August, 13th, 1917
I don’t know whether I know my own mind or not. I do suck crazy things and think some crazier things. I think with the case of Al, it is “distance that lends enchantment” and the greater the distance the better. At least when I am with him I don’t like him any better than I used to. He was down here to visit last week-end. He came Saturday evening and stayed till Sabbath evening. When he wrote he was coming – I was glad for I thought I was beginning to like him. But - I took myself to task and promised that I’d be honest with him and with myself too – when he came. But I didn’t need such admonitions – I hadn’t been with him an hour before I began to feel that old dislike for him. Then I suddenly came to the realization of what I had been trying to do. I had been trying to make myself like him – and make him fit my “sterling standara measure” when he didn’t fit at all. I had been trying so hard that it was really funny the relief I felt when I made myself see that I didn’t have to. I don’t know why I tho’t I had to unless it was because he said he “liked” me – and I was trying to like him in return. Anyway – when he finally told me he did love me – I just told him plainly that I didn’t love him at all – and I asked him not to close his letters as he has lately, until I can close mine to him that way – which I don’t think will ever be. I don’t think he really cares for me very much – I think it is just ordinary comradeship and he likes to be with me.
Yesterday was Mildred’s birthday and we celebrated by going with papa in Mehitable up to Albany. He went up to see Mr. Ogden about a loan but he was gone so we came back past Corvallis. I had papa drive past Shepard and I stopped to see if Jack was there to get Amy’s films – but he wasn’t there at all. I left a note for him to send the films either to Amy or I.
When we drove into the yard last night we discovered smoke up the gulch a way and when we got out where we could see – we discovered the whole hillside burning. Some hunters had evidently forgotten their fire and let it spread. Anyway we all had to fly out of our dresses and into our overalls and with wet gunny sacks rushes up to the fire. Dad and “Mac” were there ahead of us and working for dear life. We (Mildred, Anna, and I) didn’t do much but we tried to and stayed by it till it was under control and dad was willing to quit. He cut his hand badly on a barbed wire so he is rather crippled today.
We have lost “Jack” our extra mule. He was up in the timber pasture above the house and today when Dad wanted to use him instead of Judy, who has the distemper, he couldn’t find him. He came back and told me to go and look. I did – and stayed with it for about an hour but it wasn’t any use. He’s gone. Dad says he thinks some one has taken him out of the pasture because Mac found the gate open yesterday – and that gate is a hard one to open – has to be pulled by main force.
Mac – our new hired man that Dad likes so well, got word yesterday that he was drafted for war in Idaho where he registered and he has to be examined right away. His wife Anna is here living in the little shack and text out in our back yard. She is waiting to day to find out what the result will be. I feel sorry for her. It is her twenty-first birthday today – and she is having to celebrate it alone. I hope Mac doesn’t have to go for he is the best man dad has had around here for a long time.
Saturday we had a letter from Harriet saying she wanted to get a loan for her expenses in some Physical Culture school this fall. I wish she could. I hope she doesn’t have to wait till she is as old as I am before she finishes College. And if she can do it by getting a loan I hope she will do it.