Dear Farmer's Wives:
Two years ago I suffered severely with a stroke of--no, not paralysis--discontent. I suffered as much as if I had had a much more serious ailment, to say nothing of what my family bore.
Yes, I was blue and discontented. I lamented my lot as a farmer's wife, a servant, a drudge, a "stick in the mud." Same old housework day after day! Nothing to strive for, nothing to win!
I railed at my good, farmer-lad husband until he--well, he won't quarrel, so he just stayed out of my way as much as he could. Finally, as much for his benefit as my own, he urged me to take a vacation. My work had been heavy all summer, he said, and I needed a change. Of course selfish pig that I was, I never stopped to think that his had been just as heavy and that he needed a rest as well as I. But after threshing I shoved the extra burden of cooking and housekeeping over on him, packed, and with the kiddies left for Cousin Maud's in the city.
I wanted to try city life. It was so alluring in books and stories. I wanted to see it--hear it,--live it.
Dear Readers, I'm glad I went. Did I have a good time?
Well, the first day, I stayed in bed all day with a sick headache because the noise from the street kept me awake most of the night after our arrival.
The second day, a darling little boy was run over by an automobile, directly in front of Cousin Maud's house. He was on his way to school--and was carried home, dying.
The third day, while Cousin Maud was away on an errand, the pale, little neighbor-woman, who had come out for a breath of air, wandered over to the porch, where I was sitting and told me her story.
An ex-school teacher, she was, who had to give up her work because she faced possible blindness. The stalwart young man, who loved her, took her to a tiny cottage in the suburbs where they were married and were so happy until a ghastly siege of inflammatory rheumatism left him helpless, a cripple, unable to use either limb. She struggled on, eking out a living for the two as long as she could and when their baby arrived, one little foot was a club foot--
"Oh," she said, "it has been hard, but we're so happy. You see, we've got each other--and we've got the baby."
The fourth day--I went home! And after the surprise was over, for we surely did surprise Daddy, and I had placed a hot beefsteak-supper on the table, I stood watching my big, healthy, ruddy-faced husband who looked so happy and so good to me, and my two little boys, with their fat, perfect legs dangling from the chairs, that were a trifle too high.
"Fool!" I said to myself. "Oh, worse than fool! 'Count your many blessings.' You didn't dream how many you had!"