April 19th Monday It rained very fast all day and
about noon the rain beat in the side lights
of the entry, and parlour windows had to take
back the carpet a little from our window put
dishes under the windows and caught a good
deal of water. Have cut down my Verbenas
and Petunias fixed a skirt of a dress for
A powerful Nor’easter storm beat into New England this day. Both Evelina and her father-in-law described the rain as “fast,” Oliver further elaborating that the rain came in sheets, “not in drops.”* Evelina (and Jane McHanna, most likely) had to deal with water coming in through the side light panels on either side of the outside door. They scurried, too, to pull back the carpet from the windows and put dishes on the floor to catch some of the water beating into the house.
The wind howled and “[t]he storm continued all day , a part of the time pritty fast,” reported Old Oliver. Everyone stayed indoors, no doubt, yet Evelina reports cutting back some of her plants, which suggests outdoor work. That couldn’t have happened on a day such as this, however, so perhaps the verbenas and petunias had wintered-over in pots inside the house, and it was those that she cut down.
Gardening was on her mind, of that much we can be sure. She prepared a skirt to wear outside when she was in her flower beds, probably “repurposing” an old dress for the task. Her handwriting was rushed and incomplete when she wrote the last sentence of today’s entry; she inadvertently omitted to cross the “x” in fixed, leading this editor to conclude that she had “fired” a skirt. Not so, thanks to a sharp reader who came up with the correct version.
* Image courtesy of Wikipedia, April 18, 2015