some people don't get it

when i was a young bride in my early-twenties i remember my mother-in-law and her friends laughing and nudging each other over my efforts with my house.  it was our first house-- an 1830's farmhouse with the most beautiful barn-- and i loved nothing better than playing with furniture, paint colors, and, later, moving walls and adding windows.  i made curtains, slip-covers, and throw pillows.  i painted rooms-- late into the night-- after i had put babies to bed and graded papers for the academic courses i was teaching during the day.  i scoured shops (both vintage and new) and roadsides all over our area for furniture.  i got to know the guys at the tile store by name.  i followed contractors around-- learning about drywall and headers and the proper direction for floor joists.  

i learned an enormous amount from working on that house!

my (now former) mother-in-law and her friends chided me-- they told me i would soon be too busy (with my children and work) to be so concerned with my house.  they pooh-poohed the silliness of my house projects; they derided my labors as the efforts of a lost child;  they were feminists of their generation-- home was the place to escape from in order to go out and have a career.

their comments stung.

twenty-odd years later-- having built a (strongly feminist) life around my interest in architecture and the decorative arts-- i can look back and think how short-sighted they were not to see how important and meaningfully creative my home-work was to me.

it is a good lesson to be shared-- sometimes it is better to listen to your heart than to your elders.

happy friday!


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