MAY 18, 1953
NEW YORK, Sunday—I think I have never seen the countryside more beautiful than we have had it this spring. The trees are greener and the foliage seems richer than I remember it for many a long year. All the dogwood is out, so that white and pink blossoms meet your eye on every side of the highway. I drove up Taconic Parkway Thursday afternoon and enjoyed every minute of it in spite of the fact it was gray and foggy.
In the evening I spoke at St. Paul's parish house in Poughkeepsie. The men's club was entertaining for the ladies and invited me to talk about my trip to the Near East last year. They seemed to enjoy it and to find it interesting.
Friday morning I motored to Westbrook, Connecticut. We covered many miles of New England countryside and in many places I found the fruit blossoms still in bloom and lilacs not so far out as our own lilacs in Hyde Park.
Spring is a time I love, when everything comes to life again. Out of one of my bedroom windows at Hyde Park I look down at a nest high up in a tall, bushy tree. Every year the bird returns to this nest and I watch to see the new family arrive. This year I will only see the first beginnings, since I will be gone till August and this is my last weekend at home.
My trip Friday was to see my friend, Miss Lape, once more before leaving. I loved seeing her place with the spring flowers out. She has clumps of daffodils and narcissus all around the house. She confided to me that if I tried to follow her example, however, those who had to cut the grass would be much upset by the clumps of flowers. I know their feelings, because they are already complaining that I have too many bulbs scattered over my lawn.
It seems to me this year the pink dogwood is especially beautiful. For the first time, two little trees which were given me some years ago seem to have decided to live and to grow and I am rejoicing in their wealth of blossoms.
I had so much last-minute work to do that I decided to drive straight to New York from Westbrook and work all Friday evening and return to Hyde Park for lunch on Saturday. In this way I hope to get some of my writing accomplished, for I hate to leave any of it to do on the trip. I know I shall be busy from the moment I reach Japan, but perhaps not quite so busy as I have been in the last two weeks at home.
Someone sent me some publicity the other day on the Youth Workshops in Israel, sponsored by Habonim Labor Zionist Youth in cooperation with the Histadrut and the Jewish Agency in Israel. It sounds as though they were doing a really good piece of work. I feel the young people of Israel are a most eager and intelligent group, and I am sure they will profit by every opportunity which is offered them.