My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

PHOENIX, Wednesday—This is working out as a very successful summer. But to most people it might seem as if we were running a children's camp at Hyde Park, for we have had an average of nine children steadily since early June! When one or two leave, others arrive. However, they all fall into the routine very quickly, and it seems to be enjoyable for them. At least I have heard no complaints.

One of Elliott's sons likes working on the farm. He has a friend with him who seems quite willing to go along with whatever he does, whether it is helping with the cows or mowing the lawn, and he must be enjoying it for he has asked his mother to please let him stay for a longer visit.

Those who ride, take care of their own horses. The littlest ones play in the sand box and swing in the swings by the brook and swim in the pool. All the youngsters spend hours of every warm day in the pool. The two children who are not quite three years old have to wear life belts, but they go through all of the motions of swimming and evidently learn from just watching the others.

I am looking forward to having Franklin Jr.'s younger boy, Christopher, with us for 10 days this month and possibly we may be able to get a longer visit from young John Boettiger, who is nine. Elliott's four children, with their friends, and my cousin, Mrs. W. Forbes Morgan, with her two children, are our steady, permanent summer residents.

* * *

We picnic by the pool for luncheon every day, and that seems to be a perfect idea because the children do not have to take off their bathing suits, which always created sadness and controversy.

We went off Sunday, the Fourth of July, for our annual picnic in a particular spot where there is a wonderful, rushing stream that has quite a deep waterfall and dark green hemlocks on either side growing out of the rocks. It is a beautiful place, and the children had a wonderful time following the stream along the rocks. They returned, dripping water from head to toe, having all fallen into a pool.

I read poetry after lunch to the six and seven-year-olds and have found that Robert Louis Stevenson's "Poems of Childhood" are as much enjoyed by this generation as they had been by my own children a generation ago.

* * *

I was sorry to leave them all on Tuesday, but Miss Thompson and I left for Phoenix bright and early. This trip is partly business and partly pleasure. I have not been anywhere in the United States away from the east in a long time, and I think if one wants to gauge the popular feeling of the people throughout the country one has to get away from the eastern seaboard, if only for a day.

I am, of course, excited about my grandchild's wedding, the first in the family. I suppose this should make me feel very old, but, strangely enough, it does not seem to affect me that way at all!

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL