Bernice Forest Diary, 1916 - 1917

January 6th, 1917

A whole week in the new year past and here it is, Saturday night again. Things are looking a little better – already; the sun even shone for a couple of hours today – and yesterday we got a check for $100.00 from Hazel. I can’t imagine how they could spare so much – but we are mighty thankful for it. There were a few days at the beginning of the year when things looked even worse. Dad slipped on a log and fell into the creek, dislocating something in his side until he has hardly been able to work, altho he has had to work, just the same. He looks dreadful for he broke his last razor blade and hasn’t had any money to buy any new blades. His beard has grown out, and it is the first time I have noticed how gray he is. A week’s growth doesn’t make a man any handsomer.

He refused to accept a small check from me when I first came home – but this is when things got into such a shape he took all I had to give, and seemed glad to get it.

I’ve had a dandy week. One afternoon Harriet and I put on our bloomers sweaters boots etc. – and followed the creek to its source up in the hills back of the house. We found the prettiest spring, in a beautiful spot with moss around it, and tall firs over-hanging it. We also visited the three “lakes” farther down the hill and found one just alive with salamanders. We also found a hornets nest and brought it home. We felt, when we came back like the little boy who had been for a walk – then said “I must go tell mama, I’ve seen so many things.” We had plenty to talk about at supper time.

Another day Harriet and I took our horse back ride and I performed the eventful stunt of riding John’s “Dick.” He said he was a “foxy” horse – and “no pet,” but “all for business.” I told him that Dick was something like his owner. I really expected to have quite a tussle – and kept on the lookout all the time – but I found him no “foxier” than Jack used to be, and not nearly as easy to ride altho his gallop wasn’t bad. I enjoyed every minute of the ride even tho I was “drunk and dressed up” as mother said. I guess I did look funny for I had on ____ blue trousers, papa’s military leggings, a blue sweater, and over all that, papa’s old gray cravenette. I had my hair braided down my back and my cloth hat on. John looked at me rather askance but didn’t make any remarks. Mentally I think he made a few comparisons with Harriet who sat on Lady so primly and look real sweet in her white cap and scarf, plaid coat and dark riding skirt. He likes Harriet – but I like to tease him too well – and I just can’t talk intelligently with him - at least I always feel as if I don’t know anything when he is talking.

Mildred and I didn’t go in with him and Harriet last Sabbath morning after all 0 for Harriet said we’d have to walk home because John wouldn’t go to church (he isn’t the church kind). Mildred said “Take the hint and run child, run” and I grinned and added “Or we can’t get no courtin’ done.”

So the next morning we took old Bird and went in, in the buggy – just Mildred and I. Harriet rode in for the mail then came back. John and Tillie came up New Years night and we toasted marshmallows and worked the “weje” board. John really believes in it from all appearances. Mother says I “mustn’t forget what comes on Saturday night” – even if I do have a diary to write - so here goes for “our bath” – the same water for the whole family – in the same wash tub!


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