Final Diary Entry

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

Tuesday, December 29, 1914: This diary is surely doomed to be a failure and I am terribly tired of writing in it. Christmas has come and gone and I am just the same except a little older. Got some nice presents of which none were misfits. Ma and Ruth seemed to be pleased with the presented I gave them, so then I am satisfied.

Took down the tree today. We never keep our tree long, because there isn’t much to trim it with.

The Conclusion

Good-bye old year, good-bye. Tis now Dec. 29, but I am really ready to say good-bye. I haven’t much faith in myself nor has this friend with me, so it is best that we should part.

Adieu

Helen(a) and Raymond Swartz and their descedants at the Swartz Reunion, White Deer Park, circa 1964

Helen(a) and Raymond Swartz and their descendants at the Swartz Reunion, White Deer Park, circa 1964

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

Good grief, Grandma. . . I hate to disagree on the very last day of the diary, but you are wrong. The diary has done some wonderful things–both for you and for me.

Get your confidence back quickly. You’re going to need it. I looked into my crystal ball and know that you have a long, magnificent life ahead of you with a fantastic husband, and wonderful children and grandchildren.

Adieu for now—I’ll catch up with you when our paths cross again. Go live the rest of your life. You’ll be awesome.

Grandma’s Fruit Bowl

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

Monday, December 28, 1914: <<no entry>>

DSC09704

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

Sigh. . . No diary entry again. I know that the end of the diary is near, and I am relishing these last few days of A Hundred Years Ago.

As the diary winds down and we send Grandma off to live the rest of her life—and me off to a new blogging project,–I’ve been thinking about some of the mementos of Grandma’s that I’ll continue to see on a daily basis.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Grandma passed shortly after I got married; and, when the grandchildren were given an opportunity to select items they would like to have from her house, I selected practical items that I needed. One item I selected was Grandma’s ironing board.

Another item I chose was her fruit bowl. It has sat on my kitchen counter, generally filed with a bunch of bananas (or a few pears or plums), for more than 30 years. I’ve lived in several different homes across that time period, but the fruit bowl on the kitchen counter has been a constant.

The fruit bowl is so functional (yet beautiful)—and I seldom even think about its history—but it’s kind of nice that items that once were Grandma’s are part of my home. The past and the present all somehow merge.

Grandma at my Wedding

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

Sunday, December 27, 1914: <<no entry>>

DSC09680crop

my grandfather on the other side of the family, Grandma, me, my husband

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

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, today I’d like share another photo of Grandma and me. This one was taken at my wedding.

Playing with the Christmas Doll

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

Saturday, December 26, 1914: <<no entry>>

Dolls waiting for turn to wash-up at sink

Source: Ladies Home Journal (January, 1914)

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

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I’m going to share some suggestions in the January, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal that addresses an age-old problem on the day after Christmas. What do you do when the children don’t play with the toys that Santa brought them?

Well, Ladies Home Journal had some fun suggestions for creating scenarios that would make it more interesting to play with dolls:

Playing with the Christmas Doll

With a new doll at Christmastime little girls are made the happiest of happy little beings, since the newcomer frequently adds one more to the collection of other years, and now there is quite a family for the little mother to train.

dolls in a classroomWhat fun it would be to have a school in a corner, if only someone at home will provide a few tables and benches which might easily be fashioned from boxes.

1914-01-29 c“Let’s play ball” is suggested by the wee mites in the picture.

Christmas Picture on Farm Magazine Cover

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

Thursday, December 24, 1914: <<no entry>>

Cover of December 15, 1914 issue of Kimball's Dairy Farmer Magazine

Cover of December 15, 1914 issue of Kimball’s Dairy Farmer

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

Even farm magazines got into the Christmas spirit a hundred years ago. Since Grandma didn’t write anything specific for today, I thought you might enjoy this old Kimball’s Dairy Farmer cover.

A Photo of Grandma and Me

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

Tuesday, December 22, 1914: <<no entry>>

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

After Grandma and Grandpa’s children grew up, they built a small bungalow on my uncle’s farm. This is where they lived when I was a child.

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today,  I’d like to repost a picture of Grandma and me that shows what the kitchen in the bungalow looked  like.

This is wrote when I originally posted it on July 31, 2013:

Others who have family history blogs often have awesome pictures of themselves with the relative they are writing about—and I’m always slightly jealous.

The few pictures that I have of me with Grandma have many limitations. Time has taken a toll on the color, the picture has lighting problems or is blurry, and so on.

But, in spite of the poor quality of the picture above, I really like this photo so I decided to share it with you.

Recent photo of bungalow may grandparents lived in when I was a child.

Recent photo of bungalow may grandparents lived in when I was a child.

Creating a “Christmassy” Table

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

Ponsietta Christmas Table Decoration

Source: Ladies Home Journal (December, 1914)

Friday, December 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 these hundred-year old suggestions for how to create a “Christmassy” table.

It is the little extra touch that makes a table festive in appearance.

The table itself must be Christmassy in its setting and decorations, however simple, and once our eyes have taken it all in we settle down to the enjoyment of turkey and all the “fixins.”

Forest Christmas Table Decoration

Christmas table decorations

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