AUGUST 25, 1937
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—Another gray and cloudy day, so cold and damp that yesterday I turned the heat on. Think of doing that in the month of August! This heating system, however, is new and it is just as well to try it out in August for I find in many places I seem to get no heat at all which in winter would be serious.
If you make over old buildings, you have to have great patience and remember that everything has to be tested and it is better to do it before the actual day of need arrives! Also I wonder if other people find as I do, that it is only as you live in rooms that you can decide how you want them arranged. I have just out a window over the end of my desk, and it is the greatest joy to me, for it looks out over the swamp still glorious with purple loose-strife. When autumn comes I shall be able to sit there and work and look at the trees which border the swamp and which will turn red and gold and brown. There will be plenty of dark green also from the pine plantation which my husband planted several years ago, and which shows up now back of a thin fringe of swamp maple and oak, bordering the very edges of the wet ground.
Much to our joy, two unexpected guests drove in to spend the night with us yesterday. Mr. Raymond Muir, the head usher at the White House, and his wife were on their way back to Washington and stopped here to see Mrs. Scheider and me. We had a very pleasant evening with an open fire to draw us all close together. There is something about an open fire, cold and rain outside, and a warm cheerful room, which gives one a particularly satisfied and sheltered feeling. I enjoyed our evening very much. Our guests started on their way this morning and we are just about to motor down to Poughkeepsie and do some errands, for I decided that the gray and damp atmosphere were too discouraging for either riding or swimming.
I have the most discouraging correspondent in Pennsylvania! She is a woman I think but does not trouble to write herself which is, of course, a saving of effort on her part. I suppose she does not think it necessary to attach her name and address to other peoples' writings, but she cuts from the papers all the most disagreeable things she can find and sends them to me! One columnist in particular seems a great favorite of hers. She has a caustic pen, and I frequently read him because it entertains me to see how things may be twisted according to your own bias, and your lack of knowledge and understanding. It must be very trying though, to think enough of him to want to send him on to other people! If you believed him you would be so deeply depressed as to human nature, not only in the individuals whom he mentions but in the feeling you get of general cynicism about people, and the picture you get of one side of his own nature which must make him gloomy and unhappy at times in himself. My correspondent probably does not know what I know—that he has another side and that like many other people what he writes is never all that he thinks. But we will hope that she finds it out for her own encouragement as I have begun to feel that she must be very unhappy!