Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). Theodore Roosevelt’s Letters to His Children. 1919.

Love for the White House

White House, May 28, 1904.


I am having a reasonable amount of work and rather more than a reasonable amount of worry. But, after all, life is lovely here. The country is beautiful, and I do not think that any two people ever got more enjoyment out of the White House than Mother and I. We love the house itself, without and within, for its associations, for its stillness and its simplicity. We love the garden. And we like Washington. We almost always take our breakfast on the south portico now, Mother looking very pretty and dainty in her summer dresses. Then we stroll about the garden for fifteen or twenty minutes, looking at the flowers and the fountain and admiring the trees. Then I work until between four and five, usually having some official people to lunch—now a couple of Senators, now a couple of Ambassadors, now a literary man, now a capitalist or a labor leader, or a scientist, or a big-game hunter. If Mother wants to ride, we then spend a couple of hours on horseback. We had a lovely ride up on the Virginia shore since I came back, and yesterday went up Rock Creek and swung back home by the roads where the locust trees were most numerous—for they are now white with blossoms. It is the last great burst of bloom which we shall see this year except the laurels. But there are plenty of flowers in bloom or just coming out, the honeysuckle most conspicuously. The south portico is fragrant with that now. The jasmine will be out later. If we don’t ride, I walk or play tennis. But I am afraid Ted has gotten out of his father’s class in tennis!