17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Friday, August 16, 1912: Was out in the field a while this forenoon. Didn’t fancy my job any too well. They had a lot of things to do today.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
What was Grandma doing out in the field? . . . and why didn’t she like her job?
Maybe she was still leading horses that were pulling a roller over a recently plowed field.
. . . or maybe she was helping harvest the third cutting of hay.
. . . or maybe she was helping to dig and gather potatoes.
(I vote that she was helping harvest potatoes. It would have been dirty, backbreaking wok. It those days families raised lots of potatoes—both for eating and for selling — so the Muffly’s probably had an entire field of potatoes. I’m guessing that potato harvesting was not very mechanized in 1912, and that a lot of labor was needed to turn the soil over, sort through the dirt to find the potatoes, and then gather them .)