I have been slowly working my way through Alexandra Stoddard's "Living a Beautiful Life", a book of encouragement for me regarding creating atmosphere in our homes. Implementing some of the practices over the last month has been a real joy! The front hall closet has actually been cleaned out and organized.
Benefits of living in a one-bedroom apartment: no storage space for "junk". Drawbacks to living in that one-bedroom apartment: no storage space for much else.
But as a little dose of reality, I came across this description of some women in Botswana in another of Alexander McCall Smith's books:
These were house-proud women, who kept the yard spotless, the sand brushed and raked everyday, the chicken manure cleared away and deposited on the melon patch; women who understood the importance of scouring your pans until the black was scraped away and the metal below was shining. These were not small things. These were the things which showed children growing up in the house how they should live their lives as clean, upright people.
Sometimes I read "homemaking" books and just roll my eyes in frustration...it must be nice to be Martha Stewart...does she really expect us to believe that she does her own cooking, cleaning, and ironing?
But thinking of these "house proud" women in Botswana, what an example...to make do with what we have, to take care of our homes, and to make them places that our children, and husbands, are influenced by...even though they may never realize it.