OCTOBER 10, 1936
ST. PAUL, Minn.—It is hard to believe that we have been only a little more than twenty-four hours on the train! I have settled down into my regular habits almost forgetting that this little compartment isn't my room at home!
Luckily when I was at school abroad, I travelled in many out of the way places, and I learned that you can take a bath quite comfortably in a wash basin! There are drawbacks, however, when the train sways too much and you find water splashing on your bags, or the powder powdering the floor instead of some part of your anatomy!
We got out at Dubuque, Iowa, this morning under a gray sky and it soon began to drizzle. Luckily on this trip I remembered that we usually do have some drives in an open car in the rain, so I brought a hat which even a down pour couldn't hurt, and a homespun coat, woven in our Val-Kill shop on which rain can fall a long while without making any impression.
My husband would not put on a rain coat but seemed to keep fairly dry in his overcoat. Governor Herring forgot his coat on the train with the result that we had to search around for a slicker which we finally induced him to put on. I have always felt that if people were willing to stand out in the rain and get wet to welcome the President or the Governor, the visitors should at least be willing to drive in an open car, so I take these occasions philosophically.
The park which is on Eagle Rock Point commands a glorious view of the Mississippi River and is being much improved by WPA work. One little item which the commissioner of parks mentioned particularly interested me. They have used native stone for the buildings in the park and though many of the workers had never done any similar work before, he said they were not building themselves houses of this stone.
In spite of a certain amount of conversation and occasional going out on the back platform at stations, I have done what mail we had and other odds and ends.
Yesterday I finished "Level Crossing" by Phyllis Bottome, an English woman, and an old friend. Her little Scotch heroine makes a remark which is very characteristic. The young American hero suggests: "You seem to me very often to turn up your nose at anything that does not in the first place turn up its nose at you." [...] "I think we like being kind," Deidre objected: "only we are a little afraid of appearing intrusive." Isn't that characteristic of our cousins across the water? Some of us have enough of that blood in us to feel a little way ourselves at times, but it is as well to get over it.