NOVEMBER 7, 1944
HYDE PARK, Monday—Mr. and Mrs. Harry Brandt joined us for lunch yesterday. Since Mrs. Brandt could not come here earlier in the summer, she had her first glimpse of the President's library, in which both she and her husband seemed much interested. All the young aviators visiting us seemed to like ship models and the curious collection of things in what is called the Oddities Room, so everyone had an enjoyable time.
We spent most of the day in the open air yesterday, walking to the top of the hill, seeing the President's cottage, and having tea around an open fire in the living room at my cottage. Everyone looked cold as he came in. Even the President and Admirals Leahy and McIntire looked as though the country air was snappier than anything they had been experiencing except in driving through New England. They had had long, official talks, but everyone was relaxed and chatty before the open fire over the tea.
One of the aviators kept remarking, "This is like a real Sunday at home," and then added: "I haven't been home yet, but I talked to my family several times and now they just begin to make sense. At first, we couldn't think what to say."
Great emotion is seldom very well expressed in words, and this boy is very close to his family. He has been away two years, and his brother is out in the Pacific. It must be a rather frustrating emotional experience for parents to be suddenly called on the telephone when they have had no inkling that their boy might return, and not be able to have him come immediately because he has work to do.
I enjoyed every minute of yesterday, and was very glad to watch them all drink milk and eat the things which had not been on their diet list during the long months abroad. The open air and exercise made everyone sleepy, and by 10 o'clock one after the other had gone up to bed. They greeted me this morning saying they had had the best sleep they had enjoyed in months.
I saw them off at the train, and look forward to seeing them all again in Washington before they go back overseas.
I do not know whether you are a devotee as I am of Bonaro Overstreet's poems, but there are five lines in yesterday's poems that I do not want to forget. They are:
That he know all the answers. I only ask
A great caring—an honest and humble caring
About what happens to human beings and their hopes,
And that I ask of myself as much as another."