DECEMBER 6, 1938
NEW YORK, Monday—We landed this morning from the liner "Cherokee" after a most delightful trip from Jacksonville, Florida. The first day was smooth and sunny. We landed in Charleston, S.C., Saturday and had a whole morning there. This not being the season for gardens, we wandered around the city. It was sad to see what have the hurricane had wrought. Trees were down and great damage was done to St. Michael's Church. The theatre which WPA labor had restored was not very much damaged and I was interested to see it finished. It is really very charming and the woodwork, taken out of an old house, is as lovely as any I know. They certainly did beautiful detail work on their mantelpieces, doorways and cornices in the early days in this country.
Yesterday the weather was not as pleasant, so we played shuffle-board. I found that after twenty years I enjoyed being coached by one of the passengers who was particularly kind in trying to teach me the rudiments of the game. I am peculiarly stupid at all games, but this was great fun and we acquired quite an audience to cheer on my efforts.
For a very brief time we had fog, but it was low and we were soon out of it and the sunset sky was very beautiful. However, it was not as lovely as it was on Saturday night, when the sun went down into the ocean like a ball of fire and little clouds which blew across it made it look like a map with islands dotted here and there on a nice round sea.
A letter from my aunt, Mrs. Gray, says she misses us all, which is pleasant to hear, for I remember one of my neighbors who always used to say, "Guests is pests," after they had gone and she sank wearily back to recuperate from trying to entertain them. I really think the happiest arrangement for both hosts and guests when they know each other well enough, is that they be together happily when they wish to be, but still free at other times to follow their own inclinations and desires.
I remember hearing an English visit described by an American couple this summer. They told of the elaborate arrangements made for every minute of the day, their own desire to see a friend who lived nearby, and their hostess' horror that they should make any arrangement without consulting her beforehand. To have everything arranged for you if you are a stranger is rather pleasant, but it can make one feel rather tied down.
Being on the water, we have had three days without any mail and in some ways it certainly has been a great relief. But when I looked at the enormous brown envelope which covered the table this morning, I felt we were going to pay for our three day holiday.