happiness

Rome is a charming city (FGK 243)

Goodness mom had some fascinating friends. Whatever happened to them? I don’t recall hearing about most of these people but I would have loved to have met them!! This letter is before mom travelled to France herself (she would have been 15 when this letter was written – and it was sent here to the ranch), clearly she made friends with other women with the travel bug!

Grand Hotel Continental

Roma

3 Feb 1956

Dear Margie

Somehow I have a horrible suspicion that I’ve not thanked you for the lovely “travelling brush” you sent me for Christmas. May I now rather belatedly, say a huge “thank you”! The brush is lovely and believe me it is being put to good use.

As you will realize upon receiving this and the odd postcard I’ve sent I am again “wandering”. I left Oxford the first of January to join my friends in Boulogne for a wee motor jaunt in Europe. That, I would say, was starting the new year with a bang. We went first to Paris where we spent six days. Wow! What a city. Like good tourist-types we “did” most everything. Then we jogged our way to Spain – stopping hither and yonder odd spots in France. In Spain we went to Madrid, carried on southward to Granada, then to the coast and travelled backup to the Mediterranean coast to Barcelona. When returning to France we spent some time around Carcassone before going to the Riviera. By that time the weather decided to be good to us and the Riviera was absolutely glorious. Of course I tried my hand at gambling in Monte Carlo but fortune did not come my way. Then we came along the Italian Riviera which appears very shabby in comparison to the Côte d’Azur – and finally arrived here in Rome the first of February. Rome is a charming city in spite of the bitterly cold weather. I shall probably be returning to England toward the end of this month. My address there is the same as before – do drop me a line about how you are. I’m truly sorry about not writing sooner but I seldom have time to do even half of what I want to.

ok love to your family

Lois

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I am doing just fine so you can relax (FGK 242)

I can say that 60+ years later many Americans still have some weird ideas about Canada. Sooooo many people used to call it Canadia – I could understand a couple people doing it for a joke, but in Roanoke it seemed that the general public thought that was the name. They’d also sell hats with the Pom Pom of a certain style and call them toboggans. When I tried to explain the different between a toboggan and a toque I was laughed at like I was making it up. And I also was asked in a taxi on my way to the airport if I spoke the language up there in Canada. I responded by saying yes, and in fact I’m speaking it right now!!! On the other hand it was pretty humbling to see how much about the States I didn’t know or had misunderstood.

618 N. Halifax Ave

Daytona Beach

November 7, 1956

HI!!!

Sorry I didn’t get enough time to write you yesterday. With the elections and all it was quite a day! I’m telling you I’ve never been as utterly sick of anything as that darn election for a month or more now that’s all anybody I’ve met has talked about.

i went and saw Mrs. Franks yesterday and she thought I was doing just fine so you can relax.

I’m having an awful time trying to decide what collage to go to. Everyone says I should go to Rollins college in Winter Park, the university of Miami has sent me a lot of literature about the University and it looks very good. Ug Florida (?) thinks it is suitable and wants me to go and see them and Queens has sent me catalogues and even the application papers – nothing like rushing things.

Honestly, Jetty and I are just starved. It’s a long time between 12:30 and 6:00 when all you have at noon is soup and I haven’t enough money to go down Seabreeze and buy something to eat. Times are tough.

I haven’t had my nose off the grindstone since Monday long enough to do anything exciting. Monday morning Jetty and I slept in an hour. I broke all speed records getting ready to go to school luckily just as I came out the gate one of the boys from school was passing in his car so I got a ride and wasn’t late. The Colonel kicks us out for the rest of the day if we’re late. Last nite I could have gone to a views (?) but decided at the last minute not to. From what I hear I didn’t miss much anyway.

Nancy hasn’t been around hardly at all lately. I guess the novelty is beginning to wear off. I must go over and see them one of these days.

I’m starting to educate some of these Americans about Canada. I get quite a ribbing from some of the kids in class ‘cause some of them have the oddest ideas about Canada I’ve ever heard. Some just won’t be convinced that I’m not British because I’m from Canada!!! also I happened to say I hoped they’d knock Nehru’s head (block) off. Somebody should have done that long ago. American’s just don’t see it that way and Im not saying they’re not right, but I do despise the man so.

