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26 July 2010

House-proud

I had a wonderful weekend pottering around doing this and that, and I even had a sleep in my chair, wrapped in a blanket, after watching Doc Martin that I'd recorded the night before.  Hanno has been away this past week and will fly home today.  He went back to Sydney to help my sister, Tricia, deal with the realities and the real estate agents as she put her house on the market to sell it.  It's a big step for her.  A huge move, both physically and emotionally, to sell after the death of her husband a few years ago and her children making lives for themselves.  It was good that Hanno could be with her and help her through some of it.


So back at the ranch here, it's been just me and the animals and yesterday I thought I'd stop reading for a while and get stuck into some housework.  I vacuumed and washed the floors, did some laundry, cleaned benches, changed table and bed linen and made a big pot of food for Alice.  When I finished, I stood back to appreciate my hard work and a really old fashioned term popped into my head for the first time in years.  House-proud.   That was the term used in the 40s and 50s to describe a housewife who kept a tidy house.


I do feel it you know - proud, although it's not at all arrogant, it's more restrained and unpretentious.   House-proud doesn't quite get to the real essence of it either. I'm not so much proud of my house but proud of the way my home works its magic way on me, my family and others who visit us.  The work I do in my home changed  my unrealistic perception of the spray and wipe advertised version of housework and instead of trying to make everything easier, I tried to make it safer and more satisfying.  Speed is overrated. Satisfaction and comfort are more enduring and meaningful.  


I discovered, once I dived right into this way of living, that making my way through housework helped me make my way through life. Working away slowly at home calmed me down and showed me a different way of living.  It prepared me, in many ways, for what I needed to do when I went to my voluntary job and I'm sure that if I took on full-time work again, it would also help me with that as well.  You require an extraordinary number of skills to run a home, raise children, grow a garden and look after pets and chooks.  So it is not surprising that when I was out, doing all those things we all do in our daily lives, that thinking of home, and the fact that I would be going home soon, returned a calmness to me that helped me complete my tasks.


If you really do become what you do, then I am a plain and simple woman who tries to make as much at home as possible.  My home has become a centre point that has helped me live true to my values, to open up to a creative energy that provides exciting possibilities every day and to be sure that here at home is where I really want to be.  Right here is where I help feed and clothes us, I write here, I create, think and learn and I find a steadfast inspiration every day to keep doing those things. This is where I reclaim my independence and discover the contentment of living well and to my true potential.  It may not be everyone's choice to work at home doing household chores but I have been enriched by it and I doubt I would be as happy as I am without meaningful work to do every day.  I don't want to live a life where I don't have to do any work at home, and I don't want to be dragged down by it either.  I have found a good balance that requires of me that I plan, work and put in the time and in return I get this feeling of satisfaction and contentment. And yes, I guess I am house-proud.  I am proud and thankful for what looking after my home has helped me do and become.  And I am pretty sure many of you feel the same way.

18 comments:

  1. Funny, how we can eve feel house-proud when we live in a campervan, on a long vacation or just over a weekend.
    I keep my little mobile domain clean and tidy when we are away from home. It does make me feel good, is truely satisfying and I appreciate the free time inbetween even better. Strangely, I feel less house-proud at home. Or maybe it`s a different type of house-proud there.

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  2. I call it 'house-delight' In that I delight in our home. It's tiny and unpretentious but I just love it. I do take a pride in having it clean and tidy. It's the simple things that delight me, making bread, being in the garden, and some housework! Not all. :)
    It's quite funny that you made reference to 50's housewives - as this is something that's been on my mind a lot recently. I love the home making side of it.
    Hope Hanno has a safe trip home xx

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  3. That is a term my brittish (ex)mother-in-law used to use. House-proud.
    I thought it was a funny term back then, but now that I've grown more mature, and live a simpler and prouder life, I find it quite agree-able. Thank you for this Rhonda.

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  4. Lovely post, Rhonda!!! I love the term "House Proud"..there's a song from the 80s called "Our House"..and that's what your post made me think of at first..
    I love what you do. I'm working on being more house proud. That's a great term1!! Have a great week Rhonda. I'll keep your sister Tricia in my thoughts and prayers. You have a very wonderful hubby who would go to Sydney to help her make this challenging transition. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

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  5. I too, Rhonda am very house proud.My house is very old and needs a lot of work but I brought it at the age of 25 all by myself and I am proud of it. It looks pretty old on the outside but we have invested in making it nice on the inside. I love when people visit and comment on how nice it is because I put my everything into it. It's far from picture perfect but I feel my house defines me to some extent and as you have mentioned it's a place I feel safe and secure and I always look forward to coming 'home'.

