My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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Such a cold day and so much wind. My dogs refused positively to let me open the window last night in my sitting room where they sleep. I had it open for a while and I began to hear things being blown about the room and then both dogs came into my bedroom and nosed around my bed, finally paws were tentatively placed on either side and I resigned myself to the fact that I must get up and close the window or they were evidently not going to settle down for the night. I picked up pretty much everything which had been on the table near this particular window, closed it and the dogs curled up on the sofa with an air of having achieved their desires and now being able to sleep comfortably. I slept with my head as nearly under the covers as possible, the wind simply whistled through my room so I was well prepared when I went out this morning to walk around the Basin for a fight with the wind most of the way.

It was a glorious day though, the sun shone, the air was clear and when the wind blew in your face, you had that sense of exhilaration which comes from battling with the elements. I always think, however, what this weather means to those who are poorly fed, poorly housed and poorly clothed. I remember one of the first stories ever told to me about my father as a warning against being a foolish giver. When he was a little boy and was walking in New York on a day somewhat like today, I imagine, he went out with his best coat on and came back without it. When his mother made inquiry as to what had happened to it, he had to own up that he had given it away to a little boy in the street. He was punished and it has remained a family story ever since to warn us against unwise and foolish, impulsive giving. I still think, as I did when a child, however, that foolish impulses are often very nice. I am sure my father had a lot of fun giving away his best coat!

TMsd 23 January 1936, AERP, FDRL