SEPTEMBER 20, 1936
WASHINGTON—If there is one thing more than another that has always annoyed me, it is the person who sits down and chronicles his or her bodily ills. Our old friend, Louis Howe, was a fairly consistent invalid for many, many years but he said very little about his pains and aches. On one occasion I remember a lady who succeeded in telling him or someone in his presence, all about a series of operations. His only remark when she left was: "Quite an organ recital, what?"
I haven't even anything as interesting as that, simply the daily routine of what has become on the whole a rather pleasant: "Land of Counterpane," today. I can read again to myself and it really isn't too much effort to hold a book or to think about anything or to look at anyone as it was up to yesterday. On the whole, except for the fact that invalids are subjected to a certain amount of discipline in the way of pills and food and physical care, I have rather enjoyed the day. I read the papers, James, who came in last night from Springfield, Massachusetts and who leaves again tonight, came in for a talk, then a talk with my husband before he went to lunch. It is always somewhat tantalizing because he no sooner leaves than I remember things I meant to ask him and did not, and when he returns they have left my mind again! He leaves tonight for Hyde Park to be with his mother on her birthday tomorrow. I will be going up later in the week.
I had a visit from a young friend of mine last night, a boy who has been taking ten days vacation driving his small car out to Missouri from New York State and back through Tennessee. He spent more than a week at home. I was interested to hear his impressions of the drought and how keenly he felt the farmers' problem since he has seen his sister and her husband on their farm. His eyes fairly glowed as he told me how much his little niece meant to him and what a wonder she was to ride her pony after the cows at six years of age. The hardships were all vivid to him again, but the joys as well.
Everyone needs to get home and touch their own particular roots every so often, I believe, if it is possible. Sometimes our own particular roots do not happen to be our family, they may have grown to be some friends or some other place than where we were born but which has become the place where we more easily renew our spirit. For the young that there should be some such place is important. I imagine this is really what we older people are allowed to live for so as to act as the background where youth can turn for the necessary stoking up.
Sunday quiet has certainly reigned in this house today, but tomorrow Mrs. Scheider will find the usual White House activities on her hands. Only I can continue to gloat over them all in peace!