SEPTEMBER 8, 1938
ROCHESTER, Minn., Wednesday—Yesterday afternoon, after the preliminaries of checking up on James were over, we walked out to the hospital where he spent so many weeks and called on the sisters who had been kindness itself to him. They must be busy every moment and yet they had time to sit down with us and chat inconsequentially on the kind of a summer we had had and how James was feeling and who was the present occupant of the room he had had.
I watched their faces with interest. Something does write itself into the faces of people who live very largely with the object of alleviating other people's suffering. I doubt if it means that they suffer any the less themselves, but they haven't quite so much time to think about it and a certain calmness appears in their expression.
On the way back we were overtaken by a thunderstorm. The rain began to fall when we were barely two blocks away from the hotel and only about a block from the clinic in which we took refuge, but in that block both of us were soaked. My dress began to shrink and I was glad there was an underground passage to the elevator so that I could keep pulling it down, otherwise I think the skirt would have been well above my knees before I reached my room. I sent it to the cleaners and haven't seen it yet, but I have an idea that it will have to go to someone smaller than I am if it ever can be worn again.
Dr. and Mrs. Will Mayo took us to the movies last night and we saw a most exciting picture on Alaska and the salmon fishing industry. There seem to be crooks in every business but there is a glamour of adventure about the crooks in this particular picture. My son had met Mr. Chip Robert sat the doctor's in the afternoon and Dr. Mayo included him in his invitation. Mr. Robert confided to us that he was very glad to have a chance to see some acquaintances, for he was beginning to be a trifle lonely, though he considered this place a most interesting spot. The working of the clinic was so fascinating to him that he forgot his personal concern in his interest in this wonderful machinery designed to help sick people back to health.
We may leave tonight and we may not. There is always a certain amount of uncertainty about life. I was reading a story by Ursula Parrott this morning in a magazine, and came across a sentence which may be somewhat cynical but is good philosophy which most of us acquire as we grow older, namely, that in this world it is well to want only those things which we can have.