There is nothing like a spot of color to brighten the dreariest of winter afternoons.
Our winter home needed an awakening! I decided to employ the lost art of decorating with things common and inexpensive, and yet true works of art. The simple red apple by the not-so-old blue bowl holding my garden’s garlic harvest drew my eye and cheered me. It made the savage winds blowing outside our windows not quite so chilling.
Even if it’s only for the short time it takes to collect soup makin’s, the arrangement of fresh root vegetables on the kitchen counter can be as pretty as a picture to the lady of the house. Morning sunlight angling through the window panes is so welcome; it invites us to be thankful for what bounty we have.
If you have taken the time to search high and low for wonderful old books for your young students, why not set out an easel (Hobby Lobby, 9″ for $4.99) to grab their attention with a different book each week.
“Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.” ~Henry Ward Beecher
This brilliant sky blue picks up a color in the pillows on the sofa.
I look out over my modest domain and take simple joy at the beauty of a bowl of Florida oranges and grapefruits. God must have known we northerners needed some vivid color in the deep winter. My Dutch father used to receive a plump orange or a lump of charcoal as a little fellow at Christmas depending on whether he was obedient or naughty that year.
A scarlet ribbon is such a romantic touch for a lacy bedroom curtain. Grosgrain is stiff enough not to droop as much as satin ribbon. If you shop the sales, you might be able to find pretty ribbon inexpensively enough to change the color come summer. The queen of the castle is interested in being economical.
Outfitting our children in their younger years was always a game for me. Shopping second-hand stores presented me with an exciting challenge to see what I could find that was inexpensive, tasteful, well-made, and would fit for a year or two!
‘Blues, reds, yellows, and green, and all the shades in between’. I believe that plenty of color can affect our mood and ability to learn, children and adults alike.
Amber-skinned onions in an old brown pan speak of God’s kindly garden bounty to His children.
Dried flowers of the fall-blooming hydrangea make pretty bouquets and last easily through the winter. Pinky-Winky and Limelight are my low-water favorites. Paired with golden pears they are lovely.
One of the beauties of fermentation is that is must sit out for a few days at room temperature, thus you can visually anticipate the work of your hands. Sauerkraut ‘working’ on the counter makes this old homemaker and her hungry family happy. That means it will soon be ready to enjoy and keep us healthy during these last few months of less sunshine.
“Life did not bring me silken gowns, Nor jewels for my hair, Nor signs of gabled foreign towns, In distant countries fair, But I can glimpse, beyond my pane, a green and friendly hill, And red geraniums aflame upon my window sill.” ~Martha Haskell Clark
Even in this bleak mid-winter with its challenges and trials, there is hope for the spring to come. There is nothing I can think of like a red geranium in your south-facing window to enliven the wintertime home. Also, don’t hesitate to display your soaps and keepers like potatoes, onions, and winter squash in old crockery.
With a little hard work, the waiting 4’x8′ garden boxes promise new bounty. With prayer and time in the Word of God, we can gain a heart of contentment. A surge of thankfulness fills the homemaker’s heart.
May we rejoice that our generous God has given us eyes to see the simple beauties around us in every season, if we but look!
“We have a mission to others ~ to add to their cheer. This we cannot do unless we have first learned the lesson of cheerfulness ourselves.” ~ J.R. Miller
We can amplify this beauty and cheer by working on being content in our lives, for if we are not, no amount of wealth, material provision, or colorful pretties will bring us or those around us happiness. None of us will ever get this totally right on this earth, but let us ask the Lord to help us be women content where we are and with what we have!
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” ~1 Timothy 6: 6-8
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