That fall and winter were filled with my usual activities. I often went horseback riding with my brother-in-law Sank Norvell. He had been very busy at Simmons Hardware, but Mr. Simmons' sons were almost out of college and their father wanted then prepared to take over the business. Sank sometimes would ask me to ride with him as soon as he could get away from work. We would ride in the park for an hour or more and talk over his "trouble" or my beaus, Holliday Wear and John Boyle. On a Saturday we sometimes rode into the country to the Laughlins who had a lake and a cottage. Sank tried for a political job, City Counselor, or some civic position - just anything but hardware. I would tell of my discouragement over my painting. I went riding with girl friends and driving with Holliday Wear. I attended the theater with all three of the men who enjoyed that kind of an evening, Arthur Corbitt (or Corbett?), Holliday Wear, and John Boyle was by far the most interesting one. However, none of them ever really thrilled me. I just liked having men friends who I hoped would always be friends.
Christmas holidays cane and went without anything out of the ordinary. In 1902 mother and I spent a good deal of time sewing. We had found a good seamstress who came two or more days a week. I helped make dresses for mother, letting the seamstress do all the main sewing and hand tucks while I did much of the planning and fitting. They were happy times. One day my dear mother was so pleased over a dress I had planned and worked on that she kissed me and said, "Lucy, you have done more sewing for me than I ever did for you."
One dress we made for me that spring was a blue chambray. This was a pattern dress we had bought in Switzerland together in 1899. It had imitation hand embroidered design of Edelweiss in white at the hem of the long skirt, and other embroidered pieces for the waist and sleeves. Though we had bought it two years before, it was in better style now than then. This turned out fairly well and it was one of my best dresses for the New Orleans visit.
About this time a decision had to be made about what church mother and I would attend. My father had stopped going to the Presbyterian church where he was an Elder, and took no interest in West Presbyterian Church which mama and I sometimes attended. I wanted to see my friends once more before giving up the old church, so I went to a picnic with the boys and girls of Dr. Brooks' church of my childhood. We went to Forest Park which had a hillside of soapstone. This soft stone was in strata of pink and white, easily broken off. The boys knocked off pieces with a stick and brought them to a shady place where we were spreading the lunch. They made hearts and various objects, cutting the soft stone with a pen knife. Connor Witherspoon cut a heart for me with a violet on one side which I kept until he married Mae Houston. Soapstone Hill was completely destroyed when much of Forest Park was taken for the World's Fair of 1904. May and Vi Houston and the Bates Girls, Ellen and Bertha, and Nell Fischer were my friends on this outing. Margaret Grier was a bit older than the others. She was a beautiful brunette. My brother Leonard was very fond of her. I think he was on this picnic. Len also liked Elvira Houston. Vi had made up her mind that she wanted my brother, and he was working hard to rise in the hardware business. Their friendship went on for a long time until they married in 1907 (?). I lost track of all the boy friends I had at the old church except Bob Grier who was a friend of Bert Bushnell. The one girl I kept up with among those just mentioned was Bertha Bates. She and I have been friends for over eighty years. She visited me after I was married and I visited her in Sicily thirty-four years after she married a charming Sicilian gentleman.
Now I have gone ahead of my story - so back to the decision mother and I made about church. We attended West Presbyterian Church which was within walking distance of 5447 Cabanne. Mother kept up with some of her friends at Dr. Brooks' church who were interested in the same charities. After a year or two I taught a Sunday School class at West Presbyterian.