The Jervis McEntee Diaries - August 15, 1885

Diary Entry:

Saturday, Aug 15, 1885 The North wind blew this morning and this whole delightful day has been filled with the feeling of the coming autumn. I went down town on some errands before dinner. The streets were full of people in holiday dress and a great barge went out of the creek crowded with the people of the Catholic church. After dinner my father, Mary, Sara and little Dwight and I drove out to Mr. Jansens crossing the Kingston bridge and going out along the mountain. The country was green and charming, the road excellent and the air cool and bracing. On our return we gathered some cardinal flowers, yellow sun flowers and deep purple asters, green and fresh as the country looked there were many indications of the Autumn in the ripening weeds, the late flowers and the absence of the songs of birds. I have thought of my dear Gertrude so much during my visit to the mountains and again today. It was most gratifying to me to have Mrs. Wheeler speak so tenderly of her and to connect her memory with all that region and to speak of her as one who would not be forgotten by those who knew her. Often and often the startling reality that she is gone comes to me as a something I have never yet fully realized, for somehow I do have a sense of waiting in my thoughtful hours, for something I know now what but which always takes her image. I wonder if there is in all this wide world a woman at all like her. Life nor Immortality could never be complete to me without a reunion with her. I am sure of that. I have felt a little sad and troubled today looking a little way into the future and trying to make plans and to arrange to meet my obligations. I am anxious to hear from Fuller and from Mrs. Warren. It is more than a week since I sent Fuller his picture and I have not even heard if he has received it. I am always afraid that there will be some dissatisfaction for one never knows how ones work will be received. What a satisfaction it would be to be independent of these anxieties. I wrote to Hanna & Ives of Detroit this morning that I wanted my money and asked them to send it at once. I sent my letter to Mrs. Wheeler and wrote to a Mrs. Gilbert of Hartford who wishes some instruction, declining. The papers announcing the death in San Francisco of Mrs. Jackson (Helen Hunt) of cancer of the stomach. We met her in Rome and the last time I saw her I dined with her and the Bachelders in New York the year Mrs. Bachelder died, and so they go one by one. The friends and acquaintances of the days when life was full of companionship and before I knew much of sorrow. I often think now that I have literally no close companionship outside our own family and that when I go away for my sketching as I must by and bye, I must go alone. Whittredge and I ought to be more companionable than we are, but I am forced sadly to acknowledge to myself that we are no longer happy in each others companionship in our sketching. I suppose this is inevitable. He is full of his family cares and we are growing older, but it seems to me that I can release myself from personal cares easier than he can and that he is not as content with me as I am with him. I dread being alone in the secluded places where I find it necessary to go and the sense of loneliness and lack of companionship seriously interferes with my happiness when I go away from home on my sketching trips. I suppose I ought to cultivate younger people, but they do not fill the place of life long friendships.

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