Jervis McEntee Diaries

Wednesday August 18, 1886

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, August 18, 1886, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Wednesday, Aug 18, 1886 The children have thrown down the corn which Tom cut as they did last year in spite of my displeasure and admonition then. I went over and complained to Girard and he punished Charlie and Girard. I also went over to Woods and saw Mrs. Wood, but she, poor thing, is ill and Wood had been off and had not get up yet, but the children got away when they saw me come and Mrs. Wood [?] my errand. I dislike to make myself odious to the children and sometimes wonder if I am not too exacting, but the fact is the children are undisciplined and are most annoying. I have not as much patience with them as I wish I had. I went up to Kingston to see the dentist who fixed the tooth I broke yesterday, in a few minutes and would take no pay for it, so that was got along with much more easily than I feared. I awoke this morning with a quieter feeling and resolved I would try not to be troubled. My box of sketches came from N. Y. and I went over to my studio after dinner and opened it and made some preparations toward beginning a picture. Tom had finished drawing the winters supply of coal and had got the place all cleaned up and was shutting the window when one of the sides of the bin broke loose at the bottom and the coal all poured into the cellar drain. This utterly discouraged me. I had to go and change my clothes and help Tom get the thing repaired which involved shoveling over a great part of the coal, a great dust and a most disagreeable job. I was covered with dirt and Tom was black, but we finally got it secured, but it destroyed my serenity and made me unhappy, for I dislike to be obliged to do such dirty work and there is no one else to do it. I find my greatest worries are in anticipation. I see great demands in the future and no resources to meet them, but somehow I have got along thus far. There seems to me however a limit and I am always living in the fear that the limit is reached. Mary sprained her ankle this morning and is confined to her room, which is most unfortunate now that Sara is away. We had a letter from Sara today. Her train was half an hour late in Utica and the Waterville train had gone. It rained and she was obliged to wait several hours and then go to Waterville, but fortunately they met her there and she did not arrive at Janettes until 10 o'clock in the evening. Mr & Mrs Ed Tompkins called here yesterday. Lucy told me Mrs. Tompkins had received a letter from Laura asking if they had a nook to put her in as she wanted to come here "to see her dear old grandfather"! Was there ever greater persistence in any utterly foolish business. I presume that is one of the trials of the near future. Laura seems fated to make herself odious. I wrote to Kurtz today at Louisville asking him if my picture from Detroit had been sent there.

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