AUGUST 7, 1954
HYDE PARK, Friday—I reached Hyde Park late Wednesday evening after a pleasant but busy day in New York. I have never known such wonderful August weather. I was positively cold on my porch at night and I could easily have lighted the fire in the living room yesterday afternoon.
My first full day at home, Thursday, meant much shopping in the morning but I enjoyed it. Mrs. John Cutter drove over with my niece, Mrs. Elliott, and her four children, and all are staying with me and helped with all the chores.
At noon a large group from Bard College came for a picnic. They represent some members of the Americans for Democratic Action who are attending a summer institute at Bard and studying how to exert and organize political influence, specifically, where liberal points of view are concerned. A little later, in spite of the rain, a group of foreign internes arrived from Columbia University. They had to take refuge in the playhouse and their time was rather short since they had come up on the boat to Poughkeepsie and had to catch the boat for the return trip. Nearly all of them represented foreign countries and I found the questions they asked very interesting.
It is a joy to me to have my niece, Mrs. Elliott, and her four children here again. Each year, the children seem to grow more interesting than the year before and I am really impressed by the way modern children learn to help in a home.
The three little boys make their beds each morning without the slightest question. When I praised them, they said that if they didn't make them they wouldn't get made. But the training is very good for them, for it gives them a real sense of responsibility and a feeling of having an obligation for the home in which they live, and it makes them helpful guests.
They also take great pride in their small sister's accomplishments, and when she succeeded in swimming across the pool and back without any water wings yesterday there was great praise from all her brothers. As a result, however, she demanded everyone's attention every time she crossed. Nevertheless, hers is an achievement, since she is only a little over four and a half, and I think she deserves all the attention she gets.
Because I knew I would be away from home for two weeks I had asked a very kind friend of mine, who gave me Tamas years ago, to take care of my two little Scotties while I was gone. They arrived home the day before I did but were waiting for me when I appeared, even though it was very late. They wagged their tails with joy, and then in a most businesslike manner started up the stairs to go to bed knowing that their routine would be followed without any changes. Both of them have been very good since their return, staying around and wanting to make sure that we are all really here to stay and that they will not be deserted again.
On my arrival here I found a most-interesting architect's picture of the proposed New York City school which is to be built and named after my husband. If it turns out to be as attractive as the drawing is, I am sure Public School 34 in Manhattan will be very popular with all the children who attend there. The architecture looks very modern but delightful and planned for maximum usefulness where the youngsters are concerned.