Whenever I am tempted to put pretty things away and not use them I think of a neighbor I had. She was fine to visit with over the garden fence or in my home, but it was no joy to go into her home. It was beautiful–but the polished floors were covered first with new rugs and then with old rugs and where there wasn’t any “rug” there were heavy papers, so you couldn’t possibly mark the floor. The chairs were all covered so they wouldn’t get dusty or scratched. She never used her best dishes for fear they would get nicked or broken. Her beautiful linens were laid away, so they wouldn’t wear out. Children were not welcome in the house, as they might leave a mark or fingerprint on something.
One day Mary died of heart failure.
Within a year Joe was married again. All the old rugs and coverings disappeared, the costly china is used everyday and on wash days the most beautiful linens hang on the line. Four healthy, sturdy boys have come to bless the home.
As we see them learning to swim, having water fights or sailing boats in the bathtub, sliding down the banisters or playing train with the furniture, we wonder, “What would Mary say if she could see all this?”
We are thoroughly convinced that we, ourselves, shall use and enjoy all our pretty things and not save them for wife number two.