Sat. Feb. 1: Cold and stormy. I did my Saturday cleaning and sewed on Mama coat got it all finished and the pieces sewed in carpet rags.
[Sometime this month Grandma would have become pregnant, as her first child was born in November. However, the pregnancy is never mentioned in the diaries. It was just not something you talked about or certainly wrote down anywhere, although surely, after they knew it was happening, the two of them had many conversations about the coming baby.]
Sun. Feb. 2: Windy and cold. It was so cold we didn’t go to church today. The wind has blowed awful all day we built a fire up in the sitting room and stayed in there most all day we couldn’t keep the kitchen warm.
[No central heating. When it was cold and the air seeped into the house, the best you could do was huddle into one room where there was a fire.]
Mon. Feb. 3: Fair and cold. The wind hasn’t blew so hard today but it has been awful cold. I did my washing and hung my clothes up stairs. This noon I ripped up Walter’s old neck ties and cut out the blocks for a pinch work sofa pillow for Mother DuMond. Walter drawed ice.
[No way could she hang her clothes outside, so Grandpa no doubt strung lines in the bedrooms to hang them. Grandma was starting a nice gift for her mother-in-law, a sofa cushion made out of Grandpa’s old neckties.]
Tue. Feb. 4: Zero fine. After I finished the morning work I mended 2 pair of Walter’s socks and 1 pair of my stockens before dinner. This afternoon I worked on my waist. This evening we walked up to the mill and got some boards for our shelfs and to fix the table was gone from the house 3/4 of an hour.
[You didn’t just throw away old socks, you mended them until they could no longer be mended, using yarn and a special needle and a darning egg, which was a rounded wooden form put in the toe to help keep the shape. But socks (and stockings) were not stretchy nylon or polyester, they were hand-knitted of wool and so could be mended with wool yarn. Grandma had gotten her own treadle sewing machine from Sears that summer, so she could make their clothes. A waist was a woman’s blouse. Grandpa was going to put up shelves, probably for the kitchen.]
Wed. Feb. 5: Fine with snow storm in evening. Last night was the coldest night we have had this winter the sink was froze up this morning. The water has froze up at Penfield so they have to draw all the water they use. I worked on my waist this afternoon. Walter put up a shelf in the kitchen tonight.
[I expect the sink was like the one I remember my Aunt Jenny using when I was a girl. It was a built-in basin, with a hand-pump that could draw in water from the well outside. There certainly was no running water.]
Thurs. Feb. 56: Stormy. I did my ironing and mending today and lined Walter’s mittens.
Fri. Feb. 7: Fair and cold. I baked 3 apple pies and a cake this forenoon. The cold weather still continues it has been the coldest this winter and the paper says it is the coldest it has been in years.
Sat. Feb. 8: Fair and cold. I did my Saturday’s work today and baked bread. I have worked on my waist this afternoon. We went to Franklin tonight and got our clock and some groceries. The weather about 15 below zero. I got awful cold riding.
[I bet she did! They rode in an open sleigh, with probably blankets piled around them.]
Sun. Feb. 9: Fine. Got up as usual and started for the wagon house when I crossed the ditch in front of the road a stitch caught me in the back I went on up and fed the horses. Then told Mr. Penfield and he phoned to Louie to help him milk and I came home and went to bed. I never got easy until eleven o’clock. I felt some better afternoon but did not get up only enough to have my bed made.
[I had not realized that Grandpa had back trouble. This had happened also the previous summer, and it sounds like the kind of muscle spasms I have had periodically. He continued his work but was glad to be relieved for the rest of the day.]
Mon. Feb. 10: Fine. Walter hasn’t been able to work yet today was up nearly all the forenoon but stayed in bed this afternoon. I was up every two hours to see about the water to keep it from freezing. The wood shed floor is now nearly covered with ice. I began a shirt for Walter today have it about half done.
