SEPTEMBER 22, 1945
HYDE PARK, Friday—I had my first long drive through the countryside yesterday. I had spent Wednesday night with Miss Esther Lape at her home in Westbrook, Connecticut, and in the evening we stood on an upstairs porch and saw the full moon shine on the fields, with the background of Long Island Sound in the distance. It is interesting how places retain the spirit of the people who have lived in them. This house and the woods, and the view, all speak to me of Miss Elizabeth Read, who lived there and loved it. One can almost feel her presence as one remembers the joy she had in the beauties of nature.
That is one of the reasons why I like to go there. Miss Read was a rare personality, with great ability and marked integrity. I loved and admired her very much. Now, in a world with so many problems, it is good to be reminded of the way in which she would have approached many of the complicated questions we have to think through today.
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On Thursday morning Miss Lape and I took a short walk in the woods, and then she drove me back to Hyde Park. I like Connecticut roads: they wind so much that you can't drive too quickly, and so you have an opportunity to look at the country. It is good country, with many little lakes, brooks and rivers, woods and hills. We arrived rather late for lunch; but even if our household was hungry, they didn't show it too much and greeted us almost as happily as did Fala.
I spent the afternoon re-packing boxes in preparation for the weekend, which I hope will bring a visit from my two youngest sons and will give them a chance to make their final decision as to what they want for their homes.
It is a great excitement, now, to have the boys getting settled and starting to work. I wanted to know everything they did during the war. But somehow I dreaded it, too—partly because it conjured up so much general suffering, and partly because it gave one's imagination plenty of opportunity to play on the dangers which were never mentioned but which one knew existed.
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I have been reading a book called "Plowman's Folly," by Edward H. Faulkner, and I can well imagine that it must provoke great discussion in agricultural groups. All my life I have heard about the virtues of deep plowing, but this author suggests that we plow under much valuable material and should change our ways. It is interesting as a theory, and I shall now try to get the opinion of others who know more about farming than I do! I think it would be fun to take two rather similar fields and try out the two methods. But perhaps I shall find out that that has already been done.