February 17, 1942
Washington, Monday –
Saturday and Sunday in New York City, I visited the Brooklyn Naval Hospital. I had, by this time, sampled all the ways of getting there as rapidly as possible, but somehow there seems to be no very quick way when you are in a hurry.
I did a number of errands, saw a great many people and, among other things, looked at quite a number of apartments, because someday I expect my husband to tell me that the houses in New York are sold before I have found a place in which to move. I have now, however, fairly well made up my mind as to an available spot, so that one thing is off my mind.
There still remains the dividing up, packing and shipping of all the things in the houses, which my mother-in-law and my husband have owned for so many years. There are moments when I wish we had always lived like birds, made our own nests and needed no furnishings!
Saturday evening, I took two people, whom I have long wanted to enjoy Claudia, to see this play. There is real quality to it, for one can see it over and over again and still laugh, and still be moved by the serious lines. Always, the phrase, “making friends with pain,” strikes me as something we should all remember. I have great admiration for the entire cast, which played the parts as freshly as when I first saw the play. The little, young wife, is very well cast and seems as natural to me as she did when I first saw her in this play.
I was distressed to learn that the author of Claudia, Miss Rose Franken, and her husband, had lost the barn on their summer place by fire last Friday or Saturday. I know they feel about their farm just as the man did in the play.
Sunday afternoon the news of Singapore’s capitulation came to a great many people as a tremendous shock. I had, talked with the President and he said resignedly that, of course, we had expected it, but I know a great many people did not. Perhaps it is good for us to have to face disaster, because we have been so optimistic and almost arrogant in our expectation of constant success. Now we shall have to find within us the courage to meet defeat and fight right on to victory.
That means a steadiness of purpose and of will, which is not one of our strong points. But, somehow, I think we shall harden physically and mentally as the days go by, take our difficulties cheerfully and win through smilingly.
I returned to Washington this morning and was delighted to find everything in the Office of Civilian Defense moving ahead on schedule.