December’s on the Way

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Tuesday, December 1, 1914:

The Twenty-fifth is near, December’s on the way,

And thoughts of presents nice and dear fill every passing day.

‘I wonder what I’ll get’ is what we often think

Until the day has dawned again all rosy and pink.

The last month of the year. I must hurry and fill up the remaining pages of this diary by writing silly nothings in it.

Brought my dress home. It suits me to a T. Ma doesn’t seem to like it very well, but maybe she will when she sees it on me.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (October, 1914)
Source: Ladies Home Journal (October, 1914)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:



In any case—Even if you think your words are silly, please be generous with them. Someone will care about them someday.

P.S. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that your mother will like the dress after you model it for her.

Monthly Poem in Diary

Grandma began each month of the Diary with a poem. See this previous post for more information about them:

Monthly Poem in Diary

Thank You!

I’d like to thank all of you who took a moment yesterday to write a comment about why you regularly visit this blog. I’m amazed by the varied reasons that you visit—and I’m humbled by your kind, heartfelt words.

And, I think that Grandma would be absolutely astounded that so many of you read her words and story—and , I also think that, in her quiet way, that she’d be thrilled that people still remember and care about her a hundred years later.

23 thoughts on “December’s on the Way

  1. Yay–a poem! Your words at the end of this are very poignant–gave me kind of a chill, to think that Helena could somehow know that she is known to so many people around the world now!

  2. Well, life got complicated, so blogging took a back seat for a month or so. Since I’m here today I’ll tell you this is one of my favorite blogs. I’m really interested in how your grandmother’s life turns out.

    1. It’s good to have you back. I hope that things have settled down for you. It’s nice to hear that this is one of your favorite blogs. I have a lot of fun doing it, and it’s always wonderful to hear when someone enjoys it.

    1. So do I. 🙂 I tried to select a a dress to illustrate this post that a young woman might have considered stylish, but that her mother might have thought looked a bit too modern.

  3. Self-deprecation in the creative arts (especially in women) seems to have no boundaries in time. I wonder who if anyone encouraged Helena in her writing back then. I love that she continues with her poetry every month. And that you are her biggest cheerleader today.

    1. As far as I know, the only writing that Grandma did after the diary ended was the occasional letter. Over the course of the last few years, I’ve thought a lot about why she did didn’t continue writing. Sometimes it makes me feel a little sad–but then I realize that I’m using a 2014 lens to try to make sense of things. I think that Grandma had a good life and was happy–so maybe times just were different and I should leave it at that. .

  4. It has been a while but when I visit her grave it is as if I truly know her – I would like to think if she lived today we would be friends. But then I am luck to be friends with her granddaughter – so I am doubly blessed!! 🙂 About the dress I wonder if the lengths of dresses were starting to go above the ankle – do you know when the fashion changed? We all know in the 20s fashion went crazy!

    1. Thank you for the kind words and thoughts. I bet that you are right that the dresses were getting a little shorter. When I look at old Ladies Home Journals, I can see that styles definitely changed between 1911 and 1914. The 1914 styles were starting to look a bit more likd the clothes that the flappers wore.

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