JULY 7, 1944
HYDE PARK, Thursday—I think we have all been remarkably fortunate in this part of the country because the whole holiday weekend was clear, and bright and sunny, except for one thunderstorm which came upon us Tuesday afternoon. The short downpour made us have a shorter visit with some friends who were coming to tea, because they could not start out until the storm was almost over.
We had two nice young people spending the Fourth with us, a young actor and his sister. The boy is now playing the most important part of his life, at least to us at home, because he is in the Navy. The two days he spent here were just between sea trips. We put him through all the rural occupations we could think of, from riding a horse, which decided to give him a rough and playful time, to pitching hay in the barn one morning for two hours. He left assuring me that he felt in grand shape, and he and his sister both said they would come again with the greatest of pleasure. My grandson Buzz was pleased, I think, to have someone else around who was new at this business of farming, for it is hard work at the start.
Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon on the mail, but we did have a swim in the morning and a picnic lunch on the lawn. I often wonder if my own fondness for eating out of doors on paper plates isn't a little hard on the other members of the household and my guests, who would hardly dare to loudly proclaim that they preferred their food in a more formal fashion. One gentleman who knows me rather well, did muster up courage to mention to me that certain kinds of food melted wax paper and that he had eaten a considerable amount of the paper. I'll have to find a new kind of unbreakable picnic plate, I think, but plates have to be washed if they are not paper plates and that is a serious consideration.
Almost a year ago, when I went to the Southwest Pacific, I visited the Red Cross headquarters in Honolulu, and I was much impressed by the efficient set up and the interest of all the workers. One of them, Miss Elsa J. Pennington of Lakewood, Ohio, is now home again waiting reassignment. She was the secretarial head of the communications department, so she handled proxy marriages, trans-Pacific nuptials, and messages of birth, death and serious illness. When she left the area, the month's total of communications had numbered 11,000, so you can see that their office is a busy one. On one occasion, there were 97 men in line outside of her office waiting on the chance that she could contact friends and relatives who might be in the same territory at the same time for them. Miss Pennington is typical of many others of our Red Cross, devoted to the men they serve throughout the world.