Sisters–You Can’t Live with Them, and You Can’t Live Without Them

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

Friday, June 13, 1913: Went to Sunday School this morning. Children’s Day Services were held up at the church this evening, which I attended, although Ruth wasn’t here to be my escort.

It probably was lonesome walking home from McEwensville without her sister. At least we're near the summer soistice so it probably was still daylight.

It probably was lonesome walking home alone after the service. At least it was near the summer solstice, so it probably was still daylight.

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

Grandma’s sister Ruth was still away on a trip to Washington, DC. Throughout the diary there’s a bit a sibling tension between Grandma and Ruth—and she calls Ruth, “Rufus” in the entries when she was upset with her.

I’m sure that Grandma had more farm chores when Ruth was gone—and I’d previously wondered if that was the primary reason that Grandma missed Ruth. But this entry sounds like she genuinely missed her sister’s companionship.

It reminds me of a comment Dianna made several days ago:

You know how siblings can be: can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em. (Oh wait, maybe that’s MEN…!)

19 Responses

  1. I expect that was quite a long time for the sisters to be apart. The first few days apart would be fun but the novelty would soon wear off.

  2. :) when I saw the title of your post today, I immediately knew where this was going!
    I’m sure Grandma missed Ruth immensely when she was away – although she would probably never admit it!

  3. Strange that Helena still went to Sunday School at 18. When did one graduate to ‘grown up’ church?

    • I think that many of the protestant churches had Sunday School classes for both children and adults. That said, it seems like
      Grandma generally only attended Sunday School. I don’t have any idea why she didn’t go to church.

  4. I missed my sister a lot once she moved away. We were also closer when we would get together after that.

  5. LoL… Rufus….

  6. Ummm… I can’t help wondering if this was a “tongue in cheek” comment from my lovely Miss Muffly… i.e. that at the age of 18 she really didn’t need an “escort” to Sunday School…
    Oh no! I just did a re-read and she was referring to the evening “Children’s Day Services” which she attended at nightime, and without an escort, which is a whole different story.

    • Based on the diary it seemed like Grandma was used to walking the mile and a half from the farm to town but it must have been a much more pleasant walk with a companion to chat with.

  7. Lucky her, I never had a sister but really wished I did. I got more scars than most girls since I had to rough it with the boys.

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