16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Thursday, July 6, 1911: Went to Milton this morning. Got that bothersome tooth that ached in the spring filled and several other ones. Went to the extravaganza of buying a five dollar ring today. I am busted now.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Yeah! Hip Hip Hooray! Thank goodness! Grandma finally got her tooth filled!
It took Grandma almost three months to get her tooth fixed after it started hurting. She first mentioned that she had a toothache on April 11, and again complained about it on April 15 and April 18. She then tried to visit the dentist in Milton on May 6 and again May 13 but he wasn’t in his office when she got there.
As a mother I can’t imagine one of my children having a tooth ache for months—and wonder why Grandma’s parents let this health problem linger for so long. I guess that times were just different.
I know that this entry was written a hundred years ago, and that all of the problems and concerns that Grandma wrote about resolved themselves one way or the other long, long ago—and that it is irrational for me to be concerned about problems mentioned in the diary–but I must admit that I’ve worried about Grandma’s health when she couldn’t get her tooth fixed for months on end.
I’m amazed that Grandma bought herself a $5 ring. In past entries Grandma’s always worried about wasting money, but maybe she decided to reward herself for finally getting her tooth fixed. The ring must have been really nice. In today’s dollars it would be worth about $140. In June Grandma earned $2.65 from picking strawberries—I wonder where she got the remaining money for the ring.