Monday, April 10, 2006
Homemaking Retreat, Anyone?
This morning I opened the curtains in our sunroom and the coolest thought came to me--"I wonder if anyone has ever held a homemaking retreat weekend in their home?"
Hmmm... If I were to hold a homemaking retreat here for women who have wandered into ruts of discouragement and boredom with all things housekeeping, well, what kinds of things would we do?
I think first, for inspiration, we'd watch a Blondie and Dagwood movie and set-up the ironing board and iron dinner napkins while watching (and pin curl each other's hair?).... And we'd discuss and admire the Bumstead's adorable checkered-linoleum kitchen and their 1930's living room furniture and floral drapes. I'd point-out Blondie's cool aprons and her simple, but pretty homemaking dresses and how nice she always looked, even with a cleaning day scarf tied in her hair. Maybe we'd watch June Cleaver awhile, too... (Blondie and June --my heroes.)
I think I'd walk everyone through my own 1930's rooms while playing Big Band era music (and trying not to dance) and I'd show them the furniture we found cheaply (or free) and explain why everything is arranged as it is... I'd show them the walls I painted myself and how nostalgic it looks to have opened windows floating the sheers forward all wispy-like on sunny summer days.
I think we'd have a baking session in my kitchen and I'd let everyone roll-out pie crust on my 100-year-old hoosier cabinet and we'd all wear my 1950's aprons which I like to place, ironed crisp, in a drawer. I'd let them peek inside all my kitchen drawers and play with my peeling-green, wooden-handled egg-beater, the 50-year-old cherry-painted flour sifters and the nifty orange parrot salt and pepper shakers I bought from Target just the other day. (They sit on one of the three-quarter shelves I added above my sink, inspired by the ones in Blondie's kitchen, of course.)
I'd lead everyone down to my basement where I do my laundry in bare-bones 1950's style, the only modern convenience being a washing machine. I'd show them the light-green cupboard where the dirty clothes fall from the laundry chute upstairs and I'd make doing laundry sound like so much fun, that they'd all argue about who gets to wash my clothes (hey... I'm only human...).
Well, we'd go on like this all weekend--playing housewife at my house and learning to find the fun--the pleasure--in every task, every minute.
Because it's there--the fun, the pleasure, that is. And not just solely for me, either. But for anyone who's willing to think opposite of the world and for anyone who's willing to spend some time learning to enjoy whatever must be done around the house. And here's a hint--if you'll learn to enjoy God in the middle of the cooking, cleaning and fixing, you'll have learned the secret of enjoying all of Life.
When you can find God in the mundane, then nothing is ever mundane again.
I'd spend the homemaking retreat weekend spreading that thought, too. After all, it's the most important one.
Do you enjoy the look of 1930's and 40's decorating? As I mentioned, the old Blondie movies are a real inspiration. There are two Blondie dvd's out, each with five different movies on them. Each can be found very cheaply here at amazon.com.
The first season of Leave It To Beaver is out on dvd now, too (here). Half the fun for me is just feasting my eyes on the Cleaver's household furnishings and being inspired to care for and rearrange my own.