JANUARY 2, 1947
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—I want again to thank the innumerable friendly people who sent me cards and messages this Christmas season. And I would also like to say "thank you" for Fala to dog lovers in every part of the country who have remembered him. One kind person sent him a stocking full of toys, someone else sent him a collar, and even dog candy was in his array of gifts.
My Texas grandchildren, who are here, tell me that the last movie done of Fala is just now being shown in Fort Worth, and I think it must have been shown in a good many places, for it has brought him so much fan mail. He is most grateful for all his gifts, though he is not quite certain whether the various squeaky toys are meant for play or for immediate destruction! He is still, I fear, primitive enough to think that a mouse, even though its color is light yellow, should be caught and destroyed, just in the way he digs for moles along the banks of the brook and runs after rabbits, which, I am grateful to say, he never catches. All of his mail will be sent to the library to swell his collection there, and the grandchildren have started to sort the Christmas cards.
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We have had a wonderful variety of days—clear, cold weather and blue sky against which the bare trees etched themselves; then snow, thaw and rain, soft end-of-the-year kind of weather—hard on people who had to drive their cars, because the roads were covered with ice even under the thawed snow, but very pleasant for walking in the woods, where the snow was still intact. I love the crunchy sound of going through the crust as I walk, though I confess that when I come out on the icy places I am a little more careful than my grandchildren, who slide along gleefully, tumble down, then continue to slide with no thought of bumps or bruises. I do not think I can take it quite so easily as they do!
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Tea and lunch and dinner guests have arrived with tales of adventure. The car of two guests who drove up from New York City to spend the night turned completely around on the icy parkway; they were lucky enough to run off on a grassy stretch, then started off again much more slowly. I begin to think that a winter in the country, when you must move about and cannot just hole in and wait until the weather changes, is rather an adventurous proceeding.
Nevertheless, I like it better than the city. Even when the snow melts and it is muddy underfoot, there is none of the dirt of New York City. I can pat Fala without immediately having to wash my hands, as I do in the city, where they become black from the dirt which he collects from the streets.
There is a serenity about land that is sleeping. Even the pheasant which crosses the road in front of our car does so in perfect security—the hunting season is over and he can show his bright feathers without fear. This is the kind of life in which one can really imagine that people may learn to live in peace.