Losing Weight as Summer Advances

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

Monday, July 27, 1914: I just finished writing several letters. So you see I am in the mood for writing this evening. A regular down pour of rain drenched the earth this afternoon. Am glad of it, for I realized how deep the dust was, when I went off on an errand of Pa’s this morning. I took the nearest cut and went across the field. This involved climbing fences or crawling through them as the case happened to be. I chose the latter, when I found a place large enough to admit my ponderous body. I still cling to the idea that I am big and fat, but nevertheless I am losing weight as the summer advances, so you see, the time may come, when I will be reduced to normal weight.

The people here have gone to bed, so I will shut up for awhile.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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

Grandma-

How much you weigh? It can’t be very much. What is a “normal weight” for your height?

On March 23, 1914, you 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.

And, on March 29, 1914 you wrote:

. . . Am rather tired of dieting by this time. Have lost ten pounds.

—-

My memory is that Grandma was quite short—probably 5 feet 1 inch . . . maybe 5 feet 2 inches. She probably was a little taller than that as a teen, but she definitely was not very tall.

Hot Day to Sit in Church

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

Sunday, July 26, 1914:  Went to church this afternoon. I was pretty warm.

church pews

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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

Grandma-

Whew, it doesn’t sound pleasant. I bet that it was hard to concentrate in the heat. Was there a breeze coming in through a window?—or was the hot air still? Did you have a fan?

Fishing on Hot Summary Days

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

Saturday, July 25, 1914:  Nothing doing.

DSC08663 crop2

Source: Kimball’s Dairy Farmer Magazine (May 15, 1914)

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

Grandma-

You must have done something. Do you and your 9-year-old brother Jimmie ever go fishing on hot summer days in the   the nearby Warrior Run Creek ?

Sloan’s Liniment Advertisement

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

Friday, July 24, 1914: Nothing doing.

sloans_liniment

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

Grandma-

I hope that you aren’t doing “nothing” because you’re still in pain from the hay-loading accident two days ago.

If you’re stiff and sore, maybe Sloan’s Liniment would help. It kills all pain in man or beast.

Still Sore

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

Thursday, July 23, 1914:  Can still feel the results of yesterday.

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

Grandma—

Are you going to be okay? Your accident yesterday didn’t sound good—and I still think you should have gone to the doctor and the dentist. I hope that your father at least gave you the day off—and that you are lounging around the house.

Grandma hurt herself while loading hay or straw. She wrote:

I’m feeling awful sore in my lower region. Have a sore nose and two sore front teeth. Was loading hay this afternoon. While at work on the last load the train rounded the bend. I glanced in that direction. This next moment I was lying on the ground with the breath knocked out of me.

July 22, 1914

As I described yesterday, I think that hundreds of pounds of hay fell from a hay hook as it was being lifted into the barn.

Carrie has a Beau

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

Tuesday, July 21, 1914:  Went to a party about three miles from here. Went with Carrie and her beau. There were lots there I didn’t know. Didn’t stay so very late.

House Carrie (Stout) and John Pressler lived in after their marriage.

House Carrie (Stout) and John Pressler lived in after their marriage.

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

Grandma—

It’s too bad that you didn’t know very many people . . . were you happy for Carrie that she had a beau? . . . or a little jealous?

—-

Carrie Stout is the friend of Grandma’s who’s mentioned the most frequently  in the diary—so I assume that she was Grandma’s best friend. She lived on a nearby farm.

Since Carrie’s not a relative I’ve never put much effort into tracing her story, but here’s the little I know.

Carrie was a little younger than Grandma. She married a farmer named John Pressler who was about 10 years older than she was. (I wonder if the beau in this diary entry was John.) Carrie and John lived for many years on a rural Milton farm. The farm was on Muddy Run Road, and was 3 miles or so from the farm where Carrie grew up.

I’ve never come across a photo of Carrie, so I don’t know what she looked like.

Somehow my description of Carrie feels inadequate—I guess that her life is a puzzle that still has lots of missing pieces.

New Minister Energizes Church

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

Sunday, July 19, 1914:  Went to Sunday School this morning. Ruth and I went to church this evening.

DSC04302

The days are still long. Maybe it was still light when Grandma and her sister Ruth walked down this road toward home.

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

Grandma—

Wow, church twice in a day! Sounds like your new minister has more services than the old one. Is he as good as the old one? How are his sermons?

The previous minister left in January. On January 4, 1914 Grandma wrote:

Our minister is going to leave soon. He preached his farewell sermon today. I am so sorry to see him go. There were some misty eyes in church this afternoon.

After he left Grandma occasionally mentioned that there was no church because there was no minister. On March 29, 1914, she wrote:

Went to Sunday school this afternoon. Attended church, which isn’t very often since we don’t have a regular preacher as yet. . .

The new one came two weeks prior to this entry. On July 5, 1914 she wrote:

Our new preacher took up his charge today. Am glad that one is secured at last.

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