Sunday, January 26, 2014

Diary of a Nebraska farm wife, 1938-1960


At one time writers would give almost anything for a good source. Today with the internet, first person sources are almost forgotten. They still seem to be the very best when used to come up with the old - what it was really like.
I have been interested the past few weeks as two of the blogs that I follow are doing one sentence journals. I really enjoy reading these and it struck me that this was much like keeping an old time daily diary. Our family is lucky in that one of my Grandmothers kept a journal. Many years after she had passed a cousin typed and made a hard copy and an electronic copy available for all the grandkids.

Her diary pages start January 1, 1938 and end with her last entry, Christmas Day 1960. From 1938 through 1951 the diaries are very complete with postings all but a few days. As she got older and her health started to fail she posted fewer times and by 1960 she only wrote 18 entries.

But what she left behind is fascinating. She leaves quite a glance into rural life and likely the life of farm wives all over America. From the diaries I know she loved movies, playing cards, quilting and embodying. She worked hard every day and relaxed in the evening listening to Lux Radio Theater.

 I marvel at the amount of work she did each day. She was born in 1885 and died in 1969 and paints a remarkable story of her life for the middle and latter part of that time period. With only a sentence or two, every day, she left an indelible print of the life she lived.

My next post will give you an idea of what her life was like for a January week in 1938. Her one sentence journals -
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