The Lost Art of Fresh Linens…

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The Lost Art of Fresh Linens…

Once upon a time… homemakers knew the time-honored truth that there is an art to homemaking. To gaze with pride on a basket of neatly folded, clean white sheets, towels, and even undergarments was not considered obsession... but simply the satisfaction of a job well done. Honestly, it was work done for the love of their families and a determination to make sure each member left home properly dressed and obviously well cared for.

linens 3

Homemakers once  took pride in their snowy whites…pressed with care and lovingly folded.  Mothers handed down ‘their way’ of folding sheets and towels to their daughters with an assurance that there was really only one ‘proper’ way to do it.

But times have changed and most of us rarely worry about how we fold or press anything. We modern women are just happy to have squeezed in the laundry between runs to the grocery store, shopping mall or perhaps a 9-5 job.  Taking time to carefully launder and process our family’s clothes is a challenging enough goal. Taking pride in our efforts is almost a lost concept altogether.

morning view

This morning I was marveling at the luxury of being able to actually enjoy the crisp sunny view while leisurely folding and sorting the whites that have so often been the ‘Achilles heel’ of my homemaking efforts.  Ironically, there is nothing that spells ‘comfort’ to my hubby more than clean white linens and other garments.  Poor hubby, has been comfortless on many a rushed weekday morning while I raced through too many over committed days.


As a young wife,  I do remember serenely ironing my dear husband’s shirts with a smile. I often thought of how happy he would be to wear such perfectly pressed clothes to school or work.  Somewhere along the way, I went from laughing at my toddler’s efforts to help me hang clothes on the line in the bright spring sunshine—not a care in the pitching a load of whites in the washer on my way out the door with barely an apology to my frantic hubby still scrambling for a pair of socks to wear to work.

With all the modern conveniences we homemakers enjoy, you would think that we would have more time to get things done rather than less. Instead, we have simply opened the door to the possibly over-rated skill of ‘multi-tasking’ that we so often pride ourselves on having. But this isn't necessarily a brand new phenomena.

One morning when my children were younger,  I was dumbstruck by a story I was reading to them, entitled, "One Thing at A Time". In it, a farmer's wife was bemoaning the fact that she had too much to do because the day had fallen apart as she had attempted to wash the clothes, cook supper, feed the goat, churn the butter, weed the garden and bring in the cow from the field..all simultaneously.  The farmer agreed to do her job the next day to see if he could help. He spent the next day methodically plodding through one task after the other. At the end of the day he had accomplished all of the tasks flawlessly. He sat down to rest in his rocker and grinned. "Just try doing one thing at a time..little thing at a time."   Wow...what a good lesson!
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Why are we always in a  hurry? Why must we sign ourselves and our children up for every activity under the sun even though it inevitably causes stress and a lower quality of living? If I had it all to do over again...I would say YES to my children a lot more...and No to well meaning friends and NO-- even to my own 'bright ideas'.

Sometimes I wish I had done less,  listened more... 
played more...

Today, if you are feeling like you have 'too much to do' perhaps you too should try the farmer's trick.

I've discovered that as I focus more on doing the seemingly  mundane tasks of life with my whole heart-- giving my home and family my very best-- that time seems to have slowed down. I get less and less behind with every task and it is so freeing! After much soul searching, I decided back in May, to pursue a new hobby--Homemaking.--and my family has been thanking me ever since.  Someday, I'll catch up. I really believe that! And I'll get to do more of the fun projects I love, but for now, I'm using all the talent, creativity and energy I can to do the things that make home..a lovely place to be..    Perhaps our New Year's resolution should do LESS but to do it BETTER and enjoy it MORE. :o)

Let's take time to 'stop and smell the roses linens'. Shall we?


Kim @ Home Is Where The Heart Is said...

Thank you for this post, Donna...very inspiring :)

Trudy said...

Great post, Donna. I should definitely take it to heart. I will pondering over this today. I appreciate your ministry to us through your blog.

Kerrie said...

Such a great post! I love the smell of fresh linens!! I loved it best when I could take them off of the clothes line and iron right then. The smell of the fresh air on them was like a lovely perfume! I do not have a clothes line now and want one badly-ha! I WOULD take time to hang clothes out and would have no yellowing from a dryer-ha!

