AUGUST 14, 1940
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—I looked at the moon last night as I drove home and later, while I sat on my porch, I could not help thinking of what its beauty means to us, and in contrast what horror its bright light means for England. It is this week, I imagine, that a landing must be made by the Germans or the attack must be put off for some time.
So, as we read of constantly renewed flights over various parts of England, we can only hope that bad weather will envelop the British Isles and those traditional English fogs will be worse than they ever have been before. They are perhaps the best protection that Great Britain can have outside of her fighting air force which seems to be acquitting itself extremely well.
I cannot help but think of ruined houses and countrysides in terms of people whom I know. Having members of your family and friends in various parts of England, Scotland and Ireland makes bombing raids which victimize civilians a much more personal thing than if you could simply sympathize with unknown men, women and children.
I spent most of the day yesterday working with Miss Thompson and playing probably more than I should, considering the work that ought to be done. A young man dropped in for lunch who is in the National Park Service and who had brought an engineer and some workmen from the CCC camp in his park down to work on the Vanderbilt estate. When these places are taken over by the Park Service, it takes some time to put them in order. In the case of this estate, no one has lived there for the past few years and the gardens and greenhouses which require constant keeping up had, of course, greatly deteriorated. I imagine that gradually they will come back to their former beauty. Then visitors will not only see the house itself, surrounded by a collection of variegated trees which cannot be equalled anywhere else up or down the Hudson River Valley, but they will enjoy the beautiful gardens which have been developed by three different generations of owners.
We all dined with Secretary and Mrs. Morgenthau at their farm last night, and ate some of the most delicious string beans, which they have grown in quantity for the market this year, and the very last raspberries of the summer. Secretary Wallace presented some of his specially developed corn to both the Morgenthaus and to us for our gardens, and we decided that it is about the best corn we have ever eaten.
It is curious, however. Living in the country you take more interest in food that actually comes out of your own or your neighbor's garden. Someday\ I am going to be a housewife again and really boast about stocking my house in summer for winter use, and feel whenever I give a jar of preserves away that I am really giving something into which I have put some personal effort.