AUGUST 27, 1938
HYDE PARK, Friday—Winter is certainly drawing near. Mrs. Scheider and I spent an hour yesterday getting my Christmas lists ready. I am not sure the habit I have of acquiring things all through the year for Christmas is a very good one, for I forget what I have bought and find myself confronted with parcels without the faintest recollection of the particular person for whom a particular gift was intended. I realize I must begin really to plan, and so we started yesterday. The next thing will be the setting of all the officials dates for state functions, but that will not be done until the first week in October, when Mrs. Helm will be back in Washington.
In the wee small hours of the night I finished a very good story: "The Dark River" by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall. It is charmingly written and I think anyone could enjoy it, though it is distinctly just a story for one's lighter moments.
In a few minutes, I will be off to pick up Mr. and Mrs. David Gray at Tivoli to visit young Forbes Morgan and his wife on the farm they have just bought. We hear a great deal about young people returning to life on the farm, but this is the first young member of our family who is actually going into farming as a career and I am very keen to see what he is doing. With intelligence and industry I think a rural life can be made not only pleasant, but most interesting for a young couple.
After this visit we are going on to see Mr. and Mrs. Chester Braman. I was surprised to have Mr. Braman tell me the other day that he often flew over our cottage here in his amphibian plane on his way down to New York City and back to his landing field on a little lake near his home.
This is the use which I hoped we would be able to make of amphibian planes along the Hudson River and I am quite pleased at the thought that a young couple is actually doing it. Before long, perhaps, we may find communities buying planes together and operating them as a joint undertaking for the convenience of the neighborhood.
A few people are coming to lunch with the President. For him this is a fairly quiet day, tomorrow, in contrast, will be a busy day!
This seems to be a wonderful year for apples and pears, at least in our vicinity. I suppose that will mean that people who depend on their orchards for cash crops will not get good prices. I have a great deal of pleasure, nevertheless, out of seeing trees laden down with fruit. Also, the fruit we actually eat in the orchard or garden, always tastes much better than what we buy, so I may as well rejoice with those who grow fruit for home consumption.