Are you still having snow and cold weather? I sure hope it soon gets better. Jetty just got drove out into some shade on the verandah to get away from the heat! How does that make you feel?

Say “hello” to everyone around there and don’t forget to tell me “what’s up”. You all should feel honoured you’re pretty well the only ones who get letters from me! Be good and don’t work too hard!

Love Margie xx

Jetty sends regards.

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Go Throw a Snowball For Me (FGK 241)

I may have mentioned this before, but I remember as a little kid in school when my parents would send in a note to the teacher I would often be called up to their desk so I could read the note for the teacher. Mom said the handwriting was so bad because she was a lawyer and developed the scrawl because of all the notes she had to take in university. But reading a letter from her 16 year old self says that perhaps this handwriting issues had been going on for a little while longer than that.

Let me just say that when I skipped school it was a much different experience than it apparently was for my mother. Also, I never confessed to such acts of delinquency. But now I can haha.

I also want to know who TIBERIOUS and Cyril are? Dogs? Horses? People? Anyone know???

618 N. Halifax Ave

Daytona Beach

November 16, 1956

Dear Mom, Dad, and Marsh

Thought I’d better drop you all a line before the weekend started. Thanks for your letters. I hope you got the negatives I sent in my last letter. I flunked Latin today and only got 66% passing is 70%. I skipped 3 periods of school today with Cynthia and Ellen Paul. However, I spent most of it doing bookkeeping for the student council.

Was glad to hear Sheila got off to Vulcan ok but you forgot to tell me her address. I’m sure she’ll like it there.

Don’t worry about Christmas. I only mentioned coming home because I thought it would be handy if the company plane went to New York. Never fear, I’ll have plenty to do in the Christmas holidays. Believe it or not I’m not homesick.

I still haven’t decided what university I’m going to. Queens would be swell but it’s sure nice down here. What a problem!

Next day: Saturday

Well we didn’t do much last night. We went over and played cards art the place of a boy from school for a while then came home and watched TV. This morning I went over to the school for extra classes in algebra.

Guess what!! I know where i can get the neatest little sports car for only $400!! Let me tell you it’s a Bayan!! One of the boys at Seabreeze High is selling it.

I want to know what you want for Christmas. Give me hint at least. Don’t worry about me just give me clothes – not fancy party ones but just ones that bill be really liveable. Do you want me to buy gifts for all my friends up there or will you? I’m afraid the customs would take quite a toll.

Everyone says to say “hi” to you all and they’re all doing fine down here. Tell Lorraine Eklund she’d better hurry up and write to me or I’ll be really mad at her. What is she going to school for anyway? How is LaVerne? He’ll be so big whenI get homeI won’t know him and so will Marlene. Also say “hi” to Deloris and Ken for me and George and Mary and the girls.

It’s a lovely day here as it has been all week. About 80 degrees, calm and beautiful. You poor souls up there – hah hah!!! Go throw a snowball for me. The oranges are just getting right so I’ll pick one for you. Man!! Do they taste good!! The guava season is past though.

I’ve got simply tons of homework to do. The publicity committee advised he Colonel to be really strict with us and pile the homework on!! The Colonel never goes back on their advice. How is Buckles coming? AND HOW ARE TIBERIOUS AND CYRIL? Nobody ever mentions them. How could you.

Love Marg xxx

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Oh what fun we had! (FGK 240)

July 25, 1957

Dear Margaret

Just a note to say “hi”. I was glad to get your letter and hear that you had such a nice trip home with the kids meeting you.

What have you been doing this summer? Have you learned to drive yet, or has that mean old mounty been in the way?

Dana and I went to the auditorium Monday night and saw John Ireland in “Picnic”. He played a young vagabond. It was a good show, we both enjoyed it.

Last week we saw Jerry Lewis’s “Delicate Delinquent”. We never laughed so much. Was he ever silly.

We haven’t seen any of the kids lately except Olga and Joan a few times. I heard Olga’s aunt got sick and they went up to be with her.

When you got home did they think you had changed much? We had all gotten so mischievous and silly. But Oh What Fun we had.

