SEPTEMBER 14, 1937
HYDE PARK, Monday—Yesterday was a most glorious day and as the "Potomac" is still in the Hudson River, we boarded her in Poughkeepsie and sailed down below West Point, getting back about five-thirty. The shadows on the hills were beautiful as the clouds sailed by overhead. Mr. Norman Davis remarked that many Americans would travel miles in Europe to see scenery such as we were passing through in the Highlands and yet just because we are accustomed to it, we hardly give it a thought.
No one talks of anything these days except the very precarious situation in which the entire world seems to be floundering. How I wish that we could reach a frame of mind in which we were not so concerned about the fact that we had differences and difficulties for that seems to be a fairly normal and healthy situation. The real trouble is that we have no machinery which automatically deals with these difficulties. We worry about war, and what this nation or that nation may do, but we do not put our minds on permanent ways of dealing with troubles when they first arise. In the same way we curtail production to keep up prices, which is necessary as a temporary expedient, but we are so busy doing that and meeting the emergency, that we don't seem to have time to think of the greater problem of distribution which will allow us greater production and finally more well being for a greater number of people.
Last evening they brought up a newsreel with pictures on it of my mother-in-law in Europe; Franklin and Ethel's wedding, and both of them on the ship; and James and the President, Harry Hopkins and others on their last fishing trip.
This was amusing but the really thrilling movie was brought up by the Resettlement Administration showing what has happened to the Mississippi River and its tributaries and why they give us so much trouble at times. I wish every one who still questions the need of reforestation and soil conservation, could see this movie. We understand so little what our forefathers' lack of knowledge has done to us. Year after year we pay the toll financially and in human lives for what they did. We deal with this question also of necessity on the emergency basis when floods occur, but we must look far into the future and must control the causes of floods and thereby return much of our land to a condition where it can support a people with a reasonably good standard of living.
A real autumn storm is upon us today, but before it began to rain I had a good ride with Captain Reybold who is here, arranging for the return of some of our horses to Washington.
All the grown-ups will be away tomorrow, but Sara and Kate are going to have two little friends for supper and the night. I think this will be the first occasion on which they have been hostesses to overnight guests.