My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW YORK, Wednesday—I returned after my Labor Day weekend spent at the ranch in Meeker, Colorado, where my son, Elliott, and his wife, Minnewa, have made their home. They are up 7,200 feet. The air was clear and beautiful, warm sunshine all day but when the sun went down, it was really cold. It is interesting country to me, friendlier than some of the other Rocky Mountain areas because the mountains in this section are covered with trees, though some insect has played havoc with a certain kind of spruce and vast areas of dead trees look almost as if a forest fire had swept through them all. There are great areas of forest preserves and the country as a whole is sheep and cattle country.

I saw them drive some of the cattle down from the hills to pasture where the hay had just been cut and it looked on the whole like very exciting work. All the girls went down with the men and came back safely, so it was probably only my Eastern eyes that made it look difficult! They missed some of the cattle in the mountain areas so as I was leaving I saw them start off again to round up the remaining cows and calves.

This is a wonderful life for young people and I don't wonder that Elliott's young family all adore it. They have been born and brought up with horses in the Southwest and I think they quite naturally feel that this part of the world is the kind of place they want to live in. There is a freedom and ease to the life which is certainly lacking in the East.

The charm of this Colorado country is that there is so much water everywhere. They irrigate some of their pastures every spring when the streams are particularly full and they can fish all year round. My daughter and her husband spent hours fishing. We watched with great interest one of the neighboring ranchers catch several trout one afternoon.

What with riding and fishing, all the young people were ready to go to bed at night, which is fortunate because the nearest movie is 22 miles away and at that there is only one movie house in the town of Meeker which is both the shopping and recreation center.

A drive of 22 miles seems so much shorter, however, in these wide open spaces than it would to us in New York State. I couldn't help thinking of the contrast, in seeing this part of our country, with the Far Eastern countries like India and Japan. You can certainly breathe freely and visit your neighbors when you wish, but they are always far enough away so that you feel no sense of too many human beings clustering close together trying to eke out a living from an unproductive soil. We have much still to be thankful for in just the space we have to move around in in this country!

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL