SEPTEMBER 6, 1944
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—So far I have had little feeling that an election campaign has begun, but I suppose before long it will really be going full blast.
Up to now, it has seemed to me that the only use people have made of it is to give vent to some of their stored-up disagreeable thoughts under the guise of telling great truths to the nation—the excuse, of course, being that we were going through our usual political crises before elections. Perhaps this is a good thing, for it lets all of us get out of our systems the disagreeable things we think and feel. Then, when the elections are over, we start again with a clean slate, and in spite of all the things we said about each other, go on working together on a comparatively amicable basis.
More of my summer's guests left today, and I felt rather sad at their going. Children always love to move on to a new place, particularly when they are returning to something which is their own. But I greatly enjoyed having so many of them around this summer, and now the quiet of the household is broken only by one small mite of 16 months, who cannot possibly make enough noise to take the place of several older ones. She is a very charming companion, however, and we are grateful to have her around, for she will be the only child to keep us occupied during the next few weeks.
One of my regrets is that this really marks the end of the summer for me. I shall be away from here a great deal of the time from now on, and the real joy of country life, of course, is when you live it day by day.
We had a curious experience last night. Most of us were awakened to find that our beds were shaking under us, and apparently the whole house was shaking too. I switched on my light, and noticed that lights in other rooms also went on. But in a few seconds everything steadied itself again, and I put out my light and went back to sleep.
This morning I learned that those sleeping in the middle of the house had not been disturbed at all. In the other wing, however, everyone had been awakened and had got up wondering whether they were having a bad dream or whether this strange tremor was real. Over the radio this morning came the news that the center of the earthquake had been somewhere else, and that one person had been killed. Apparently we were just getting the outer edges of the quake's radiations.