Horsing Around

15-year-old Helena wrote a hundred years ago today:

Monday, February 6, 1911. It snowed today. Hope it will stay for a while at least. Was rather cold today. Got too close to the stove pipe at school today and burned my hand. Didn’t feel very good. Put some black on a kid’s face, and then he put some on mine. I tried to prevent him. Got my arm scratched and tore my waist. Got a ride home from school today. (It was in a sleigh.)


Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Whew, a lot happened today. Was a guy chasing Grandma around the coal stove that heated the room?—And did she end up burning her hand and tearing her waist (today we’d call it a shirt)?  Was the guy her classmate Raymond—whom she would later marry— or was it some other student she thought was cute (or annoying)?

I want to ask, “What in the world were you thinking?” Then I remember that it’s a hundred years later, that I can’t talk to the 15-year-old diary author, and that I’m looking at it through my “parent” lens. So I guess if I could talk to the teen-ager in the diary I’d just say, “It’s too bad you burned your hand, but it sure sounds like fun. Hope your mother wasn’t too mad about the waist.”

3 Responses

  1. […] a klutz. This is the second time in five weeks that she burned her hand—the previous time was on February 6 when she burned it on the wood or coal stove at school while horsing around. And, on February 19 […]

  2. […] thought about the times Grandma sat at in this room and worried about tests . . .  the time  a boy chased her around the wood or coal stove . . . the time she teased her teacher about drawing a picture of a ring, the times wind rattled the […]

  3. […] One place in the diary where I want to think that Grandma referred her future husband was on February 6, 1911: […]

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