JULY 24, 1954
NEW YORK, Friday—Soon after I got to my son's ranch on Saturday last, I was whisked away to a most-delightful barbecue which two of his neighbors gave. One of our hosts should certainly be proud of his barbecued chicken. It was delicious, and the evening picnic was a great success. I had met both our hosts a year ago and was delighted to see them again.
The following day the entire ranch family, which includes a goodly number of young people, went on a picnic up the canyon along the White River. We took a walk before eating and reached a grove of aspen trees which was very beautiful. I think these trees are among the prettiest in the region, but, of course, they are soft wood and of very little value.
Wildflowers grow in profusion in every upland and meadow and make a carpet of yellow and blue at this season. Fishing was going on everywhere, but even the waters in these mountain streams are low this year as comparatively little snow fell last winter.
We had had the most delicious trout for breakfast, but the hot dogs broiled over the coals and the potato salad and marvelous cakes on our picnic seemed to be eaten by young and old alike with relish.
On my return to the ranch I was introduced to "Scrabble," which practically has become an obsession with some of us. Those who play it know how competitive one can become in finding combinations of words. In spite of the fact that I found it extremely irritating because I was so slow at making these combinations, I think I shall get a game and start the children at home on it. I am so bad at games, though, that I always find I can start and teach the children and then they rapidly become so much more proficient that I am again relegated to my knitting.
Monday was my daughter-in-law Minnewa's birthday and the family wished her many happy returns in the morning, and then informed her that as she had said she did not want any more birthdays she was not going to be given any present nor was there to be any party.
She professed complete satisfaction with this idea, insisting at the same time that one must stop celebrating birthdays after one reaches the magic age of forty. But when dinnertime came and presents appeared from hidden places, some of them very attractive gifts and some of them just picked up for fun, she had a very good time.
After dinner my son, Elliott, said, "I think we'll take a little drive and go visiting." And he drove straight to what is called the meetinghouse, which is an old abandoned schoolhouse that Minnewa's mother, Mrs. Bell, had made over for the use of the whole neighborhood as a meeting place during the long winter months.
This building has been the scene in recent months of many gay parties on week ends, but I doubt if any was gayer than the one my son put on. All the neighbors were there!
Most of these people had known Minnewa since her childhood, so Elliott acted as master of ceremonies and called upon each of them to tell something of their recollections. His own descriptions, however, were by far the most amusing things that were said and, of course, there were more presents, most of them funny.
It was a gay party at which everybody danced until all hours of the night. And an exhibition of square dancing was given for me, which I much enjoyed.