I have a chance to help in a florist shop this fall. Next month I am helping with the flowers for two weddings. So I am starting in Welsh School this Friday to study floristry. I will only get to go from four to six weeks and only three days a week. Maybe I will learn enough in that time to help a little.

There is a lot of good songs on the top thirty list. Am enclosing a list for you “Searchin’” has been number one for several weeks.

We are going to the Rock (?) tonight Dana will be coming before long so will close for now.

Hope to hear from you soon

Love ya

Betty

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Stick a red ribbon in an envelope (FGK 239)

Mom would never speak with me about her time in the hospital (barring one time that I interviewed her for a Women’s Studies paper and unfortunately that paper got thrown away while I was gone). I wish I had known Janet, she sounds like a wonderful friend, and tons of fun. I’m glad they were friends. And for the record, although she constantly apologizes for her handwriting, it’s beautiful and easy to read. Our standards have fallen since then – my scrawl isn’t nearly as nice as it used to be when I was a teenager, thank goodness I can type most of my thoughts now, although as you can tell I rely on autocorrect too often and sometimes it flat out changes words!

I googled her – and thank goodness for old time small towns because they used to report on everything that happened. As far as I can tell she went to the University of Alberta in Edmonton, she played piano at someone’s wedding (perhaps one of the many she talks about), and played some sports in Lethbridge. I really hope her life has been filled with love and happiness.

Pincher Creek, Alta

Aug 26/57

Dearest Margie;

As I don’t expect you received my last letter I really don’t know why I’m writing another one but here I am anyhow!

Say, will you please congratulate that sister of yours on her marriage for me! I groped around on the first for sometime after Auntie Ava sent me the clipping from the paper. It really surprised me – and it shouldn’t have really except that I’m getting old and don’t realize hoe time flies.

How are m’dear? And your Mom and Dad and Marshall? Where is Sheila living now? Oh dear this will soon add up to Twenty Questions. Please excuse the scrawl – it’s just my handwriting that’s all – too bad!

Just got back from another shower! Honestly, I’ve never seen so many weddings in a summer – it seems to be the style lately – and has kept me broke all the time.

Tonite it was for a girl I went to school with in my grade – on Saturday another girl from my grade was married – it was a truly beautiful wedding but they were both so young. Guess Im pre-destined to be an old maid Margie! How about you?

I’m hoping to go to Calgary sometime in September before I go to Edmonton so will phone your home an find out “whither thou hast flown”.

Well, I expect I shouldn’t waste too much time on this as it will probably never reach you. I lost your Florida address so that’s why the big delay – I hesitated to send it to Cochrane ‘cause I thought maybe your folks were down “South” with you! See how far behind I am? You might as well count me out as a tiny spat in the dust!

Shall see you I’m hoping before another three or four years are gone. If you get this please stick a red ribbon in an envelope or something? And send it so I’ll at least know I’m on the right track!

Love to everyone and loads, tons, bushels, and “lots” of love to yourself!!

All my love, Janet

PS please tell me anything you’ve heard about Maryanne or any of the others. I’m afraid I’ve almost completely lost touch with RCH. Is Miss Hines married yet? Luff, Jan

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Resume all normal activities (FGK 238)

Pincher Creek, Alta

May 13th,/56

NOTE – Box 216.!! OBSERVE!

Dearest Margie:

Received your wonderful, stupendous, tremendous, witty, cheerful, “etc” letter and was mostest pleased! i really didn’t expect you to write as I know how difficult it is to keep joy those busy correspondence lessons and do anything else! You are to be commended dear, and I mean that! I never could manage it.

Well, I was up to RCH on May 1st and Dr Townsend said I could “resume all normal activities!” Which means that I can do anything my l’il ol’ heart desires! Isn’t that tremendous!!? I fear the “doc” would have a genuine canary if he realized that I have been carrying almost normal activities – with the exception of strenuous sports ONLY! Oh well, – no harm done as my back is “beautiful” (in my estimation) (BRAG BRAG). I have n desire to take part in any other activities at the moment anyhow! Can’t even get enuff sleep now!!

