Mom 1929

1/1/29

Whatever has happened that I haven’t received a letter yet? What comes to my mind is that you are ill again and it worries me nearly to death. I know you must have very busy after your return.  If you are sleeping instead of writing to me that is perfectly all right but if you are too ill to write I’ll blame myself.  I knew that you should have gone in earlier that last night but I love you so I just couldn’t let you go.  It will be so long before I can see you again.

Today I took dinner with my cousin who lives across the hill.  She has two of the darlingest youngsters you ever saw.  I thought I didn’t care for babies but if I had a little girl as sweet as little Betty I could do nothing but love her.  Between her and her daddy, I’m afraid I wouldn’t get much done.  Little Billy hadn’t had his bath yet so I watched Ruth do it.  Billy just laughed and thought it was the most fun.  I just wanted to hug him.  I can imagine how we would wonder and marvel over our own little dear one.  Yes, dear heart, I still love them and want one of my very own.

 

1/3/29

Your letter received this morning was more welcome than I can tell you in words.  This week has been a terrible drag for me.  It seems as though I just get through the day and that’s all.  I fairly shudder to think of the next few months.  Isn’t that a terrible way to feel with so much work ahead of me? If our plans for this year don’t work for this year and I am tempted to take this job again I want you to send me to Norfolk. There might be a chance of recovery then but there won’t be if I go through this another year.  I hope you investigated that possibility at Madison at once.  It sounded favorable.  If you want me to teach with you, alright. If you think you can manage otherwise, alright.  I am yours to do with as you choose.

I have certainly been kidded a lot by the teachers since coming back and all the children are curious.  So you would like to see the ring again?  If I send the ring I’ll have to come with it.  I don’t take it off.

I hope you are more successful keeping a diary than I am.  I never could keep a decent one.  I think it would be fun to read one after it has been written.

You have asked me a number of times if I ever heard from Mr. Peters and I never answered your question.  I have heard from him a few times and have written and told him now that I have accepted your ring.  I really feel sorry for him because I have hurt him terribly.  Seems as though I have always been hurting someone since I have known boys.  I have wondered a great many times about those things which happened last spring.  I thought then that I could have left you easily enough if I didn’t know how much it was hurting you. I know now that I couldn’t have and ever be happy again.  The old blinding passion for you has come back even stronger than it was before. I feel more securely bound to you.  If anything should happen to you I would not care to go on alone.  That is how much you mean to me now.

 

1/6/29

Ralph went back to Lincoln today.  He hated to go but he couldn’t wait another day.  I don’t doubt but what he will be glad when school is out too.  He is going to work at home next summer, I think. Ralph came up Friday after supper and got me and we went to the Waterbury-Wayne basketball game.  Waterbury won

It certainly was encouraging to go back last week and have Mrs. Ellis tell me what one of my “darlings” had been doing during vacation.  Nothing more than stealing.  He went into one of the stores of Allen and collected some rings from a case and gave away to other children telling them where he got them.  What can I do with a boy like that?

 

1/9/29

What do you suppose I’m reading now?  Cleopatra.  I venture you wouldn’t take the time for such.  You wouldn’t like Cleopatra.  She was too fickle and played havoc with too many men’s hearts.  Cleo said why should she be married and be a slave to any man.  Love that makes such a life sweet might leave and then it would be hell.  All too true.  I wish I might have power to see into the future of our lives a bit.  I wonder will we be always as passionately fond of each other as we are now.

I am glad that you have given up at least a part of your work at the store.  If you can feel well everything goes so much better.  I have felt quite sprightly this week and nothing has worried me.  I knock them up a little if they need it and think nothing more about.  This week hasn’t been bad even though examination days are always trying.  Perhaps Cleopatra has helped this week.

