Had Fun Out in the Hay Field

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

Friday, July 3, 1914:  Had a jolly good time out in the hay field. You see if you have to work, you might just as well make a good time of it.

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

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


More details, please. It’s hot, hard work out in the hay field. It’s awesome that you had fun, but how did you make it fun? . . . Were you teasing and joking with other workers? . . . Who else was helping make hay? . . .

Photo source: Farm Journal (July, 1914)

Photo source: Farm Journal (July, 1914)

27 Responses

  1. I have a hard time imagining how jolly a time could be had in the hay field! Like you, I wish she’s give some details!

  2. Hmmmm…. I, too, entertained some “thoughts” when I read the title!

  3. Guess we’ll never know what made her day so jolly good, but I’m glad she enjoyed her self. She deserves some fun as much as she works.

  4. I have had fun in the hay mow swinging on the rope, building forts and tunnels out of bales. But, never had fun in the field.

    • I haven’t thought about it in years, but now that you mention it, I can remember having fun playing in hay tunnels. I also remember sliding out of the mow on slides that we made out of bales. Those were the days. . .

      Thanks for bringing back some wonderful old memories.

      • We tied a hay rope up high in a tree. The other end was tied to the hitch on the tractor. We pulled it fairly tight. Then we used a hay pulley to zipline down from the tree to the ground. Kind of dangerous, but fun.

        • What fun! We also did lots of things that were kind of dangerous when I was a kid, but never seemed to get hurt.

          • There were 9 siblings in my family. It is a wonder some of us didn’t get seriously hurt with the goofy stuff we tried. Fourth of July was especially wild.

  5. Love that you take the time to ferret out this information and share it.

  6. What a great attitude Helena has!
    Diana xo

  7. She was a woman of few words, but kept that diary so we can be grateful for that. Good job, Sheryl, love the illustration you found.

    • I sometimes wonder if she ever reread this diary when she was an older woman; or if she just stashed it in a box that moved with her to several different homes, but never was read again.

  8. Glad your grandma “made hay while the sun shined!” I can picture Helena having fun with her fellow hay makers – singing and joking around.

  9. Maybe she was happy because the next day is the 4th of July :)

  10. I like your Grandma’s attitude :)

  11. A great attitude she had! And I suspect there might have been someone special also working in the hay field :)

    • That’s my thought, too. I think that neighbors often helped each other back then with farm work–and a cute young guy helping harvest the hay could have made all the difference between an awful day and a wonderful day.

  12. Grandma is a philosopher!!

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