60 degrees at high noon. Hail at 1pm and snow showers at 3pm. Mother Nature’s April fool day joke, I wondered.
So I turned to see what the day brought in another year and picked up my well-worn copy of A Midwife’s Tale The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 by the brilliant historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. Ballard, a midwife, lived on the river in Hallowell, Maine and thankfully Ulrich found her diary and brought it to us.
April 1806, Ballard writes:
1 3 At home
Clear and spring like. Grew cold at Evening. Snowed some. I have been at home. Irond my clothes &C.
2 4 At home
Clear and very Cold……. got up some wood for us. I have wound 3 skeins hoes yarn, wound & double 3 ditto
As the first of each entry, the weather is a constant character.
Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher, A Midwife’s Tale The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 (Vintage Books, New York, 1991), p.286.
[…] the internet, but she must have been keenly attuned to the seasons, and perhaps kept a diary like Martha Ballard. By now, Abigail might have twinned her pea shoots up a trellis, and put her onions, potatoes and […]