Mailed Some Packages

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

Wednesday, April 16, 1914: Went up to town this afternoon to mail some parcel post packages. Oh dear me, and it cost eleven cents. Called on a friend and quite a sociable chat. Went to a lecture this evening in Watsontown.

Old postcard, circa 1914

Old postcard, circa 1914

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

Seriously Grandma. . . You’re annoyed that it costs 11¢ to mail a package? . . .

Hmmm. . Now that I’m re-reading your diary entry, I almost think that you mailed several packages for 11¢. . . sound like a bargain to me.

A hundred years ago parcel post was the cool new thing. According to Wikipedia parcel post begin in the US in 1913.

You may also enjoy several previous posts that I did on parcel post:

Parcel Post Began in 1913

Getting Eggs and Butter in the Mail

Broke a “Relic”

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

Monday, April 13, 1914: Blue Monday. Yes it was. I broke one of Ma’s relics, and things got bluer yet. Made me feel real miserable.

vase

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

Grandma-

Ouch. . . it’s no fun to break a family “relic.”

Was Ma really mad? . . . and then what happened then that made things even bluer?

Arbutus Still Not Blooming

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

Sunday, April 12, 1914: Went to Sunday School this morning. A whole gang of us went for arbutus this afternoon. Didn’t get any though, for it’s just in bud. We had quite a walk in the bargain.

DSC02316

 Maybe the “gang” walked at this same spot a hundred years ago today. These woods and fields are across the road from the house where the Muffly’s lived.

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

Grandma—names please. . . Who went with you? How many people? . . . all girls? . . . or were there some guys, too? . . .

What did you talk about? Did you joke and tease each other?

This was Easter Sunday. Two days prior to this entry you mentioned Easter hats, but when Easter actually arrived you didn’t mention it.  Why?

—-

The previous Sunday (April 5) Grandma, her sister Ruth, and their friend Carrie Stout also searched for trailing arbutus:

We went for arbutus this afternoon, but only managed to find the buds. It is late this spring.

1914 must have been a late spring—just like 2014 has been a late spring.

Trailing Arbutus

Trailing Arbutus

A Pleasant Spring Evening

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

Thursday, April 9, 1914:  Ruth and I have returned home after escorting Carrie back from where she came from. It’s awful nice out. The moon light makes it almost as light as evening.

moonlight

Source: Wikipedia

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

A moonlit walk on a pleasant spring evening. . . What a lovely way to end the day!

Carrie Stout was a friend of Grandma and her sister Ruth who lived on a nearby farm.

Something doesn’t seem worded quite right with this diary entry. Grandma wrote that it was “almost as light as evening”–though she must have meant the daylight hours.

 

Popular Sheet Music a Hundred Years Ago

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

Wednesday, April 8, 1914: Nothing much. Don’t seem to have so much to do. My music lesson is easy for one thing.

Picture Source: Wikipedia

Picture Source: Wikipedia

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

What songs was Grandma learning how to play? Maybe she had sheet music for some popular songs.

Sheet music published between 1911 and 1914 that I recognized included:

1911

  • Alexander’s Ragtime Band
  • I Want a Girl (Just Like the Girl that Married Dear Old Dad)

1912

  • When Irish Eyes are Smiling

1913

  • Peg O My Heart

1914

  • By the Beautiful Sea
  • When You Wore A Rose and I Wore a Big Red Tulip

You can find the lyrics and recordings for these songs (and many more) on the Public Domain Music.org site, as well as on YouTube.

Back to Solid Earth

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

Tuesday, April 7, 1914: Back to solid earth again.

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

Hmm. . . Back to solid earth again??? Nothing really awesome has happened recently in Grandma’s life, so it why did she write this?

Her cousin, Alma Derr, did visit over the week-end, but went home the previous day. Maybe Grandma didn’t have to work as hard when she had a guest (and maybe her parents even did some of her farm chores for her). . . but now that Alma was gone, the normal workload and drudgery returned.

Closet Cleaning

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

Monday, April 6, 1914: Alma went home this morning, and it seems so lonesome without her. Hauled the stuffings out of a closet this afternoon, and then hauled them back, which means that I cleaned it.

1913-10-52.bI can’t find a picture of a 1914 closet, but maybe this shows a closet door. Picture Source: Ladies Home Journal (October, 1913)

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

Alma Derr was Grandma’s cousin who came to visit the previous Saturday. She lived near the small town of Ottawa in nearby Montour County.

I think I got Grandma’s genes when it comes to cleaning closets!

I also haul the “stuffings” out . . . and then put them back. :)

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