“How people appear to despise them, don’t they? The hot-water bottle on a bitter night; the toast and butter on a Winter’s afternoon; the extra special brand of jam when one’s appetite flags.
“Oh!” they say, with a scorn which scarcely tries to conceal itself, “Those things seem to matter to you! Fancy!!
Yes, they do matter. We don’t live for them, and we can do without them if needs be, but they brighten one up, don’t they?
A log on the fire and a hot cup of tea will lift a burden off one’s back sometimes; they are like a cheery novel passed on to us to read when we’ve been scanning nothing but horrors in a sensational paper.
And we like pretty clothes. We don’t love them. We can go three years shabby if needs be, and make two old dresses into a coat frock; we can knit ourselves hats out of faded unravelled jumpers of the past. and we can do it without telling the world that we’ve done it. But we like pretty things. And if we feel we can afford a becoming hat, all fresh and fit to brave the sunlight, we go to the hat shop with a lilt about our spirits which isn’t exactly vanity, only a delight in the well-being of “something nice to wear.”
The house likes creature-comforts too, poor thing! It desires to have new curtains and a lovely rug or two. It’s a plucky old house and doesn’t grumble when we “catch together” the holes in the muslin and darn the mats with wool that tones. It sighs a bit when we shift the stair carpet for the fifth time bringing the original “rubs” to the fore; but it cheers up over polished stair-rods and creaks down a murmur. It revels in paint and table-covers and lowly pots and pans all new and tinkered-up. It sympathises with the garden which asks if it may have a score of those asters mentioned in the catalogue; or a few shillingsworth of seedlings which it will nurse into sturdy children.
Perhaps we give the house two pots of enamel, a sale-bought carpet, and three cushion covers and say “You must make that do for the time, my dear.” Perhaps we purchase six threepenny roots from a market-woman and a fourpenny seed-envelope of virginia-stocks from the “general” shop and tuck the lot into the earth’s brown arms at the back of the house with the remark, “No money for more, just now- don’t grumble!”
And the house and the garden cheer up and make the best of things; and we buy a new scarf and a new hat and feel almost worldly.
Yes, creature comforts are very nice, whatever drab-hearted folks may declare to the contrary.”
Another charming piece from Lillian Gard, circa 1921. I recognise a soul-mate when I see one…