My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK, Monday—I got up at 4:30 this morning to meet a train, and found myself going out in a downpour of rain and a sudden drop in temperature. I rejoiced in the change of weather, and as the rain stopped and the light began to come, I wondered why we so rarely enjoy these fresh morning hours! Whenever I do get up, I love it.

In the station I found the newspaper stand open. The familiar face of the lady in charge looked so smiling and wide-awake that I almost hesitated to tell her that I was surprised to find her on hand and doing business at that hour. Her answer was: "I am always here from 5 a.m. to 11, and the other girl takes over then. I can go home and do my work, and I get to bed about 9; and I like getting up early." I am sure she is a wise lady and more of us should follow her example.

When I was a little girl there was nothing that gave me greater joy than to get one of my young aunts to agree that she would get up before dawn, that we would walk down through the woods to the river, row ourselves the 5 miles to the village in Tivoli to get the mail, and row back before the family was at the breakfast table.

I must say that the row back, with the sun up, was sometimes very hot and very long. I still remember, however, the thrill of getting up in the dark, stealing into the pantry so as not to awaken anyone, buttering a large slice of bread and covering it with brown sugar, and pouring out a big glass of milk. No breakfast ever tasted better. Then, if fruit was in season when we got to the village, and my young aunt bought apples, or pears or peaches, or a basket of grapes, and we could rest on our oars now and then and eat some of the fruit on the way home, my cup of joy ran over!

Our sky is still gray this morning, but there are rifts where the sun shines through every now and then and I think by afternoon it may completely clear. In the meantime, one of my annual joys greets my eyes from the cottage windows and as I come down the road. We have more purple loosestrife than ever before, I think. At sunset time it is reflected in the water; but at all times, against the background of green, it is a most beautiful bit of color. It is almost at its height now, but I hope it will be with us a good part of this month.

One of our grandsons left us yesterday to go home. We shall miss him, but I am thankful every day that we live in this rather remote, quiet spot where children can do the natural things and enjoy simple country pleasures. Because of the infantile paralysis situation, my daughter has felt that the young ones should not go into the country town or be much in crowds. But I have heard no word of complaint from them, which means that life is sufficiently filled with occupations to leave no desire for other things.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL