16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Tuesday, August 1, 1911:
Summer’s passing onward, August’s here at hand.
Everybody’s busy, don’t you understand!
Summer’s passing onward, soon it will be o’er,
And these summer days will come again no more.
I went over to Stout’s this evening on purpose to give her a present, for today is her birthday. I mean Miss Carrie (of course). I am pretty much cooled off now having got so terrible mad at the cows and the supper dishes this evening.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Grandma included a poem on the first day of each month. Every month I’m intrigued by the poems—some of them are a little better than others—and I continue to wonder whether Grandma copied the monthly poems from a source or whether she wrote them herself.
Poems were more popular a hundred years ago than they are now. Back then students were required to regularly memorize poetry in school —and there were resource books filled with poetry. Women’s magazine also often contained poetry.
What did Grandma give her friend Carrie Stout for her birthday? Back in March for Grandma’s birthday, Carrie gave her a “dainty white apron” that Grandma’s mother called “only a patch” so I assume this gift was of similar value.
It sounds like Grandma had a rough day—Did she get kicked by a cow? . and break a dish when doing the supper dishes? .. . or maybe a cow kicked a bucket of milk over? . . . or did the cows again escape from the pasture and get into the corn field? (Grandma needed to chase them out of the corn on July 10 and July 25.)
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