[I’m not sure how she would have kept the water from freezing, maybe just pump some to keep it flowing periodically. Every house had a woodshed attached or nearby to keep the fuel wood.]
Tues. Feb. 11: Fine. My people and Walter people were all here today we got word this morning Father and Mother were coming but didn’t know for sure that Papa and Mama was coming. They brought up my bicycle and statuette. And Father brought up the ham. Sport came with them he wanted to go back with Papa but acts contented now. Addie Smith and Mrs. Emerson was up to day.
[The bicycle would be handy, when the weather got warmer. I wonder if the statuette is the parlor statue I have inherited called “Weighing the Baby,” showing a surprised mother and doctor with a baby in a scales and a naughty little boy pulling down on the blanket to make the baby seem heavier. Sport was now going to live with Grandma and Grandpa. I’m sure he was confused at first.]
Wed. Feb. 12: I didn’t do very much to day. Finished Walter’s shirt. Mr. Penfield wants me to do their washing. They are all sick so guess I will do it tomorrow. I expect to go home Saturday and stay till Sunday if the roads are good. Sport seem to be perfectly contented here.
Thurs. Feb. 13: Rainy. I did Penfield’s washing today have had to dry them in the house. Feel awful tired tonight. I got word today that Grandma is dead and her funeral tomorrow at Well Bridge at 10 o’clock. I can’t go but am going to try to go to Franklin as they are going to bury her at Franklin.
[Her grandma, who had been ailing for over a year according to other diary entries, passed away. Wells Bridge is the little town where she lived, but she was to be buried at the Franklin cemetery, where today Grandma and Grandpa are buried, as are my mother and father.]
Fri. Feb. 14: Rainy. I did my washing this forenoon and cleaned the ice off the woodshed floor as soon as I could. After dinner I got ready and walked to Franklin. I got there about one and the funeral procession didn’t git there till about two. They put Grandma in the vault. The casket was opened so I could see Grandma she looked very natural and nice.
[The funeral had to be done right away as I am sure they did not embalm bodies in those days.]
Sat. Feb. 15: Rainy. I baked 3 apple pies 5 loaves of bread and cookies before dinner. I have felt about sick. I got my feet wet yesterday and I feel lame and all tired out. I went to bed awhile this afternoon, since supper I have felt better. I made a double batch of salad dressing after supper.
[All that baking before dinner at noon. And of course cooking the main meal as well.
Sun. Feb. 16: Fair. We went to church today and stayed to Sunday school for the first time. This is the first time we have been to church since Dec. We drove a wagon. I took a walk up back of the house after Walter went to chores and wrote to Mother.
[I expect that now they were near Franklin they began to go to the Methodist church there. Grandma and Grandpa were Methodists for the rest of their lives.]
Mon. Feb. 17: I didn’t have to wash today. I only got my clothes sprinkled ready for ironing tomorrow.
[I wonder why she didn’t have to wash. And yet she had clothes sprinkled, preparing them to be ironed. Maybe Mrs. Penfield did the wash in exchange for her doing theirs the week before.]
Tues. Feb. 18: I baked a sour cream pie and a cake today and did nearly all of the ironing for Penfield’s and myself. Mr. Potter stopped this morning to say Mrs. Potter was coming up this afternoon. She got here about two and stayed till 4:30. I mopped this forenoon.
Wed. Feb. 19: I worked on my linen waist most of the time and have it nearly finished.
Thur. Feb. 20: Fine. I finished the front of my waist and worked some on the collar. Walter fixed the table tonight. I baked a batch of ginger cookies this evening and a sour cream pie. I expect Ola tomorrow. She is coming after me to go home with her Saturday.
Fri. Feb. 21: Fine. I finished my embroidery waist today. I looked for Ola all the afternoon and as she didn’t come I went up and telephoned home tonight. She couldn’t come today. I was awful disappointed but Papa is coming tomorrow and I am going to ride down to the village with Penfield’s in the morning and meet him there.
