MAY 31, 1943
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Spring is very late here. To the gardeners and farmers who are trying so hard to produce more this summer than they ever have before, it has been a most disheartening time. However, now the days couldn't be more perfect. Our lilac is still in bloom and my bed of lilies-of-the-valley is flourishing, and there is even dogwood in flower on top of the hill.
First of all, on Friday, I went over to the big house and saw the people who have been doing the spring cleaning. I made sure that everything was ready for the horses, which arrived that afternoon. Then I began unpacking at the cottage, found all the things which had been put away, paid great compliments to the little maid who had done so much cleaning and to the man who, in spite of all difficulties, had managed to get the garden planted.
The shrubs all look as though they had grown a foot, and so do the little evergreen trees with their light green tips. By late afternoon, three children arrived, and so yesterday we had a merry day. We even had a dip in the swimming pool, which, however, proved to be slightly chilly.
Late Saturday afternoon, we climbed to the top of the hill and had tea on the porch of my husband's cottage, which looks out over the lovely calm valley below us. From there, it is hard to believe there can be war, murder and sudden death in so many parts of the world.
I kept thinking of how many of the family and our close friends there were, for whom the desert, or the cold of high altitude, or the death of men they had been with just a day or two ago, were, for the moment, the normal type of existence. I wonder if ever again this placid, quiet, uneventful daily living will seem normal to them. Perhaps it will be even more precious. Perhaps they will harden us in our determination to see that never again does war become a normal type of existence.
The papers say there has been just as much travelling over Memorial Day as usual. But I must say, as far as cars are concerned, there seem to be practically none on the road.
I can well understand that people want to honor the dead of former wars more particularly today, because so many have already lost people whom they love in this war, while others are anxiously waiting to hear whether boys reported wounded or missing are coming back to them.
We have always thought of Memorial Day as a day not only to honor the heroes of our armed forces, but also as a day which should remind us of the need to live in a peaceful world. Yet, so far, we have not been able to cooperate sufficiently with the rest of the world to accomplish this.