Life is an Ever-changing Scene

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

Saturday, August 1, 1914:

The summertime is passing on,

To summers that have gone before.

Life is an ever-changing scene,

Which we would fair explore.

Am beginning to count the days until the 17th beams upon my horizon. Ruth and I went to a festival up in town given for the benefit of the church.


Site of the McEwensville Baptist Church years ago. Was the festival held at the church? It’s difficult to picture a church and a festival on this lot.

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


There are hints about so many things in this diary entry—but so little substance. What is going to happen on the 17th? What did you and your sister Ruth do at the festival? Did you see the person mentioned in yesterday’s diary entry?

. . . Went to a surprise party this evening. It was over at Carrie’s. Enjoyed myself as much as I usually do. I think no doubt remains as to the state of my feelings concerning somebody.

July 31, 1914

I assume you wrote the poem, but you’re only 19—and in some ways the monthly poem sounds like it was written by someone much older.

For more information about the monthly poems see this previous post:

Monthly Poem in Diary

12 Responses

  1. Yes indeed what is happening on the 17th?

  2. “Life is an ever-changing scene” — I like that line and it is certainly very true!

  3. I can’t wait until the 17th.

  4. I am also waiting for what happens on the 17th :)

  5. Something’s up! She’s counting days so it must be something pleasant!

  6. I want to know what happens on the 17th as well!
    Diana xo

  7. It’s very cryptic! Sure will be interesting to see what happens on the 17th! :)

  8. Oh and the plot thickens. There is an underlying mystery in Helena’s diary. Will all be revealed?

  9. Helena did some growing up this year with the loss of her sister’s baby. Maybe that explains the change in her poetry.

  10. I love the idea that a rural farm girl uses poetry to summarize the passing of time.

  11. Her poem is lovely.
    I think in some ways that the teens back then matured faster in some areas of their lives.

  12. I think teens who write poems often like to sound older than they are. I know I did.

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