Pioneering in a Very Beautiful House

October 1887

Everything is rather hard and awkward now. We have so little furniture and only a few dishes. We are pioneering though living in a very beautiful house, and we clean every spare moment. Every inch of our woodwork has to be cleaned because the plasterer did such dreadful work that after the woodwork was finished a man had to come from Los Angeles and put on a hard finish, and that spattered the hard finished redwood and it all has to be cleaned off. Then there are ONLY 40 windows to be cleaned and kept clean.

I think this record will be interesting in the sweet by and by to recall just how we are contriving now that our furniture has gone on the rampage, and we have only our cottage belongings to get along with. Our dining table is a large drygoods box, bottom upwards, with four strong posts for legs. This elegant piece of furniture was manufactured by W.D. Turner who is happy in the full exercise of his inventive facility. We have a few chairs but the majority of the family sit upon small wooden boxes standing on end. We have two cheap red table cloths. Our dishes are the heavy white delf the carpenters used and our cooking utensils are comically limited but we manage to get along and there is not as much work to do as if we had our usual abundance of glass, silver, china, and cooking conveniences. We use a small oil stove which also limits our bill of fare, but we are as healthy and happy with limited simplicity as if we had every variety of food, indeed I think it a desirable experience.

Transcriber’s note

Maria did not capitalize words in her journal, she did however underline. As I cannot figure out how to underline on my computer I chose to capitalize her underlined words


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