October Diary Entries, 1911 – 1913

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

Wednesday, October 20, 1914: << no entry>>DSC06518

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

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I thought that it might be fun to take a look back at what she wrote in previous years on three dates in October. In 1911 and 1912 she was a high school student. She was at  home working on the farm in 1913.

 1911

Wednesday, October 18, 1911: Grandma and Aunt Alice were here today, but I didn’t get to see them because they had gone when I got home from school. We had a review in Latin today. An easy examination it was.

<<< I’m still amazed that Grandma studied Latin in school–and that she sometimes found it easy!  >>>

Thursday, October 19, 1911: That’s all.

<<< Even back in the days when Grandma was a student, some days were boring. >>>

Friday, October 20, 1911: Got out of school early this afternoon. I gathered some walnuts after I got home. Mollie gave me a kick in the back while milking another cow this evening. I’ve named Ruth’s twin calves, one Brutus and the other Caesar, but I can’t tell which is which.

<<<Ouch! A kick in the back had to hurt.  . . I can see that what Grandma was learning in Latin was carrying over to her home life.>>>

1912

Friday, October 18, 1912:  These days are beginning to be so much agreeable.

<<< Why were the days more agreeable? >>>

Saturday, October 19, 1912:  Had to pick taters this afternoon. Thought perhaps I’d get out of it because it rained last night, but didn’t get out of it any way.

<<< In 1914, the potato harvest was a little earlier–Grandma mentioned gathering potatoes on  October 2.. Was the weather different in 1914? >>>

Sunday, October 20, 1912:  Went to Sunday School this afternoon. Mrs. Besse was here when I came home, but didn’t seem to make a very long stay of it.

<<< Besse was Grandma’s married sister. She lived in the nearby town of Wastsontown. In the early years of the diary she and her husband Curt often visited on Sundays. I wonder why Besse didn’t visit as often in 1914 as she once did. >>>

1913

Saturday, October 18, 1913:  At last my job is finished. I call it about 600 bushels more or less. This will add some to my spending money.

<<< Grandma was husking corn. Maybe, in 1914, she’s again busy husking corn (and making money) and too tired to write .  . >>>

Sunday, October 19, 1913:  Went to Sunday School this afternoon. Then it commenced to rain, but got home alright after all.

<<< Sounds similar to many Sunday posts scattered throughout the diary.>>>

Monday, October 20 – Friday, October 24, 1913:  It’s been so rainy and dreary this week that I begin to feel awful grouchy. I certainly am under the weather these days. Any way October never was a favorite month of mine. I don’t have much to write about for her.

<<< Interesting. . . I’d forgotten that Grandma also lumped a number of days together in the diary in 1913. October sounds like it was  a rough month in 1913. I hope it’s going better in 1914. >>>

 

Should There be Streets and Avenues in the Suburbs?

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

Monday, October 19, 1914: << no entry>>

Picture source: Wikimedia Commons

Picture source: Wikimedia Commons

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

Sigh. . . Grandma didn’t again write anything a hundred years ago today; but I came across a fun opinion piece in the August, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal that I thought you might enjoy. Apparently suburbs were a relatively new concept back then, and some of the basics were still being figured out—like how to name the roads.

“Avenues” in the Suburbs

Can anyone give a good reason why we persist in creating “streets” and “avenues” in our new suburbs when what we are really creating are “Ways,” “Roads.” and “Lanes,” and should so name them.

We say when we move out to the suburbs that we do so because we want “to get out of the city,” and then we deliberately drag the nomenclature of the city with us. A “street” is essentially a word that we associate with a city thoroughfare: It is, in fact, according to a dictionary definition, “a public highway with buildings on one or both sides, in a city.”

