Sunday, August 22, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
We were delighted when a messenger brought aboard a Special delivery letter from Sister this morning. A believer in Palmistry would say “I told you so.” Now we can go on to Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida - where we are to teach in a “Y” Camp, without anxiety. If we start to-day, it will mean two nights and one day’s travel to reach Jacksonville our first stop. If we take an early train to-morrow morning we can go through in one night and two days. We choose the latter and to-night we are at the Herald Square hotel, near to the depot.
Monday, June 7, 2010
To-day all is expectancy. We are told that we will reach port to-night. People are packing and hurrying hither and thither to look after the inevitable “last things” getting ready to land.
People were restless and disappointed when the day wore on and we did not reach New York until after sun down and our landing was delayed until morning. The Philadelphia passed Fire Island about one hour ahead of the La Touraine.
We anxiously watched to see the Goddess of Liberty and the lights of Coney Island were welcome.
We are grateful for the privilege and enjoyment of the trip, but our return is best voiced by Van Dyke -
“’Tis fine to see the old world and travel up and down,
Among the famous palaces and cities of renown,
To admire the crumbly castles and the statues of the Kings,
But now I think I’ve had enough of antiquated things.
So it’s home again, and home again, America for me!
My heart is turning home again, and there I long to be.
In the land of youth and freedom, beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight, and the flag is full of stars.”
Sunday, June 6, 2010
To-day our adventure is given another phase. The day is bright and the surface of the sea seems calm, but there is evidently some under current or deep swell, which set our boat violently rocking early this morning. The sky line keeps frantically moving up and down to keep pace with the boat. We had side-boards on our table at breakfast to keep the food from resting in our laps.
I have settled down in my steamer chair, wrapped in my steamer rug, to write letters ready to mail when we reach New York, which we hope will not be later than to-morrow night or Tuesday morning. I scarcely dare raise my eyes from my paper - but by writing, writing with the swing of things and keeping my mind on other things, I do not seem to mind it so much. Had my lunch on deck.
A waggish friend who seems proof against all discomforts, punctuates my letter frequently with the song -
“My breakfast lies over the ocean
My dinner lies under the sea;
My supper is all in commotion
Oh, bring back the dry land to me!”
At ten o’clock this morning we sighted the French liner La Touraine sailing from Havre and it is an interesting topic as to which vessel will reach New York first. We are far out from land yet, but we are nearing the end of our long journey. We have enjoyed every minute of the trip. We will soon forget all the discomforts and only the joys will remain. The friendships formed will be treasured and we are loth to say good bye to friends who have shared the pleasures and inconveniences of two months of travel.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
We have another fine day, but the wind is very strong. We have been out one week to-day. I wonder if the men, who one time watched a tree-top drift down the river and caught a fore-gleam of an ocean steamer, if in his wildest flights of imagination, ever even dreamed what a great ocean palace of to-day would be like!
I was through a part of the steerage quarters the other day, on my way to the hospital to assist in preparations for Mrs. McKay’s funeral and I was not pleased with living conditions. Surely things could be put in a more sanitary condition and the passengers themselves could help keep it so. I talked with a Belgian and his wife who live in New York and are returning from a visit home. They had made the trip repeatedly and he had come over as a steerage passenger once and he gave me some interesting points. My sympathies are with the foreign born neighbors who are leaving war-torn, blood-swept Europe and coming to our shore. May America indeed prove to be the “Promised Land” of their hopes and dreams.
Friday, June 4, 2010
To-day is like living. A calm, beautiful sea. Everybody is on deck smiling and happy and we are able to move about, promenade, etc. and be comfortable.
A Palmist from London going to America, offered to give some readings this forenoon to help swell the fund for the orphans. In a spirit of fun, I allowed her to read my palm (the first time in my life). She sketched the past, commented on the present and gave some startling things for the future, all of which I accepted as fun. I told her the one thing on my heart was to know how the home folks were - that I had missed connection with my mail in Paris. She assured me that everybody was all right and that I should have no undue concern about them. This part I mean to believe.
