Thursday, January 15, 2009

Evenings at Home

What might a winter evening have been like in the late 1800s? Here is a glimpse into the past from my 1883 book, Our Home by C.E. Sargent:

"Who does not still carry in his mind the sweet pictures of happy evenings at home, when all the family sat by the fire, mother with her knitting, and father with his stories of prouder days, while the kitten gambolled upon the floor or played with the ball of yarn that fell from mother's lap, and while the fire-light moved upon the wall like the waving of a white wing in the darkness, -- as if heaven could not permit so much joy upon the earth without having its representative there? Now mother tardily rises to light the lamp, and the children gather round the table with slate and pencil to grapple with those little tasks and problems that only sweeten life's remembrances.

"How indelibly through all the change-freighted years this picture remains upon the canvas of the soul. Unlike the perishing works of genius, time never bleaches the canvas nor turns the picture pale. Gaze on that picture, O youth. . . When we turn our eyes from the soft colors of a beautiful picture, to gaze upon the brilliancy of the electric light, and then turn again to view the picture, how dim the colors, how blurred is the whole picture till we have steadily and persistently gazed for a long time."

Where are you this evening, dear friend? Take a lesson from the pages of the past and spend them cozily tucked in your home with family.

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