Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Old Picture Box -

Grandma's photo box reveals the life that was important to her and many others at that time. She kept this love of home and family and the nation even through a time of turmoil when young people were throwing off the loyalties of their parents and the restraints of their forefathers. In this box contained pictures of her and her family in front of every house they ever lived in. "This was our house in Kansas," she would say. "Here is where we lived in Washington." As I rummaged through some old photos in an antique store, I noticed many Victorian families standing in front of houses. The house was more than a shelter or a place to "crash" or hang out. It was a place where the family shared loyalty and good values that would build up and establish the home, not tear it down. It would be a home place for future generations to gather. It was not there for resale value. It was there because it made a statement about the permanence of the marriage and the family.

Other photographs show just her in a different dress. When she got a new dress, or when I sewed one for her, Grandpa would take a picture of her wearing it. Sometimes she took a picture of the table all spread out with food ready to serve company. Other times pictures showed her husband's prize dahlias growing in all their colorful splendor in the flower boxes outside. Grandma had many photos of her in front of a throng of flowers, wearing a dress in the same color as the flowering bush, flowering tree or flower bed.

There were a few photographs of presents she got on her birthday or on other special occasions. In these, she held all her gifts on her lap, smiled broadly and had her picture taken. Every single birthday and anniversary was a huge event. They stayed home for most of them but the house was alive with a feeling of celebration. She dressed up before she had her picture taken and never was there a photograph of her in her sleeping clothes.

Cars were another favorite. Photographs abounded of every single car she and her husband owned, with the two of them or the entire family standing in front of the car. I have an old photograph of all 7 of the children in my family standing in front of an old car that my parents owned. It was something everyone enjoyed doing and it symbolized ownership and progress, and also symbolized many other things: a man's care for his family so that they could freely travel from one place to another, and a family's fascination with automation.

The thing I like best about the diaries and the photo albums, is the evidence of the happy home and the hard work that she did to get it that way. She rose up early in the morning and began her day, free from the dictates of any corporation. She decided on her own menus and her shopping list. She went where she wanted to go and she looked after her home the way she chose. Even in the early days of the diaries and the photographs, when there was no money, she managed to make a day special for her family and create moments to remember. I think that it takes enormous intelligence, alertness, resourcefulness, thoughtfulness and love to do what she did. Sometimes people would say, "Don't you want to make a lot of money and do better

than your parents?" I used to hear this a lot in the 60's. I think it is very hard to do better than parents who had a lasting marriage and raised children and kept a home place. We always hope the younger generation will make a better pie, though, and be great homemakers, and be able to manage their time better, or be healthier, or know the scriptures better and spare themselves the heartache of a broken home. We hope they will study and "do better" spiritually and be able to be good stewards of their houses and property.


To the Christian Feminist,

here are some links that show the connection between Feminism and Marxism: http://no-maam.blogspot.com/2007/02/what-is-marxism-and-how-does-it-work.html

Vox Day has an article called "Feminism, the Failed Experiment" http://voxday.blogspot.com/search?q=feminism

and Glenn Sacks has articles about feminism here http://glennsacks.com/blog/?p=137

type in "feminism " in his search area and there are many more articles to look at.

Read the truth about feminism in an article by Henry Makow here http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=1890


Anonymous said...

The deterioraton of property is one evidence of the family running off in different directions. There is no time for yard work and housework, as everyone is so busy going "somewhere else." I wonder if they realize the price of the house or the rent is just wasted money due to the fact it remains empty all day.

Anonymous said...

The deterioraton of property is one evidence of the family running off in different directions. There is no time for yard work and housework, as everyone is so busy going "somewhere else." I wonder if they realize the price of the house or the rent is just wasted money due to the fact it remains empty all day.

Elspeth said...

"I think it is very hard to do better than parents who had a lasting marriage and raised children and kept a home place."

I couldn't agree more.

Unknown said...

I love to look at my Mamaw's old pictures. I wish I had some of them to share on the blog!

Anonymous said...

"I think it is very hard to do better than parents who had a lasting marriage and raised children and kept a home place."

I couldn't agree more with this statement either.