An “avenue” is, according to dictionary authority, “a wide or principal street: a broad thoroughfare.” Now try to imagine any of the so-called “avenues” in our suburbs as “side or principal streets,” or “broad thoroughfares.” Perhaps you live on such an avenue: a “Maple Avenue,” say, a city block or two long and twenty feet wide! Would it not more truly reflect its real character and its surroundings had it been called “Mapleway,” or “Maple Road”? And, above all, should we not be using our language a little more correctly?

One progressive little community is taking hold of this erroneous nomenclature and has changed “Home Avenue” to “Homeway”: a one-block “Maple Avenue” has become what it is: “Mapleway,” bordered with maple trees, and “Chestnut Avenue” has become “Chestnut Lane.”

Why not be right instead of wrong in the use of the language, particularly when it is just as easy to be right?

Whew, the author got really carried away with the quotation marks. I got tired of typing them every time an “avenue”, “street,” or other “road” was mentioned.

Before and After Houses

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

Sunday, October 18, 1914: << no entry>>

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

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I thought that you might enjoy some before and after pictures of houses in the August, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal.

House 12Bright yellow, walls, a black roof and a bright green porch roof was the riotous color scheme of the house above.

House 11Very slight alteration produced this summer home. All the flimsy filigree work was removed and the second-story porch with dignified white columns was added. Paint of a lovely ivory tine was chosen for the exterior walls.

 

Home  8As originally build this house presented an exterior about as plain and homely as one could find.

Home 9The second picture, however, shows how successfully the present owner has transformed it –and at very little expense. The roof was carried down to form the porch roof of an outdoor living-room. Colonial yellow paint and vines gave the finishing touches.

 

House 7This house is not really ugly, but certainly it is unattractive.

House 8Removing the roof, porch, and bay-window left a good foundation for the new house. The sun room at the left and the porte-cochere at the right give a breadth which tends to overcome the high stilted look it previously had. Repointing the stone work and the new roof complete the transformation.

 

The Canada Goose in a Hundred-Year-Old Book

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

Wednesday, October 14, 1914: << no entry>>

Source: The Bird Book (1914)

Source: The Bird Book (1914)

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

Fall is here. Some things haven’t changed much across the years. Did Grandma see any Canadian Geese flying South a hundred years ago today?

Here’s what a book published in 1914 had to say about the Canada Goose.

Canada Goose

Range: The whole of North America, breeding from northern United States northward, and wintering in the southern parts of the United States. Its familiar “honk” and V-shaped formation in which the flocks migrate is always an object of interest to everyone.

The Bird Book  by Chester A. Reed

Blister on Finger

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

Monday, October 12, 1914:  Nothing much doing. Have a blister on my finger from giving it too much exercise. Adieu till something happens as the days go by.DSC06516

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

LOL Grandma—I love your sense of humor, but PLEASE find something worthwhile to write soon. Writing in your diary may be losing meaning for you, but we hang on every word you write and need to hear your daily words.

Picture Taken Under Apple Tree

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

Sunday, October 11, 1914:  Went to Sunday school this morning. Carrie was over this afternoon, and we had our pictures taken under an apple tree and sitting on the pasture bare.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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

It must have been a lovely October day if Grandma and her friend Carrie Stout decided to have someone (her sister Ruth?) take their picture.

I’m a little confused by the phrase “sitting on the pasture bare.” The modern literal interpretation of the phrase makes no sense within the context of the times. Is the pasture bare. . . of grass? . . . of cows? . . . of fallen apples?

Took Two Pictures!!

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

Friday, October 9, 1914: Took two pictures this morning.

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

Grandma—

It’s awesome that you’re still enjoying your hobby, but more details please.

What was special enough to justify taking TWO pictures? You always use such care when deciding to take a picture. Film is so expensive—and if you are sending the film off to be developed that costs a lot, too. . . and if you’re planning to develop the pictures yourself, that’s a lot of work.

An aside:  A new Friday Update is posted on my author website, Sheryl Lazarus.com. This week I’m trying to figure out what I want to do during the final months of A Hundred Years Ago.

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