APRIL 24, 1945
HYDE PARK, Monday—We came back to Hyde Park yesterday morning, just one week from the time we all gathered here for the committal service in our hedge-surrounded garden. My sons and I went to look at the grave. If two soldiers had not been on guard, and the beautiful orchids flown up from the South had not covered the spot where the sod had been put back so carefully, we would hardly have known that the lawn was not as it had always been.
Before very long, the simple stone which my husband described very carefully for us will be in place. But in the meantime the children and the dogs will be quite unconscious that here a short time ago a solemn military funeral was held, and they will think of it as a place where flowers grow and where the hedge protects them from the wind and makes the sun shine down more warmly. And that is as my husband would have it. He liked children and dogs and sunshine and flowers, and they are all around him now.
* * *
We drove over the boundaries of the place yesterday afternoon trying to ascertain, from the maps we had, exactly what the memorandums meant which my husband so carefully wrote out for us. If you have ever tried to reconcile a map and the actual roads through the woods with the descriptions in a memorandum, no matter how accurate it is, you will understand how difficult we found it. Many a time we stopped where two trails ran into each other and wondered just exactly where this road really was on the map.
It was a wonderful day, but very windy and much colder than when we were here two weeks ago. We have had open fires in our living rooms all the afternoon and evening. But the house as a whole is very cold, and I don't dare turn up our heat because we have a very limited amount of oil.
* * *
Miss Thompson looks with despair on three clothes-baskets filled with mail, and so, dear readers, if you don't get any answers to your letters, you will know that eventually they will all be ready. Meanwhile, it is physically impossible to do more than thank you here for your kindness and your real understanding and sympathy.
Today our heavier tasks begin, as trucks arrive from Washington and things are unpacked and made available for the further business of settling an estate. I foresee that we have many long days of work in the big house before it is presentable for government visitors, and many long evenings ahead of us just opening and reading this incoming mail. Someday, however, we will actually find ourselves sitting down to read a book without that guilty feeling which weighs upon one when the job you should be doing is ignored.