 

1/13/29

Last Friday I had a miserable time.  The night before the wind blew so hard it blew a window in in my room.  When the janitor opened up the building Friday morning it was 15 degrees in my schoolroom.  Papers and books were blown everywhere in the room, the plants were all frozen black, and all the ink bottles were frozen solid, many of them broken.  What a mess to greet me that morning!  Mr. Bell came down and told me to take my youngsters to the gym and play with them until the room got warmed up.  There was no keeping them quiet and under control.  I just herded them the best I could while I nearly froze to death.  By recess the room was no better so we sent the town youngsters home and turned the rest in the gym again.  In the afternoon it was still cold but we stayed there for a while, long enough to get my feet cold and my whole self shivering again.  Then Mr. Bell sent us upstairs in one of the high school rooms and there we attempted to have a little school.  Such a day!

I must tell you about another experience I had last week.  Thursday evening I went to bed early.  I was all ready to get into bed when I heard something at the window.  Pretty soon I could hear whisperings at the window and someone said “This is where Miss Benton stays”.  I was simply petrified.  I thought perhaps it was just Mr. and Mrs. Ingram trying to scare me but I’m sure it wasn’t because it was too cold out for them to think of such a thing.  Whoever it was then moved around to the west window. I turned off the light and jumped up on the bed and sat there not thinking of anything else too.  The blind was not quite down and in that little space I could see two forms close to the widow.  Just then the street light went out and they went away.  I think probably it was just some boys fooling around.  I’m going to tell Mr. Ingram about it.  Now if I suddenly come up missing you will know that someone has kidnaped me.  Maybe my life isn’t so safe after all.  Still I hardly think there is anybody about town who would do anything to anyone. I’m not much scared.  I can even go out alone at night without running all the way.

 

1/15/29

 

What a comfort to think of you awhile after struggling with this horrid old school work.  If ever I felt like I made a “flop” of anything I certainly do of my work the last few months.  I can’t feel that I have accomplished much of anything and if you could see some of the grades I have been working with this evening you would know why I feel as I do.

After teachers meeting Saturday morning I was just sick.  Mr. Bell gave us a lecture meant in a kindly way of course but the whole thing applied mostly to the 4th, 5th and 6th grades.  Everything he mentioned were just the things I have failed so miserably.  For instance, controlling “cherubs” like my 5th grade boys (darn the little fools).  Then Mr. Bell said that we simply must not dismiss our pupils from our minds the minute we leave the school building.  We must keep these problems constantly in mind.  If I could forget them for a little bit, what a relief it would be!  If I could only have foreseen the trials and tribulations. I was doomed to when I came here; I think I would be elsewhere.

Last night while the boys were practicing basketball someone broke into the lockers and stole money from the boy’s pockets.  We have no positive proof but we feel quite sure that one of my boys was in it.  I feel a little of the responsibility.

There has been a great deal of sadness about the community lately – deaths from flu and effects of flu.  My heart aches for one family in particular.  The mother died Sunday evening leaving a three week old baby and a number of other children.  She was not taken care of properly after the birth of the baby together with a touch of the flu caused her death.  I don’t see why there should have been a baby come anyway.  The people are well along in years and have married children in the family and now she is gone.

Sine you are determined to go on to school, the only way you will save anything will be to work as a free man.  No matter how I look at it I seem to always be a hindrance to the thing you want to do most.  I still hope in my heart that you will find some way.

 

1/17/29

 

I wish my moods would stay more nearly the same level.  One day I soar in the clouds and maybe just the next day I am in the slough of dependency. When I am happy I am very happy; when I am blue I am in the depths of despair.  How well you must know that!  Just now I feel quite happy about my work.  All my school work goes much better.  Somehow I seem to have a better grip on the situation and I do not have that desperate feeling I used to have so much.  Mr. Bell talked to me this evening about my work.  He said he knew what I had been going through and had expected it since I was a new teacher.  He told me that he was not discouraged but felt sure I would come out of it all right.  He seemed to think my work is going all right now.  How thankful I am that I’ll never have to live those months over again.  I feel fine now but you know that you can expect me to get discouraged many more times before school is out.  I can imagine you will be glad when I can get my mind on something else to talk about.

Why do I love you more?  I don’t know.  I think the ring has made a big difference.  I have that always to remind me of your love.  Oh why ask me to explain.  I can’t.  Let’s be satisfied with the fact that I do.

