I just had a visit from a wonderful lady who brought me brunch, which she cooked in my kitchen.
She brought with her two of her three grown daughters, who were educated at home, age 25 and 18. These two girls were extraordinarily enthusiastic about life. I took them on a walking tour of the garden and the land about us, and they were enchanted with it.
I asked them if they knew anything about the rhubarb plant and they showed me how to pick it, weed it, and take care of it, as well as offerred suggestions on how to make from it sauces, jams, and muffins. "I will warn you, though," said one of them. "that if you ever decide to chew on raw rhubarb, everything will taste like rhubarb for a long time." She told me she had done so and even when her mother made chocolate cake, it tasted like rhubarb.
During breakfast they told me about things they were doing at home. One of them wanted me to come and see a room she had rearranged and cleaned. The mother commented that they as a family rarely get any encouragement for the life that they lead. We shared ideas about living in small homes, trying to come up with plans to make things fit in small rooms.
The daughters are earning money by being able to care for elderly people in their own homes. People usually donate what they can afford, to have these girls come, cook a meal, clean house, help them with a letter, read aloud, or just keep them company. The eldest daughter, who was looking after her grandmother, also raises sheep, and has learned to use the wool to make a fabric called "felt," which she dyes with vivid colors. She does something called "felting," whereby she makes this fabric while forming it into something such as a tea cozy or purse or hat or mittens.
Brunch consisted of English muffins with sliced tomato and cooked asparagus spears, covered in a wonderful cheese sauce, fresh baked scones with raspberry jam (home made) and whipped cream. Tea of different kinds consisted of: Yorkshire Gold, Orange Spice, and Camomile, served in individual pots.
While their mother and I visited, one of them played tunes reminiscent of the Edwardian era. These girls could easily converse about such writers as Adam Clarke or Jane Austen, and discuss their values at length. It was most refreshing to hear such talk, in a society that is full of idle foolishness.
Although they had just been out on a farm picking the fresh crop of raspberries, they wore skirts and blouses, and floppy hats to shade their faces in the harsh morning sun.
One of the interesting things that these girls revealed that they were doing as a hobby, was called "letterboxing." Has anyone heard of it? They showed me their little book that people had signed with their stamps and names. This occupation takes them to many beautiful parks and public places like rose gardens, and lighthouses.