Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Castle - A video

Recently I investigated the word "castle" and the history of this structure. Castle in other languages:

 French - Chateau
Greek - Kasto
Icelandic - Kastala
Irish - Caslean
Italian - Castello
Romanian - Castel
Spanish - Castil
English - Cottage, Castle

Some sources indicate the words camp, casa, cottage and citadel  are derived from castle.

Other words for castle are: high tower, fortress, fort, fortified village, and palace.

The apostle Paul was kept under guard by in Herod's palace. (Acts 23:35) 
It intrigues me that in all his weather-beaten journeys and a shipwreck, that he spent two years in the palace.  

With these words in mind,  I talk about the concept of a home as a castle, and how it is legitimate to call it that, treat it as a castle should be treated, and live in it with grace and dignity.  This would involve being a good caretaker of it and having  good manners within its walls. 

I am using this teacup today.

This is the outdoor pillow seen in the background in the video. 

We think of castles as homes of royalty, but a castle is also a casa, a dwelling place, a home. If we think of our homes as castles, it may change the way we treat them.

Let us think, however, of the castles the way people usually view them: as occupied by royalty.  The Bible speaks often of royalty in the Old Testament, and translates that into a spiritual royalty in the  New Testament.

If we think of our homes as castles and ourselves as royalty, we may approach the care of them and the living in them with a renewed attitude.  Castles occupied by royal persons are usually kept clean and not allowed to collect too much clutter. Of course they hire servants for such a vast homes, but we ought to be able to manage our small castles.  In the parable of the lost coin, Christ describes a woman who swept the floor looking for the coin. The lowest income  family can surely sweep a floor.  I knew someone who did not have a vacuum for her carpet, but she was undaunted: she just used her straw broom and she swept the carpet. 

Dressing up before anything, is the start of a good day at home. The work doesn't seem so demanding when your hair and face and clothes are attractive, so do your best to look your best. If you think your housework and your appearance do not matter, you might be interested to know that it does have an emotional, physical and mental effect on your family and friends.  When I say "dressing up" I don't mean in posh clothes meant for going out to special events, but clothing that is attractive and suitable for the home, yet can be worn in public if you have to go somewhere.  

Children who observe their parents putting things in order will develop an orderly way of thinking, or at least know what order is.

I mention my friend who had developed the skill of being an automatic picker-upper. Orderliness always followed her instead of chaos. I always thought it would be a good idea to pretend that a detective was trying to find out where all you had been in the house, and to avoid leaving any evidence like papers, clothing, shoes, dishes, projects, etc.  It is actually enjoyable to remove the evidence when you leave the place you are occupying.

 Some times I would observe my own habits, like Hansel and Gretel, left a trail of evidence as if I were lost and wanted someone to find me. My friend had reversed this habit so that the only evidence she had been in a certain place in the house or garden, was that it was neater, cleaner and prettier!

Above: These are called American Cottages! A "little" cottage!  This is from a house plans of the 1800's.

The scripture I used  in the video was Colossians 3:23, which says in whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as unto the Lord and not unto human masters, for you ultimately serve the Lord God, and from Him you will receive the inheritance,  (You will have to look it up to get the words right).

If you live in a castle, you will have to be as royalty, being careful of your life and with grace and dignity, seeing to the management of the dwelling.  There is a big difference in how you treat the house when you consider it a castle and yourself, royalty. Would a royal sit in squalor in the castle with pizza boxes all over the floor and old food on the coffee tables?

When I think of castle, I see shiny halls and orderly arrangements, with the occupants dressed in dignity for every occasion. I see these people as having very defined parts of their day, such as the morning routine, the afternoon activities and the evening relaxation.

 Every castle has fresh flowers, fresh linens on the beds, clean floors, well-set dining tables (royalty dresses up for dinner) and they are always ready for house guests.

