DECEMBER 22, 1943
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—On Sunday, by the midnight train, we left Washington for New York City. There we barely had time to wash up and breakfast at the apartment before starting off for Hyde Park. The train seemed almost empty, since we are now so accustomed to overcrowding when we travel.
We had a very comfortable trip and I read the morning papers and an article by Mr. Hiram Motherwell, as well as an article by a soldier on what the soldier is concerned about. Almost before I knew it, we were well up the Hudson River and in the midst of what seemed a good, healthy snowstorm. But, by the time we reached Poughkeepsie, the sky was cleared and a deep wonderful blue. The landscape is a wintry one with only the evergreen trees giving color to the woods.
We went over to my cottage for a few minutes just to make sure that everything was well, since I am not going to open it on this trip. Then I went over to the big house. There I planned for our large family over Christmas. The family begins to arrive today, when my daughter and her children come for a week in the old home, which the children have never entered without finding my husband's mother there to greet them.
I am sure it will seem very strange to them, as it does to practically everyone. My mother-in-law lived for so many years in this house, that she really seemed a part of it. Her personality seems to go right on living here, so you expect to find her sitting by the fire in the big library, or up in her own bedroom.
Right after lunch on Monday, I had a short call from one of our neighbors, Mrs. Gerald Morgan, and then Miss Thompson and I went over to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library for the tree which we have over there. First it will be shown for all the people on our place, and then on Sunday and Monday nights for all the soldiers from the M.P. school near here.
The wind began to blow and the air was distinctly cooler as we walked from the library to my sister-in-law, Mrs. J.R. Roosevelt's house. We found her suffering from the cold which seems to have attacked so many people. But she was cheerful and glad to see us and interested in the Christmas plans.
Another sad loss came to us yesterday in the news that Mrs. Josephus Daniels has passed away. No one could have been kinder to young people than she was to us when Mr. Daniels was Secretary of the Navy and my husband's chief in Washington. She was full of fun and her life was a very rich and useful one. I can not bear to think of Mr. Daniels and her boys without her. She gave out a great deal to those around her and I think she was always the tactful and unifying influence which someone must be in every big family.