SEPTEMBER 17, 1942
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—Yesterday I went from New York City to Orange, N. J., to spend a few hours with my cousin, Mrs. Henry Parish. By this time, I thought I had learned all the mistakes I could possibly make in the Hudson Tube, but I took the wrong local and had to take another one back a station in order to get the right one.
I paid my fare twice and thought there was a gleam of amusement in the man's eye when he informed me that I did not need to pay a second time. So ten cents, which might have gone to buy a war stamp, went into the Hudson Tube fare box.
It had suddenly become summer again. I was wearing a coat, so between my inner agitation and the extra garment, I was really heated in every way by the time I finally got on the right train. However, the minute I found myself in the peace and quiet of Llewellyn Park, my whole frame of mind changed.
Up to that moment, the battles of the world seemed to be going on inside my head, and then, suddenly, all was quiet. We sat on the porch and talked of the simple things in life, which bring one back to sanity and a realization that everyday life must go on, no matter what is happening in the world.
I think, perhaps, the function of older people in times of stress like these, is to keep islands of quiet in themselves where youth may take refuge. I fail in this very badly at times. Mrs. Parish gave me a very good lesson yesterday, when we talked about the happenings of years ago and what various people, now carrying heavy loads, had done as children.
I sometimes wonder whether the effect of a carefree and happy childhood shows itself in the way men carry the strain of later years. Many a mother today, who gives her child a sense of security in a very insecure world, and who still manages to provide simple pleasures, may be preparing that child for a successful role in the difficult years of the future.
I made my train for Washington very comfortably, but I was to meet two of our children there, and they arrived just as the train was about to leave. One of them doesn't like to waste time waiting for anyone, and so this morning everyone tried to help him to get back to his job in time, while he serenely insisted he would not be late. He made his plane with exactly one minute to spare.
In a few minutes I am going down to the Navy Yard to witness the transfer of a ship to the Norwegian Government. I shall tell you more about it in tomorrow's column.