[So disappointing. Grandma had been so looking forward to Ola’s visit and a visit to her home. And of course no real way to let her know Ola couldn’t come, so she just waited and looked for her, until evening when she finally went to Penfields to use the phone.]
Sat. Feb. 22: Fine. Jessie rode to the village with Penfields’ folks. Mr. P. went away last night and I had all the chores to do. Then I finished covering the ice with sawdust. I went to bed early because I could not get the fire to burn.
[During the days Grandma was doing the writing about her daily experiences, Grandpa and Mr. P. were cutting ice. It was now stored and had to be covered with sawdust to keep it from melting come warm weather. Grandma was away visiting her family, so Walter was all alone, and he was no doubt lonely, besides which he had trouble keeping the fire going, so he just went to bed.]
Sun. Feb. 23: Snowy. I got up at four o’clock and cleaned the horse stables before milking. Done the chores as soon as possible then started for West Brook. Had a snowy ride and nearly froze. We came home by my folks and did not get so very cold. Stopped and talked with my folks a few minutes. Louie milked in my stead tonight.
[The Hartwells lived in West Brook, a small settlement not far from Walton, and Grandpa drove down to bring Grandma home, stopping at Merrickville to see his folks on the way. They didn’t have to get home for evening milking, which gave them a more relaxed day.]
Mon. Feb. 24: Fine. Done the chores and after noon drawed three logs out of the woods. Mrs. Chas. Signor was down to call on Jessie. Jessie went down to call on Mrs. Alexander and she was not at home.
[A whole walk into Franklin to see a friend, and she wasn’t home.]
Tue. Feb. 25: Fine. Did the chores and after dinner we went in the woods and got some logs. Jessie washed today she was awful tired when I came to dinner but felt better when I came to supper.
[After the big logs were dragged home they would have to be chopped up into sizes that could be put in a stove, and cured, dried until they could be burned. Green wood will not burn, so they probably cut wood each winter for the next winter. Doing the wash was a heavy job. It involved heating lots of water to fill the big washtub and an equally big rinse tub, scrubbing the clothes on a washboard, then after rinsing them feeding them through the hand wringer, then hanging them up.]
Wed. Feb. 26: Fine. I did my ironing except those I hung up stairs. Clair Stewart stopped this morning and say Jessie was coming Saturday. I finished the sofa pillow I was making for Mother DuMond to day and started one for Mama am making it log cabin.
[Log cabin is a quilting design of interlocking pieces. The pillows, made of silk from old ties, would have been quite beautiful.]
Thurs. Feb. 27: Fine. I baked a cake and made some salad this morning. I went up to Mrs. Penfield this PM and bought 30 lb of carpet rags for 2.00 and charged $1.00 for the washing I done and turned it on the rags. I went to Franklin tonight while Walter done chores and got back just as he finished the chores.
[I wonder what she meant by salad. Maybe cole slaw, as cabbage was a fall crop that would keep in the cool cellars. Certainly there was no lettuce at that time of year. Still gathering materials for that rag rug. She was probably working to make it large enough to cover the sitting room floor and thus keep the room warmer. Mrs. Penfield sold her some rags, then paid Grandma for the washing she had done, so the rags ended up costing Grandma $1.00. Apparently Grandma felt ok walking to Franklin in the dark, as it would have been dark at milking time this time of year. They must have been very close to town if she could get there and back during the hour or so he was doing chores.]
Fri. Feb. 28: Fine. I did my Saturday work today as I expect Jessie Stewart tomorrow I was down to call on Mrs. Alexander this afternoon. We went Virgil Adgen to a special tonight with Mr. Potter’s people got back 11:30.
[Some sort of special program, probably through the church.]
Sat. Feb. 29: Fine. Jessie Stewart came this morning and stayed all day. Her father came after her tonight we went down on the flat and rode with Walter up to where they were sawing wood. Mother telephoned they were coming tomorrow and Edd DuMond and Mabel VanAkin.
[It was leap year.]