SEPTEMBER 12, 1944
HYDE PARK, Monday—We feel very fortunate hereabouts because two of our neighbors' young men are back from the wars on leave, and both of them look well and strong.
Both are in the Navy, and one has been on a destroyer for many months, first in the Atlantic and then in the Pacific. His service bar carries a number of stars, and he does look rather thin. He confided to us today that once in Australia he had walked 9 miles to get some fresh milk, and that since he has been home milk and vegetables are the things he enjoys the most. The other young man has been with the Seabees in the Pacific for many months. Both of them are going to get some schooling before they go back, and in the meantime their families are enjoying the few days of furlough with them.
I think the most exciting thing for many of these young men must be to get re-acquainted with their children. Sometimes it is a first introduction, if the baby was not born before the father left; or else the child was so small that it does not know "Daddy" except as a name and a photograph. To find that he is real flesh and blood, and can play with you and occasionally discipline you, must be a great adventure for the child, as well as for the father.
We need rain very badly, as everyone else does, I suppose, for quite a distance around here. In driving through our woods, I am grieved to see even in the swamps that the flowers and leaves are drying up and hanging on their stalks in the most dejected manner.
The lot of the farmer is indeed a hard one. Either it doesn't rain at all, or it rains too much. He either has no crops, or the crop is so good that he cannot get it in himself and labor is almost impossible to find.
This is a wonderful fruit year, but I hear complaints that the lack of rain has kept not only some fruit, but much garden produce from maturing as well as it should, and everyone finds it hard to get things picked. I am a little worried that the dry weather may dull our autumn coloring. I love the month of October, with its vivid colors, almost more than any month in the year.
Yesterday we had another grand picnic. Each time we can spend so many hours out of doors, I rejoice. But it was cut rather short because we had to leave for an afternoon train. There are no more long periods in the country, I fear, for any of us. We will be lucky to get in a few days here and there, but it has been a wonderful summer.