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[46]

Chapter 3: Newport 1879-1882; aet. 60-63

A thought for washing day

The clothes-line is a Rosary
Of household help and care;
Each little saint the Mother loves
Is represented there.

And when across her garden plot
She walks, with thoughtful heed,
I should not wonder if she told
Each garment for a bead.

A stranger passing, I salute
The Household in its wear,
And smile to think how near of kin
Are love and toil and prayer.

J. W. H.

July, 1879, found our mother at home at Oak Glen, unpacking trunks and reading a book on the Talmud. She had met the three married daughters in Boston ( “We talked incessantly for seven hours,” says the Journal), and Florence and Maud accompanied her to Newport, where Florence had established her summer nursery. There were three Hall grandchildren now, and they became an important factor in the life at Oak Glen. All through the records of these summer days runs the patter of children's feet.

She kept only one corner of the house for her private use; a room with the north light which she then thought essential. This was at once bedroom and workroom: she never had a separate study or library.

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