Mud Season

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

Thursday, April 2, 1914: Nothing much doing.

Milton Evening Standard (April 2, 1914)

Milton Evening Standard (April 2, 1914)

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

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’m going to do a follow-up to yesterday’s diary entry when Grandma wrote:

. . . Twasn’t nice and warm at all, at all.

I found a clue about what the weather was like in a newspaper article that appeared on the front page of the Milton Evening Standard a hundred years ago today. Milton is located about 4 miles from McEwenville.

Sometimes doing research about a hundred years ago reminds me that I should be grateful for the little things—like paved roads.

Weather Twasn’t Nice and Warm

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

Wednesday, April 1, 1914:

When the flowers begin to peep from their hiding place.
T’will be known that spring is here, spring with all her grace.
When the birds will sing their songs in the tree tops high.
Oh, then we know that April’s here and will not pass us by.
April fool, wash your face and go to school.

Twasn’t nice and warm at all, at all.

Crocus

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

I love the surprise ending to this diary entry. April sounds so wonderful in the poem— but reality didn’t quite match the April of Grandma’s dreams.

You might also enjoy these previous posts:

Monthly Poem in Diary

April Fool’s Day

Social News

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

Tuesday, March 31, 1914:  <<no entry>>

Milton Evening Standard (March 30, 1914)

Milton Evening Standard (March 30, 1914)

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

Since Grandma didn’t’ write anything a hundred years ago today, I’ll share the social news for McEwensville.

McEwensville was (and still is) a small town. Two friends of Grandma’s were mentioned in the newspaper: Rachel Oakes and Helen (Tweet) Wesner.  I don’t think that Grandma attended the party that Rachel helped organize—at least the diary provides no indication that Grandma was at a party on the previous Tuesday.

 

Grip Weather: 1914 Shoe Store Advertisement

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

Monday, March 30, 1914:  Went to Watsontown this afternoon. Ma’s on the sick list. I was to get some medicine.

Source: Milton Evening Standard (March 27, 1914)

Source: Milton Evening Standard (March 27, 1914)

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

Did Grandma’s mother have the grip? With all of the wet and gloomy March weather, maybe her feet got wet, and she caught the grip. She should have gone to Marsh’s Shoe Store in nearby Milton and bought some new shoes that would have kept her feet dry.

Lost 10 Pounds

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

Sunday, March 29, 1914: Went to Sunday school this afternoon. Attended church, which isn’t very often since we don’t have a regular preacher as yet. Besse and Curt were here, when I got home. Am rather tired of dieting by this time. Have lost ten pounds.

DSC02319

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

Grandma lost 10 pounds in 18 days– and, her weight has gone from 140 pounds to 130. She must not have been eating very much to lose so much weight.  Is it healthy to lose so much weight in such a short time?

She got her tonsils out on March 11, and had difficulty eating. Two days later, on March 13, she wrote:

Weighed myself this morning. I had lost six pounds. My tummy is flat you can bet. Ate solid food for supper.

Then on March 23 she wrote:

Got a streak of sewing today. I get the streaks quite often in many variations. Another one is to get rid of some of my superfluous fat. 140 pounds (January) is entirely too much for a girl of my age. I don’t weigh that now, since I lost six and gained about three. Intend to take advantage of the other three and fight for dear life.


Besse and Curt Hester were Grandma’s sister and brother-in-law. They lived in nearby Watsontown.

Does Handwriting Provide a Window Into Emotional State?

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

Saturday, March 28, 1914:  Sad and gloomy like the weather.

diary-3-28-14

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

I don’t know anything about handwriting analysis. Was Grandma’s handwriting different on a day when she was sad and gloomy, than on a day when she was happy and excited?

Vanbraman wrote comments several times wondering if Grandma’s handwriting provided an indication of her emotional state. For example on February 22 he asked:

Could you tell if she was excited by her handwriting? I know that some people show their emotion in how they write.

Here’s what she wrote that day.

diary-2-22-14

Visited a Friend

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

Friday, March 27, 1914:  Called on Carrie this afternoon.

The Stout house once was just a little to the right of where the road ends.

The Stout house once was just a little to the right of where the road ends.

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

Carrie Stout was a friend of Grandma’s who lived on a nearby farm—but I can’t really show you where it was.

In the late 1960s, Interstate 180 was built through the area. The farm where the Stout’s once lived was divided into two, and the house was in the shadow of the highway. A few years later the house burned—so nothing is the same as it was in Grandma’s day.

Many days I’m surprised how little has changed over the past hundred years—but other times, like today, everything has changed and it’s difficult for me to even get my bearings.

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