in the beginning
via In the Beginning
HOW DID OUR GRANDMOTHERS DO IT?
We are making changes at Beech Hill
After many years of living in our house at Beech Hill we are making some changes. The first change was years ago installing wood floors into the living and dining rooms. Now we have changed out the window/door combo in the dining room for a 72″wide french door with operable sidelights 12″ wide each. Now we have a lovely view out to the back yard.
Here are a few photos of the progress;
Beech Hill is in the path of totality
We are in the path of totality for the west coast and where we came from Beech Hill South Carolina we are in the path of totality there as well. That is incredible to me.
We will be having a Totality party with our neighbors on the Hill. Lots of people camping in the fields. We are hunkering down from Wednesday on. Food, gas and cash is advised by our local authorities. Most of all, stay home. It is amazing what is going on for 2 minutes 40 plus seconds. None the less we are in the path and taking the day off!
Happy Solar Eclipse
In the Beginning
Where to start, back to the Bronze age? Roman times or how about the United States of America? I am going to start in the United States of America.
We were an agrarian society. Our homes, ranches, farms were manufacturing plants. Creating the textiles, food, timber, iron, pots and pans, wooden bowls, the list goes on what was created by bare hands and a few tools. We manufactured and serviced (laundry, cooking, cleaning house) the entire home. Our great grandmothers job was endless. Getting up before everyone else to get the hot water going for the day (keeper of the flame) Having the meal ready when everyone got up. The job was overwhelming. By 1840 Catharine Beecher was writing “Treatise on Domestic economy” 1841.
She later wrote “The American Woman’s Home” 1869. She wrote this book with her sister Harriet Beecher Stowe. Guiding women to be effcient in their homes to free themselves of the burden of housework.
My next blog, I will go into more detail about the book the two sisters wrote.
How did our grandmothers, great grandmothers manage their homes?
This has been a subject that is very near and dear to my heart. How did my grandmother, great grandmother and great great grandmother manage her home? How did they do their laundry? My understanding is that they cooked the clothes in big pots, that wash day was Saturday and that it took all day. How did they heat their water? Clean the latrine/outhouse? How did they clean the rugs, bake bread, can food, grow a garden, and still have time for their children? How did they make every single meal (AH!), milk the cow, make the butter, render the fat, sew the clothes, heat the house, the list goes on.
My husband was raised on a farm in Ohio. He is the first generation off of the farm since the Mayflower. No, I am not kidding! He tells a story that was told to him of his great aunts. His great aunts could see each others clothes lines when the sheet was put up, and would hold contests as to who got their sheet up first Saturday morning. I LOVE that story, making fun out of a day of very hard work.
How did women end up being the keepers of the household? I know that we have traditionally (for thousands of years, actually) been the keeper of the flame. How did our society morph that into keepers of the house? Some of us are good at the job, while others have varying degree of success. I have noticed that my husband has the same complaints about house keeping as I did when I was doing ninety percent of the job. I do not think this is a male or female issue as much as it is an issue of whoever ends up with the bulk of the responsibility.
So how did we get here? To the house being a juggernaut for whoever gets the short straw of taking care it? Of course for some this is a wonderful job and they really enjoy every minute of maintaining a beautiful home. If you are like me, I trip over house keeping. In the back of my mind I think someone is going to pick up after me; I am a slow learner!
I will be dedicating the next year to a discovery of the evolution of housekeeping, where we have come from, where we are now and what housekeeping might look like in the future. Join me in a year of uncovering the truth about housekeeping.
Well, this is what happens when life gets in the way of blogging. It is NO Blog.. It is a contagion that happens when my focus is else where. It just so happens that now I am able to focus on something other than taxes, estate stuff and getting my son from here to there and business.
So where have I been in this time away from the Blog??? Lets see, Dallas, Cleveland, Chicago, San Francisco etc. Travel takes a tremendous amount of time. I don’t know if you have this happen, but my focus is on the travel and not on what is going on at home. I have not figured out how to be two places at once. I sure try.. but I have not been able to do it yet.
Business has been a blast.. Wonderful projects and really great clients. I feel so lucky to be able to be of service to these lovely people. Here are a few renderings of a project that is in the design phase.
Very fun to work on a 1941 house in “The Avenues” in San Francisco. What a delight!
check out the beginning of our website, more to come
Beech Hill Studios, LLC
It has been a year
Yep, one whole year since my mom died and my dad died 12 days later. One year of sadness. the family that once was, is no longer. Groping to find common ground with siblings who have no interest. Then there is the stuff. The stuff that has sentimental meaning, the stuff that has monetary value and the stuff that needs to be thrown out or given to Goodwill.
Signing of papers,and saying goodbye to lives lived well. Tremendous loss. My loss was on the horizon, late eighties is a good life. I prepared myself, if one can..but there are the unexpected issues, tensions that arise. Maybe they will heal maybe they won’t..Who knows, all I know is that my parents are gone, they are on their next journey together. Smiling happy and living the happy life they once had here on earth.
It has been a long road
Taking apart my parents home has been overwhelming to say the least. All the issues with sharing items between the three of us has been huge. After the sharing part was done then there is the selling of the items that had value or no one wanted.
The decision making process is fraught with “This was my mothers when she was a baby” or”This was mine I remember that” or “Oh this is so beautiful I love it”. If I could do the Kon Mari method of purging I would have only what I love. but alas, I am not Japanese and my ability to be disciplined is limited.
The memories are important to me. One of the last things my father said to me, as he looked over my shoulder at family pictures, “We were a happy family once”. I said “Yes dad we were very happy”. Those items and photos that let us know that we have a heritage that we had happier times are important to keep. They have meaning and relevance to who we have been , and who we are as a member of this group, called a family.
If I have words of advise, it is to stay at the sorting for as long as you can, 3-4 hours a day seemed to be about right. Then once you have done this multiple days , take a break.Come back to it with fresh eyes. You are dismantling your families life piece by piece. There is no easy way, just be gentle. My final, this helped me tip, my mantra has been “You get what you get and don’t throw a fit” This was taught to me and my son by his kindergarten teacher. Wise words to live by!
With love and peace,
All of us on Beech Hill