AUGUST 7, 1953
HYDE PARK, Thursday—I am beginning again today to write you from my upstate home and that means that what I do will really coincide with what I write. When one is travelling, of course, it is impossible to keep exactly to the regular schedule of daily activities.
A good deal of my time since I returned has been spent in trying to clear my desk but I am very far as yet from actually doing so. Then, too, I always find that to get things tidied up and back into the usual routine in one's home takes quite a little time. Perhaps I like to do too much in my own house but that's half the fun of keeping house and it always takes time to get my linen shelves back into the order that I like.
I found my niece, Mrs. Elliott, and her four children staying at my house when I arrived, having preceded me by two days. Her mother, Mrs. John Cutter, is here also, and my son, John, and his wife and children are back from York Harbor, so we have quite a family reunion with a small army of children around, who range in age from one year to 14 years.
My little dogs are very happy to have me back, too, and I am happy to find them in good condition and so ready to slip back into their old habits of going around with me. Dogs are faithful creatures and they forget much less than you anticipate they will.
Tuesday night, my son, Franklin, and his wife and two boys drove over for dinner. Wednesday I had a young man who was over at the library studying material on the 1932 campaign come over to ask me some questions about this campaign during lunch. Mary Margaret McBride also lunched with me and we did some recordings together. She is a dear person and I always enjoy my interviews with her.
We talked about the book which came out while I was gone, "India and the Awakening East." I wrote it such a long time ago and have done so much since that I was afraid I wouldn't be able to answer questions about it accurately, but luckily everything seemed to come back to me as we talked. This is a little book of impressions of the trip I took last year, but I hope that it may add to the knowledge that we have of the countries I visited.
I think my greatest difficulty at the moment is to decide whether I can possibly tell anyone that I will fill a lecture engagement next March or June! I'm doing it tentatively and I'm praying that everyone will understand that circumstances may change between now and then and I may find it impossible to fill any of these engagements. The engagements have piled up for this autumn so that I'm beginning to say that I have all that I can take and that seems rather appalling when I've been back only three days.
While I was away I read a book which is made up of speeches and writings by Judge Learned Hand and called "The Spirit of Liberty." I think this is a most valuable book to read at the present time and I hope that those who do not have copies will get them from their libraries and read the passages about freedom. It seems to me that all of us have a responsibility to preserve our freedoms, which he acknowledges and accepts in these writings and speeches, and therefore it is helpful to the rest of us to read it.