By Mrs. Carl P. Holland, Statesville, N.C., 1952
I live in a small town with the most wonderful neighbors on either side and across the street. Our lot joins a small farm at the back.
We have an eight-room brick house with a terrace in front and a side porch. Not only our boy but all the children in the neighborhood play on our lawn in hot weather. They especially enjoy the shade of the large water oaks. The lower part of the lawn and part of the alfalfa field is their play ground.
The sleeping porch is a joy during the summer. It is furnished with two beds, a dressing table, and a sewing machine. In addition there is a glass shelf with African violets on one of the nine windows.
I love my kitchen best of all. Until a year ago, I cooked and heated all my water on an old wood range. Last year we modernized our kitchen by covering the cabinet tops with formica, painting, putting down new inlaid linoleum, by adding two new built-in cabinets, a new refrigerator, a new electric range and a cabinet electric hot water heater. One of the most valuable pieces of equipment in my kitchen is a pressure cooker in which I can many meats and vegetables each year.
From my kitchen window I can see my rose garden and vegetable garden and then the large alfalfa field on the hill behind. I can see our cattle grazing on permanent pastures the year round and in the distance I can see the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.
We have a hot air coal furnace which keeps us warm in the coldest weather.
Since there are so few of us at home, we have found that it is cheaper to send our laundry out than to do it at home.
Now I’ve told you about hour house, but it is the living that goes on inside that makes a house a home.
A real home is a home that is lived in. If it is our privilege to have a home, it’s our responsibility to make it the best home possible. It’s where parents teach their children by examples of the Christian ideals, make them know what human values are the most important on earth, that our neighbors need us and we need our neighbors and in time, realize that the people of the world are our neighbors.
A real home is a happy home and every child is entitled to its happiness. A real home is a place where respect and courtesy are practiced, where wholesome interest reigns, where mothers are home when their families need them, where calmness prevails amid confusion.
Bob had a little dog that was his daily companion. Someone ran over the dog and killed it. Of course Bob was broken hearted. A few months later we went to a movie and in the picture some one ran over a little boy’s dog and killed it. When we got home, bob said he was going to bed. After a new minutes we heard sobs in the bedroom. My husband went back and talked to Bob a long time. Next morning while eating breakfast he said, “Mother don’t tell daddy I told you, but he cried last night, too.”
Another time when he came in with the pockets of his blue jeans bulging, I told him to come over and let me get some of that trash out of his pockets. After taking out strings, rocks, sticks, whistles, nails and many other articles, he looked up at me so wistful and said, “Mother, you haven’t found any trash yet, have you?” No, I didn’t find any trash and he went away happy. The responsibility of raising children was given to the home. Let’s make it a place that gives them a sense of security, a solid foundation, a place they will always want to come back to. I heard a mother say a few days ago she took her small son with her to visit relatives in another state. They were gone about five weeks. When they returned and were nearing their home, the little boy said, “Mother, let’s never stay away this long any more.”
Just as surely as we provide a real home for our family, let’s balance our living and change our spirits by some outside interests—have a party, go to a movie, club meeting, or to a meeting of the Voters Information Bureau for Women. Let’s be an informed people. And most important of all, let’s be a nation of church-going families with each member of the family taking an active part in the various organizations of the church. Our family has always practiced the habit of having a regular daily devotion period in the home.
Mrs. Holland entered this essay in a Home Demonstration Club competition in North Carolina in 1952. The original is located in The Special Collections Research Center at D. H. Hill Library, N.C. State University, Raleigh, N.C. Special Collections holds research and primary resource materials, especially from organizations, units, departments and individuals throughout N.C. State University. For more information on Special Collections, go to http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/specialcollections/.