My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK—I have had two night flights between New York and Washington in the past few days, one in a Giant Douglas and one in a smaller plane. Both flights were smooth and I think more interesting than are the day trips. As we left Washington, I noticed a young couple sitting behind me, and the young woman exclaimed at the beauty of the scene below us. It is almost as though the stars in great numbers had dropped down and covered the earth except that instead of being a uniform gleaming white you get a variety of color. Then when you fly over the less populous areas you only get here and there the gleam of a lighted house and the stars above you seem your only guiding light. It gives me more sense of being lost in space than any other thing I can do and as a rule most of the passengers put out their lights and gaze out into the night, which makes me think they too have a sense of awe. As you look down the inside of the plane you get a feeling of mystery about all your fellow fliers, from the two men directing your course hidden from view somewhere out in front to the woman who sits across the aisle enveloped in a fur coat, her hat at a jaunty angle. Suddenly you catch upon her face a look which would never have been there if she had not felt as you do enveloped by infinite space and hidden from human eyes. Sometimes across the aisle you have a gentleman so inured to these beauties and the strangeness of them that he goes placidly to sleep and then occasionally a little snore will move you to a smile. I am always sorry when night flights come to an end. There is so much detachment that your imagination can have full play.

Home in my little apartment I had a good night's rest and a cheerful breakfast by the open fire this morning with my colored maid, telling me all the news. She has been with me so many years that she feels part of the family and looks after me and takes great interest in us one and all.

I tried for half an hour to reach my mother-in-law on the telephone but she was always busy, so finally I went out, did one or two errands and stopped at her house to find out if she was going with me to the Christmas Play given at the MacDowell Club by the Todhunter School in which Sistie had a small part. Mama was ready and we arrived in ample time. The two short plays given by the lower and upper school were very well done, and carried a lesson for us all.

Christmas should be a time of joy not shadowed by the weariness created by too much attention to the material side of it, and the story they portrayed of St. Nicholas, who gave everything away, was very charming.

Eleanor Roosevelt
TMsd 18 December 1936, AERP, FDRL