Letter from grandmother to mother
10 P.M. December 22, 1959
Before I close my eyes to-night I’m going to get off a letter to tell you how thrilled I am even at the prospects that “you might get down in Feb.” Having a definite date to dream about makes weeks going faster and easier, anyhow. So we’ll dream and pray the dream may become a reality. How you all have earned it we know. Don’t be afraid of disappointment for me if it doesn’t work. Think of the JOY if it does!
Also very much relieved to know Bill can come with you since I know how you feel about flying. I was thrilled to death. Carolyn said: “I have goose pimples all over me from you even reading it.” (She’s the same old Carolyn!) She is terribly hopeful, Charlie too. Though I haven’t seen them long this week. I’m nursing a cold – but feel fine to-day.
Naturally I appreciate your letters – every one is precious. I’ll send every one back for a record. You will keep them at the log house or where? Be sure they are safe. [Linda note: And, they were. Again, here I am 50 years later working with them.] They are priceless. I wish we had two records – to be sure. That’s how I value them all. Have more packed in a box ready to ship right after Xmas when budget is stronger. People are holding out – not paying. Not buying either! But those letters must be preserved carefully somewhere.
These reports of the struggles up the mountain are terrific. It frightens me to read when I think of those turns this summer. I never did like that narrow road by Mud Lake where we got stuck that time. I don’t see how you know where you are half the time. Anyhow there you just have to hug the side of the hill and you know you are safe.
Though, honey, I pray hard for God to send protecting angels to show you the way and keep you. I know he does. I know he will. You must trust God when you are alone there, Mil, as far as humans are concerned, for God is with you, if you trust and call on him.
The experience the other night was terrific, but you were protected then, I know.
Please, please do not walk around the cabin in the snow when you are alone, — without Bill. Suppose you fell in the snow? Stay put with the children, please. Only a few weeks left to go! You may never again have such joyous weeks of companionship with the children as you can have now. They grow up so fast. They fly away so far!!
And don’t forget it either. “Love them while you have them, dear.”
Weren’t their conversations normal and cute and “right” after the session! On the road the other night!
I think they are just wonders! And you and Bill are unbelievable!
May it be a Happy 1960 for you!
I don’t see how you get by on the tight budget. I hate myself these days for being so stupid money-wise. I really do. You MUST get that book out in near future while Alaska is still in the air! [How does 50 years later do?] A summer project for you perhaps. It will work out in your mind, when you get that title in your hand.
When I saw those lovely snapshots again I was taken back quickly to the happy days there last summer. Even the cottage at the top of the hill looked cute and natural. Oh what a place. All for a road. Yet if there was a good road, the crowd would run up as you saw last summer. A good Jeep with right gadgets on tires for Bill is the answer. Then let the others find ways up too.
Anyhow I love you all for your faith, courage and pluck. You would never imagine that you could do all this that anyone could, until you have proved it to yourselves.
I’m gong to send off a wee practical New Year’s box to you – with this and that. May come in handy – whether at Homestead or at Log House!
My bestest present in the world will be the “Xmas Book.” Tell them so. I have it on display in the Study on top of the Bookcase where I put the cards this year. I showed it off, page by page, to my little 3rd grader who comes once a week for help on her reading. She liked it too. I showed it to C and C. “C” wanted to know about your notes earlier of the Homestead. It’s good, Mil. I shall write to each one about it all. But, the combined gift was a great thought. It is a real Xmas Book! [Linda note: All four of us made grandma a book this winter.]
You must do some more sketches for me to keep, if you feel like it. I never could do any, so appreciate them all the more. You got the perspective just right with rolling hills and background mountains. Even the reins. Do more sometime.
But more graphic and vivid are your “word pictures,” Mildred, of these experiences and the scenery and the silence. It just brings me close to share it all with you. How that tractor works at all I do not know. How you all “make it” in open trailer, I do not know at all, at all. Oh if I only knew you had enough fuel, enough wood; no leaks! If I only knew you could get up and down safely, I’d be happy as a bird. How can those adorable little sports walk in that snow?
