Thursday, October 4, 2007

It's all about perspective.

Today a short conversation took place about old books, particularly housekeeping books. I am the fortunate owner of "Household Guide and Family Receipts" by Prof. B. G. Jefferis (pub. 1879). In its day, this book made sure that the reader was instructed in all things domestic, including farming/veterinary practices, cooking, decorating the home, and "Figure, Form, and Beauty".

Interestingly, the Health And Disease section addresses issues that are still current, with advice that is useful today: "Sleepless people - and there are many in America - should court the sun.." Some of the advice is amusing because of the life and language of the era. M.L. shared that her turn-of-the-century household book has this antidote for combating, presumably, depression: (...if you're unhappy..)"..bathe weekly and cultivate jolly friends."

Bathe weekly. Whoa.

Cultivate jolly friends. Laughter, especially when shared with friends, is healing. "Jolly' has always been a hoped-for quality in friends. I used to invite fresh acquaintances over for Dinner And The Muppet Show. It was a good test.

"A merry spirit doeth good like a medicine."

By the way, I am a card-carrying member of the Save The Adverb club. If you plan to visit this blog with any regularity, consider yourself warned! I use 'em.

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