JANUARY 2, 1937
BOSTON, Friday—I am having the same trouble I have every year adjusting to a seven instead of a six! It should not be so hard to remember for Mrs. Scheider, Miss Lillian Schoedler, who is Mr. Filene's secretary and I really observed the coming in of the New Year last night. As the bells rang and the whistles blew, we wished each other a happy New Year and thought of all those not actually with us in the room whom we included in our wishes.
I had already talked to my daughter and son-in-law in Seattle for I realized that it was better to say Happy New Year on our time than to wait until three a.m! Very soon after midnight the telephone rang and we exchanged New Year greetings with my husband and the boys, Miss LeHand and the others gathered in the President's study in Washington.
This morning dawned bright and clear and the sun was shining into Franklin, junior's window when I arrived at Phillips House. He looks and is much better so Mrs. Scheider and I are starting back this afternoon, hoping that he will follow within a week.
I went with a friend yesterday afternoon to see the WPA art exhibit here in a gallery on Beacon Street. It was not exactly crowded with people but there were a few there and I think the exhibit is worth seeing. There is a freshness and vitality in much of the painting. Not being an artist myself my criticisms from the artistic point of view are probably valueless, so I always have to look at things and decide if I would like to live with them. Of course, our taste varies, some days no matter how well painted a seascape may be, one may not be able to bear it! The mere movement of the waves on the sea gulls, something about it may not meet your mood. Whereas another day it may be just what you want to rest your eyes upon.
I have always thought that the Japanese idea of keeping works of art put away and bringing them out one by one is a very good one for you can always choose the ones that fit your mood. When you are buying you can say to yourself: "When I am feeling cheerful, I'll enjoy that picture. Or if I am gloomy, that one will lighten the day." There are really very few things that you want to look at every day in the year.
I often wonder if this same thing does not hold good about our human relationships and if we should not say to ourselves in the morning: "This is the day I must look up Jane, she is just the person my mood requires. Or, this is just the day for Alice." We never seem to take into consideration that there is an art in human relationships and that our appreciation of people may vary in just the same way as does our appreciation of art.
I hate to leave this house which has so kindly been given us during the past few days. There is a quality of hospitality about it which is very rare. You feel at home and even the absent host seems to think of your comfort and anticipate your wishes. All those in the house conspire to make you feel that everything is yours. Could hospitality be more perfect?