My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK, Tuesday—I went to bed at 11:00 o'clock last night and, having had a rather short night's sleep on Sunday, fell asleep immediately, only to be awakened by distant calls of, "Mrs. Roosevelt, the telephone!" I arose, listened to a phoned telegram and returned to the sleeping porch and fell asleep again. What seemed to me hours later, voices again called me from very far away and insisted that the telephone must be answered.

This time it was Seattle, Washington, and my daughter told me of some changes in her plans which would necessitate new arrangements at this end of the line. I'd almost reached the conclusion that the night was not meant for sleep, but I tried once more and nothing disturbed me until I heard the first birds at 6:30 a.m. I lay lazily for another hour enjoying, with half closed eyes, the reflection of the sunrise and the activity of all nature's little creatures, who are much more sensible than we are, for they are busy early in the morning.

Yesterday, I was lost, for I had no one in the house here to answer the telephone, or take care of the mail, or do any one of the one hundred odd things that Mrs. Scheider always does. Believe me, if you come to depend upon somebody else to smooth out the details of life for you, that person has but to be removed for a short time to make you realize how dependent you are. There was a time in my dim and distant past, when I wrote all my own letters in longhand and did all my own telephoning and made all my own arrangements. But I have grown shockingly careless and leave many of the details of living in more capable hands than my own.

Last evening, however, a very capable younger secretary, Mrs. James W. Somerville, came up from the Washington office and today has been a very much simpler day, with the knowledge that when I am at the hospital everything will be taken care of at home.

The mailman, however, looked Mrs. Somerville over with a cold and calculating eye and told her that if she was going to sign for letters addressed to me, she would have to go through all the formalities that Mrs. Scheider has gone through. How was he to know who she was and whether she had a right to substitute for Mrs. Scheider. Even in the remote country districts Uncle Sam's mails have to run according to approved rules, which should be rather comforting to us all.

I was happy to find the doctor at the hospital this morning in a very cheerful frame of mind. Mrs. Scheider is even better than we hoped. When I went in and read her a rather ribald telegram from a friend of ours who had been with us in West Virginia, she actually smiled. It appears that on our rounds in West Virginia, the visitors were exposed to the measles and so this telegram began, "What is all this, measles or what?"

The sun is shining, it is a perfect June day. My mother-in-law has gone to New York University for me. I am feeling much happier.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL