JULY 25, 1938
HYDE PARK, Sunday —Some years ago when I was complaining of the heat, one day, my mother-in-law reproved me gently. She told me that when she was a child, one of her aunts, who must have been quite a character, would say, if anyone complained of heat or cold or rain, "My dear, the Lord gives you the weather and it is always good."
Another of her sayings was a little trying for children inclined to be late. If you attempted to excuse yourself by saying you had not had time to do something, she would look at you and firmly remark, "My dear, you have had all the time there was."
In view of this, I feel guilty in remarking that gray skies and rain seem to have been with us a very long time. Occasional rainy days are pleasant, but no sun for nearly a week is trying to farmers as well as vacationists. It has held up long enough so that the children could ride every morning, but then it begins again and we have intermittent showers all day and occasionally at night.
The other night I awoke to the unpleasant realization that rain was driving in on my sleeping porch and I was getting soaked. Usually the rain comes from the other side of the house, so that no great harm ensues if I do not awaken immediately.
Someone brought me a most interesting church record the other day, which ties up our little church here with St. Luke's church in Lincolnton, N. C. It seems that one of our early rectors, the Rev. John M. McVickar, D. D., while chaplain of St. Cornelius' chapel on Governors Island, immediately after the War Between the States, sent to the church in the South "a very beautiful and valuable communion service and other articles, consisting of a paten, chalice and alms basin, a full set of altar linen, surplice, stole and bands, an antique chest and a picture of the above-named edifice built by him, to be held inalienable as consecrated property; and also a number of prayer books and tracts."
He did not make this donation while rector of St. James in Hyde Park. Still, the fact that he was once our rector gives us a connection with the episode.
I like his gesture of goodwill. The wardens and vestrymen of Lincolnton appreciated this, too, and mentioned it in their resolutions of thanks. Such little ties between the North and the South, at that time, must have meant a great deal more than we realize today. But even today I am glad that we had as pastor of this congregation a man like the Rev. John M. McVickar.
Recently I was given a little book by Mary Ellen Chase, called "Dawn in Lyonesse." I enjoyed her "Mary Peters" very much and this story shows the same quality of imaginative understanding. Tying the story to the old romance of Tristan and Isolde is a particularly interesting touch. The last quotation from Tristan is helpful for us all: "Grief," said Tristan then, "is not for always, nor is sorrow everlasting. Nor yet is death victorious, if but life has been held in all its fullness for one short hour."
If you read it, I hope you will enjoy as pleasant an hour as I did.