Need to Gather Eggs

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, April 8, 1912:  I have to gather the eggs now, and I don’t like it any too well. We had our exams today. I wonder about what some of my marks could be.

Source: April, 1911 issue of Good Housekeeping Magazine

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Why was gathering the eggs a new task for Grandma? Who did it before—her mother? . . . . her father? . . .  her sister Ruth?

Maybe the hens had just finished molting. Chickens periodically molt—and they lay few eggs while molting.

. . . or maybe the family had just bought some new chickens.

8 Responses

  1. Poor Grandma, she spent a lot of time worrying about her exam results despite her hard work. Now she had the chickens as well.

  2. Yes, seems like grandma can’t win for losing. Hope the chickens didn’t peck at her when she went to gather the eggs.

  3. Great story from the past. My own great grandmother was 12 on this date in 1912. As she lived in a rural place, I can imagine her gathering eggs as well.

    Tim

  4. I had to giggle, I was expecting an Easter story of gathering eggs from young Helena — but no, it’s gathering eggs. I wonder if younger brother’s job was to gather the eggs. In older times, gathering eggs was one of the first task given to young children — but perhaps only under the watchful eye of a parent or older sibling — like Helena. What a pain for her, eggs and exams!

    • And, your comment made me giggle. It is funny that she wrote this right after Easter. You might be right about her little brother. It makes sense that she might need to help him.

  5. “I don’t like it any too well” – interesting the way she phrased this – it’s rare to hear people express displeasure with these words in our time, although I think I remember my grandparents using the same phrase now and then…

    • There is a strong Pennsylvania Dutch (German) influence in the area and the unusual phrasing may reflect that. The phrasing didn’t particularly jump out at me–but I also know that I sometime inadvertently use Pennsylvania Dutch phrases that cause others to roll their eyes.

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