Donna said...

I miss my clothesline too! Dear Hubby doesn't like mowing around it. But he did let me have one up a couple years back. I'm hoping to get a retractable one so the mowing won't be an issue.

I'm glad you all were inspired...I often write to inspire myself-LOL!


GlorV1 said...

I always take time to smell the roses and also One Day At A Time is my motto as well. Great post Donna, I always love to hear what you have to say. Fresh clothes that have been hung up outside are my favorite. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Great post! Some times it really is the little things that remind us of what makes our home ours and so special. The things you take time for are the ones your loved ones will remember most. It's up to you what that memory is. Do they remember you took time for everything but them or that you did the best you could to make everything they loved special?

nannykim said...

Such good points of encouragement here. I needed this!

Beautifully Veiled said...

So today I shall do "one thing at a thing at a time" and just maybe TODAY I won't burn the soup....(all that after my little cat nap on the couch, of course!)

Ky said...

Homemaking is an art that definately has taken a battering in the past few decades Donna.
I really must try harder too. My hubby is definately happier when I've done my job right. It's not that I don't have the time, it's that I choose to often waste my time pursuing unconstructive activities.
I will have to make it a priority in the new year to do better at my job and prioritise my time for constructive things.

Thanks for your beautiful comments too Donna. You are ALWAYS an encouragement to me and you always bless me with your kindness and understanding.
I'm looking forward to blogging with you in 2011.
Ky xx

Donna said...

Ky, that is just such a sweet thing to say. I'm glad you like my comments. I'm afraid I don't comment as much as I'd like, but if I leave one for anyone of my blogging friends, I really try to read and think about what you all are writing too. It's wonderful to have friends and neighbors to share joy and kindness with. :O)


Caroline said...

soooooo true! I make my life so frantic sometimes trying to do everything at the same time, and if I take a deep breath and just do the next thing, and stay calm ("methodical") it is sooooo much better. Thanks. :)

Caroline said...

Oh, just read your comment. Hubby just bought me a retractable clothesline this weekend. It isn't installed yet, but I'm looking forward to it! I haven't hung clothes since before the two years in the rental ...

Maria Killam said...

Donna, your header (and obviously your living room) is totally breathtaking! I'm so in love with it, you've got some expert working with you on your blog!
Totally love it!!

Maria Killam said...

Oops, I loved this post too, and the lesson was funny!

Donna said...

Maria, I'm so glad you like it, but I had to laugh a bit. I didn't have a professional helping me..I just did it.

I've been mulling over a possible new header for weeks. Now that I have new photo editing software, I can do some pretty creative things to my I did.

It helps to have a new couch! The header just happened by accident this afternoon...then I had to make the sidebar and the name of my blog match.

The navigation bar will have to be fixed by Casey at Hot Bliggity Blog. She does my bar and font colors. :o)

Thanks! I was afraid my livingroom might not be the best idea for a header. But it kept 'calling' to me to use it. So I thought I'd try and see how it looks. I'm so pleased!


Caroline..I'm so glad you liked the post. :O) I wanted to inspire with it.

Anonymous said...

LOVE the header! (so jealous)

Donna said...

Countrymama, I would happily make a header for you, if you sent me a photo you wanted me to use. :o)

Shona Cole said...

guilty of squashing the laundry in between things. luckily Mark doesn't care if his regular clothes are pressed, he takes his church clothes to the dry cleaners. I used to do it for him, but now he works at home and I have the 5 kids, he likes to escape to run errands! But I have at least 5 piles of clothes ready to be washed, I keep going in there and coming out, so the pile keeps growing. sigh. i think we have too many clothes and therefore no real incentive to clean them as no one is about to run out of something to wear. I need to sign off and go do a load of laundry.
lovely post though. It is always good to be reminded to choose our kids over activities.

Donna said...

When my laundry deserved the name, "Mt. Neverrest', that was the first time I realized that the biggest deterrent to keeping on top of the laundry was too many clothes. You are right Shona...the first to declutter your family's clothes. Laundry is much easier to maintain after that.

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster

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