 

1/20/29 from Waterbury

 

My mind is completely drained of any inspiring and ambitious thoughts just now.  I have committed a great moral digression: today somehow I didn’t feel like going to church therefore I stayed home intending to sleep but the weight of school work was so heavy upon my mind that I couldn’t sleep so I corrected papers and I have corrected papers nearly all afternoon. I still have lesson plans to write before I am ready to begin work again this week.  Always just a jump behind.  I wonder how it would feel to be caught up one.

I’ll have to tell you something I did yesterday.  I the afternoon Mother and I went to Sioux City and I saw the prettiest luncheon cloth and I bought it.  I imagined myself setting the table for you with it.  With a blue and white tea set it would be just too lovely.

 

1/22/29

I just got back from a show and it was the dumbest thing.  I didn’t want to go at all but a bunch was going and I had all my papers corrected so I went too.  A perfect waste of a perfectly good evening.  That’s the way it goes.  I haven’t gone on a spree for some time so don’t you think I am entitled to one?

I’m going to dare you to do something, dear.  Mr. Ingram is applying for a position in Iowa.  If he should get it that will make a vacancy here.  Send an application in to Mr. Bell telling him what you want.  I wonder if in so doing I would lose my job.  I simply don’t know what to do about next year.  Elections will come soon and I must tell them what I will do.  If I say no perhaps I can’t get another place if our plans don’t materialize.  After reading your letter today it seems very probably they won’t.  At the same time I would dislike very much to say I would take it again and later have to say I wouldn’t.  I wish we could come to some definite conclusion.  It will do us both good to talk together again.

I don’t like to think of you ever having to work away from home once we have it established.  Don’t you understand how I feel about it?  I love you so much I want you near me.  Close enough that I can always reach out my hand and find you there.

P.S.  One of my pupils brought this clipping to me – what do you think?

“The 4th grad under the direction of their teacher Miss Benton, dramatized the Indian legend entitled “How Nanabush Caught the Ducks” Wednesday afternoon.  The pupils wrote the story I a play form and a play was adopted from their work.  Miss Benton chose Maxine King as stage manager and she chose the cast according to their ability to play the part.  The Normal training class were invited to her the dramatization which was both instructive and interesting.”

 

1/24/29

If this kind of weather keeps up I don’t know whether I will see you in Plainview or not.  It has been genuine winter weather today with prospects of more.

I wish I knew a lot of things.  For instance, in your letter you spoke of you talks with Kenneth.  This matter of finding God.  Am I losing my religion or did I ever have any real Christian faith?  Those things of which you speak that means so much to you mean nothing much to me.  It is alright of course, but I find no greater joy in that than in any other thing.  When there are so many things to do immediately why take the time to sit and try to think of something so far removed from the actual?  Things are so different for me now than they were in school.  There isn’t time to meditate now.  It must be action.  The question is whether one can live through the day and at the same time get your work done with some degree of efficiency.  I am tired again tonight – too tired to think.  However, my work in school has been going on in a wonderful way.  It rather surprises me how much kick” I can get out of it. Discipline doesn’t worry me now with the exception of my one bad boy and he is hopeless.  We just have to tolerate him because the law says he must be in school.  I begin to see where the others are making some progress and I take great pride in work well done. I’m sure Mr. Bell would be surprised at the change in my room.  Others have noticed it.  You may be sure I am very happy about it knowing as you do how I suffered through those first months.

 

1/27/29

When I went to my room this evening my bed looked like someone was in it.  I thought of course it must be Meyers but thought that was rather funny too then lo and behold if there weren’t a man’s clothes laid over the back of the chair and men’s shoes.  I thought, my stars what now?  Then I was real brave because that was my room and I had a right to find out the meaning of things so I began an investigation and only found some pillows and balloons nicely arranged.  There here cam Nurmie and Vernal laughing to beat all.  They had fixed it for a joke.

Waterbury won the basketball game from Allen Friday night.  I was very glad that Waterbury won.  Now the boys here can’t say anything to me.  They have been trying to have some fun with me about it because they know where my heart is.  It looks rather bid for Mr. Ingram however.  His football team didn’t win a game nor has his basketball so far.