What is it we like about vacation resorts or shopping areas? We like to get away from the disorder and the work, of course, but there are other things too: the look of it, the clean and orderly and colorful way it is arranged in order to be attractive.  There are no shelves that have been left for 10 years to collect dust,( like some of mine.) And so, the feeling you get in a grocery store (in the US and Canada) is a type of freedom, and with that freedom comes a sense of joy.  By observing the sights, sounds. scents, and the light, we can bring it to our own homes.  We like these places because they are cheerful and relaxing, yet energizing.  When we create this appealing atmosphere at home, it is easier to be happy there.

While I am on the subject of the grocery store, I have to mention that businesses are required by strict codes to keep their places clean and neat and not have any hazards to the customers. They make an effort to keep their stores attractive and clean, so maybe we could dress up a little when we go there. The staff must weary of the carelessly dressed customers all day long, especially when they are required by employers and by law to a certain dress code and to have the merchandise in order.  It must be discouraging to have a neat store and sloppy customers.

You probably can guess where this is.

We like the grocery store here in our area because it is cheerfully lighted. There are no "dark corners" or depressing areas such as we sometimes allow in our houses. They know where everything is, and if they can't see it on a shelf, they can look it up for you in their inventory. (We could have notebooks with pages listing our possessions and the location. Too many times I have bought vanilla when I already had a bottle of it in the back of the shelf!) In these shops, the floors are clean, the coffee shop and bakery are making a welcoming, homey scent, and the produce department is bright with the colors of oranges, apples, and every shade of green. In the floral department are all kinds of pretty house plants and cut bunches of flowers for the home.  We can imitate some of this in our castles. 

(Our shopping areas are so nice, I wonder that people don't dress up to go shopping, like they used to. Even royalty will wear their best casual clothes when shopping.)

The market has acquired many of the things that originated in the home, in order to get people to "feel at home" there and enjoy their atmosphere. In fact, much of the merchandise in many shops is designed to be used at home. The home is a target of the market, and so we know the home  must be a most important place.

I have seen people who have moved, still have the unpacked boxes in their living room three years later.  This would never happen in a castle, so if you can think of your home as a castle, you might be less inclined to leave something like that.

A day in the castle begins with your appearance. I suggested in a previous post that if you wear t-shirts and casual clothes that you at least wear pretty, feminine ones and give them a good pressing with the iron. I think it is possible to find pretty clothes for the home. I've shown you how to be inspired by the scenes and seasons, when choosing clothing for the home.

Each day is like a memory in the photo album of your conscience, so do your best to make it beautiful and pleasant. The easiest thing to change is clothing. In spite of changes that need to be made in the castle, at least you can dress up as though you were starting on a very important mission.

I talk about clothing a little more often than other subjects because I have seen such a change in the attitude towards clothing. I have seen better times regarding clothing.  Even the lowest income people wanted to dress up and look nice.  There was a reason for it. It gave people a way to appear dignified and and made them feel confident and noble, and caused them to  like working efficiently and living carefully.   It was motivation for good manners, too. Clothing used to make you feel good, feel renewed.

Thank you for watching, and I hope you will comment.

Here is my question: What would it take to inspire you to treat your home as castle and be happy with your existence in the home? What would motivate you?


Janet W. said...

Great post Lydia. What motivates me to treat my home as a castle is what I have done to make it comfortable for my family and their response to that.
In the past when my children were small they enjoyed having the freedom to bring toys into the living room and build forts or castles from blankets draped over chairs and tables. Their imaginations were peaked for hours this way. Of course I had a rule that we had to put away one mess before starting another so I didn't get left chasing around behind them cleaning.
My husband enjoyed cozy furnishings and convenient end tables and lamps for reading, listening to music, veiwing the television, computer or having a snack. They both enjoyed having their friends or other family over for entertainment.
We all enjoy a clean place with clean linens, clothes and dishes.
I think we all mostly enjoy having a place that is safe away from the stresses of the world, a place we can be ourselves, where we can share with one another and not be judged by outsiders. It's having a peaceful place for privacy and intimacy.
Clean, comfortable surroundings find need to be expensive, just kept up and maintained.
Lately I have been keeping the outside of our castle better than the interior. Guess that males me the grounds keeper or gardener. Gotta keep those roses blooming, the orchard fruiting and the lawns mowed! Whew!
Janet Westrup

Lynn said...