I dressed for dinner to-night, and felt fine afterwards. Enjoyed sitting on deck and watching the stars.
Truly - “The night has a thousand eyes
And the day but one;
Yet the light of a whole world dies
With the dying sun.
The mind has a thousand eyes
And the heart but one,
Yet the light of a whole life dies
When love is done.”
Thursday, June 3, 2010
I have been down to breakfast and am back in my steamer chair on deck. I have a most attentive table waiter who tells me “I eat for a bird” but I am not sick and that is the main thing to consider just now.
It is still rough and cold. I think I could be classed as belonging to almost any one of the 20 nationalities on board, judging from appearances. Foreign wind and sun have certainly left their mark. There is a little Jewess on board who has come all the way from Palestine alone, and is going to New York to meet her fiance, and be married. She comes around to our party every day to visit, and we all feel sorry for her. She is a little “bundle of nerves,” so lonely and has been sick. It was a big undertaking for her to come so far, we hope the man in the case is deserving of such devotion.
We had a very interesting echo meeting of the World’s Convention. Our Japanese friends attended and were in good spirits.
The concert given for the benefit of Sea-man’s orphans was not very well attended. So many were sick.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
It is still rough and the sea is “choppy,” with a cold wind. But we will soon be out of the trade winds and then we will expect smooth sailing. We have gone out of our course to avoid the strong current of the Gulf Stream flowing in an opposite direction from what we want to go.
I have watched the men taking the temperature of the water as they direct our course. They let down a little leather bucket, bring it up and drop in a thermometer. Mr. Drummond looks me up every day and he is a good traveling companion. Met two Y.M.C.A. men to-day, one of them conducts our Song-fests each evening. There are many delightful people on board.
I have learned that if I am to escape sea-sickness I must avoid the close rooms inside and live on deck in the open air as much as possible, but I am sorry to miss so much of the good music, but of “two evils I am choosing the least.”
We have two youthful violinists (I am not sure of their nationality) aboard, that it is a treat to hear them play.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
To-day we have a high wind and heavy sea and our progress seems very slow. Many of our party are sick. I am standing it fine! Take my meals on deck (I dare not try to go below). I seem very tired, I think it is the reaction after our strenuous weeks of travel. I am resting and relaxing in preparation for some hard work awaiting me in Florida.
There are pleasant people on board and I have made some agreeable acquaintances. We have a good library on board and I am reading a good deal while it is so rough.
The Philadelphia is not nearly so good a boat as the Lapland that carried us over - not so steady, and accommodations are not so good. But our faces are turned toward home and we do not mind.
This morning the wind has fallen and the sea is calm, but our boat is not so smooth as the Lapland that carried us over. It is very cold and we have again put on our winter woolens etc.
Was surprised to see in the list of passengers, the name of Mr. James Drummond following mine. He looked me up to-day. He is a Scotchman from Glasgow, going to America. He is very bright and entertaining, was a soldier in the late war and twice wounded. Do not think we are immediately related, but probably both families earlier, descended from the same line, as his people originally came from Perth.
We had a death on board ship last night. A Mrs. McKay from Idaho, an old lady who had been to France to visit the grave of her son, suffered a stroke of apoplexy. At 8-30 P.M. we buried [her] at sea. The Rev. Mr. Pierce spoke from the text “And the sea shall give up its dead.” I assisted in the special music. The red streams of light from the setting sun, extended far out over the water and we will never forget that service. To me the water is a more preferable grave than the earth. One of the nurses said - “I have given my life to the sea, and here is where I want to be buried. It is the most beautifully jeweled grave in the world.”
Sunday, May 30, 2010
A high cold wind, and the sea is rough. Many are not feeling well. Services were held in the dining room, but I did not leave the deck. At 5 o’clock we had a very touching Memorial service on deck, conducted by a Y.M.C.A. leader, Rev. Pierce and a Catholic priest. The sea had grown calm and the sun was low. We sang America, Rev. Pierce and the priest gave short addresses, and a beautiful wreath of roses and rhododendrons was cast out upon the waves by the Y.M.C.A. man in memory of our boys. Singing of the Star Spangled Banner completed the service.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Up early to write letters and complete preparations for leaving. Off for Cherbourg - an all day ride over not very interesting country - reaching there about 5 P.M. The train ran down to the pier and again we show passports etc. Some little irregularity is found and two of our party from Canada, who have been with us during all our tour are not allowed to leave France.
A small boat took our party of 30 and all baggage out of the harbor to where the Philadelphia was anchored and we were soon aboard, with our faces turned homeward.
Eight or ten of our original party, who had taken different tours had boarded the vessel at Southampton and were ready to welcome us as we came aboard.
It all seemed like a long, beautiful dream and we could scarcely believe that it was very real and that we had realized our life-dream. There was one regret. We did so much want to go to Italy!
We found our steamer chairs had all been engaged and our places at table. We had first sitting and our party all arranged together.
Friday, May 28, 2010
This morning we go to look for the grave [of] Lafayette. After a long ride and search we found it in such an out of the way place, with nothing to indicate that a cemetery lay behind those convent walls. An old fashioned grave, with a flat grave stone. Upon it was a wreath in bronze, with this autographic inscription “To this great Lafayette from a fellow servant of liberty, Woodrow Wilson” The parents of Lafayette and other members of the family also are buried here, and some family connections.
We went to a church on one of the highest points of Paris to get the view, but were five minutes too late to go up in the tower.
After lunch we packed and then went to the Magazin De Louvre, the largest store in Paris and finished my shopping. To-morrow we start for America and I will not be able to see one thing I was quite anxious to see, and that was the weaving of tapestry. We had hoped to visit the Gobelin weavers, but there is not time. Mrs. Richard recited the poem once since we came beginning -
“Let us take to our hearts a lesson - no lesson can braver be -
From the ways of the tapestry weavers on the other side of the sea.
Above their heads the pattern hangs, the study it with care;
The while their fingers deftly move, their eyes are fastened there.
They tell this curious thing besides of the patient plodding weaver
He works on the wrong side evermore, but works for the right side ever.
It is only when the weaving stops, and the web is loosed and turned
That he sees his real handiwork, that his marvelous skill has learned.
At the sight of its delicate beauty, how it pays him for all his cost!
No rarer, daintier work than his was ever done by the frost.
Then the master bringeth him golden hire, and giveth him praise as well,
And how happy the heart of the weaver, no tongue but his own can tell.
The years of man are the looms of God, let down from the place of the sun,
Therein we are weaving ever, till the mystic web is done.
Weaving blindly, but weaving surely, each for himself his fate -
We may not see how the right side looks, we can only weave and wait.
But looking above for the pattern, no weaver hath need to fear,
Only let him look clear into heaven, the Perfect Pattern is there.”
Thursday, May 27, 2010
To-day we have set apart to visit the Louvre. We wrote letters, ate breakfast of rolls, cocoa and unsalted butter, then more letters and Miss H. and I were off for the Louvre, and were the first there at 9A.M. We seemed to walk miles through the long hallways, lined with the finest of statuary, bronzes and paintings. A few of the noted ones were Raphael’s Holy Family, and the same by De Vinci, Mona Lisa, Reni’s Mary Magdalene, Murillo’s Immaculate Conception and the group Mary, Elizabeth, Jesus and John. Van Dyck’s King Charles let. - Ruben’s Triumph of Religion and Adoration of the Magi, Rembrandt’s pictures of himself, including his last which showed the dissipated face, Millet’s Angelus. Shepherdess and Little Shepherdess, and the Venus De Milo statue by Phidias the Greek sculptor.
Many students were sketching and painting. We watched one copying Mona Lisa, not that we care for Mona Lisa but was interested in the weird smile and story of the theft. We were told that some students had waited as long as 14 years, for the opportunity to copy some noted picture they loved, and often their hand had lost its cunning before the coveted opportunity came. We would like to spend days here and study, but to-day I grew very tired. Longed to go farther but was forced to go out in the Tuilleries and rest. We could look no more to-day.
