NOVEMBER 22, 1940
HYDE PARK, Thursday—We returned to Washington early yesterday morning from Henderson, N. C., and I had the pleasure of having Madame Tabouis to lunch with me. The rest of the day was filled with such things as having my hair washed, trying to catch up on the mail and seeing various people.
This morning I am back in Hyde Park, staying with my mother-in-law and the rest of the family in the big house, where we are celebrating Thanksgiving for the first time in many years.
The President's custom of being in Warm Springs, Ga., with the Foundation trustees and the patients on this day, has meant that we have not been able to be here with his mother. The family is so scattered now that we are a small party here, but it is very pleasant to be at home and what we lack in numbers we shall make up in gaiety.
We shall telephone our various far distant children wherever it is possible to reach them this evening. This always gives me a sense of nearness. The sound of someone's voice, whom you really care about, tells you so much more than any written words.
I often think, when the telephone becomes a nuisance in my life and I am irritated at its constant ringing, how grateful we should be for the joyous moments it brings us and for the relief which can come over the wires in cases of emergency. News from far away, a few years ago, took days and weeks to reach us. Today a voice can be carried straight into the sickroom and relieve uncertainty, which is perhaps the most difficult thing to bear.
Though I am staying in the big house on this visit, I have been over to my cottage and found everything being arranged for the winter months. Porch and garden furniture is put away, the climbing roses are all covered up, leaves have been raked up and burned. The work which the tree experts warned me should be done on my trees this autumn, is already begun.
There is only one thing I change in my cottage in winter. I put down before the fireplace a big white bearskin rug, which Mrs. Ruth Bryan Rohde brought me from Greenland some years ago. Somehow he gives added warmth to my hearth when winter is really upon us, and I love to have him in front of the fire.
I always wish for a dog in the country, a nice little black Scottie to lie on the white bearskin rug, but I promised myself that I would not subject any other dogs to life in the White House. It is altogether too exciting and uncertain to be satisfactory for a dog's existence, so I imagine I must wait again a little while before the picture of that little black dog on my white bearskin rug comes true.