FEBRUARY 21, 1940
GOLDEN BEACH, Fla., Tuesday—My husband likes the ocean from the deck of a ship, even when the vessel rolls and pitches so much that most people retire to bed. My own appreciation of the ocean is always enhanced by being on dry land. I have a thrill when I drive up the coast of Maine and the road runs close to the beach, or high above it, with a view of the bays and tree covered lands, or limitless stretches of water.
When I first stepped out to the lawn of this house and looked across the water, two freighters were steaming by. The surf was pounding gently on the beach and it was lovely to see and hear it. The fascinating thing about the ocean is its change of color. One spot was emerald green and merged into very dark green and then gradually changed to blue. This morning there is a haze and the water is blue as far as I can see. Our house has windows on the ocean side that frame the view. There is a painting on the wall which looks like the bottom of the Marine Studio, for fish of every color are swimming around just as I saw them swim around the houseboat in which the President and I used to cruise among the Keys many years ago.
So far, it does not seem to me particularly warm here, but I hope that the climate will vindicate itself and give us plenty of sun. Perhaps it is being particularly considerate and not giving us too much at the start, so that we shall be spared a real sunburn. The house is filled with flowers which people have very kindly sent us. In addition, we were sent two large cakes. Both cakes are delicious. One is a cocoanut cake, which I feel sure is a speciality in these parts. I think we shall have to get some children to help us eat them.
Since our two days, conference in Washington, called by the National Youth Administration to consider occupations open to women, and the improvement of projects to help girls prepare themselves for some of these newer professions, I have had several interesting suggestions sent me. I happened to mention in this column that occupational therapy seems to be a field open to women and that there is still a great demand for them. I promptly received the most interesting letter from Miss Frances Holbrook, which told me about her Boston, Mass., school for occupational therapy—the only one in New England, she says, approved by the American Medical Association. She tells me they are trying to enlarge their plant and then will be able to train and place more girls. I am passing this information along to the National Youth Administration officials in the hope that they can work out something which will be of value to our girls in this field.
However, I received a rather sad letter from an older woman of fifty who finds it very hard to carry on in this profession because so many doctors prefer young women. She assures me that she is able to do the work well and expertly, and I wonder if fifty is not too young an age to lay a woman on the shelf in a profession which is admittedly in need of trained workers.