Not under the Law is one of my most favorite books. It is about a young lady named Joyce who wants to become a school teacher after all her near relatives pass away. In order to accomplish her goal, she must leave the relatives who want to have her as an unpaid servant. The story is very fascinating and has many other aspects in it besides homemaking.
1. A homemaker is resourceful.
While Joyce was talking to her future lady lady, the lady’s meat for the next meal had burned. Joyce had a solution to the “plain” meat that the lady had, and the guests loved it! She also knew how to make mayonnaise from scratch. Later, she made her own furniture!
2. A homemaker can make the best of any place where she lives.
While I will be vague in order not to spoil the story if you had not read it, Joyce found a tiny “house” in which to live. She turned it into a home by making curtains for it and keeping it clean and tidy. While some would have thought a tiny place like that could not be counted a home, Joyce proved otherwise.
3. A homemaker is wise with her resources.
Because Joyce did not have much time to prepare for her departure from the home where she had lived for years, she did not have much money with her. Instead of despairing about how little money she had, she was wise in her purchases. Here are a few of the things she purchased almost immediately: “thread, needles, a thimble, a paper of pins, enough cheesecloth for window curtains, some blue and white chintz that the woman let her have for fifteen cents a yard because it was all that was left, half a yard of white organdy, and a big blue and white checked apron of coarse gingham that would cover her dress from neck to hem and was only fifty cents.”
4. A homemaker takes care of her health.
Although her resources were limited, she still ate one meal “out” at restaurant. Please do remember that restaurants were different than they are now, and the meal was higher quality than would be found at most restaurants today.
“She had been living most economically, getting one meal a day usually at a little restaurant among the stores where the tradespeople ate and good wholesome food could be had at most reasonable rates. This gave her always something hot once a day.”
She made sure she had one substantial meal every day to keep up her strength and health. She did not attempt to survive on the cheapest foods possible.
5. A homemaker’s skills can help her earn money while she is training for her dream job.
Joyce had wanted to be a teacher and meanwhile was earning money by staying with a sick individual, cooking and serving dinners for other women, and helping women in the community with canning. She became known as the “emergency girl” in the community and was earning money on which to live until she could pass her examinations to teach school.
“… while I don’t think I want to be a cook for life, still I don’t see that it’s going to hurt me to cook a few dinners for other people.”
6. A homemaker works in a clean and tidy home.
Joyce had a sewing project but make sure to clean and tidy her home before starting on the project.
“Joyce had often watched an old neighbor of theirs in Meadow Brook who was an upholsterer. She knew all the little tricks. She knew how the webbing should be nailed on taut, how the springs must be sewed to the webbing and then tied down level, and the padding of cotton and hair put on the top of that. She was sure she could do it, though she had never tried it. Joyce was not beyond trying anything if necessity drove her to it.”
10. A homemaker creates a pleasant home to live, even if she is the only one who lives there.
Joyce knew how to make her home a haven. A peaceful, orderly, clean home can be a refuge from the craziness and demands of every day life.
Have you read Not under the Law? If so, what was your favorite homemaking tip?
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