OCTOBER 17, 1942
WASHINGTON, Friday—Yesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of seeing Mrs. George L. Carpenter, wife of the head of the International Salvation Army. She has a most beautiful, calm and peaceful face. When someone present asked her if she had seen the film, "Mrs. Miniver," she smiled in the gentlest way and said she rarely had time for anything except her work.
I suggested that the Salvation Army's work had been pretty strenuous and that, even though she and her husband could not travel to all the countries they usually covered, there must still be a great deal to do and a little relaxation now and then must be necessary. Again she smiled and said, "We love nature, we take a walk, or we read a book. A week-end in the country is as much vacation as we ever need. It is true that we are cut off from many places we ordinarily visit, but we have been in Switzerland and now I am travelling over here."
I feel that Mrs. Carpenter has probably nearly won whatever battles over ourselves we are put in this world to win. Therefore, she neither needs nor cares about things which seem most important to the rest of us, who are just ordinary mortals.
Mrs. Joseph C. Grew, wife of our ex-Ambassador to Japan, and her daughter, Mrs. Cecil Lyon, also came in to see me. Mrs. Grew told me she was only just beginning to recover from the strain that they had been through before returning to this country.
I had expected to go to New York City last night on the night train, and to go out to see my cousin, Mrs. Henry Parish, today. However, a curious thing, which they tell me is lumbago, or something similar, attacked a spot in my back and I decided I had better get over it quickly and stay at home. I've spent today doing mail and dictating those "messages" which people are always asking me to write.
I always wonder when I find a day like this, which I did not expect to have free, what would have happened if I had not been at home. As far as I can see, one never has any more free time than on a day filled with the usual occupations.
I have just heard of an interesting piece of work which is being carried on by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, called "The Overseas Canteen Service." The organization has been granted cargo space on convoy vessels. They buy and ship in bond, and the goods they send are distributed free to the boys overseas. Their shipments go to the Army, Navy and Marine Corps.