JANUARY 11, 1943
WASHINGTON, Sunday—Like every other family, we in the White House are trying to adjust to the new war rules for civilians. I had not read my paper the other evening and so I went out to a concert in the way in which I would ordinarily have gone.
To my horror the next morning I read all the rules and realized I had unwittingly broken one of them, using a car for pure pleasure even though I went to a war benefit.
Friday evening I dined with a friend but luckily it was near enough to walk both ways. During the day it was possible to walk to my only other engagements outside the White House. Yesterday morning I had promised to speak to a group of young people who are doing salvage work. I also had an appointment out at the Naval Hospital. Fortunately the two dovetailed very nicely and I think this is the last time I shall have to use a car in Washington, for anything aside from taking bags to the station, until the present emergency is over.
As far as food goes, I find the adjustment to those regulations is very easy and I do not think we will have to resort to the substitutes which one of my friends in Great Britain told me about. In spite of the strict rationing, she wrote that she was entertaining some thirty-two extra people nearly every week at meals, which required a good deal of planning since there were only three or four ration cards in her family. But she had a cottage with a garden in the country and has been able to bring up from there a variety of vegetables.
Their growing season is longer than ours, which makes a great difference. Besides, she found she could serve as a main dish stuffing, well seasoned with herbs grown in her garden and covered with a rich brown sauce.
There is undoubtedly a great deal of talent scattered throughout our armed forces today, but I doubt if any young man in any army wrote as many rhymes and sent them around at Christmas time as did Private Peter McLaren Forin of Buffalo, N. Y., who is in the Canadian Army. I think it speaks well for our fighting forces when a private can send General Wavell a Christmas poem and get an answer and that answer comes in rhyme. There is certainly plenty of fight left in us when we can take time out to ride our hobbies in the midst of war.
A few people dropped in for lunch yesterday and then I put in a full afternoon of work at my desk. My friend, Mrs. George S. Huntington, is with us for a short visit. It is wonderful to see the spirit in which, despite having undergone many operations and the need of a cane, she has achieved walking. She manages to go quite a number of blocks and to use public conveyances. As a result she is not cut off entirely from what she wants to do even during the period of present restrictions.