Getting Old?

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

Saturday, January 24, 1914: Went to Watsontown this afternoon, though what I went for rather puzzled me after I got started. Was in to the movies. The old pictures are rather hard on my eyes.

Had a nice time coming home through the rain without an umbrella.

Something I almost forgot. Rode downhill three or four times with Jimmie this morning. The road was nice and icy and we went quite a distance. The fun didn’t last very long for me however. I came to the conclusion that I was most too old to ride downhill.

If I squint my eyes I can almost see packed snow and ice on the road. . . and, instead of the car, Grandma and Jimmie on a sled.

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

If I squint my eyes I can almost see Grandma and her little brother Jimmie sledding how the road in front of their house. Jimmie enjoying every moment; and Grandma having fun, but worried that she looked silly and that her friends might see her acting like a kid.

Awe, to be young again. . . I wish that I was so young that 18 felt old.


24 Responses

  1. Grandma was quite talkative today! Having fun I think…old or not. :)

  2. Sounds like Grandma needs glasses? I wonder what movie she saw.

  3. Positively chatty! And, I bet you’re right, Sheryl–at that age where childhood fun is tempered by wanting to act “grown up.”

  4. Yes, indeed, this was a lengthy entry for Grandma. and I totally agree with your last sentence!

  5. It’s fun to think about these entries … what it was like! To them, it was just day-to-day life … just as ours is now, but in a hundred years the people will look upon our entries as very strange and different. I can’t get over what a treasure you have there :)

    • I am very fortunate to have the diary. I often wonder which things will change–and which things will be about the same–in another hundred years.

  6. Things being hard on my eyes and being to old to look foolish are just becoming part of my thinking now at age 50! :)

  7. Oh for the good old days when 18 felt too grown up for childish things.

  8. Lovely that she wrote more! I had to smile when she wrote that the “old pictures” were rather hard on her eyes.

    • I wondered what she meant by “old pictures.” Had the film deteriorated because it had been previously screened many times? But, I don’t know why showing the film would damage it.

  9. I wonder was she losing her fearlessness that a child has with things like sledding…and I also wonder what silent film she saw.

    • I hadn’t thought of that, but I bet you are right that she was losing her fearlessness.

      On a totally different topic–This comment reminds me that you recommended two old films–The Thin Man and My Man Godfrey–previously. I got them out of the library a few weeks ago and enjoyed watching them. Thanks for the suggestion.

  10. The pictures of the snow around Helena home and town are beautiful to this Southern’s eyes.

  11. I know how she feels. 6 years ago my husband had his hip replaced. About 4 months after the surgery I had to cut some trees on our road. I took the sled, so It could sled back to the house. For some reason my husband followed me up the hill and when I was done cutting branches we decided to sled back together. The hill was quite icy and we really flew down. When we got to the bottom we were both more than a little pale. We realized that was probably not the wisest decision we had ever made. Luckily we hadn’t crashed, but perhaps we were a bit old (and injured) to be sledding.

    • Your sled ride sounds really scary–but also like it might have been just a little bit fun. It almost makes me want to dig the sled our kids had out of our garage. . .

  12. I went to see the Nutcracker this past December and when I came out of the theater with my 10 year old grandchildren and their mother (my daughter), it was pouring rain. we didn’t have any umbrellas and the street slanted a bit so the rain was running like rivers. The show wasn’t too good but we all enjoyed the two block walk to the car! Sometimes you don’t even have to be 18 but I can sure sympathize with your sentiment to be young enough that 18 seemed old!

  13. ha so true Sheryl, I think there’s a county sung in those words

  14. […] has only gone to movies and other “entertainments” occasionally—but only 10 days earlier, on January 24, Grandma went to a movie in […]

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