My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

"HOBCAW," GEORGETOWN, S.C. ,Tuesday—We left Washington yesterday in the rain, but gradually the sky above us became blue and we were flying over those white, fleecy looking clouds which make you wish you were in an open plane and could jump down into them! They look like the most delectable kind of feather bed and always remind me of the enormous feather bed I once slept in in Oberammergau, years and years ago.

It was my first experience with the genuine article and I was a little appalled by it. But I found it warm and comfortable and decided that like so many other things in life, it was only because it was new that I doubted its acceptability. Our hair or cotton mattresses with plain wool blankets, must seem strangely hard and uninviting to the uninitiated!

Even the fleecy clouds left us before we reached Charleston, and we could see clearly the alternating open fields and woods below us. In Charleston, Mr. Bernard Baruch and his daughter, Miss Belle Baruch, met us and we reached "Hobcaw" in time for a cup of tea and a stroll around the grounds before dinner.

For a long time we sat on the porch and watched the squirrels. A little black spaniel, though he seemed to be fairly well trained, was safely shut indoors and then the peanuts were thrown out to attract the gray squirrels.

First one ran down the big live oak tree in front of us, and sat up looking around until the sound of the nuts falling on the porch made him draw nearer. Gradually, from every tree, more squirrels appeared until eight or ten darted up and seized the particular nut he had seen, or chased one of the others away.

Even if there is plenty for all, apparently the rather human trait of wanting what your neighbor has is strong in the animal world also. The little squirrels wanted each other's peanuts, even more than they wanted those lying on the ground which they could have for the taking.

Moss waves from the branches of the trees. Those through which we approached the house and immediately around it, are some of the most beautiful old trees I have seen. Even though we drove through some swampy land, this place seems to me a friendly, cheerful place, lacking that eerie quality which I find often prevalent in Southern landscape. Eerinessis interesting, but it is pleasanter to live in an atmosphere of warmth and cheer.

The sunset was beautiful, setting across the marsh. Since this is a game preserve, on our way back from dinner at Miss Baruch's house, we saw a deer with shining eyes, on the right side of the road.

This is a peaceful place and I can well understand that a busy man would find not only relaxation, but an opportunity to rebuild depleted energies here and to start out again with a sense of having drawn strength from close proximity to the calmness and wisdom of nature. In this hospitable house, how many guests must have gone back to work grateful for this experience.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL