October 13, 1937: My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

We were sixteen at dinner last night and I was thrilled to have Franklin, Jr., and Ethel come up from Charlottesville. This was the first time I had seen Ethel since she came back from abroad and though they both told me their house was not really in order they seemed delighted with everything that they have done so far and with their household and with life in general. It is grand to be young and happy!

Eleanor RooseveltAs I looked at my two daughters-in-law, I could not help thinking how lucky we are! All the boys seem to have chosen, not only people that one can enjoy looking at, but the better you know them the more you like them. Best of all apparently we can all have good times together and I think it is a good thing for a family to be able to look back on happy times. I couldn’t sit down at table until I opened an enormous package which stretched across the arms of my chair and discovered that Jimmy and Betsy had brought me a pair of snow shoes. Jimmy remarked that he had a date with me to go up this winter to see the farm which he hopes to buy in Massachusetts and that I would certainly need them!

It occurred to us suddenly at dinner that we would like to dance afterwards and my brother and I decided that we would search the household for some one who could play the piano. At first we could put our finger on no one and the usher said he would send out to get some one. Then it occurred to us that there was a gentleman coming in to do some work who might be diverted into playing, and who had the gift of music. We corralled him and he not only played for us to dance, but later the entire party got around the piano and sang. My husband had as good a time as any one, and amused us all enormously by singing one or two old college songs.

This gay evening meant work afterwards for several of the party. Finally Secretary Morgenthau and Jimmy were told that they could go home and some of us went to bed, leaving a few of them still at their labors. When I went in to see my husband this morning, he looked at me disgustedly and said: “It was three o’clock before I went to sleep!” But I am quite sure that the good time they had earlier in the evening was worth the loss of sleep!

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