MAY 29, 1945
HYDE PARK, Monday—My daughter Anna has been here for two days, and for the first time I have a sense of actually getting some things permanently moved out of the big house. She is one of the most satisfactory people I know to work with, because she knows so clearly what she wants or does not want. My daughter seems to be fairly well satisfied with the preliminary work which I had done in dividing the family possessions, but she did not take things just because I had put them with the things I thought she could use. She looked them over carefully and discarded quite a number as not fitting into her scheme of life.
Anna took certain things purely for their sentimental value. I imagine that will be one of the things all of the children will want to do, and it will be fortunate if they do not have sentiment about the same objects.
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Our continued rain and mud forced me to give Fala a bath yesterday. He was wet enough without it, but the mud he was bringing into the house was more than I could bear. I have not bathed either a dog or a baby in a good many years, and I found that I was almost as wet as Fala when it was over, having forgotten my old precaution of putting on a rubber apron. I did a good and thorough job; but it took me longer than it would have 20 years ago, and I certainly was a bedraggled sight when it was over.
Having fought cleanliness with all his might, Fala, however, was very proud of himself when he was all brushed and combed and clean, and he seemed to be showing off to everybody all the rest of the evening.
Whenever I feed Fala I make him go through all of his tricks. But he evidently feels that his age makes rolling over too childish, for whenever we come to that he groans and grunts protestingly, though he still does it.
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My lilies of the valley and forsythia have stopped flowering and it seems to me as though the syringa is never going to come out. Just a little sun would bring everything out very quickly, but even my birds seemed to be hushed and dispirited this morning. I hardly heard a sound as I awoke on my porch about 6 a.m.
There is a beautiful cock pheasant who struts across the road as I drive through to the big house every day. Fala gets all excited, but the pheasant never hurries and seems to know that he is quite safe. He looks at us as though he were saying: "Look at me; I am one of the most beautiful creatures you have ever seen." I haven't seen the hen as yet, but I am sure she must be a particularly modest one. She must have had to admire her husband so often.