~ Ann

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written. I have heard over and over how I must "do better" than my parents. It was drilled into me. I was the first of my father's family to graduate from college (an event I took for granted, par for course). When I left teaching to stay at home and tend my family, the rest of my family couldn't believe it. In fact, we are a curiosity because we choose not to pursue "the American dream" and are seeking to live more simply. My parents can't understand how it is that I would want to live with less; they worked so hard to give us so much, but it isn't the stuff that I remember as a child, it is the moments.

Thank you for helping to stir up the best and put us in rememberance.

Anonymous said...

Good morning Lady Lydia,

As always, I am enjoying your post. The question I have is not concerning the recent topics, but does apply to homemaking. Do you have a *Home Management* binder? If so, have you posted about it or shown pictures of it? If so, could you direct me to the post? I am in the process of putting one together, and hopefully use it to get my home in more of a peaceful order.


Lydia said...

I can photograph mine when I get a few minutes today. In the mean time you might check out the How To Keep House blogspot and see if she has anything. Judging by the state of her house and grounds, she has some knowledge of how to get things done!

Mrs. K's Lemonade Stand said...

I really like that… “shared loyalty and good values.”

Home is your haven, or at least it should be, where family members are safe, loved and cherished.

You have a lovely way of sharing things. :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

You do not have to send this one through.

I just wanted to share something I found interesting at

Meredith has a video of Elizabeth Warren, author of The Two Income Trap. (posted on from May 28, 2008) Even though Elizabeth isn't saying that the solution is for mother to come home...however, she is pointing out how things started to crumble for the American family once mother left the home around the early 70's.


JKaye said...

We all chuckle and groan at my husband's mother's preoccupation with getting photos at every gathering, usually photos of people standing together in front of the house, simply to mark the fact that we all were there on such-and-such an occasion. But we really know that such photos have special meaning.

S. Belle said...

I agree that it takes a lot of alertness and intelligence to accomplish what women did in those days.

I strive to be as hardworking and industrious and accomplished as many women in my grandmother's generation, and even my mother's.

They have had successful, long lasting marriages, raised children, kept immaculate homes while doing so, were excellent cooks, found ways to earn money on the side, were hospitable, God-fearing women.

To do better than the previous generation, people focus on being better off financially. But, there is a lot to aspire to in being like our grandmothers and mothers. I know I am a long way from being the kind of homemaker that my grandmother and mother are, but I'm working on it.

Mrs. V. said...

This post really spoke to me. The sentiments in it are very true.

One thing I have wondered about - in this day and age of digital cameras, will our children even have boxes of photos to go through? I have to say that most of mine get loaded onto the computer and then that's it. Perhaps alot of us (myself included)should take the time to actually get them developed or printed out so they will be around for our children.

Lydia said...

We should perhaps make it a point to have pictures printed regularly just to keep in a box. People of all ages love going through them, picking them up, passing them around and talking about them. You can send pictures from your computer to places like Wal Mart and order them in prints, and they will be delivered through the mail to your house. It is actually less expensive than ordering them in the store.

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia,

There's also an online company called snapfish. They store our photos online for us, we can order as many prints as we like. We've been using them for 6 years.

When my daughter got married a couple years ago, we had the pictures sent there that way anyone attending the wedding who wished to order could do so...we did have to give them the code but that was no problem.

My husband took a digital black and white photo of me with our children, he sent it to snapfish and to my surprise had it made into a large (almost poster-size) photo...a gift to himself. :o) Paula

Anonymous said...

I still make a yearly album, printing off an album's worth of pictures for the year. Then I store the rest electronically.

I think there is still something nice about having an album to hold. Kind of like how books will never go out of favor, no matter how many electronic gadgets they come up with!

I don't do extremely time-consuming scrapbooking, but I try to write little notes in the album about where we were, memories, etc.

I always joke with my husband that I didn't realize that one of my jobs as a wife and mother would be the family archivist.

~ Ann

Father's Grace Ministries said...

I inherited one of my Grandmother's photo collections when she passed away nearly 7 years ago. They are one of my most precious possessions- and they don't just sit in the cupboard. When I hit a bit of a low, & my housekeeping wains a bit, they give me fresh motivation.

Unknown said...

I loved this post! Your mom sounds like me! I take photos of each home & vehicle we own. At every occasion, all know I'll be the one taking the most photos. As someone here mentioned in her comment, "...amongst the chuckles and groans!"

Unknown said...

oops, sorry! I meant to say, "your Grandma sounds alot like me."