First I want to comment on your pictures...especially the house plans and the line art of the lady with the tea pot....did you know that is Cinderalla? Yes...it is! How fun to see it too. and the house plans of cottages...! It was also an encouragement to me to see the illustrator put birds flying in the sky ....I do the same with my house portraits....I try to put them in all of my portraits....

Unknown said...

I love your posts, Lady Lydia....always feel a peaceful sense of calm descending on me when reading your words. Love the bit about removing "evidence" of your movements around the house, as if a detective were following you...and the cheerful grocery store inspiration...and how each day is like a memory in your "photo album," so you should do your best to make it beautiful (how profound!). Thank you for taking the time to write this blog!

Lydia said...

Susan, I have great ambitions, like making a video of my own "castle" but I lack the expertise. I'd like to do a video inside a grocery store and cite the examples I write about.

A mother always knows who left the mess, because of the sock size and the snack preferences, the baseball hat, the book and the creative materials, etc.

And instead of having a cloud of dust and debris around my wherever I go, like Pig-Pen in Charlie Brown, I want to have the air cleared where ever I have been.

Lydia said...

Lynn Maust, no I did not know that was Cinderella. How appropriate the subject of a castle!

Janet, I always like to visit other people because they have cleared the clutter for company and it is so nice not to look at my own mess. So that is what I am aiming for in my own castle--to be company ready.

It isn't easy though. Many of us have a "history" museum in our castles, and those who have not moved around very much and have been in the same place 25 years are in worse shape because of the accumulation. We dont see it because we are so busy.

If you have trouble maintaining your castle and being happy at home, you can join Flylady, where you get email boosts and motivation to help you dig yourself out.

Mrs. Christopher Daniels said...

How interesting that all those 'C' wkrdssrand for house🏡/ lovely post!

Feminine Belle said...

Thought-provoking insight.

The wonderful memory of your friend at the beginning of the video reminded me of a lady on YouTube that stated when picking up around the house that you should touch it only one time. Her theory was you should only pick up items once, and put it away. She gave an example of taking shoes off, placing towels back, to setting toothbrushes back in their home once you were done using them. That way she concluded, by picking up and putting back the items you were currently handling, you have a neat home for yourself to relax in and welcome sweet visitors you can spend time with that find themselves at your lovely door.

Wonderful points about clothing going outside our homes. Simply watching older movies seems almost nostalgia where most people had a sense of pride and yes, noble character. Perhaps some were simply not taught? We all have found ourselves a bit passive in dressing at times in different seasons of our life.

What would motivate me?

My motivation would be taking the night before in putting the wet dish towels up, extra dishes, setting the table, or setting out what we will eat, or a menu that has been made out for the week in-order to make the morning easier. I enjoy the feeling of once up from a night's slumber as I make my way into the kitchen to get the day started, finding it neat and ready for me to start. It is my motivation that kick starts my day into a smile that will be given to the rest of my family as they begin their day.

Would you please do a post or video blog on maintaining a menu or outline to eat for the family? I would appreciate your view in helping homemakers like me.

Amy B said...

Oh, yes! Moving creates such chaos! We are almost a year since our move and I’m still unpacking boxes...mostly to get rid of more stuff. For me, that is a great motivation. Chaos of stuff gives me a lot of stress. I have opted to just get rid of more stuff and keep only that which I use often, love much or holds very dear sentimental value. Keeping stuff boxed up indefinitely is stressful both now and when I must move house next.

Lovely thoughts about our homes and our lives being set apart as royal. Thank you for sharing.