https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1601065.Spirit_of_the_Home I was able to pick up some holds from the library today. This book has been on hold since March when I was reading up on Hestia. This book is more than just a section on Hestia and has brought up some things I have been working through since reading The Giver of Stars. I really liked that book (Giver of Stars) and will probably read it again someday. Anyhoo…this book is asking me to look at some things I was already starting to think about. I guess it’s definitely something I am meant to do, for whatever reason. I’m kind of glad I had to wait for it…if I got it back in March it wouldn’t have meant the same things.
The Giver of Stars painted a pretty good picture of what it must have been like living in Kentucky back in the day. I knew that my great grandfather built the house but I didn’t know it was made of saplings and called the wahoo house, until I found that map…again because of that book. I knew they lined the walls with newspapers, I didn’t know why until this book. The house had two bedrooms, a kitchen and a living room. That housed a married couple, six kids, and a a mother in law. They heated their house with wood, the chimney was made of mud and rocks. The water was carried in buckets from the stream and obviously there was no electricity. When they canned food for the winter it was stored under the bed. My grandmother and her sister slept on the floor. To pass time my great grandfather played the organ and they sang christian songs…it is the bible belt after all. I didn’t know you could play an organ without electricity? My notes specifically say organ, not piano? The newspaper on the walls and the organ were the extent of anything extra. It was about survival, not decorating.
The farm house my mother grew up in did have electricity but no running water, they had a telephone but it was a party line. There was a front porch and an enclosed back porch which was where my grandmother’s wringer washer lived. There were two bedrooms upstairs, two bedrooms downstairs, a kitchen and a living room. A married couple and eleven kids lived in that house. The walls were paneling, the stove was a big beautiful cast iron wood burning stove. I remember waking up in that house freezing under blankets and melting in a pool of sweat in 100 plus degrees with obscene humidity. It was too dark to find the outhouse if you needed to go in the middle of the night so there was a pee bucket. I have had a gun pulled on me many a time in my life and every single time was by my grandfather in his big ole feather bed when I had to pee. Sleeping with a gun under your pillow must have been a thing too? There were pictures on the walls, mostly of grand kids that were given as gifts. Avon perfume bottles were the only knick knack type thing I can remember. My grandmother did have a weakness for pretty plates from yard sales. I did inherit that gene, although…I do not have an out building packed to the brim or an old school bus hanging around for extra storage. Wait….I sort of did have that out building once…yikes! I didn’t like sleeping upstairs, if it wasn’t mud daubers and wasps flying around in the day….it was bats flying around at night. Sometimes grandma would pull out a mattress and we would sleep on the floor….that was my first encounter with a field mouse. I’m pretty sure I didn’t sleep that night. It was a different world when I went to visit.
So my mom marries my dad and moves to Ohio. We lived in a three bedroom house. There were five of us so that is better. I can’t complain, my brothers shared a room and I had my own. I don’t remember anything on my walls but I did have a full sized canopy bed complete with a blue Holly Hobby comforter. I did have a big dresser with shelves on the top. I seemed to have had a lot of carved candles back in the 70’s…they must have been popular? We had a nice front porch but I don’t remember ever sitting on it? We had a TV in the living room but I really don’t remember watching it that much? The kitchen was small so most events were held in the dining room. There were built ins in the dining room and in the living room. The ones in the living room were behind glass. I have no pictures of my bedroom or it’s bumpy pink walls.In the small cut picture you can see part of a rocking chair…I held on to that thing forever. I have no idea which move it disappeared in? There is also an old spindle behind me and I’m pretty sure my brother has that somewhere. In the bottom picture you can see tv trays and the little wooden vessel on the piece of furniture behind me….I’m mostly sure I still have that? The picture on the top right is of my mom and the built ins behind her. I don’t even remember that chair? There were hardly any pictures on the wall…no clutter, except for toys. My mom started to decorate a little more when she started working and made new friends that had Princess House parties….I think that’s what they were called? Mirrors flanked by sconces started to show up and the occasion candelabra would pop up on a table. On a whole though…my mother was more of a minimalist than I could ever be.
The next branch in the family tree is me and my eclectic tastes. If I like it…I like it. Name brands mean nothing to me. Force of Nature Girl is good at that but not me. I have my artists and authors that I favor but the rest of that stuff means nothing. I purchased a couch from Ashley Furniture two years ago…I could move and leave it behind and not miss it at all. But that old chair I bought from the ReStore for $35.00….that’s coming with me. I think it might be time to try and sell some things. I bought the most beautiful moon picture from Terri Foss https://www.etsy.com/listing/816170067/new-85×11-one-art-print-from-my-original?ref=shop_home_active_13&crt=1 I will post a picture after I frame it. When I was scouting out areas to hang it, I realized I probably need to let some things go. Not my Ruth Thompson, Waterhouse, or my Maxfield Parrish, but some of it….baby steps.
PT can decorate a room and it looks like a magazine, SB is the same way, although it would be a different magazine. Both of my friends have that knack…I just don’t have it. Lucky for me, I get free advice…
I’m not sure why this is coming up now or where the Spirit of the Home book will take me but I’m sure it’s relevant or it wouldn’t keep popping up. I know I still have too much stuff and I am hoping this book is the kick in the pants that I need….Zia