Martha Ballard worked way harder than I do

This past Thursday my book group met at my house and talked about A Midwife’s Tale, which is a book that won the Pulitzer Prize 15 years ago or so. It’s about a woman named Martha Ballard who lived in Kennebuc, Maine in the late 18th century. She kept a diary for more than 20 years, and it survived. I learned a lot about women at that time–primarily that in most ways they were just the same. They worried about their kids, they had lots of work to do, they sometimes quarreled with their husbands. But Martha also worked–she was a midwife. And besides that, she had a huge garden, and could sometimes keep cabbage all winter long.
So today I kept Martha Ballard in mind as I did my Saturday work–laundry (in a fine machine), dishes (in a dishwasher), and gardening–with plants I bought from a nursery. The photo shows some of the things I planted–note the hanging pots. It’s more work than it looks like, trust me.


2 responses to “Martha Ballard worked way harder than I do

  1. You’re hard work is beautiful. I love the hanging pots. Now I want to go to the library and get the book, though at first, I thought you were talking about The Handmaid’s Tale, which is a book I did not love. I’m glad I sorted it out in my brain.

  2. I didn’t dislike The Handmaid’s Tale–but it was really really disturbing!

    a Midwife’s Tale is actually a biography that is developed from Martha Ballard’s biography–it’s written by one of the women who started Expponent II–Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. It’s good.

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