Mom is feeling much better since her “op”. She’s doing all the work at home alone, which is no small job with a hired man and a family that size! It’s supposed to take approximately a year to get over a gall-bladder operation completely, so Mom is doing really remarkably after a few short weeks. However she gets tired quickly and I fear overdoes somewhat – but what can you do!!

Say Marg, I sure wish I had been up there when you and Sheila were keeping house! It just so happens that I’m a spaghetti and meat all fan too so we could have had a real ball! Too bad! (Har, har!) When you come down this summer, we’ll have to go on a camping trip (in the back yard) armed with loads and loads of the stuff! That would be a “sure cure”.

Today they held an “Empire Youth Sunday” observance at Brocket – there were about 800 there for an open air service and parade! It was really lovely. Also this weekend our AYSA (?) has entertained st. Stephenson YP from Calgary. Six of us girls stayed out at our place last night! The place was fairly bulging, but we had a picnic! You see, we had supper at the hall Sat nite and then all went to the dance up at “Turtle Mountain Playgrounds” for the evening. Had a hilarious time, but by the time we staggered in to bed it was about 3:00. That’s not bad if you can sleep in, but I couldn’t sleep as it was (Anne kicks!!) and we had to get up at 7:00 to make it to town for communion at 9:00! No wonder I can’t make any sense tonight- guess I”d better get to bed (I should be doing homework!)

Well, Margie, I suppose you’ll be utterly disgusted wth me for even mentioning it, but I (at the moment) have a gigantic problem and it concerns ———- boys (MEN???). You see, my philosophy of life is “DON’T GO STEADY”. However, I’m finding that might be the solution to a lot of things at the present moment. I’m constantly making one of ‘three’ mad at me for going out with someone else! Of course (as I’ve painted out!) they’ve no right to be mad as we’re not going steady but it would almost appear that Im fickle (which I am). O dud e a rur! I wish all the Tom, Dicks, and Harrys would “take off” (temporarily) and let me nurse an “Old Maid” complex for a while. However, a different date every week – sure is fun!!! (Famous last words). Remember what happens before the fall of all great men? (I don’t)

Suppose by now you can see that the effects of the weekend are really beginning to show! Next weekend we’re planning a holiday at Waterton – so more fun and less sleep again! Oh well, I’m studying along with it and pretty soon there won’t be anything else to do – so guess I’ll enjoy life while the “opportunity is knocking” (ya can’t come EEN!!)

See ya later alligator!

much love, Janet

PS Write me after a while crocodile! (Gee you’re cute). (Dig those blearily bloodshot eyes!!) xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

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Purple People Eater (FGK 237)

Monday night

July 21, 1958

Dear Margaret

How are you? How is work? What is new up your way? Everything is just about the same down here. I am still working one to ten. I thought I would write you once more and mail it before the mail goes up. The weather has been very hot down here.

“No Time for Sgt” is very good. It was funny.

Margaret, I went downtown last week and went into the dress shop. I now have two new dresses. One is a dark print, it is thin and will be nice when it gets cooler. The other is a party dress. It is navy blue and white stripped. It is sleeveless and goes up fairly high in the front an down low in the back. It has a full skirt. Around the bottom is about 6 inches of white organdy (I had to google this: a fine translucent cotton or silk fabric that is usually stiffened and used for women’s clothing” with lace. I just couldn’t help it. Mom also made me a very pretty pink dress with sort of full sleeves. I am just a hopeless case. Mom says I shouldn’t buy any more summer clothes, but with fall coming I can a start all over again. I only wish you were down here to go shopping with. I used to have so much fun when we would go on our sprees every Saturday.

We haven’t heard from Larry lately. I guess he will be pretty busy now. Boots is in the hospital over in Orlando now. She is in some pain after her operation. If you’d ant to write here write to:

Marion Hilton

Orange Memorial Hospital

Orlando, Florida

I am going downtown tomorrow and buy Elvis’ album from the picture. Have you seen it yet?

Wanda and I went shopping the other day, for a while, she likes her school work very much. She is learning about the hair styling end of her work. She has to go to school for nine months. Roy was home a couple of weeks ago. He was looking just the same as usual. He asked how you were. I guess he is in California now from what Wanda says.

