My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

I hate the papers these days and yet I can't wait to see them! Here we are hunting the Russian flyers and I only hope that they will be safely found. Then there is war news from China and Spain and difficulties over here between employers and their employees. The only really pleasant piece of news on the front page of the paper that I looked at first this morning was a column on the possibility of balancing our own budget. That will be pleasant news to some people for many have wondered if an attempt was ever going to be made to do this. Wails and groans have I heard over the fact that they could see no signs in this administration of an interest in economy! Like almost every other woman I know of moderate means, I am always terribly nervous until all my bills are paid and I know I still have a balance in the bank, and anything borrowed hangs over me like a cloud. I do hope, however, that in this budget balancing business we make our economies without making people suffer who are in need of help. There are wise and unwise economies as every housewife knows and figuratively speaking the women of the country should be watching their husbands to see that the national budget is balanced wisely.

Another glorious day and I got up early and went roaming after wild flowers along our brook. After a hurried shopping trip in Poughkeepsie, for one must eat, I picked up Miss Dickerman and we went together to see Mr. and Mrs. Paul Garrigue's little nursery school on the East Park road. I had never been over the whole place before and I can imagine nothing more ideal for children. They have an orchard and a pasture, a wading pool, a playground, sheep, goats, pigs, kittens, not to speak of three ponies and a cow. The ages of the children range from five to seven and I was amused to be told that the five-year-olds made their own beds and washed their own socks. The beds looked very straight and smooth and I suppose I looked a little unbelieving for Mrs. Garrigue added "of course they have some help! But the parents seem to like particularly the fact that they wash their own socks!"

Two days a week a young man who has a riding academy just below Poughkeepsie gives riding lessons. The ponies looked old and safe and the children were certainly having a good time on them. An older group was practicing on homemade drums and learning to keep time quite well. One small boy seemed to have no interest in rhythm and beat away to suit himself, but in time the pressure of the group will teach him that he has an ear I am sure.

Mrs. Garrigue has two children of her own and it is on their account that this school was started, I came away feeling that if I knew any child that had to be separated from its parents during the year at any time I could think of no healthier, happier place to send them.

E.R.
TMsd 16 August 1937, AERP, FDRL