Kept New Year’s Resolution

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

Thursday, January 2, 1913:  I’m so sleepy for I’m keeping later hours with my books Perhaps the thing will work all right after all. Hope it does.


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

Grandma’s New Year’s resolution was to study more in 1913. I can picture a teen-aged Grandma sitting by a gas lamp huddled over her books long after everyone else went to bed.  In my mind, the wind was howling and there was a chill in the room, but Grandma persevered–at least for this one day.

I’m still trying to keep my Yew Year’s resolutions. I hope they work out all right, too.

10 Responses

  1. I am debating on whether to write mine down or not. Or just to keep them in my memory where I can change them without a trace :-).

  2. I remember the kerosene lamps my grandpa used on the farm. His house had no electricity or running water. We’d stay out there over the summer and maybe visit a couple of times in the winter. We thought it was fun, but of course we didn’t have to do any studying.

  3. Love those old lamps! I had a kerosene lamp on last week and one of our guests asked if the power had gone out?!

  4. […] was still trying to keep her New Year’s resolution to study harder—though she complained both on January 2 and 3 about being […]

  5. We used to use kerosene lamps when the power went off but the smell was so unpleasant we got camping lamp instead.

    • I also can remember how bad a kerosene lamp smelled when we used it one time when the power when out. After that we always used candles or flashlights. I think that I remember my mother saying that the kerosene that stores sold in the 1960s was scented–and that when she was young it was “unscented” and smelled better.

  6. […] New Year’s resolution was to study harder in 1913—and her diary entries on January 2 and 3 indicated that she was studying very hard—but nothing has been mentioned about studying […]

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