When I tell you this you will die. At work the other day I was sitting next to this girl who was placing a collect call to some girl and guess who the cal was from? Freddy Peacock, our old friend. The girl accepted the charges. He must really get around these days huh?

Lila’s (however you spell) cousin works in Furchott’s. I was there the other day. She said to say hello to you.

I haven’t been to the beach or swimming in ages. I am so pale!

I painted my finger nails a really weird shade the other day. I put two coats of gold over two coats of apricot ice. It looked just like a new shade out now called “orange gold”.

The top song around here is still “Purple People Eater” I am getting so tired of that song.

Have you heard Ricky Nelson’s new record of “Poor Little Fools?”

I left my pen with the green ink at work today, I sure hope it will be there tomorrow.

Well Margaret, write me soon and tell me all the news.

Love Barbara

PS did I tell you Merle and Marty got married last month. Big deal!

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Most fun I’ve had since I got out of RCH (FGK 236)

Pincher Creek, Alberta

April 26, 1954

Dear Margie

My but I’ve neglected you shamefully lately. Im really ashamed of myself, but the excuse, same as always is that I’ve been busy.

Here I am writing a letter while lying on my back, just like I used to do on my blessed old frame. I’ll tell you the reason why later on.

i was supposed to come up (as you know) in about a month’s time from March 19th to get my brace off but heard nothing from the hospital about what day etc. so, mom phoned Dr T the other day to find out what to do. He told me to start taking my brace off at supper time for a couple of weeks and leave it off till bedtime if I wasn’t doing anything strenuous. Then I am to start taking it off after school hours (not much of a promotion) for another two weeks. After that Im supposed to go up to the “horse pistol” and I hope, get it off for good. So I’ll see you sometime in May. Last time I was up, I phoned “Hamers” about the pictures (I still haven’t got them yet by the way) and she sounded as good as ever. I wanted to go over and see her, but it was quite a distance and Dad and Mum wanted to get home, as usual.

You didn’t happen to get home for the Easter holidays did you? It would certainly have been nice if you did. I came home the Tuesday before Easter and have been here ever since. I’m going back to Lethbridge tomorrow or Wednesday.

The night I came home, Tuesday, I got in on the 7:00 bus and right after supper went to church for a special service for confirmation candidates. You knew I was getting confirmed didn’t you? Well now you do. After the service we went over to the height school to a play that the United Church Young People were putting on. Ted was the leading man and Sharon Bratz was the nurse. Remember Sharon? The one that came in with May that day, perhaps you don’t. It was called “Take your own Medicine” and was really hilarious. The cast really did their parts well.

Here it is the 6th of May and I’ve just now got around to adding a few more lines. Gosh I’ve been busy! I must impress that fact on you or you’ll think I’ve just been forgetting you. Well I haven’t!!!!!!

Gee it feels good to get out of “Uswald” for a while each day. I’ve got the ugliest “puffs” on my hips from it and it exaggerates my plumpness a little bit too much!! Am I ever getting fat kiddo!!!! (I enjoy making exclamation points as you notice. They’re more exciting than just periods or question marks).

I went to the High School Party during the holidays. I wasn’t planning on going but then when nobody seemed to think it would hurt I decided to go. Did I ever have fun!!!! Most fun I’ve had since I got out of RCH. Verna was there looking wonderful as ever, but was on the lunch committee and seemed to be doing most of the work so Ruth Watson (Ted’s sister) and I went in and helped her a bit. You better not tell anyone up there about the dance for fear they might not approve. I doubt if it matters because Dr T said I could do anything within reason, and I think a few waltzes is within reason don’t you? However maybe a few other people might not.

May 7. Third edition

I may finish this episode before I get to the fifth or sixth edition.

Give my love to Miss Horner and the rest. Tell her I started a letter to her a month or so ago but haven’t finished it yet. Tell her not to give up hope though.

Oh yes! While I was home, the ladies in a neighbouring district put on a little kids dance. All the little brats from miles around went to it to, presumably to learn how to dance. Mom and Auntie Dorthy thought Charlotte and I might like to go and help teach them. So we went!!!

