DECEMBER 7, 1937
NEW YORK, Monday—I rode both morning and afternoon yesterday trying out a new horse. I am so accustomed to "Dot," her size, her gait and her behavior that any new horse seems to me quite impossible. First of all this one seemed so big I thought I could never get on him, and then he started his trot with two or three particularly stiff strides, but finally by the end of the afternoon, having ridden him three times through the woods, I decided that I liked both his trot and his canter; that he was as gentle as any horse I had ever seen and he never pulled. I feel sure that when I am in Hyde Park I am going to enjoy him, and what is even more important, everyone else who uses him will be safe with him. We have named him "Brownie" and adopted him into the family!
When I asked my aunt, Mrs. David Gray, not long if my old cutter was still in the Tivoli stable, she said yes and offered to let me have it. Now I am sending for it to try it out with "Brownie" this winter on the roads through the woods where the snow will lie longest if we have any.
I am told that a particularly long and hard winter is predicted and though Miss Cook groans at the thought of trying to keep the road open to the main highway, I am rather hoping that on the few occasions when I can get away from Washington, there will be snow so that we can try out all the winter sports.
Dismal rain greeted us this morning and I ran around with papers in my hand, giving last directions for work to be done, and getting damper and damper! Finally Miss Cook, Mrs. Scheider and I got on the train for New York City.
I have just visited one of the Fifth Avenue shops where Miss Cook is proudly exhibiting pewter made in our Val-Kill shop. They have it well arranged and it looks very nice, so I hope not only for Miss Cook's sake and mine, but for the sake of the young workmen who are now our partners, that we will have some good Christmas sales.
I stopped in yesterday afternoon to see the man who is now making Val-Kill furniture on his own at Hyde Park, and was delighted to find that he had more work than he could handle for the moment.
My very last Christmas shopping must be done this afternoon and then at five o'clock I am going up to have tea with my aunt, Mrs. Stanley Mortimer, who is just back from England. I always love seeing her, and my boys insist that my two Hall aunts have quite as much "go" as any Roosevelts! Aside from seeing her, however, the surroundings in which you drink tea are rather unique and delightful. I know of no house with more perfect early Italian paintings, tapestries and various kinds of decorations, including some really beautiful stained glass, which however you rarely have an opportunity of seeing at its best.
My husband gets back this evening, so I shall be on my way to Washington at midnight.