The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK, Sunday—We entered our cottage at Hyde Park on Friday night, sat on our porch, looked at the reflection of the sunset on the water and basked in a feeling of complete peace and quiet. Nothing was heard but the evening chirp of the birds and the distant bark of a dog.

Saturday morning I rode for nearly 3 hours and spent the afternoon looking at trees which need attention from the tree man. I discovered the bugs were getting in their usual work and we would have to spray everything all around the house. Just as I had made this horrid discovery, the tree man came back to ask me if I had noticed that the little pines and even the spruce needed spraying. A good hard rain, he said, might clean them all off, but unfortunately we had only a very gentle rain. When I looked up at the trees this morning, there were more bugs than when I had looked at them last night, so I am afraid spraying is in order.

Miss Cook always says that people in the past may have had to fight wild animals, but that the present generation and future generations are going to fight bugs. I used to laugh at her, but now that I have begun to watch even a few things grow, I am inclined to think she is entirely correct.

Before I left Washington, Mr. Edward Bruce presented me with a piece of sculpture which had been chosen in their competition for the Apex Building as the most beautiful single piece entered. He had it cast for me and now I have it on a shelf opposite my desk where I can rest my eyes upon it whenever I look up from my work. It is a really beautiful piece of work and its colors blend very well with my soft, pine woodwork.

I do not know whether artists care whether the work of their hands gives real joy to those who later possess it, but if they do, I would like Mr. Henry Kreis, the sculptor, to know that more and more this bit of his work is growing to mean something in my day. I feel that it belongs where it now stands and that I should miss it if it were not there.

A long evening on my upstairs porch, sewing and balancing check books. There must be something inspiring in looking out at the tops of trees, for nearly always one out of my four accounts has to be done over several times because of some stupid mistake, and last night all of them came out to the penny the first time.

Another long ride this morning and negotiations with our neighbor, Mr. Moses Smith, who rents the nearby farm from my husband, for permission to put the horses out occasionally to pasture with his cows. He is a good friend of ours and always a kind neighbor. From him I have learned one valuable lesson—he always has time for those who wish to chat with him. Because I am sure he has more to do than most of us, I now try to remember that being in a hurry is more a matter of temperament than it is matter of actual necessity.


(Copyright, 1938, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, June 6, 1938

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

TEI-P5 edition published on April 28, 2017.

XML master last modified on June 9, 2017.

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.