We do enjoy our evening’s reading. We have a lot of National Geographics to read – also Collier’s, the Post, Ladies’ Home Journal, three Copper monthlies, Pathfinder, Daily Chronicle, Clearwater Tribune, and M.W.A. monthly. Also Christian Herald. Ina to Vance, 1935
I’m so tired of all the magazine advertising! [The lack of advertising] alone makes the Reader’s Digest a treasure. Don’t you get tired of looking at pictures of blasé men and wanton women, whose only idea is to look ‘smart’ and show their clothes . . . Ina to Vance, 1936
Here it was again – Monday washday. Mundane chores don’t stop just because Christmas is coming, Ina mused to herself. Today she would wash their clothes in much the same way she had these forty-five years of marriage. Now the load seemed light as compared to the years when the children were at home. Jack had helped her by placing the big pail of water on the stove to heat before he went to do the morning chores. Today she would need just one wash water and one rinse.
The sky promised to be clear today. Ina could see the sun rising over the field to the east. Though the winter rain and snow were so important to the success of their crops, it was still a treat to have a sunny day. She hurried to wash the clothes so that she could hang them on the screen porch where Jack had strung a rope clothesline for her. Taking advantage of the sun’s warmth, the clothes might get mostly dry before dark, and then she could just spread the damp ones to dry before the kitchen stove this evening.
As she worked, Ina looked forward to her favorite time of day -- the long winter evenings. After an early light supper at the kitchen table, she and Jack would settle down in companionable silence to read under the Aladdin lamp at the dining room table. The lamp provided both light and heat. They both enjoyed history, adventure, and current events. Ina also liked to keep up with the good literature of the day. She liked to think about what she had read and grapple with subjects of substance as she went about her daily chores. Well – but Bertha had given her a current issue of Good Housekeeping magazine. With its advertising of worldly goods and frivolous stories, she didn’t care much for Good Housekeeping, but Ina had decided to at least look through it. With family coming for Christmas, she might find a new idea or two for the holidays – perhaps a new recipe. KW
[The illustration at the top is from the cover of the December 1936 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine. Photo 1 was taken about 1918 when Ina's house was new. Photo 2 is the dining room in the same time frame. But -- things didn't change there.]