JANUARY 16, 1939
HYDE PARK, N. Y., Sunday—I reached Hyde Park Friday in the late afternoon and there was no snow anywhere, which surpised me for I had left Washington in quite a snowstorm that had been going on most of the previous night. However, when I awoke Saturday morning, snow lay all about me. The evergreens were heavy with their burden and it looked as though we might have more during the day. The skies were gray and word from New York City through the radio said the streets were impassable. I wondered whether we would be able to drive to the main road here, but the snow plow came through once or twice, and so far we have had no difficulty.
I sat up late the first night, for I was all alone, and caught up on mail. It was a very pleasant thing to look at an open fire and have the quiet of the country all around me.
The next morning I started to instruct a new maid, whom I brought up to leave in charge of the house here, and we spent the whole morning going through closets and storerooms. In the afternoon, I went for a walk to the top of the hill to have a look at the President's cottage. I will have to be honest and say that, having spent most of the past year without taking much exercise, I found the climb in deep snow pretty hard on my wind. I decided that I had better devote a little more to swimming in Washington, even if I sit up an extra hour at night.
The nicest part about exercise in the country in winter is coming into the house later and sitting in a nice relaxed mood before an open fire. The rest of the time I devoted to reading and sewing.
Another session of intensive housekeeping this morning, but at 11:00 o'clock one of our Norwegian neighbors came over to give me my first skiing lesson. Anyone else would catch on quickly, I think, but it wasn't until I was on my way home that I even began to walk rhythmically. I tried going down one small hill and to everyone's amusement landed in a heap at the bottom. My instructor says we should go out again this afternoon, but I have acquired a cutter which belonged to me years ago and which stood for many years in my grandmother's stable in Tivoli, N. Y. It has now been put back into condition so that it resembles itself in the days of my youth and we are all going sleigh riding.
I think it must be ten years since I last drove in a cutter. On that occasion my daughter was driving and we had a string of sleds on behind. It is rare to have enough snow to have really pleasant sleighing and I love the sound of the bells. The only thing we haven't done is to coast and if I were going to stay here many more days, I should certainly do that also.