My great-grandmother, Lydia Jane Hart Hall, was born in the Hart family homestead in Durham, Connecticut on March 22, 1841.
Lydia has kept me company for the past few years as I immersed myself in her journals and in other stories about the farm on Whirlwind Hill. I have come to admire and love Lydia’s perceptive and quiet way of observing the world around her. To celebrate her birthday I’ll let the elegance of her own words speak for her.
The first piece is a 1912 letter she wrote to her mother, Lydia Reed Hart, who was unable to be with her daughter on her birthday. The second is her diary entry from her eightieth birthday on March 22, 1921.
When I refer to her in “On Whirlwind Hill,” I call her Lydia, but those closest to her called her Jane.
March 22, 1912
My dear Mother,
The twenty-second day of March, and you well know what happened seventy-one years ago. I think the blue birds are not singing as much this morning as Father said they were then. These years that have passed – many seem short to both of us to look back, but long to look ahead.
The years of my childhood, the years spent with you and father, John and Walter, in the old home, are very very peasant to recall. Your tender watchful care, and all the years of my married life when we could have your presence with us, the many times your loving fingers have helped me over rough places. All these things and more than tongue can tell leads my heart to go out to you with much love and affection. I hope you are feeling well. I wanted to come and see you today, but couldn’t…
When it comes a little warmer and the traveling gets better, I am in hopes to come over and spend a night with you. Hope you will keep well and be careful not to fall. Keep warm. Hope you may not have any cold…
William joins with me in love to you. Also Ellsworth.
Your loving daughter,
March 22, 1921 – “Not quite as warm this morn. Bluebirds and robins singing. Spring is really here. The yards are looking green. This is my birthday. Eighty years have passed with its joys and sorrows. I have loved my home and my friends. My family with my husband, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are very near and dear to me. May God bless them and keep them.” – Lydia Jane Hall
Happy Birthday Lydia Jane!
On Wednesday: Spring Cleaning