Lonely Without Ruthie

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

Sunday, March 8, 1914:  Went to Sunday School this afternoon. Seemed rather lonesome with Ruthie away.

Ruth Muffly

Ruth Muffly

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

Grandma’s sister Ruth went somewhere on the train the previous evening:

. . . Saw Mistress Ruth off on the train tonight. It was late, so I took the lantern down to act for a signal.

Diary entry for March 7, 1914

Interesting how quickly Grandma went from calling her sister “Mistress Ruth” and sounding annoyed that her sister was going somewhere fun (and that she was probably stuck with milking all of the cows by herself) to missing “Ruthie”.

14 Responses

  1. Isn’t that always the way with siblings? (Or, in the case of our household, cousins?)
    When Niko goes to visit his other grandmother for a weekend, Angel is thrilled…for about an hour. Then she spends the next 2 days asking when he’s coming back :)

  2. I had the same thought as you! As the reader above commented, typical of siblings – no matter the era.

  3. Aww–it’s sweet that she misses her sister! And when Ruth comes home, Helena will probably switch right back to being irritated with her!

  4. I can imagine the extra chores and the quiet of the farm would make her lonely.

  5. I’m captivated by the idea that she would be signaling with a lantern. It provokes the image of a very desolate train stop. Interesting.

  6. Sisterly love, very sweet and irritating.

  7. Well the same as ever is over with Ruthie leaving on the train! In my husbands family diary it is “nothing doing today” Connie at Forgotten Old Photos

  8. So cute! Love the line…took the lantern down…what a different time!
    Yes…Sisters can be annoying but where would we be without them?

  9. Ahh families, can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em!
    Diana xo

  10. Typical siblings–and very sweet!

  11. I was much closer to my sister once she went off to college. I learned to appreciate her :-)

  12. I guess they’re probably leaving their adolescent ways behind and becoming more grown-ups. how sweet.

  13. Sisters are really just the best kind of friends.

  14. It didn’t take her long to miss Ruth.

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