 

1/29/29

Nothing much of interest has happened in my physical world but plenty has happened in my mental world.  This gang is divided into two groups.  I don’t know which one they class me in but I hope neither one.  I do not favor the policies of either side.  It makes me provoked.  Why must girls get so catty about little things?  Some of the girls can say the meanest things.  One of the groups is having a theater party tonight and an oyster supper afterwards which I am supposed to attend but I don’t think I will.  I need sleep more.

I am afraid from the sound of your letter that I have en a disappointment to you.  I can’t do or think as you do and there is no use for me to try.  Honey, you’ll have to take me as I am or leave me and find someone who can follow your line of thinking. I can’t that your way is any better than the way I believe.  I think I only see God in a different way than you.  I’m going to wait until next year to see what you say, that is if you teach school.

It has been snowing a good deal and I keep thinking about this Friday.  If it keeps on snowing you won’t be there, will you?  I don’t care to go unless you are going.  How am I going to know?  I simply must see you.  If not now, when?

I had a good letter from Ralph today.  Bless his old heart.  He is having a great time as usual no more concerned about his school work than ever.  He is taking his examinations this week.  Poor Marie is having a terrible time. Those two make me laugh.  They are something like a good joke just now.  I don’t mind.  Ralph is a boy after my own heart if he just had a little more ambition.  He suits me fine.

I had a letter from Lillian.  She says she is going to teach next year but not at Big Springs.  What do you make of it?  She has some nerve to think that her ring is prettier than mine.  She doesn’t know.  How could she say such a thing when she hasn’t even seen mine?  Isn’t that a fine thing for us to be quarreling over?  However, we have agreed to let each think as we like.  Noble, don’t you think?   Really dear, I’m quite good at heart even though perhaps not all quite there.

 

2/4/29

We got home about 6:30.  I really enjoyed the trip home very much.  Mrs. Newlin and I just more than talked.  She told me quite a little about her courtship days and her married life.  It was wonderful – just the type of married life I hope we may have.  She said they had vowed they would do certain things and they always kept their vows.  Such things as keeping neat in appearance, always being thoughtful of each other, always sharing any little joy of the day together.  I wish you could have heard her.  They must have been very much in love with each other.  My heart swelled with gladness to think that my husband will be like that.  At least I think you will.  Above all I am grateful for your even temper.  Mine, I fear, is not so good but perhaps we can get it trained.

I don’t doubt you at all. I wouldn’t even if you are going out with other girls.  The tell me you do but that makes no difference to me so long as you really love me.  You know I always have boyfriends by the dozens and I hope I always will so long as they know my position and where their place is.  You know that I only love you.  If you aren’t used to that yet, honey sweetheart, you had better be getting that way.

I got the Centralian today and what with just having left you – have I been homesick!  My mind has been at NCC constantly.  Even though I have probably been forgotten on the campus, my heart is still there.  Tell the Carrell’s that.  I have not ceased to marvel at the quartet and you may tell them for me.

 

2/7/29

How fortunate for us that Quarterly Meeting came last week instead of this or I probably would not have gotten to see you the weather has been very stormy here this week.  It has snowed a great deal and is very cold.

I told you I was to go out to Newlin’s last night.  Mrs. Newlin came in after school and got me.  I certainly enjoyed being there for the little time I was.  As you know their home is very lovely.  She always does everything so nicely.  She served the supper from her place at the table.  I hope we can do that way sometimes.  May we?  It is as important in everyday home life as in company, don’t you think?  Good training for the family.  Oh there are lots of things I want us to do in our home if you will approve of them with me.  I would have it the best place in the world.

I missed the teacher’s hilarity last night.  Mr. Bell told them they might throw a party at his house and wait for the returns of the election.  They got home between one and two o’clock.  Everyone felt dead today.   We were all re-elected except Miss Phillips and she received a complimentary election with the understanding she would resign..  Everyone gets a raise also.  I suppose we were discussed in board meeting last night because Mr. Bell told me today that they decide “plural” teachers were not so good and he wants to know as soon as possible what I am going to do.  I told him it is likely I will stay next year but would let him know as soon as possible otherwise if such should be the case.  I don’t want him feeling so sure that he is going to be rid of me.  Another year of experience here would put me in a good position for any other work I might want to do along professional lines.

