous for shutting her eyes during photo sessions. So, I’ll just take this one as the realistic snapshot that it is. Still cute.
Well, I’m going back to snuggle (under one of Great Grandma’s blankets!) on the couch and crochet for a little while before bed. Thanks for stopping by for a visit to my blog. I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!
**I highly doubt I’ll have the baby before midnight, so it appears that I will have a little someone sharing my birth-month with me. Another “Purple Amethyst” —only this one is the 2009 boy model.