AUGUST 26, 1940
HYDE PARK, Sunday—I seem to be quite behindhand in telling you what I am doing, so let us go all the way back to last Friday, when I drove from here to Westbrook, Connecticut. I finally discovered a way to get there without going through New Haven. The roads are good and the scenery is lovely.
The City of New Haven has always been a difficult one for me through which to drive. Invariably I lose my way, or I don't see a red light and am admonished by a policeman. In fact, I think I have a complex about New Haven for I am sure to get into trouble there.
We had a beautiful day with our friends Miss Esther Lape and Miss Elizabeth Read, lunching under the trees and sniffing the salt air. We took a walk through the woods, which they are still clearing though the hurricane is a thing of the past. On our return homeward, we enjoyed a most beautiful sunset from the crest of every hill. Red and gold seemed to be the predominant colors and they spread out before us for miles and reflected in every lake and stream.
Saturday was one of those days when we are thankful for the privilege of being alive. In the morning I rode up through the woods to the top of the hills beyond our cottage and could see the distant mountains in every direction. They stood out as though I could almost touch them in the clear atmosphere.
I see by the papers that upstate New York has had a frost which has nipped the crops and, of course, must have ruined the gardens. Much as I like this cool weather, I hope we are spared frost, for I should hate to see the flowers withered so soon. The trees have not begun to turn yet, though I have been expecting to see a red maple any day.
At about noon yesterday, a number of our friends with seven active youngsters, appeared for a swim and a picnic lunch. Afterwards we all went over to look at the library where books, ship models and gifts to the President are gradually being unpacked. From there we went up to see the Vanderbilt estate.
They are having an average of 250 visitors a day there, which shows that the American public is anxious to see these houses which were once built to show what one could do with money where one lived after the European pattern. This life is probably now a thing of the past, just as surely as the palaces and castles of Europe are, for most of us have learned to enjoy simplicity of living rather than grandeur.
Franklin Jr. came up in the evening and I think he is acquiring much experience through his work at campaign headquarters. Today Miss Thompson and I are going to Washington in the late afternoon for a brief visit and you will hear from me next from there.