|Yes.... I keep my ironing basket under the kitchen table.|
Not surprisingly, the Matcher book on Domesticity provoked my own memories of when and why I came to enjoy the skills most associated with 'nesting'.
By the time I was eight years old I'd been taught how to knit and crochet. My humble projects were nothing like the spider-like lace my mother summoned forth from impossibly small crochet hooks, or the flower garden afghans that tumbled off her knitting needles. But I did my best and had several crocheted doll hats and knitted hot pads to show for it. (One of those hot pads did manage to survive and although it became slightly felted over the years, it is pressed into service now and then on her table.)
|Still knitting, after all these years.|
|My local fabric store.|
By way of complete disclosure I must admit that despite all this flurry of needle plying, my chief love during my teen years was actually barricading myself in my bedroom to read ... and then writing my own poetry and short horror stories. In high school I pressed an English teacher into being the advisor for a writing group and we published our own poetry on the school press, allowing the public inside our hearts and minds for a peek at our very private and very angst-ridden work. Ah, youth...
|I'm a baker so I always have eggs at the ready on the counter.|
|My Ashford spinning wheel from New Zealand.|
|The first year in my own garden.|
As I think back on this reconstructed history, it becomes clear to me that I have my mother and grandmothers to thank for imbuing my daily life with their mastery of these skills, and introducing me to so many of the tasks I still love... ironing, knitting, gardening, cooking. Observing them as they worked, benefitting from their advice, seeing the results of their patience and talent, were the inspiration for how I tend to spend my leisure time. By their example they showed me what pride and pleasure can come from a well wrought dress, a well cooked meal, a beautifully knit scarf, or a vibrant fecund garden.
Wherever 'home' might be, when I walked through the door I feel I can breathe again and let my creativity express itself in ways that not only comfort me but also make the most sense in terms of my personality and interests.
And that is what domesticity is to me, really: the art of making your home the place you most want to be.