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  6. I am proud of my house. Thank you for reminding me why I bother to establish routines and strive to take care of my home. I want to want to have people over, but if its total C.H.A.O.S. (can't have anyone over syndrome), I don't want anyone, not even Hubby to see it.

    Also, I love Home Comforts, the book. It approaches the care of a home in the way I love to approach most subjects: explanations of how and why things are done. Of course anything with title or subtitle "the art and science of..." gets my attention real fast!

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  7. Excellent Post! And I am jealous that you get to watch Doc Martin. I started watching it on Hulu, but they ran out of episodes.

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  8. You express my heart SO accurately. I will adopt the term "house proud" (or "house delight" as Darroch Cottage calls it.)

    I stand a little straighter just rehearsing the term in my mind!

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  9. Beautiful post, Rhonda Jean...I really enjoyed it! :) I feel the same way as you...but don't seem to speak so eloquently about it! I always enjoy reading what you have to say! I hope you have a lovely week! :)

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  10. Another beautiful post. I really enjoy them so much. I must also say those green beans looked super yummy! LOL I love being a stay at home Mom and taking care of my family and pets. I wouldn't trade it for all the riches in the world!
    Many blessings to you!
    Jill

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  11. I wish with whole my heart I could say I do, but sad enough I'm not.. I would like to try, but in my (our) heart(s) we want to sell our place and search for a new home we can make our home. We both know this is not our place to be. So Rhonda, would you recommend us to make our place a home right now or save our love for the next place?
    We are afraid that if we are going to love this house, we never, ever could sell it. Do you know what I mean?
    The only thing what's in our heart is the great desire to sell this place. That's our dream, that's our greatest wish. Won't we stop this feeling if we are going to love this place?
    By the way: our place right now is an building of ten floors in the middle of a city and many factories. Our dream is an old tiny, little farm or cottage in the middle of nowhere.
    Love to hear your thoughts about it!

    Love from Holland

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  12. A thought provoking post. I struggle to enjoy the repetitive nature of tidying up after my three children knowing it will just have to be done again the next day. I enjoy homemaking and treasure this time at home with them but sometimes the mundane housework - wash the clothes,dry the clothes, put the clothes away!-drives me mad. I enjoy cooking, baking, knitting and gardening with them and for them but find blogs and online friends can be a lifeline.
    Hope Hanno is soon safely home.

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  13. I know people can say this and not really mean it, but you really do inspire me every day. If I could pick one person whom I don't really know to spend a day with and learn from, it would be you. :)

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  14. Rhonda, you need to come visit! I am near where Doc Martin is filmed!

    I do hope your sister is OK. I'll be thinking about her during this tough transition!

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  15. I had this feeling as I puttered around in my flowerbeds and garden yesterday morning. It's a hard feeling to describe. It's just a 'knowing' that a person is where she belongs.

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  16. hi
    I know how you feel to be house-proud , but then you feel that you should be appreciated for your efforts and not be taken for granted
    Rhonda how do you cook your beans
    we usually chop beans fine but there is one veg which i do in which they are cut just the way you have
    Take oil in a pan , put some sesame seeds let them splutter than put in some red chillies chopped and then put in par boiled beans...
    let it cook for some time then add salt to taste.

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  17. Rhonda I am here at home today pottering around doing some things that need doing. I love reading your posts about housework as I find it inspires me to keep going with it. I don't like doing housework but it feels so good after it's been done. xxoo

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  18. Hi Rhonda-
    I am just seeing this post, I clicked over from Pinterest. I follow you there now.
    I enjoyed reading this today. It says a lot, that little phrase. Thank you for taking the time to clarify the meaning and origin of it. :)
    Today, the term House-Proud is used here in the U.S. it seems to be showy. We tend to be somewhat spoiled here and get caught up in the ''re-decorating'' of a room or whole house, out of boredom. House-Proud to me has had a negative meaning...until today. I like your explanation of House-Proud.
    I will try to think of it as I am cleaning and tidying and making things lovely for my family, visitors, and the LORD.
    (though pride is often a term of sinfulness)-- Good Stewardship is not. House-Proud equals good stewardship.
    So glad you pinned this...and that I was able to read it.
    Pat

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