AUGUST 31, 1937
NEW YORK, Monday—I think the sun and the outdoor exercise is making me a dreadful sleepy head in the evening! I want to say goodnight to everybody at nine o'clock and with difficulty I have sat and listened to the conversation until ten these last two evenings! As a result, however, I am wide awake at dawn, so I have transferred my reading from the evening to the early morning. This seems to be rather a good idea, for the rest of my household likes to breakfast fairly late, and I used to go prowling around feeling annoyed with them all. Now I discover that I can go right on reading and forget that there is such a thing as breakfast in the offing.
A friend of mine drove me into New York City this morning, and we left the house at seven-thirty. With a gleam of humor in his eye he said: "This is the first time I have been up at this hour since the War even the trees look as though they were still asleep." I must say there was something in the landscape which bore him out!
We reached New York in good time so I did all my errands and was at the apartment to meet a few friends for lunch at one-thirty. The sun is weary again today and it looks like rain down here, but my husband called up to say they were all going to the northeastern part of the County for an evening picnic, so it must be pleasant up there.
When I reached the apartment and found a message to call the Poughkeepsie operator, I had a feeling that something had gone wrong, so my first question was: "What is the matter?" My husband said: "Nothing at all, we are just going on a picnic and wanted to know if you would like to join us after your train gets in." Then as an afterthought he added: "Oh, yes, Betsey's little dachshund was killed and she and the children are very much upset." Ordinarily I would have taken this with becoming seriousness for I know what a tragedy the loss of a little pet dog is, but I was so relieved to find that nothing really serious was wrong, that I found myself saying in a most perfunctory manner: "I am so sorry," and realizing that instead of being terribly sorry, I really had a weight off my mind.
I finished yesterday Hugh Walpole's "A Prayer for My Son." I have always been one of his ardent admirers, but this book, while it is pleasant reading was to me a disappointment. You will retain some impressions of the English lake district which you may have felt but have never perhaps been able to put into words. In spite of this however, to me it seemed unreal in many ways. The old man's character was unconvincing and there was not the same joy for me in this book that some of his other books have held. One cannot expect I suppose to like every book equally well which an author writes anymore than one likes every picture equally well that an artist paints!