1914 Easter Hats

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

Friday, April 10, 1914:  Went to Watsontown this afternoon. Don’t have a new hat for tomorrow. Well, you see it will be Easter, that’s why. Oh, I don’t mean tomorrow; I mean the day after tomorrow.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (April, 1914)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (April, 1914)

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

Whew, another ambiguous diary entry. . .

Did Grandma buy an Easter hat when she went to Watsontown. . . or didn’t she?

Source: Ladies Home Journal (April, 1914)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (April, 1914)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (March, 1914)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (March, 1914)

 

19th Birthday and Almost an Old Maid

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

Saturday, March 21, 1914:  It doesn’t seem to me that this day is long in coming. Time was, when I wanted it to come, now I don’t. Am afraid it may come some day and find me an old maid.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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

Happy Birthday, Grandma!

Don’t stress. Nineteen is not old, and I can see in my crystal ball that you aren’t going to be an old maid—though you are going to need to wait another 7 years to get married.

Awesome Desserts for a Washington’s Birthday Party

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

Friday, February 20, 1914:  Nothing much doing.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (February, 1914)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (February, 1914)

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

Have you ever heard of anyone holding a party to celebrate Washington’s Birthday. It must have been a much more popular holiday a hundred years ago than what it is now.

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’m going to share some fun food suggestions for a Washington’s Birthday party that appeared in the February, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal.

In the 1960s, Washington’s Birthday morphed into President’s Day which is celebrated on the 3rd Monday in February.  But, in 1914, Washington’s Birthday was celebrated on his actual birthdate, February 22—and apparently it was a bigger deal than what it is now.

1914-02-71-b1914-02-71-b1

No Mail: No Valentine

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

Saturday, February 14, 1914: Looked forward to a valentine this morning, but no mail carrier came as the roads were rendered impassable from the snow storm. The snow lies 18 in. deep on the ground.

dsc07028-crop

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

Oh dear, no mail. . . and since it was a Saturday it will be two days until Grandma gets her valentine. Who was Grandma expecting to get it from?

This diary entry makes me realize that times have changed. . . and not changed . . .  in some unexpected ways over the past century.

In 2014, like 1914, due to the snow emergencies in many locations across the United States, lots of mail carriers probably are unable to deliver the mail . . . however, most young people today probably don’t care that it isn’t getting through since they  already got their valentines via Facebook, email, or texting.

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!

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Reflections on the New Year

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

Thursday, January 1, 1914:  

Ring out the old, ring in the new.

Ring merry bells across the snow

The year is dying, let it go.

Ring out the false, ring in the true.

The days and weeks go marching by,

Another year is here once more.

And thus speeds on the wheel of time.

Giving to this year a mighty four.

Time flies, even here at home, where there is nothing much doing, the days quickly pass. My new year was spent at home in the usual manner.

Vintage New Year's Postcard

Vintage New Year’s Postcard from the 1910s

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

I agree with Grandma–Time flies!

New Year’s Day is a good time for reflection.

We are now three-quarters of the way through the diary. Grandma kept her diary for exactly four years—she began it in January, 1911 and the last entry was in December, 1914.

I’ve enjoyed getting to know Grandma better via this blog. And, it’s been wonderful re-connecting with relatives and making many wonderful new friends.

When I began posting these entries on January 1, 2011, I doubted that I’d ever get to this point. Now I’m starting to feel a little sad that the end of the diary is only a year away—and I’m beginning to think about what I want to do next:

  • Use the information I’ve compiled for this blog to write a book about Grandma?. . .or maybe a cookbook of hundred-year-old recipes updated for today?
  • Continue the blog, but without the diary, and instead focus on hundred-year-old magazine pictures, stories, and ads?
  •  Select a different relative. . .and a different time period, and then tell their story on a blog over the course of a year or two? . . maybe using a handwritten cookbook as a jumping off point?
  • . . . or maybe doing something entirely different?

It’s been a wonderful three years. Thank you! I look forward to sharing the final diary entries this year, as well as occasionally brainstorming ideas for my next project.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

A Wonderful Christmas Day

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

Thursday, December 25, 1913:  The day of preparation and expectation has dawned at last. Arose earlier than usual because it was Christmas. Am very much pleased with my presents. Have fourteen of them.

Besse and Curt were out for dinner. We had roast chickens.

Am not so sorry that the day is almost over, for e’er another year has gone its round and she will be with us again.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (December, 1913)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (December, 1913)

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

Grandma—

It sounds like you had an absolutely perfect day.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve Service at the Lutheran Church

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

Wednesday, December 24, 1913:  Went to Watsontown this morning with Pa on the big wagon. This trip finished my Xmas shopping.

Ruth and I went up to McEwensville this evening to attend the Christmas services in the Lutheran Church. Was pretty dark coming home. Discovered on the way that I had left my umbrella behind me. Hope I get it again.

Messiah Lutheran Church, McEwensville

Messiah Lutheran Church, McEwensville

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

Grandma generally attended the Baptist Church, but Messiah Lutheran Church in McEwensville apparently held a Christmas Eve service each year that community members attended. Grandma also attended the Christmas Eve services at the Lutheran Church in 1911.

(An aside: Grandma’s future husband, Raymond Swartz, attended Messiah Lutheran Church—though he and Grandma weren’t yet an item when this diary entry was written.)

Christmas is a time for memories. I’m going to reprint part of the post that I did on Christmas Eve, 2011 below. It’s equally relevant this year, and I thought that you might enjoy reading (or rereading) it.

—–

When I was a child I regularly went to candlelight services at Messiah Lutheran Church  — the same church Grandma attended on Christmas Eve a hundred years ago.  I wonder if the services have changed much over the years.

In the middle part of the last century, I remember singing wonderful old-time carols at the candlelight service —We Three Kings, Joy to the World, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, O Little Town of Bethlehem, O Come All Ye Faithful, Hark the Herald Angels,  . .. . ..

We’d end with Silent Night after all of the lights had been extinguished except for the candles we were lighting.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

I don’t know why, but I have strong memories of one year when an elderly woman didn’t extinguish her candle at the end of the service, and took the flickering light out into the cold night.

I remember asking my mother why the woman didn’t follow the directions—and my mother said that the old lady was remembering Christmas’s from long ago and that we should let her be.  I looked at the woman and could see how happy she looked as her face was illuminated by the flickering light.

I hope that I have equally wonderful memories of Christamases past when I am her age.

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