17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Saturday, July 13, 1912: My calling was out in the field today. I was glad when it was over and I was at leisure to do something.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Sounds like Grandma had to again watch cows or do some other type of field work. Thank goodness she apparently had time to do something fun—at least I hope it was fun; she only wrote that it was “something.”
I love to swim on hot summer days. I don’t think that Grandma ever learned how to swim, but she may have taken her shoes off and waded in the creek. The water would have felt good in the days before electric fans and air conditioners.
A book published in 1911 called Outdoor Sports by Claude Miller discussed the importance of confidence when swimming:
. . . The lack of confidence is disastrous. I have known girls who could swim perfectly well in the shallow but could not keep up at all in water out of their depth. And yet they have not been touching the bottom in the shallow water, but they could if they wished.
Learning to swim in water that is over your head is really better, though it is more “scary” at first. If you do learn in that way you can there-after look upon the deepest water with confident scorn.