Cleaned Up After Party

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

Saturday, November 1, 1913:

November now is here again

Upon her scenes we’ll linger

Thanksgiving comes e’er she has gone

We count the days upon our fingers.

Not much sleep came to my eyes this morning. Ma got me up at half past four to dry the dishes left from the party. I tell you it was quite a mess, but it was accomplished at last.

Didn’t do much of anything as I was too much done up and by good luck it happened that there wasn’t much to do. Did feel lonesome after all the festivity here last night.


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

If I could get in a time machine, I’d go back and reprimand Grandma’s mother:

I’d angrily scream, “What kind of mother are you? How dare you wake your daughter up at 4:30? The Halloween party made her the happiest she’s been in weeks—let her sleep and bask in the memories for a few hours.

But. . .  maybe I’m being too hard on Grandma’s mother.

I told my daughter what I was going to write. She shrugged her shoulders and said, “Mothers are just like that. You’d have been mad if I’d left the house a mess after a party. You probably won’t have woken up at 4:30, so you won’t have known it was a mess until later, but you’d have made me clean it up.”

14 Responses

  1. 4.30 am does seem harsh on an Autumn morning. I wonder what time she normally had to get up in the colder seasons.

  2. 4:30 is early, but maybe not early for farm life. Sounds like your daughter may be right–I think most of us would insist that our offspring clean up the mess–just a few hours later. ;-)

  3. I’m up around then a lot of mornings…I’d have pulled a daughter or two out of bed to clean up! Hard to start cooking breakfast if there’s still a mess in the kitchen…

  4. Love the conversation between you and your daughter!
    Grandma gave us many more details in this entry: what time her mom woke her….etc.
    I was expecting Grandma’s first-of-the-month poem today; guess she was still too excited about the party!

  5. I was away but I’ve been reading along! This all sounds like it was so good for Helena–I’m sure she thought about it a lot in the days that followed!

  6. And aren’t daughters the best … ! Get right to the nub of things … !

  7. Aw, Grandma’s mom wasn’t so mean: if Grandma had to dry the dishes, that means they were still wet, which means her mother was washing them and probably really needed the help, in order to get breakfast on the table for those who doing chores.

    I worked on a farm/vineyard harvesting grapes in Germany one autumn, they woke us up at 5:00 am to eat breakfast, which was on the table, which means the breakfast-makers were up at 4:30 or earlier.

  8. Maybe Helena’s mom was always up at that time. Maybe she cooked breakfast for everyone before they went to work on the farm. Maybe all those dishes were in the way of her morning duties?

  9. Sounds like the party was a big success :)

  10. I agree: a bit cruel after such a good party! Grandma must have thought it worth whil though;0)

  11. Cute entry! :-)

  12. i know only too well what it is like to clean up after others so am glad that Grandma had to do it herself (although 4:30 is a bit early) :)

  13. I’m a morning person so cleaning up after a party goes much quicker for me in the morning. Love the conversation you had with your daughter!

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