19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Saturday, June 27, 1914: Was going to town this afternoon, but then was detained at home to help with the work.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Oh dear, Grandma, I’m so sorry. You’ve worked so hard for the last two weeks or so—first picking strawberries for wages and then helping harvest hay. A 19-year-old deserves to get Saturday afternoon off so that she can spend a little time with friends in town.
I write this while knowing in my heart that wasn’t the way farms operated. I have very clear memories of working long days when we were making hay when I was a child. Saturday often was an especially busy day, and I’m sure that it was the same when Grandma was young.
The next day was Sunday. People didn’t work on Sunday’s back then— and there also weren’t accurate weather forecasts a hundred year ago. Grandma’s father was probably very worried that it would rain before Monday.
The old saying “make hay while the sun shines” is literally true for farmers. Farm work is very time and weather sensitive. Hay needs to be dried and brought in from the fields while the weather is good. A thunderstorm can nearly destroy a cut hay crop.