A word more instead of a section must be said in closing about the care of such a house as is described in these pages. Happily the days are passing when the feeling prevails that "anyone can keep house." We have been a long time in learning that housekeeping is a profession for which intelligent preparation is demanded. The woman who attempts to usurp the authority of the trained nurse in charge of the patient does so at the risk of the patient's life. Results quite as disastrous to the life of the household may be expected from the woman ignorant of the first principles of household management and care.
Proper care of the house implies:
1. An intelligent conception of the construction, of the house.
2. Some acquaintance with appliances for heating and lighting.
3. A knowledge of the sanitary aspects of plumbing.
4. A knowledge of values relative and absolute.
5. A knowledge of materials used in the home.
6. That attitude of mind which finds pleasure and satisfaction in a well-cared-for house.
The leader of the orchestra must understand the various instruments if he would blend their tones in a pleasing harmony; so the mistress of a home must have some definite knowledge of the machinery of its various parts if she would manage them successfully. It is worth while to know enough about the heating system to save an explosion by simply opening a valve, worth while to know enough about the fur-nace to be able to save fuel by closing the drafts, worth while to be able to buy intelligently the food, silver, china, linen, and glass needed in a home that the money, of which there is rarely an abundance, be not squandered for poor materials.
The woman who announces that housekeeping is drudgery and that she keeps as far away from it as possible, thus confesses that she has been unequal to her task. To such it must ever be drudgery, but to her who understands the possibilities and satisfaction in a well-ordered house and gives herself to a conscientious and intelligent study of its problems, it gives an insight into and an understanding of people and things; it provides a place for the application of science, economics, ethics and aesthetics and yields the satisfaction of achievement and the gratitude and love of those who have shared the benefits of such a home.