My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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ITHACA, N.Y.—Still at Cornell and have seen some very interesting exhibits. The rural electrification exhibit which shows the possibilities for comfort and increased efficiency in farm homes when they can get electricity is a most interesting building for anyone in touch with rural living.

I was talking to a woman the other day and saying that I hoped to end my days in the country, and she promptly said, "I don't. I couldn't bear to live in one of those little houses which look attractive to the uninitiated but which mean such back-breaking toil and uncomfortable daily living."

For a moment I was taken a back and then I realized that she was thinking of a country home without electricity. With some scorn she said to me, "Oh, you mean you would like to live in the country in one of those houses that real country people call `city houses'." I felt that I should be ashamed of myself but on thinking it over I decided that it was not just the luxury of the city house that I wanted. I wanted the beauty of country life and I did not want it spoiled by unnecessary drudgery. Neither did I want to see my neighbors worn down when life should still be full of joy. My mind flew to some of our mountaineers; a woman at thirty-five looking sixty, teeth all going, so little chance for anything but work and only the bare necessities of life as a return for the whole family's drudgery. I don't want that for myself or my neighbors and neither will the girls and boys who take the course here and see the possibilities of rural electrification. Life can be so much fuller and farm life so much more efficient on the farm as well as in the home if you can get cheap power. I have never had any sympathy with the farmer who could see the benefit of electricity in his barn but not in his house.

TMsd 14 February 1936, AERP, FDRL