After lunch a Chinese friend of Miss H. drove us to the American Express office to get some money changed. The place was crowded and a long line waiting. We found a friend in the person of an American soldier boy at the desk who favored his country women first and we were not obliged to stand in line, for which we were grateful.
Did some shopping before dinner. Paris is a city to be loved and admired. There is a strange charm about the place and enchantments of the past. Had a pleasant evening at our hotel.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
This morning we went to Versailles. Wish I could give a picture of the shady avenues of trees, and the smooth road for miles and miles. In fact all the way, paved with wood blocks. We saw our first double-decked steam cars on the way. The wonderful road from Paris to Versailles, together with the leveling of terraces etc. required the work of 30 000 men and 60 000 horses to build.
The great palaces erected here by Louis XIV is not as imposing on first approach as one might expect. The great court is paved with cobble-stones and one can easily imagine the great processions and mounted guards that used to be seen here. The palace cost over 1000 000 000 francs and was 15 years in building. We have no words to describe the grandeur of the interior. The finest of Gobelin tapestries, bronzes, marbles, paintings, and furniture inlaid with precious stones are here.
The Hall of Mirrors where the Peace Treaty was signed - the rooms of the Vanquished King, all gave evidence of the extravagant taste of the owner.
The grounds were even more interesting than the interior of the palace. The grotto, the fountains, the drives, the miniature lakes, the secluded wood (like fairy-land) intended for the King to wander and meditate when burdened by questions of State etc.
We visited the small palace erected for Marie Antoinette and the stables where she kept her cows etc. When she was tired of the pomp of royal life she would come here for awhile and enjoy the simple life. Visited also the Temple of Love where she served tea etc. No wonder the infuriated people resorted to beheading people in order to gain their liberty! In the afternoon we drove for hours over the beautiful city of Paris with its points of interest at every turn. We went to the church which was struck by the Big Bertha on Good Friday and over 100 men women and children killed. Visited Notre Dame and saw the wonderfully carved doors. There were beggars everywhere.
The tomb of Napoleon will always stand out in memory. The funeral carriage which brought his remains from St. Helena, the original stones which covers the grave there, the death mask, the graves of his generals, and many, many things that told of past glory.
How we wish we spoke French! One could get so much more out of everything. We remember the old lady who grew so confused over the babel of tongues she heard in Paris, that at length she heard a chicken crow and joyfully exclaimed “Thank Goodness! I have heard a little of my own English at last.”
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
To-day for the battle fields. Our usual early hour for rising and off in charabancs at 7-30. We left Paris by the Patin gate over the old Roman road leading from Paris to Metz. These Roman roads have lasted through the centuries because of their massive construction. The Romans built four successive layers, on an earth sub grade, carefully prepared and drained. The foundation and upper surface consisted of large flat stones, while the two intervening layers were built of smaller stone laid in a lime mortar or cement.
Beautiful trees, covered with mistletoe line the avenues. Many were cut down by the Germans for spite. At Manx we were shown the old cathedral that at one time had been the scene of a conflict between Protestants and Catholics where the former broke the heads off all statuary on the outside.
Passed a cemetery of English graves where no care had been taken and Lucy - Lo - Bogage, shelled by American army to get Germans out. A crucifix in a church stood unharmed while everything else was destroyed.
With great interest we approached Belleau Wood. The name has since been changed by the French government to Bois de Marine in honor of the American soldiers. We passed a German and French cemetery and at the latter our driver got out and went to it and stood with uncovered head.
At Belleau Wood 2800 Americans rest in a beautiful grassy plot on a sunny hillside with graveled walks, regular rows of white crosses, each carefully marked. Jewish boys had a star added to their cross.
We had such an indescribable sense of depression as we looked about and saw what a small section of country had been the scene of such a great conflict. A huge boulder just above the cemetery on the hillside, inscribed - “Second Division American, June 26 - 1918” marked the last stand of the Germans.