In one corner, there were really little ones tottering around supposed to be playing “drop the handkerchief” with some poor frazzled mothers trying to help. In another corner were the poor, tired, bored fathers playing cards and gossiping. Up on the stage was the orchestra consisting of a piano, accordion, and a violin; and in the rest of the hall where Charlotte and I were were all the young dancers playing around like a “bunch of young cattle in a pen” as Marjory put it. The evening consisted of pushing kids around until you forgot what you were doing yourself almost. Then we ate and a so-called cowboy sang four cowboy songs and a lot of others showed off we had another dance and then went home. What a night! And yet we had fun!!!!!!!

Last Saturday (May Day) the Shriners were down here for the weekend and had a parade. Anne and I went. After it had gone by we started to run up to the store where Annie’s mom works to tell her to be sure to watch. There weren’t many people on the sidewalk as they were all out in the streets so I guess we would attract attention running up the street at such a rate. Anyway suddenly we heard everybody behind us start to laugh but we thought they were laughing at the parade so we didn’t look back. All of a sudden I saw something black stick out in front of me and some went around each of us. Something dug into our sides and it felt like I had a shock or something. We turned around and here it was the “black devil” from the parade he had a long black fork with a little battery on the end and he would dig that into people and give them a shock. Anne and I both got one and I was never so scared in my life, nor so humiliated. I couldn’t look anybody in the face on that street without having them sort of grin and make me feel worse then ever. I wish I had fainted or something and got that guy whoever he was into trouble. After we got over our scare we were just plain mad.

Say “old bean”, why don’t you get Dr Townsend. Maybe he’d get you out of “that place” soon. I didn’t think you’d ever get mad at Dr Walsh. I always thought he looked sort of sleepy. (I’m sure glad I’m not wishing throwing distance from you right now, I’d probably get a roll of toilet paper in my face). Or would I?!!!!!!! Anyway I don’t blame you for wanting to get out. You’ve sure been in there long enough!!! Im glad to hear you’re walking on crutches that’s quite a bit “promotion” or whatever you call it.

Well, I suppose I better do my exercises and go to bed. I promised Miss Mason I’d do them faithfully and I guess I’d better not let her down. can you keep a secret? I missed two days in a row, so I’ve been doing double-duty ever since. My old stomach and back muscles are still going “flippity flop” though. Gee I wish they’d improve!! When I get out of my brace I just eel like I’m going to break or fall and my back will end up in one corner and the rest of me in another.

Say hi to Helen and Lillian and Maryanne and anyone else you see that I’m acquainted with. I hope to see you all before too long. I told Mom to write you a note Marg and apologize for my neglecting you because I didn’t have time, but by grabbing a minute here and there I managed to get a few pages done. You may get a letter from her anyway though as I won’t be writing home for a while. I hope you can read this shameful scrawl. The reason I’m using pencil is because I can’t find my ink. It’s lost on my desk somewhere.

bye for now “sweetie”

heaps of love and loads of kisses,

Janet

PS don’t go and get measles or something. I want to see you when I come up this time. I’m afraid Im one of those people that write an awful lot and tell very little

love Janet

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A day in the life in Fort Macleod (FGK 235)

I find these mystery letters quite interesting. It seems this was a pen pal set up through this girl’s Sunday School. I googled and found her mom’s obituary – these types of letters make me wonder how this story of this young girl turned out as she grew into a woman. What adventures did she have? I hope her life has been happy. Mom would have been 13 when this letter was sent, so they’re close to the same age. Both her mom and my grandma died in the same year (2004) although grandma was 4 years older. It’s easy to fall down rabbit holes with this stuff.

Pearce, Alberta

January 27, 1954

Dear Margaret

We get Sunday School Lessons from Mr. W R Johnson in Calgary. He sent us your address so I am writing to you.

I am 12 years old and my birthday is July 11. I live on a farm and have three brothers, 1 older than me and 2 younger and two younger sisters. All buy my youngest sister go to school. We go to school in Fort Macleod on a School Bus. We are 1 mile from Fort Macleod. We get on the bus about 8:25 in the morning and get off about 4 o’clock if nothing happens and the roads are good. We start school at 9 o’clock and get out at 3:30 in the afternoon.