I have had murder in my heart several times today but I soon cool off.  Although you won’t agree with me, I think a good teacher must feel that way occasionally  Get angry quickly – so angry that you can half kill a kid – but at the same time be able to cool off quickly and go on as if nothing happened.  I’m training myself to do that.  You see, you’ll have to watch out or I might vent my anger on you sometime.  You know that I have always liked youngsters but I just can’t care for them now.  They get on my nerves and annoy me nearly to tears  I don’t care to have them around me..

 

2/10/29

You must tell me what to do at once.  I am very curious to know what you heard from Bill Money.  I received an application blank from him partly filled out for a position teaching 4th and 5th grades at Crofton.  He didn’t say what the salary would be.  Unless you are going I would not care to make a change unless the wage is more than I get here.  I’m not even sure if Mr. Bell will be here next year.  Let me know just as soon as you can what you are going to do.  When I send in the application I will say that the least salary I will accept is a hundred a month.  That is what I’m getting now.

I didn’t go home this weekend because the boys couldn’t get the car started.  It seems so funny to stay here over Sunday.  I am here at Ellis’s all alone.  I don’t know where they are.  I’m going down to Mitchell’s in a little while to hear Bill and Lucille broadcast from Yanktow.  Mitchell’s have a new electric radio.  It is a wonderful machine and we teachers make good use of it while we are there.

 

2/15/29  Morning

I wasn’t quite all in the upper story last night.  I even forgot it was the evening for a letter to my dear boy.  I still feel dead and wish this day was over  I guess I’m going in to the city tomorrow to have my eyes tested.  They have been terrible this week.

We opened the valentine box yesterday and valentines – you should see the mess I got.  Every size and description  I’m glad that is over with.  Any little thing like that keeps the youngsters all excited and makes discipline a problem.

So you received an application blank also.  Now I suppose it is up to the school board to decide.  I will send my application in Monday.  If it comes to a choice I wouldn’t know what to say.  You’ll have to decide.  I’m wondering how two could live on $100/mo. when I alone can scarcely do it.  I know one thing.  I am plenty tired of children.  I wouldn’t care if I didn’t see any for a year.  I worry for fear if we marry we might have some and then what would I do?  We say we won’t but do we know for sure?

It is almost time for me to go on duty and I must do some mimeographing.

 

2/15/29 Evening

Your lovely valentine arrived today and it just hit the right spot.  I haven’t had such good candy since Christmas.  You haven’t forgotten my sweet tooth, have you?  I think every time I am home I would make some candy for you, but there always seemed to be something else to do  To be sure I will  make you some candy when just we two are together,  Won’t that be fun?

I nearly had heart failure today.  Mr. Bell has been gone most of the week and just got back.  Miss Hammond said this morning that he would probably be coming around asking to see our plan books.  Right in the midst of a class in he came and I thought to myself – old girl, here is where you are sunk.  I haven’t had any plans written for this week nor for next.  We are supposed to keep them written up three days ahead always.  They told me he was very strict about it.  Luckily for me he didn’t say anything about it.  You may be sure the first thing I do tomorrow is write lesson plans.  I hate to be behind on them but there is a limit to the things I can do in one day.  If he ever says anything to me about it, I’ll give him a piece of my mind about this job of mine.

The Allen basketball boys lost their game to Wakefield tonight.  They nearly had a free for all in the midst of the game.  A Wakefield fellow was put out for fouls and before he left the floor he shook his fist under Mike’s nose.  Mike is the Allen captain.  Allen and Wakefield can’t get along together at all.  They fairly hate each other.  The way the high school kid’s act makes me tired.  They are such brainless things.

From the sound of this letter and others I have written I seem to be getting to be a regular pessimist.  This year has certainly upset everything for me.  I understand now why Merl feels as he does  I can fully sympathize with him.  I have some of the most furious emotions sometimes about little things.  What are you going to do with me?

