16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Thursday, February 1, 1912:
This is the only month that e’er can change
The only month that adds another day.
Though life is short and time is fleeting,
Should we not strive to glorify the way.
I had some small hopes to attend a box social tomorrow evening, but they have all fallen through this evening. Rachel and Al were down this evening. Ruth was busy making candy for her box. Her first attempt was a failure. She had the misfortune to burn it like fury. Of course it was worthless, anyway it appeased my curiosity and see how it tasted, I was so dumb as to stick my fingers in it, when it was the next thing to being red-hot. The result proved very disastrous. I am now the owner of a big blister on my finger.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Wow, they really had box socials a hundred years ago in rural Pennsylvania. When I think of box socials, I always think of the play Oklahoma where the climactic scene takes place at one.
Grandma’s sister Ruth would have filled her box with food for two. At the box social the men would then bid on the boxes in hopes of getting to share the meal with the woman who made it.
This entry raises lots of questions–Why did Grandma decide not to go? Was Ruth really popular? . .. . Will her box be bid way up by several men competing to get it?
Poor Grandma—first she wasn’t going to the box social; then she burned her finger.
Rachel and Al (Alvin) Oakes lived on a farm near the Muffly’s. Rachel was a friend of Grandma and Ruth. Al was her brother.
The first diary entry each month begins with a poem. For more about the poems click here.