Her diaries began when she was 19 years old and spanned approximately 80 years. It was very interesting to see the changes in society that formed the mood of these diaries. Prior to 1965, regular entries record weekly visits from friends and church members who came by for pie. Interspersed evenly with these are the words, "We went out for pie at Viola's (or Pansy's or Rose's) house for pie. Their husbands were named "Joe, Jim, Frank or Fred." Every day she recorded at least one sentence about the day. If she didn't go anywhere she noted that she had baked something or written a letter to her sister. These were not diaries used to express resentment or inner anxiety. They were for the record.
The first 40 years of these diaries gave a sense of innocent happiness, as she and her husband and children interacted with others in her community and the church. It seemed like they were often at each other's homes for pie! She often told where the pie was served: someones front porch, the kitchen, the living room. The adults played horse-shoes outside, in the summer. There was no need for youth groups in those days because everyone came to visit and they got their socialization within the families that intermingled so well. She also recorded a number of marriages that took place in the church where they served, and every baby that was born was given a brief write-up in the tiny daily spaces in her book. It made a kind of routine: visitors, wedding, dropping in on someone else, a baby being born, a recipe tried, ironing done, visitors, pie served, wedding, etc.
As we read further into the last 40 years, the tone of her diaries changed. There was a sadness expressed, without words. In the 1970's, instead of the usual, "Friends came over for pie tonight," the entries, for the first time, begin to sound rather depressing. She writes: "Mrs. C. came to visit and ask how she could get her son out of prison." "We went to call on Mr. B., whose teenage daughter is in trouble, " or something like: "Mr. J. came to see us because his son is on drugs."