18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Saturday, October 18, 1913: At last my job is finished. I call it about 600 bushels more or less. This will add some to my spending money.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Yeah, Grandma! You’ve worked incredibly hard husking corn. 600 bushels is a lot of corn. You began husking corn about three and a half weeks ago—on September 25.
On the October 11, you wrote that you’d received partial payment of $12 for your work. How much were you paid in total?
And, PLEASE tell us what you bought when you spend the money.
Based on the information about the number of bushels Grandma harvested in this diary entry, I now realize that I over-estimated how many bushels Grandma had harvested as of October 6 when she wrote that she’d husked about ten wagon loads of corn.
At that time I estimated that Grandma had husked about 1,000 bushels of corn—when actually during the entire harvest she only husked 600 bushels. The wagon loads must have been smaller than I thought.
(I didn’t say that quite right. 600 bushels is still an awfully lot of corn—and I shouldn’t be minimizing how much work Grandma did because of my estimation errors.)
Note to self—Work further ahead (or at least look further ahead ) so I don’t make silly mistakes like this in the future.