I promised some delicious domestic passages and I shall deliver. I crave cozy descriptions and if you ever write a book entirely filled with the magical details of homekeeping, I'll buy it and read it a hundred times.
Fires so lovely that one turns into a child again, or a Girl Scout, or a picnic diner (not dinner!), or an Irish grandmother, shawl around her shoulders and a strong arm extended to lift the enormous tea pot . . . (I just watched The Secret of Roan Inish, MK!)
Is there anything better than homemade macaroni and cheese for making a hungry little person feel attended to?
When I make cinnamon rolls, I feel proud and purposeful. Sometimes I forget that my hands are very good at creating food because they spend so much time on keyboards. Gulp.
"Christmas Day passed very quietly. the men had a holiday from work and the children from school and the churchgoers attended special Christmas services. Mothers who had young children would buy them an orange each (my mother did this, too!) and a handful of nuts; but, except at the end house and the inn, there was not hanging of stockings, and those who had no kind elder sister or aunt in service to send them parcels got no Christmas presents.
Still, they did manage to make a little festival of it. Every year the farmer killed an ox for the purpose and gave each of his men a joint of beef, which duly appeared on the Christmas dinner-table together with plum pudding (is this why we had roast beef after church EVERY Sunday?) - not Christmas pudding, but suet duff with a good sprinkling of raisins. Ivy and other evergreens (it was not a holly country) were hung from the ceiling and over the pictures (I do this!); a bottle of home-made wine was uncorked, a good fire was made up, and, with doors and windows closed against the keen, wintry weather, they all settled down by their own firesides for a kind of supper-Sunday." Lark rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson
It's the little pleasures that give that full-hearted happy feeling, don't you think?
My favorite passages in The Wind in the Willows include talk of tidy living spaces. Remember when Ratty agrees to go back to Mole's house and then remarks about how "capital" it is? Mole DOES love his home.
"The weary Mole also was glad to turn in without delay, and soon had his head on his pillow, in great joy and contentment. But ere he closed his eyes he let them wander round his old room, mellow in the glow of the firelight that played or rested on familiar and friendly things which had long been unconsciously a part of him, and now smilingly (great word!) received him back, without rancour. He was now in just the frame of mind that the tactful Rat had quietly worked to bring about in him. He saw clearly how plain and simple - how narrow, even - it all was; but clearly, too, how much it all meant to him, and the special value of some such anchorage in one's existence. He did not at all want to abandon the new life and its splendid spaces, to turn his back on sun and air and all they offered him and creep home and stay there; the upper world was all too strong, it called to him still, even down there, and he knew he must return to the larger stage. But it was good to think he had this to come back to, this place which was all his own, these things which were so glad to see him again and could always be counted upon for the same simple welcome." The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
From Little Women:
"People who hire all these things done for them, never know what they lose; for the homeliest tasks get beautified if loving hands do them, and Meg found so many proofs of this, that everything in her small nest, from the kitchen roller to the silver vase of her parlor table, was eloquent of home love and tender forethought."
So you see, there are so many inspiring and homey literary gems!
Another cup of coffee for me and then I'll go to school and prepare for the super stars. Thank you for reading along with me, paying attention to my dreamy ramblings. You're a nice person with a squishy warm heart, I think.