315L: One Step at a Time

I hope you all can help.  I am looking for the title to a children’s picture book that I read in the late 1950’s to mid 1960’s about a woman who lived in a decrepit house (maybe with a cat) surrounded by peeling paint, cracked plaster, torn, sagging curtains and general disrepair.  The cover (as I remember it) was this woman sitting at her wobbly legged table with a cracked wall and possibly a filthy window behind her (the cat may have been on the cover, too).  Her expression is one of sadness, possibly even resignation.  One day she decides to either repair the table leg or maybe paint the table and it looks great, but makes all else appear even worse, so motivated by her success with the table she tackles the other issues one by one filling cracks, painting, cleaning until she has transformed not only her once humble abode, but her entire outlook on life.  Being excessively tidy and organized myself I adored that book but have no ideas regarding the title or the author and probably only read it once or twice though it has stuck with me all these years, a constant reminder to just keep putting one foot in front of the other no matter the circumstances and all will turn out in the end.

One thought on “315L: One Step at a Time

  1. Two suggestions from the Abebooks Booksleuth site:

    The Magic Rose Geranium, ’50s ??? The story follows the summary exactly. Here are the last few lines of the book – “‘May I ask what has caused this remarkable change in our poor old shabby house?’ Mrs. Wistful looked at Mr. Wistful. She looked at the rose geranium in the middle of the table. Then she smiled. Mrs. Wistful said, ‘It is all because of this wonderful, beautiful magic rose geranium!'”

    Jane Thayer, Read Aloud Funny Stories, 1958. Perhaps the story was originally published separately, then collected in this book, as they both seem to be the correct answer.

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