AUGUST 14, 1947
EN ROUTE TO HYDE PARK, Wednesday—Much to our regret, we left Campobello Island early yesterday morning, forming the same caravan we were on the way up—four children, three dogs, four household staff, Miss Thompson, Elliott and myself. Into our truck we piled baggage, bicycles, books, preserved blueberries and many other things.
What did we do when we used to travel to and from the island by train and did not have a truck to conveniently pick up everything!
I remember the trips by train with five small children and trunks and bags. We sent the boat to Eastport, Maine, and we checked a great many things which today we manage to keep with us. It is on hegiras such as this that I realize the convenience of travelling by automobile.
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We spent last night in Portland, Maine, and took the older children to have dinner with Mr. and Mrs. David Gray, my aunt and uncle. Ever since they returned from Ireland, where Mr. Gray was the United States Minister, he has been busy writing. For a long time he had been collecting material for a book on Ireland.
I feel very guilty because some of the material, which he sent to me during the war, has been locked up in my safe-deposit box and I forgot to send it to him! I only hope my forgetfulness hasn't retarded his work too much. Over a period of many years he has been interested in Ireland and its history, and I feel sure that he will now write something of real value.
Ireland is a difficult place to write about, and I imagine that not too many people really understand the Irish. They have many contradictory traits, they can be both lovable and irritating. But if Mr. Gray brings to his story the same humor and perception that he brought to his old stories about the hunting country in New York State, there will be amusement as well as education in the pages of this book-to-be.
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Though I hated to leave Campobello, I shall be glad to be in Hyde Park again. It will be warmer, and there will be the telephone and electric lights. For a month we have managed to live without either, but both are convenient when you have them!
On the other hand, there will be less time to devote to the writing of the second volume of my autobiography, which is now nearly ready for the publishers. I am relieved that we have made some headway this summer, because people remind me occasionally that this book "must be done" or I might die with certain points of view unrecorded! Not very important, perhaps, but apparently it's desirable to the publishers to have these views recorded.