I loved 'my family' at Mrs B's house. There was harmony in the lower levels and wonderful appreciation from the upper one. But word reached me through the grapevine that there was a job available that would fit my future better. So on my day off I traveled to Long Island That was an endless trek and I hardly remember how I got there. I know I began from Princeton Junction,and then it was train and subway and even a bus. When I got to the house I was aiming for I was hired in the first five minutes.
My days as kitchen maid were over. I became in those minutes a practical nurse.
The lady of the house had a sister who was crippled by 'thinning of the bones' We now call it 'osteoporosis'. There were fractures in her vertebrae. She could not walk. My job would be to bring her breakfast from the kitchen. I would dress her and help her in the bathroom and take her to a lovely space in the garden where she could have her lunch or listen to me read with my Swedish accent or she could take a nap. I would be her ladie's maid or her constant shadow. My pay would now be more than doubled.
Their chauffeur picked me up in Princeton. The new household consisted of Mr.and Mrs W, the sister Mrs.T and the usual number of servants. This time there was a butler. It was a pleasant job for me and Mrs T and I got along very well. I was totally out of touch with the servants, since I ate with Mrs T and spent 99% of my time with her. When she slept there was washing and other chores. The chaimber maid changed her bed and cleaned her room. This lasted for nearly a year. Mrs T died in her sleep. It was autumn. The days were gray and our feelings were gray. I had grown to love Mrs T. The MD finally told all of us that it was a stroke that killed her. At least she did not have additional pain.
A few days later Mrs W told me that her sister had asked her to give me $2.000 and her knitting needles when she died. I shed a tear of gratitude for now I had enough money to really think about my future. And I still have some of the knitting needles.