JULY 22, 1948
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—Monday we enjoyed a very beautiful drive over to Westbrook, Conn., to lunch with our friend, Esther Lape. Scenically the routes we followed always have been lovely, but there is another thing I notice nowadays that gives me a great deal of pleasure. Houses, whether they are suburban, or in a town, or on the farm, all look prosperous. They are well painted, and nicely kept. And judging from the number of cars on the road and people who seem to be vacationing, one has a feeling that, by and large, people are at ease in their lives in spite of current high prices.
There is a good deal of new building going on. Some of it, I am afraid, will be a disappointment to the buyers, and it may well be that the prices paid are far above what the buildings are actually worth. As I look at some of these new houses, I should not be surprised if a good deal of the building is not being done by the owners themselves. Certainly, some of the old ramshackle places in our immediate area show signs of work done by the owners. It may be that veterans who learned trades in the services are putting their bonus money into improving the family estate.
I like to see homes kept in good condition and to feel that more and more people are owning something of their own. There is stability about the ownership of a home and a little piece of ground, and it means much also to young children growing up. If only we can avoid a repetition of the depression that culminated in Mr. Hoover's Administration, we will be very fortunate. This depression, of course, had nothing to do with President Hoover's policies, but was the result of after-war activities by certain groups in this country which, I fear, may be duplicated again unless the people and the Congress are very wary.
* * *
I had left Fala for the day on Monday at the veterinarian's because he seemed to have a choking spell. I have now been told it is just a bronchial cold.
Little Tamas, who was left at home, was so lonely without Fala, and objected so much to having too many children try to disturb him, that when it came his dinnertime he could not be found. The youngsters looked for him everywhere. Finally, Elliott went up to my room and called Tamas, and out he came from under my bed, looking quite relieved that an older person was actually ready to pay him some attention.
He greeted us with enthusiasm and practically kept his head on our feet ever since Miss Thompson and I returned. Fala seems quite recovered, so I think I was unduly alarmed at his symptoms.
* * *
Last Sunday evening we had a wonderful Southern picnic, with barbecued chicken, prepared by our nearby neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Hutchinson. The children played wildly afterwards, making Faye join them, and to their glee she was better than anyone else at everything they did. On Monday morning everyone was somewhat weary and one child woke up with a completely upset stomach and had to go back to bed. Having so many children here make it a little like a camp, but I find they discipline one another quite successfully.