Bernice Forest Diary, 1916 - 1917

August 26th, 1917

The first day of the last week in August, I just cat fallow the day. They fly by so swiftly. I’ve gotten all over my poison oak except a little lingering itchiness. During that time I have made four combination suits for Harriet, besides the corset cover. I have material for a pretty kimono that I’m sure she’ll like ad I’m going to make that tomorrow. Then we are going to get her things together and send them. She has asked for several things to help furnish her room in Lucille’s and Harold’s new house. She hasn’t decided yet – whether she will get the loan and go to school in the East or not. She wants so badly enough but everyone but me, thinks it an unwise thing to do in these War times. I think – and in fact I’m sure that she will never be satisfied until she has graduated from such a school as the Chicago Physical Culture Training School or the New Haven P.C. School. If she stays out it will just delay doing what she will eventually do anyway. It would take ages to earn enough money to go to school on – with the only resources she has now – and it wouldn’t take so long pay it back after she has the schooling to place her in a position to earn more. I don’t know what will be her final decision. Anyway I’m doing a little sewing for her in order to let her see we are interested at least. At least I’ll sew if I don’t have to pull beans. It is just time to harvest the beans and every plant has to be pulled by hand because we haven’t enough (17 acres) to afford a machine to do it. Such back breaking business! I don’t know when I’ve been so stiff and sore. We pulled beans Friday morning and I’ve been too sore to sit down comfortably ever since. I’m sure “Dofi” never pulled beans or he wouldn’t have “sat on his hind legs”. I feel like following the instructions of some sergeant who was drilling some new recruits, “When I say halt! bring the foot on the ground beside the one in the air and remains motionless.” If that were only possible I think I could comfortable. We didn’t go to church today because none of us wanted to try those board seats for any length of time.

Thursday Mildred and I drove Trilby in town thru clouds of dust to see Marguerite Clark in the “Amazons.” It was funny and jolly like all of her plays. The next day being Friday and the morning of the day I have mentioned as having pulled beans – we were so hot and tired and sore that when Mrs. Clayton appeared on the scene to ask us to go home with her and go in swimming – we accepted. Mildred and I rode in their wagon with them, and after supper (at J.J. Kelley’s) we all went in swimming in the Willamette. It was fun in spite of the swift current which prevented us from swimming up the stream. When we got out of the river and started home we discovered it was only about eight o’ clock so Mildred and I decided to go to the show “The Garden of Allah” that was at the Eugene Theater. We just missed the street car so we had to walk and it was a long jaunt too. The show was fine – better than the book which I had to read a couple of years ago for English. We got back to Claytons at Eleven and Mrs C. was awake waiting for us. It wasn’t six thirty when we got up so stiff we could hardly move. Only - we learned on top of that – that we were going to have to walk home because none of Claytons had decided to go back to pick beans. We walked. But it wasn’t any fun. We both had high heeled slippers on and such a job it was to walk on those old stones! We just could hear our steps echo back “Walk you poor fool, walk!” We got home at 10:30 AM to find papa with a sick headache and just as stiff if not more so, than we were. He is all broken up about his finances too just now. He made a mistake in the date when he thought he had to redeem the Linn Co. Land. He thought he had till Sept. 8 and instead he found the papers the other night, and it was July 8. Now he has lost the land and he is pretty discouraged. He looks then or fifteen years older these last few weeks. I do hope he can sell the place ad get into something which will not take so much worry and hard work all for nothing. The beans, he says will only harvest enough to pay for the seed and that’s all. None of the grain planted looks enough to pay to thresh it. He has just put it in the barn to use as hay. Mother is so quiet and calm but I know she must feel discouraged too. She never complains and still she hasn’t even respectable clothes to go away from home in. We all banked a lot on Dad doing something in Portland last week-end but he didn’t get anything accomplished and I think that’s what makes him sick this week. It’s just worry.

Mr. and Mrs. Walker came out today and brought us some venison meat. Mr. Walker went hunting and shot a deer.

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