Visited Friends

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

Thursday, January 9, 1913: Ruth and I went up to Oakes’ this evening. Didn’t get my lessons out any too well for the morrow.

moonlight

Source: Wikipedia

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

Grandma’s New Year’s resolution to study harder was apparently long forgotten .  .  .

I’m surprised that Grandma and her sister Ruth ventured out on a cold, dark (or maybe moonlit) winter evening to visit friends.

The Oakes lived on a nearby farm. Their daughter Rachel was a friend of Grandma and her sister Ruth. The Oakes also had several sons who were about the same age as the Muffly girls. In 1911, Ruth dated Jim Oakes—but that relationship seems to have ended about a year and a half prior to this diary entry

16 Responses

  1. It is an interesting to think about the people our ancestors dated prior to their marriages. I wonder who my grandfather might have dated before he met my grandmother…

    • I remember my grandmother as a very elderly woman. One of the things that I especially enjoy about the diary is the way it provides a window into what my grandmother was like when she was young.

  2. I will answer your question as to whether it was a moonlit winter evening :-). The New Moon was on January 7 in 1913, so there would have only been a tiny sliver showing on the 9th.

    • Wow, I’m impressed that you were able to find this. Thanks! If there was only a sliver of moon showing, I think that I would have cocooned instead of visiting friends–but people probably didn’t mind walking in the dark back then.

  3. That Steven is really knowledgable….so mmmmm….maybe there was still a little flame burning for Ruth. Or maybe they needed a cup of sugar. I wonder what the temperatures were, sometimes I like to go out for a walk after a big meal, the fresh are feels good.

  4. I love the above comments! Lots of wondering and a good solid answer.

  5. Teenagers have a lot of energy and the fear of the dark is gone, so, off to have a good time with friends.

    • You’re right–I worry more about wondering around in the dark than my children do. (Wondering around in the dark is my term–not theirs.) :)

  6. That picture looks like it could be in Helena’s back yard.

  7. The diaries I have read from that time tell me that visiting was very common. For my great-aunt in the 1940’s, it was a rare day that she didn’t go out or a visitor didn’t come in. I like your story about Ruth and her boyfriend. Jane

  8. Sheryl, I awarded your blog the Liebster Award. Learn more about it at http://nancysfamilyhistoryblog.blogspot.com/2013/01/awards.html. Congratulations!

    • Thank you! I’m honored that you this this blog is worthy of the award.

      • Oh, Sheryl, I think your blog is wonderful. I think it takes a huge commitment to blog every single day, and maybe an even bigger commitment to find things to post about on the days that your grandmother wrote very little. And you find such interesting things to share. Yes, you have a wonderful blog!

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