B’ham Hall September 3rd

I never cease to thank Our Lord that I am married to Josiah. Of late, he has taken to urging me to take more rest during the afternoons. He knows I am frequently drained by the constant attention I pay to Cook and he is becoming concerned for my health, the sweet angel. He is also assuming more household responsibility, I have noticed. Only yesterday, I came down from a most refreshing nap to find him overseeing the cleaning of the entrance hall. He had instructed the servants to remove all the furniture, the better to effect a thorough sweeping of the floors, and he was urging the undermaids to do their utmost to shine every surface in sight. I did not feel it my place to interfere – indeed I was glad to see him so involved in the domestic arrangements here. I have in the past been overwhelmed with the responsibility myself. I have been meaning to construct an inventory of furniture and ornaments for a good while but have simply not felt up to the task. So, if Josiah wishes to undertake such a duty I can do nothing but stand back and allow him his freedom.

This afternoon, as I wandered back through the entrance hall after completing my turn of duty with Cook, I was struck by the brightness and fresh welcome of the place. The dark stuffy pieces of furniture, most of which came with me from Hangerworth, have not returned to their place in the hall. Josiah will have found a hiding place for them all in one of the upper floors, I expect. In their stead are some delightful plants in pretty pots, which give one the distinct feeling that one might still be in the garden! How well he knows me and how much I love to feel the outdoors all around me. I do not miss the chairs, or the tables, or even that huge chest which Papa brought back with him from the Indias. I love the open greenery that has taken their place. That is why I thank the very Heavens for sending me Josiah!

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