Below and around is a peaceful scene of field, forest and shadow leading down to the valley of the Aisne. The French caretaker, in his little hut near by had an alphabetical list of every grave, so that any one is easily located. Our party had no difficulty in finding any grave they knew to be here.
A little white cottage near was marked Hostess House and occupied by two bright faced American girls, one from Maine and one from Mass. The cottage was built last December by German prisoners and they came in, a month later. They will spend the summer and they know not how much longer. “Come in and look us over - was their greeting - we heard you were coming.” Everything was neat and carefully arranged and gave a suggestion of home.
There was barbed wire in every place and we crept in among some of it to pluck a poppy. Belleau Wood was all destroyed, although we do not see such wholesale destruction as we saw in Belgium a short time ago. We drove on to Chateau Thiery, which made a drive of 75 miles for the day.
Chateau Thiery was named from a royal chateau just above the town, on a height which was a very strategic position and one of immense importance. There were underground passages coming out under the river 10 kilometers away. It was a splendid site to repel attack and the Germans were in possession and it required hand to hand fighting to dislodge them. The German machine gun was planted in the tower of the town hall. We had luncheon in a wing (that had not been destroyed) of the Swan hotel, on the Main St., in what had been “No man’s Land.”
We entered the town on one side of the river, where the town hall stood and crossed to the other side on a temporary bridge to our hotel. This bridge was destroyed and a group of Americans cut off. They crept along the river to another bridge and just got over, when it too, was destroyed.
Not the least interesting was the Marne river. It looked very narrow to us. We remembered reading “A Hill top on the Marne” written by an American woman who but a short time before the war broke out, had taken a chateau to pursue her literary work, and refused to vacate. The story has new interest now, and I’ll read it again when I get home.
Great fields of yellow mustard and sweet wild roses on the hill-sides gave little evidence of the great conflict waged here so recently. Along the roads, French women were gathering brush-wood for fuel and to make brushes to sell.
Our Charabanc had double tires - that is 8 wheels instead of 4.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Beautiful day! Walked though the shopping district and enjoyed the windows. After lunch took taxi and drove to the Parthenon and to see the Panorama of the late war. Wonderfully realistic. The different countries engaged in the late war are represented in groups, showing the generals, King or Pres. A monument to the unknown dead, with a figure in black kneeling beside it was the most life-like. Edith Cavell and many noted figures are in the background. The whole section of the war is portrayed. The picture was 15 yds. high and was the work of two French artists, who worked 3 years to complete it.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
We had a long walk to the Arch of Triumph and then to the American church and heard Chauncy Goodrich preach a simple gospel sermon, with gospel songs, closing with one verse of America and with the American flag draped all about, we breathed an atmosphere of home.
The Arch of Triumph is said to have cost over $3000 000, is 150 ft. high, 150 ft. wide and 96 ft. from the ground to the top of the arch.
Met an American woman who lived in Paris during the war who told us about the air raids and how they suffered for want of fuel. Coal was $50 a ton. We walked to the Madeline church (named for Mary Magdalene) and saw the fine carving. The Column Vendome, erected to Napoleon and made of captured cannon, is inscribed with all kinds of war implements. It is 140 ft. high with figure of Napoleon on top. It was erected in memory of his victory over Russia and Austria in 1805. Great preparations are under way for the observance of Memorial day. 500 000 francs have been raised to buy American flags to use on the graves of our soldier boys. At Aix Les Bains we met a Col. Waugh whose business it was to see that the cemeteries were well cared for etc.
We can merely touch upon the beauties of Paris.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
We were called at 5- breakfast at 5-30 leave at 6. We had fresh fruit served at breakfast - stems left on, and we lift it out with our fingers. When they serve ice cream it is put in a large dish and passed around and each one helps himself and we eat with tablespoons. The milk for our coffee is hot. We had Charabanc to depot and we watched the French way of switching cars with a horse. Long chain and hook used, and the horse pulls the car, then a big engine drags the car side wise to the track needed. We pass through Macon, Chalon, Sur-Saone, Chagny, the department of Nievre etc., etc. Two American soldier boys are on the train, one from Penn., the other from Oklahoma and we enjoy the visit with them. A little French boy, with a good voice entertained us by going to the different compartments and singing the French National air.