I am in grade seven at school starting my first year of Junior High School. I have four teachers, one we get only once a week for Home Economics on Wednesday afternoon from 1 o’clock until 3:30. There are 35 pupils in my room, 16 girls and 19 boys. Our room teacher is Miss Hyssop, who teaches us mathematics, English, Spelling, Physical Education, Reading for Meaning, and Social Studies which she also teaches to the two other Junior High rooms grade 8 and grade 7 & 8. Mr. Sterling the 7 & 8 teacher teaches us Health, Literature, and Art which we get once a week. The three rooms also have a Student’s Union. We have meetings and programs once a month.

On our farm we have 1 horse which belongs to Jacob my older brother which he broke last year. She is a sorrel and about 12 years old. We have 4 young calves about a year old. 2 heifers and 2 steers which also belong to Jacob. Then we have 2 heifers which will have their first calf this year. One of them I call mine and the other Esther my youngest sister calls hers. We have 4 cows, a red one Garrett the oldest of my two younger brothers owns. A red white face that is also Jacob’s. Then we have a Holstein and a red white face. We have one pig which we want to get rid of as soon as it warms up as it it too cold to butcher it now in this sub-zero weather. We have around 40 chickens now, 3 roosters and the rest old hens and young pullets. Last spring I set a hen and got 8 chicks, 4 roosters and 4 pullets. They were really cute when they were babies especially my little black rooster who disappeared when he was bout 3 months old. He was quite tame. My other 3 roosters we ate. My 4 pullets are now laying eggs. We have 1 dog a white and black one about a year and a half old. He isn’t too much good except that he barks when someone comes. He is really a pest but he sure likes barking at anything.

I didn’t go to school today because it is too cold and we have got farther to walk now than before. Jacob was the only one that went. Last night the bus got stuck coming off the highway. The snow was so deep and full of ruts that you couldn’t expect much else to happen so the driver said we would have to walk that far. It really isn’t so far but it’s so cold outside.

That’s all for now.

Love

Mary Ann deKoning

ps. Hoping that you will write back soon

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More cooking, cleaning and gadding about (FGK 234)

How rude of Grandma to give brief details about what Slim had been up to but not go into greater detail. I hope for mom’s sake she heard the stories but that doesn’t help us much now 70 years later does it? Slim sounds like he was quite the man.

Friday 26th 1954

Dear Margie

My! It just did me the world of good to see you yesterday. I always get to worrying about you when I can’t see you and that’s foolish.

Dad and I made all the 12 loaves into sandwiches this morning and now I must hurry to get into town, the roads are going to be really bad and I’ll have to drive slowly. we came straight home from seeing you yesterday and were just having tea when in walks Slim. He stayed for tea and for supper and i could just write a book on all his activities if I only had time. He’s really been busy, it was he who started all the investigating into the Edmonton Police and he even pinched Dr Giffin the other day and took his nice Cadillac from him, he sure kept us entertained, I’ll tell you all the tales when I can visit you. He gave me his phone number and says he’d like to come up to visit you sometime soon – in his uniform – so you’ll have fun with the nurses eh? His fiancé – Marg the nurse in Edmonton up and married another guy the other day.

I couldn’t find a geometry set in the house but I’ll try and buy one for you today. Do you need any clothes at all? Let me know.

Well, I must scram now. I think Sheila is going to bring some girls out with her and the house is in quite a mess. Mr Kumlin’s funeral is at 2pm on Sat in High River and the nurses in Sheila’s class are having a tea at 2pm on Sat and we’re supposed to go to both. What will we do I wonder and how am I supposed to cook and keep house and gad like this, it’s awful. I’m sure glad to see you looking so well. Say, I’m worried about that swell report card of yours, I can’t find it, did it go in to you with the papers etc that I collect in the shopping bag? I sure hope you have it, i haven’t signed it yet and I hold have signed and returned to your teacher long before this. Please look for it amount your stuff, it’s in a long brown envelope with the Red Cross on it. Lots and lots of love dear. Maybe I’ll be able to see you today too if Miss Olson is back. (Thanks for that grand letter I nearly wore it out reading it over and over)

Mother xxxxxxxx

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