I’m enclosing a piece clipped from Examiner to-night that says that “Exposure, Exertion Produce No Colds.” They come from germs or from cold feet. It says “Chilling brings on the common cold.” So watch those 2 pairs of stockings. Hope and pray they did not get sick from those 3 hours Tuesday night. Will mail little box of Lipton’s soup (package) to-morrow for the warm-up times when you get home! How WONDERFUL you all are! This paper explains so well about colds. That’s why everybody is sick with Flu Bug again this week – going around schools and to homes. Carolyn was going to have Grace, Elsie, Marietta and friends in this evening, but Grace called this A.M. to say her whole family was sick in bed with the flue germ – So you see what “crowds” do.
Anyhow I pray it will not happen again. If I think you had wood etc. and even beans, rice and soup – I won’t worry if Bill doesn’t get home every night.
But darling stop the straining to hear. Stop gong out like that to look and to see. That’s what will chill you; and wear you down. It’s not safe – and brings him no sooner. You must keep well and happy mentally. It’s bad enough when your old tractor breaks down, but don’t worry about it while it is running. Know what I mean?
Also – I got “stuck” in the snow in front of our house when it was “waist-deep” that night. I couldn’t move one way or the other. Stay in shoveled paths. Keep John and children right near you.
Oh Mil just think this won’t be for the whole long winter – that’s bright to think about. It’s temporary isolation. But I wouldn’t go up and down any oftener than I could help – just to save wear on the tractor etc.
I know how hard it must be on you to be isolated with the children. Oh I wish you had a rag rug going on – now – for a project – while you wait at night – and cannot have bright lights to read by. Thankful radio works. Never think about that. I was so thrilled over it. Remember I mentioned that this summer?
“Waiting” is the hardest job in the world I guess for us. It takes “Patience” all the while.
Sleep as much as you can while they sleep. Do not see how you can relax, and worry over Bill. Any chance on him rigging up a “walkee-Talkee”? He could talk from bottom of mountain if he couldn’t get up all the way.
What about the Thomas? How often does he get home? Are they using dog sleds?
Your Christmas Poem is grand. I read it every day. I’m going to make a typed copy of it to return to you. I want to keep the original. Oh Mil, you’ll have all my old letters. And I liked to go back and read them to know what happened last April, May etc. You MUST get it all fixed up when they get back to school. One month at a time! So much to talk about when you get down, dear.
“We’ll Really Celebrate,” Carolyn says. And of course I do too!
Glad for Bill’s overtime. Glad you have the radio when you are alone and children sleep. But they say that sleep and rest keep you young and beautiful – so keep the children’s sleeping hours. You’ll be less lonely too. Bill can wake you, you now! Better than having you worn out with worry, darling.
How Bill manages to handle those machines I do not know. He is a wonder. He is paying a stiff price, with you, for that homestead. But I guess that this fight with snow is better than with rushing waters.
Thank God for the school routine. That keeps children occupied. Glad for it. Hope the teachers appreciate the struggle and make allowances. Probably do not. People!
Going to court in morning as witness in a divorce case for wife of a doctor here in Pasadena. She has been a client for a year. Perhaps I told you. He certainly is a [can’t read word] and openly lived and lives with another woman, who was her friend, and a member of her church. People! So I’d better stop writing and get to sleep. Case comes up at 9 o’clock.
Almost Christmas now. Praying all are well and safe and warm. Then my Christmas will be completely happy. We must trust and have faith – and pray that all will be well for the few weeks ahead. My dears how happy I’ll be IF it can ever be that the trip works out. But you have until May 7th, even if you don’t get all your time in now. Each day – we’ll do the best we can. We can [sic] do more.
Tell John I ran out of yarn for his sock. Bought more yesterday, will madly knit more socks, I guess. I have the yarn. Please tell me the measured length for socks they wear (each one). Carolyn says this pair will be too small for John, but I got the measurement from the woman in the department store stocking section. Tell me the truth about these socks, please.
One week more and it’s January 1st! A month out of the way? I hope!
I know and can see in my mind’s eye those shining faces in the cabin on the top of the mountain. If I only had a thousand dollars for us now – or even five hundred!
But all the money can’t bring health, happiness, or love. Let’s hold those and we can get the money.
May 1960 be Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous. Love and kisses, loads to all – from Mother