*Grandmother’s 3-19-1960 Letter to Mother

[letter from grandmother to mother]

Saturday, March 19, 1960

Dearest Mildred,

You wonderful, courageous people to try “walking” up and down to the homestead.  Can the children stand it?  I know you wouldn’t want to leave them alone with La Verne – even over nights – if you could help it.  I worried for fear you’d have to remain up there and not get down some day due to car trouble or illness or what not.  I do think I’d want to stick together and know all was well, if I were in your place.  Good mother, you are!  But, of Mil, don’t over do this physically.  How does little Sharon manage?  Anyhow this is better than when the mountain streams rush down.  I pray you’ll be safe and sound.  I must have you all in my own subconscious mind day and night.  I woke up in a panic the other night – before I got your card of the 14th for which I thank you, just in a panic.  I can see it all now.  All of a group were walking up that hill but somehow the embankment gave way – and two of us were in the creek holding on to a long log and floating and calling to the other people when I woke up.  (I hope you heard us)!  I know it was that old bridge wash-out buried in my memory that did it.

[Linda note:  I wish I knew what she meant by the old bridge wash-out.  My mother hated bridges.  Her palms would drip sweat when she had to drive across one.  She used to reach her hand out to her kids and say, “Feel my hand!  Feel my hand!”  Soaked with sweat.  Did her fear have anything to do with what grandmother is writing about here?]

Hadn’t been thinking about it – but perhaps a warning?  Do, do be careful – It seemed to be John or my own brother holding on too.  How the mind dreams old memories while we sleep.

Anyhow my prayers and blessings are with you all – day and night.  I don’t want Bill losing his two weeks vacation that will bring him to California – BUT, if he has to take them in order to complete residency and keep all safe when the [can’t read this word:  fueshots] down the mountain, I’d feel more comfortable for you.  You could keep children out of school, if you had to.

How I wish I could send a check right now for extra supplies, but I can’t and that is it.  I guess haven’t heard from the insurance companies yet, and hate to [sue?] CHC for anything at all.  Fear I’ll have to.  [Linda:  I’m having a vague memory with this – that she had a car accident and totaled her two-toned green car with fins on the back that she had new before our move to Alaska – and that mother was afraid to drive in case she got a scratch on it.  I think grandmother was attached to that car – not sure she ever got another one – “Little Old Lady From Pasadena…”.]

Also will have to pay some income tax as last year – but last year I could pay in cash on day due.  This year quarterly payments if I am lucky!  The income was just the same as last year’s within fifty dollars!

Mil, it is so foolish, when on thinks it over – I worked so hard.  I did pass out good services but when all expenses for both house and testing were estimated I had a salary left for myself $1800.  I might just as well be loafing and getting my retirement money, don’t you think?  Out of that $1800 came everything ‘personal’ except insurance bills:  food, clothes, trip to Alaska, Xmas, etc etc.  Plus the $600 which has to go to government – or should go if I had saved it as usual for income taxes.

Now I know – on basis of facts and figures only – my people say “Why work so hard” when they get over 65, I guess.  But instead I ought to work less and charge more.  Certainly examining my expenses I cannot accuse myself of careless waste.  Of course, if I have to pay even half of the insurance – it will be a blow too.  See why I have to work for summers!! – hospital and income tax fees of 1959.  Of course moving costs too – somehow or other!  I’d have had income tax money if I hadn’t lost 6 weeks of income!  I ought to sue Doctor for malpractice, for not coming to Charlie’s to see me that same day/night Charlie called!  I ought to – but what could I PROVE.  I told him so, though, hoping he’d remember when he filled out the insurance forms.

You might know I just finished my income tax forms last night and have a “hang-over” on it this morning!

So happy to get that little postcard.  They assure me all is well.  I knew what a routine this is and will be for you and the rest so I’ll be satisfied with those cards, even grateful for them.

The twin children still there?  I hope so.  Good for Sharon too before going to school.  The extra $ good too.  Perhaps you can squeeze the new suit out for John.  He deserves it, indeed.  Dying to hear about the horseback lessons.  Good for him.  Also delighted about your other future plans for him for next year.  They are fine.  They are all growing up so very fast and need these experiences now.  You can teach him the guitar this summer perhaps.

Their marks were fine considering their complicated moving problems, long hours in travel at times etc.  Hope that teacher considers him and tries to handle him properly.  He must review his math with a workbook this summer [Linda:  Grandmother was the workbook QUEEN!]  He is paying for his shaky foundation when he entered this class.  Math is more important than ever in higher education.  Drill him on his tables, if you have time.  I’ll get a very good science book at Bullucks for him which boys of his age or 10-14 just adore.  It is called “Playbook of Knowledge”.  It is very good.  Mackleads ae goldminers, I agree.

Has been so much work to do and the 6 weeks just “out” that spelling hasn’t progressed.  However, this week has been good.  I’ve marked “full time” and feel better every week now.  Thought I’d never get going, but am coming along, of course!

Wish, wish I could run up there to you for the month that Bill will be away.

How does John get along with teacher now?  Did you go down to see her at her apartment?  It may be wise to have a friend of hers if possible.  Anyhow, the new school in Eagle Riber will be a good thing for the children next year.  That ought to bring electricity up your way?  Here’s hoping!!

The scouts are good for the children.  It’s fine that you got the house for another year.  It takes time to get the school established as a serious proposition in people’s minds.  {talking about mother’s nursery school at the log house}  I know that.  Oh, how I want to help where and how I can, after I get out of my own web.

Got quite a thrill to see Linda’s name in the Scout Calendar.  I’ll write and tell both John and Linda how pleased I am.  You must send me snapshots of them all but especially of John and Linda in the Scout uniforms!  The outline of the program was excellent.  It’s good for them to feel that they “belong” to the group and the church!  You do so much for them, se well, my dear.

If Bill’s work assignment happened to be in the month of June – school would be over – and you could all come down here for that month.  The boys go about June 1st and I have this house until July 1st……..

Just got your short but good letter.  Thank goodness Bill will be there at least a week!  That is a relief, but what about getting up that awful climb!  Pray and pray he can fix the tractor.

I miss you terribly too.  If it wasn’t such a beastly cold climate I’d be there to help through this time, no matter what.  I could tend to the little house while you are at the Homestead.  I don’t wonder that you [over slept.  You may have to take the children out of school for a month, after all, and give nursery a month’s vacation over Easter.  I can’t see how you all can stand the strain of going up and down like that.

I’m so proud of you all – even those darling children.  Carolyn says “Why do they do it?  No one is going to count the days!”  I said Mildred isn’t like that.  She won’t have to be afraid that she’ll be found to be a cheater.  But I’d keep them out and teach them if I had to before I’d make them all sick or lose homestead.  They can pick up all the work during the summer.  If  there could be a miracle ahead, I’d go to help you all.  I should have gone before – should have gone back in Fall.

Honey be careful.  Don’t get sick – Bill or you or children.  Everything will go if you do.  You can’t stay there alone at homestead when he is away.  Keep praying and plugging, dear.  I am so proud and know you will [‘not’? She didn’t write this here] miss the last lap of the race.  Perhaps I can manage things better here now I am well…..

I love my brave daughter, Lovingly always, Mother

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