DECEMBER 18, 1943
WASHINGTON, Friday—This morning the President returned to us and Anna, the older grandchildren and I went to meet him. We drove home with him, but haven't had a real account of the trip, only a very general impression. We are deeply concerned about Mr. Churchill's illness, and that was the first question which the President asked us this morning. The bulletin sounded encouraging and one hopes that all will go well, but pneumonia twice in one year is somewhat serious, even for a young person. One cannot help being anxious, therefore.
To obtain a really full account of a trip of this kind, one must listen whenever one has a chance. So, this afternoon, I shall go to the President's first press conference and so will all the family that can slip into the room. Tonight, we shall ply him with questions at dinner. But we know quite well that, because of the accumulation of work which he will find on his desk here and in the executive office, we shall have to take our chances whenever we can.
It is a great relief to have him safely back, and I know he must have been pleased at the spontaneous welcome which greeted him when he came into the diplomatic reception room after leaving his car. There were the Cabinet members, delegations from the Senate and the House, and heads of commissions, besides members of his own secretariat.
Anna looked everywhere for little Johnny, and finally found him out in the hall. He was standing entirely alone, looking at the backs of the crowd, evidently not quite having the courage to get through. She rescued him, but when he did get to his grandfather, he wasn't quite sure that he knew him. That will soon change, however, for children get on well with the President.
I forgot to mention the other day that I made a recording for the Voice of the Army radio program. It was far easier to do than the one I did as a Christmas message for the OWI in French to the women of France. Somehow, when you talk French as rarely as I do now, suddenly to improvise even a few words, presents difficulties. I only hope it comes out understandably, particularly as it is a Christmas message to people who are suffering and can only convey hope to them. But the outlook is brighter this year.
Have you seen a little book which the Institute of Decorators has produced, called, "For You And Your Home"? It is written to help defense workers to furnish their homes attractively. Its production is part of a real movement undertaken by the artists of America in many fields to help in the war effort.