A Good Day, But Raining Cats and Dogs

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

Monday, February 24, 1913:  Had an exam in Geometry this morning. Wasn’t hard after all. Tis raining cats and dogs tonight.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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

Yeah! Grandma, I hope you got a 100%. Easy tests are the best.

In spite of the evening rain, it sounds like a good day.  I picture Grandma listening to the rain drops hit the window as she drifted  peacefully off to sleep.

No Play Practice

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

Wednesday, February 19, 1913:  We went up to practice this evening, and then didn’t have any after all.

Recent photo of the house Grandma lived in when she was writing the diary--and the road she would have walked to get to McEwensville.

Recent photo of the house Grandma lived in when she was writing the diary–and the road she would have walked down to get to McEwensville.

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

I hate it when signals get crossed. I bet Grandma was ticked off.

Grandma (and probably her sister Ruth) would have walked a mile and a half from their farm into McEwensville for a play practice that didn’t take place. Grandma had the role of Chloe, the servant, in the play.

Getting a New Fingernail!

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

Monday, February 17, 1913: I have discovered the fact that I am getting a new nail on my once sore thumb.

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

Source: Wikipedia

I bet Grandma was looking forward to when her thumb nail would look  like this. (Source: Wikipedia)

Whew! Grandma must have really injured her thumb back in December, if it’s taken two months for her to know whether she’d get a new nail.

This was the third time that Grandma mentioned the injured thumb in the diary. (If she hurt it as badly as it sounds, I’m almost surprised how few times she wrote about it.)

Here’s a recap of the previous entries:

December 16, 1912

Our dearest Ruth left for Sunbury this morning and my heart is rather sad. We killed some pigs and I took a slice off the end of my thumb. Oh sad the day, for I don’t care anything about having a sore thumb.

January 20, 1913

I have a sore thumb although I do not think it is as bad as it was several days ago.

Writing Essay on American Revolution

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

Thursday, February 13, 1913:  Have started my American Revolution essay. I have the introduction written.

Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze (1851) (Source: Wikipedia)

Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze (1851) (Source: Wikipedia)

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

Grandma wrote in a previous diary entry that her teacher was going to give a two and a half dollar gold piece to whoever wrote the best essay on the American Revolution.

Why did her teacher select this topic? How did Grandma frame what she wrote?

Grandma—I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you win.

Lincoln’s Birthday

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

Wednesday, February 12, 1913:  Whose birthday is it? I heard that question asked today. Knew it before anyway. Was weighed today. Not very pleasant news. It was a pound more than last time, but I owe some of that to heavier clothing.

At last we have our subject to write upon. Titled the American Revolution. Wonder if I could get the gold piece. At least I intent to try and do my best.

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

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

A hundred years ago two presidents’ birthdays were celebrated in February. Lincoln’s birthday was on February 12 and Washington’s on February 22– though Lincoln’s Birthday never was an official federal holiday.

In 1971, the observance of Washington’s Birthday was shifted to the third Monday in February as part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The Act did not change the name of the holiday, but it is now commonly referred to as Presidents Day in honor of both presidents.

—–

On January 28, 1913 Grandma wrote:

Our teacher made such a wonderful proposition today. It was made to our class. The one who writes the best essay on a given subject is to receive a two dollar and a half gold piece.

At the time I’d assumed she just failed to mention the essay topic, but apparently it took the teacher half a month to come up with the topic.  . . .strange. . .

—-

An aside—Whenever I gain a pound, I also owe some of the gain to heavier clothing. :)

Sway: Archaic Definition

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

Tuesday, February 11, 1913:  We are trying to get a program in sway for our next meeting.

diary.2.11.13.a

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

Hmm…How do you get a “program in sway”? What were they trying to do?

On February 7, 1913 Grandma wrote that she was elected president of the Literary Society.  I think that she and the other officers were trying to pull together the program for the next meeting.

According to the Free Online Dictionary, sway can be either a verb or a noun. One meaning for the noun is “control”. So in other words, they were trying to get the program under control.

Elected President of Literary Society

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

Friday, February 7, 1913: We had our literary meeting this afternoon and also elected officers to take the place of the old ones. They had to go and elect me president.

Building that once houses McEwensville School.

Building that once houses McEwensville School.

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

Way to go Grandma!—You’ve put so much energy into the Literary Society and it’s awesome that you’re now the president.

On November 1, 1912, you wrote:

We organized a Literary Society at school this afternoon. I am one of the committee. Just what I wanted to be.

Why was there an election just three months after the society was organized? Were there problems with the previous officers. . .or had they always planned to have elections every couple of months?

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