JANUARY 24, 1938
HYDE PARK, Sunday—The drive up to the country on Saturday was increasingly lovely. On the way out of New York the snow was brown and horrid, as it always is in cities a short time after it has fallen, but once we got into the real country it was white all about us. The woods, wherever there were evergreens, were very beautiful.
My little apartment in Hyde Park is somewhat upset because, during the winter, under Miss Cook's direction, I am having the woodwork rubbed down to look more the way our furniture does. The part which is finished is very lovely, but as everyone has to shovel snow in order to be able to move about from place to place, it takes quite a while to get any work done indoors.
We spent the evening reading and I haven't had such a quiet, long night of sleep in many days. It is funny how one can leave and shed all the responsibilities that go with a certain kind of life, and feel as though one were part of a different life in a new environment.
For some of us, circumstances shape our lives so completely that I wonder sometimes what would have happened if we had been thrown into a different groove. I imagine I might have been quite a good housewife and done my work competently day by day and enjoyed it very much. I might have been a fairly adequate farmer's wife, having the necessary health and energy, but circumstances didn't make me that or a housewife. So, after all, we are but puppets, creatures of our fate, not commanding it but being moulded by it.
I was very much grieved to hear of our old friend "Bobbie" Fitzmaurice's death. Ever since I knew him in Albany, I remember his cheerful willingness to do whatever was asked of him. Whenever he felt he had a responsibility, he was determined to see it through to the end.
On the President's first campaign trip in 1932, Mr. Fitzmaurice made all the advance arrangements and accompanied us on the train. On the way home he was taken seriously ill. He to be taken off the train to a hospital in Omaha, Nebraska and then came through to Chicago on his way to a New York Hospital. We were still in Chicago and Miss Hickok and I went down to meet him at the train.
Sick as he was, he greeted us with a smile and asked how the President was getting on with his arrangements. He had to spend weeks in the hospital and I never remember hearing him complain. I think of his life as a lonely one. Perhaps he was not very sorry to leave this world, but there will be many people who will miss him, for he did kind things for everyone. Every Governor he served will miss him, for he became their friend. We shall miss his annual visit to us in Washington.