MAY 22, 1944
NEW YORK, Sunday—I wonder if living away from the country gives one a keener joy when one has occasional glimpses of the beauty of the country. I know that getting back to Hyde Park on Friday, picking the pansies in my own little border around the cottage, and the lilies of the valley from the bed which a very dear friend of mine planted for me a few years ago, and going to the top of the hill where there is a wonderful show of dogwood, gave me a particular thrill.
Sitting on the porch of my husband's little cottage and looking down at the countryside below, with masses of rhododendron and azaleas in bloom all around, made me almost forget that the world is too sorrowful at present for life to have much zest. Perhaps it is just the spring which renews our hope, since it tells us the same old story that no matter what happens to human beings, everything in the world is put to use and a rebirth does take place in nature once a year!
The fruit tree is no longer in blossom, which I regret, but the lilacs are still in bloom, and perfume the air wherever you find them. They always remind me of my childhood, for we had a great clump of lilac bushes near my grandmother's home where I spent so much time as a child, and it was always the first thing we looked for when we went back there in the spring after our long winter in the city.
On the train between Hyde Park and New York City, I went through a "Political Handbook for Women," which was written by Miss Eve Garrette. This year the exercise of our citizenship is very important because we are in the peculiar position where men may be unable to vote. This book seems to me admirably arranged, and it should be equally popular with men and women, because it answers so many of the questions which come up when you start to take an active part in politics. You know many of the answers vaguely, but when you have to know them accurately and in detail, you find you are not quite as sure of them as you thought you were.
On the 24th of May, there will be a celebration at the Capitol in Washington which I would have liked to attend if I did not have a long standing engagement in West Virginia. This is the 100th anniversary of the sending of the first telegraph message. The sending of this message in 1844 represented the first use of electricity in industry for the world. Fourteen years later, in 1858, a cable was first used, and then in 1878, the first telephone switchboard was set up with 21 subscribers. How many wonderful things have come about through the use of electricity which we take so blithely for granted today!