MAY 19, 1939
WASHINGTON, Thursday—The President and I drove out last evening to a house on the other side of the Potomac River which has a most lovely view. It made me rather homesick as we drove through the woods and looked out at the river and saw all the flowers in bloom around the house. I realized how much we were missing of the beauties of the country along the Hudson River.
When we returned to the White House, Admiral McIntire walked in and told us that Franklin, Jr., had made a successful speech at the dinner which they both attended. A message from my husband's mother asked that we call her up this morning before 9:30. I was up this morning and waited until about 9:20, and then went in to make the call where the President could talk to her also. I suddenly realized that probably she would be out, for New York is on daylight time! Luckily she was still at home and we had a chat about all the various arrangements for the next few weeks. She wanted to know just what we were going to do and if there was any chance of my husband coming up to the country any of the coming weekends.
The uncertainty of anyone in public life makes it rather difficult to be definite. All I can get, even on a possible trip to the San Francisco Fair, is that: "I may be able to tell you a week before we leave." So my poor mother-in-law received rather indefinite decisions also.
As I read the newspapers these days, I am impressed by the interest we are taking in every move made in Canada by the King and Queen. I cannot help thinking what a really exciting thing it must be for them to see one of their great Dominions at first hand. How interesting for the people of that Dominion, some of whom have never been to England, to see the sovereigns for whom they have such an intimate, personal feeling, even though so many miles of ocean lie between them.
Outside of this, it seems to me that foreign news is becoming much less tense and so we can turn to domestic issues. I wonder more and more if it is not vital that the people of this country demand that some of our difficult problems be faced and dealt with? Putting these solutions off and going on the assumption that when things are difficult it is best to wait to see whether time will solve them for us, reminds me of a young man who once told me that he never answered any letters because if he waited long enough they so often answered themselves. This may be satisfactory, but occasionally unpleasant results come about through procrastination.
The big thing before us in this country today is to prove that a government run by the people can meet and solve its problems. The philosophy back of some other forms of government is strengthened day by day when the people of this country do not take aggressive action and wait to see if time will help them to solve the difficulties which are unpleasant to face.