The Jervis McEntee Diaries - October 29, 1885

Diary Entry:

Thursday, Oct 29, 1885 I returned this forenoon from Shokan where Calvert and I went on the 19th. We staid at C. H. Widners an excellent place where we were most comfortable and I sketched along the brook near the house. The last time Whittredge and I were in Shokan in 1876 I think we sketched along the same stream where I had been some years before. Now all those picturesque places are utterly destroyed by successive freshets and the whole region is a tangled, desolated thicket. I could not have believed a place could so utterly have changed. Calvert was obliged to return to N. Y. last Sunday but he said he had never been in a place in the Kaatskills he liked better. Arthur Parton came there and spent a few days, he having been there before. I made eight or ten sketches, mostly bits in the woods and along the stream and had lovely weather most of the time. The Autumn color was past its height when we went and today when I left the leaves were pretty well blown off. It rained this morning and I came home though I had intended to stay until Saturday. I come home to great anxieties which indeed I could not quite keep down during my stay. Tom our man and Minnie our cook were married last Sunday and Sara has a new cook, a middle aged woman with a little girl and she has that responsibility with all her other cares. Sara has too much responsibility and it seems cowardly for me to feel cast down while she has so much to discourage her, but the look into the uncertain future with its certain demands and shadowy resources is something I cannot indulge in without the greatest apprehensions. My father seems as well as usual but he had a turn of great feebleness a week ago and alarmed Sara but he seems to have recovered from it. The going away to New York and leaving Sara alone here [?] anxiety to me. Indeed I never so much dreaded the winter as I do the coming one. Still I remember I had something of the same feeling last winter and yet I did more than my usual amount of work and my income was more than usual. I had a letter from Mary yesterday announcing the death of Booths mother. Lambdin wrote me my pictures in the Philadelphia Academy were admirably placed and that my "Clouds" had a conspicuous place in the large room and was very much liked by the whole committee. This at least is comforting. It is raining and the wind is blowing from the North but it is not cold. A cold wave is predicted.

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