 

2/18/29

You should see your old grandmother now.  I told you I was going to have my eye tested.  The doctor said I was a peculiar case.  He found a condition in my eyes that is usually found in a person forth or fifty years old.  They are ok for distance but strained for lose work.  Therefore he gave me reading glasses  Isn’t that crazy?  He felt quite sure that I a little while they would be normal again.  He thought that if I could stop all close work now and rest they would improve of their own accord.  Since I can’t do that, the next best thing is to use glasses.  I look like I am about thirty years old.

McAfee’s were at our home for dinner today.  They are the funniest family.  Uncle Willie can be so silly and I know no one can make worse faces than he can.  It seems to me there is a different attitude in that family since they came so near losing Aunt Cecil.  They all seem to be so greatly attached to each other.

I wish I were going on with my last two years.  I’m playing with ideas now but I have wondered how it would be if I went on and got my A.B. while you got your masters, I mean for me to go back to Central and finish.  I believe I would like it except the fact that too many states would be between us.  Or I might go to Penn or Earlham for music.   Now you are thinking “girl, what has put that in your head”?  I have discovered that the folks don’t approve of our marrying now under the circumstances.  They wouldn’t absolutely say no I don’t believe, but in telling them about the application blank  I soon got their opinions.  What am I to do?  When I am with you I want to stay there at almost any cost.  When I am away no one else seems to think it would be a wise thing to do and I see why they think so.  Honey, why must you be so dear above everything else and then I could easily say that we would wait until next year.  I know now that that would be the most sensible thing to do.  You would be clear of debts and I would have something laid by.  A perfect setting for your graduate work.  Then I could devote all my time to being your wife.   I think I have more doubts about this thing than you because it will mean a much greater change for me than for you.  I feel the wisdom of either being completely your wife or else not at all.  Do you see what I mean?  Talk about indecision, dear.  Yours is nothing to mine.  Shall I go on regardless of what the folks say?  My heart aches.  If I could only know the right thing to do.  Heretofore I have been a child.  The folks have always taken care of me.  Merl and Ralph solved my difficulties the first years away from home and then I turned to you.  Now I have them to do myself.  I have all at once had to become a woman and look after myself.  I still have not learned to carry my responsibilities alone.  I probably never will so long as I have you.

 

2/19/29

Your letter today certainly contained some interesting news.  I was simply knocked off my feet when you said Wilma is married.  I was so surprised.  Had she been going to school?  I wish them well but I do not envy her choice of husband.  I don’t mean that in a catty way but I just don’t care for him.

I haven’t done anything in any church this year  I don’t see how they can expect a teacher to do both things  It is too hard to divide attention  my mind has to be wholly on one thing and it is a poor enough job I am doing now at teaching  It is a slaves work.

I sent my application in to Crofton today but I told Bill I wouldn’t be crazy about the job if I had more than thirty pupils.  You can’t imagine what a strain it is to have so many youngsters dependent upon your guidance.  This year has been enough for me.  Henceforth I’m looking for a few – the fewer the better.

I went to a show tonight.  I wasn’t especially fond of it, as usual, but it was sponsored by a girls club so I went.  I prefer reading a good love story by the fireside to a show.

My dear, I wish I had half the ambition you have.  I suppose I am encumbered too much with material things.  Your aspirations carry you beyond any difficulties which I always strike.  How do you do it?  You are so different from most fellows.  You will have to help me to keep up with you.

 

2/21/29

I think I am losing my mind.  I know for sure I would if I had many days like today has been.  This is the week for six week tests and you can’t imagine what that means for me.  For instance in spelling I had 2250 words to correct other tests in proportion.  I tell you I am so nervous this evening I could fly.  Had a visitor this afternoon too.  Even though there has been so much work, I feel quite happy about results.  That is something for me to say you now.  I wonder if it is worth the price.  I haven’t been able to tell this afternoon whether I was going to laugh or cry.

Your letter this noon completely unnerved me and on top of that I had a letter from Kathryn but I’ll tell about that a little later.  Your letter was heart breaking. I can imagine how it must have hurt you to write it.  I think I just don’t know what to do  I couldn’t think of letting you go away so far without me but still I dread to marry on no more than we have.  If we could teach together that would be fine, except I would always be worrying about you going on to school.  I wouldn’t want to keep  you from that for anything.