The country is not so interesting as the other countries where we have been. Our train is late and we reached Paris at 4-P.M. instead of 2-30 as scheduled.
Our party is divided and sent to two hotels, Ours is the St. James. A hurried wash and brushing and Miss H. and I go out for our first view of Paris. Fortunately we are less than 5 minutes walk from the Louvre and the garden of the Tuilleries, and the latter we go first to see. We are impressed with the bigness and the magnificence of everything. There are shady trees, beautiful walks and drives, inviting seats, fountains, miniature lakes and the greatest display of statuary I ever saw in one place. The great arch at the Eastern side adorned with figures in memory of the battle of Austerlitz and the loss of Alsace Loraine, has always been kept draped in heavy black until since the recent war.
The Egyptian pyramid, companion to the one in New York and the one in London, stands in the place of the Guilotine, where Mary Antoinette, Charlotte Corday and 3000 others were beheaded. It is hard to believe that at that time women took their work and sat calmly by and witnessed the massacre.
The great arch on the west of the Champs Elysees was built by Napoleon to commemorate his victories and glories and called the Arch of Triumph. It is the largest in the world and shows him being crowned, and different scenes, and gives a list of his victories and names of his generals.
Miss H. and I have been capital traveling companions, although we are so unlike in many ways. It was such a comfort to have a companion that always put the best possible interpretation on what one said or did, and to be understood without carefully weighing one’s words. Together we viewed the statuary - nude of course - and I tried to look learned and wise and said little. Finally we came to a representation of the Good Samaritan, and all three figures were nude - so long as it was only Gods and Goddesses it did not seem so much - but to choose that favorite bible theme and portray it in that fashion proved to be the proverbial “last straw,” and when we reached our room a good natured discussion followed. I really thing Miss H. felt much as I did only she was quietly waiting for the explosion she knew would come and enjoyed the outburst.
It is easy to account for the laxity of French morals. I am frank to say if to be educated means to admire and appreciate the nude in art, then my education is sorely lacking. - but as Samantha would say, “Anon.”
And can this be France? The land of song and story and romance! And beautiful Paris! So different from somber London! Perhaps the weather may make a difference in our atmosphere. There it was continual rain and we were in a chronic chill. Here it is sunshine and brightness and there is a buoyancy in the air we have not had before.
Friday, May 21, 2010
This morning we were called at 4-30, breakfast 5-15 and left hotel at 5-45. We had a short ride back to Cutoz where we changed cars for Lyons. It was a cloudy morning. Scenery not very good. Passing fields and fields of real poppies in bloom - Miss Leyborne read us the poem written by the Canadian physician, Col. John McCrae, beginning - “In Flanders Fields the poppies blow etc.” This section of France seems very, very old and not up to date. Roofs ready to fall in and everything in a general run down condition. Only the crimson poppies seem to be in the present, and grow even between the ties of the R.R.
At Lyons we find French soldiers in their blue uniforms guarding the bridges and depot. The city seems to be large, and full of life. I think it is the second largest city in France. We attract much attention on the streets as we unload at hotel.
We visited the Museum De Tissue and were shown all kinds of fine fabrics from the early day. Costumes worn by Empress Josephine etc., etc. and the looms used to weave the silk. We walked down to the boats on the Rhone river, where the women were washing on flat boards with a brush and coarse soap, rinsing in the river and hanging the clothes on the rails to dry. The clothes were very coarse and a bad color. Women lifted the tubs of water with little or no effort.
We are shocked at the “Comfort Stations” on the street for men and the drinking of the people. We met people from Pittsburg at our hotel and also another group of men were speaking English and were Americans. To-morrow we leave for Paris.