I wish I might work for my degree but I won’t let you finance it unless we are married and you are going to school too.  If you teach I do too.  I refuse the offer for the simple reason that you can’t teach school and make enough to live on yourself as you should and pay my expenses in school.  Furthermore, I would feel like a slacker if I contracted school debts and then let you pay them.  One doesn’t get rich teaching school, not when board and room cost $40/mo.  How I wish I knew the outcome of the question.  The suspense is terrible.

I wouldn’t care to be married with Ivan and Lillie, would you?  But I would get a big kick out of being the bride’s maid.   When is the wedding to be?  My goodness, aren’t they even going to live together?  My dear, did you ever stop to think how many kids are doing this dumb trick we are contemplating?  Getting married and then just living around any old way hoping to save up something to begin housekeeping with.

I have the most interesting weekend ahead of me making out grades and fixing report cards.  Lovely and so resting  I don’t know whether I’ll go home or not.  The boys will be in Wayne at the basketball tournament.

I look for your letters anxiously now, dear, and not without a little dread.

 

2/24/29

Waterbury lost in the basketball tournament.  It would have been great for Chester if he could have gone on to Lincoln.  Such chances of getting out improve his social attitudes.  Ralph had promised him a good time.  He had been it today mostly because of nerves and it effected his stomach.  That is the way it always gets me  I had a spell last week and every time I do I seem to get thinner  Meyers told me if I wasn’t careful I wouldn’t have anything to put inside my coat.

Now I am going to scold you.  You are making yourself an old man long before you should.  If you must be so serious about everything don’t try to make everyone else that way.  Life is short at the best.  Why not have a good time while you can?  I don’t ever expect to see you any other way but what shall I do!  I don’t like it as you have learned years ago.  That is the reason I don’t envy the ministry.  It requires too much seriousness.  You carry your gravity well but I would be a very old woman in a very short time.  I want to be young and enjoy living.  We used to play a lot and therein was my love born for you but now you seem so far away from me.  Selfish? Yes. I have not forgotten myself so far that I can devote all my efforts toward the “uplifting of suffering humanity”.  Anyway, it would do you good to wear a vagabond hat, take in a show or two and learn a few dance steps.

I talked things over with Mother again today.  She says, “Girl it is a question for you to decide  Make up your mind regardless of what others say and stick to it”.  You know what I want to do but will it be best for your future plans?  I know you have said many times to leave that to you.  That was for you to take care of but I can imagine how disappointed you would be if your dreams should be unrealized.

 

2/26/29

Report cards are made out and it is a task I am glad to get finished.  It is not fun at all, not even interesting.  It is just a drudgery and a thing to get through.  I don’t find much that is extremely interesting.  It is just a lot of work that has to be crowded in to eight hours then a rush to get all the papers looked over (at least those you don’t throw into the wastepaper baskets).  One can guess the type of work they are doing.  I know you won’t believe me until you try it, but you will be doing a lot of unnecessary work.  You’ll learn a lot of things, my dear, when you begin teaching.  I know you are going to have some heart aches, unless you get an unusual class.  Books do give one a little idea of what to do but it is just theory.  The actual thing isn’t like that at all.  Theoretic discipline is very, very different from real discipline you’ll find in the school room.  I’m not trying to discourage you, I’m just trying to prepare you for the jolt you are going to get.  If you think college is trivial I wonder what you will think of  high school.

I had a peach of a letter from Ralph. He is having a lot of doubts and misgivings.  I think his are caused from uncertainty about his choice of a girl.  Marie is too slow and “dead” I should say.  He needs someone more peppy and lively. One who is ready for a good time.  You aren’t that way either now but you will be sweetheart when you get away from the too strong influence of the older men – meaning President, Mr. Watson and Dr. Hull.  They are the finest men I know but you don’t want to be as old as they are yet.  You are going to be young and have a good time with me.  I think the news of Cathryn’s action was a jolt to Ralph that he’ll think about for a while.  She was a much better girl for him, had plenty of pep, but he just couldn’t break away from Marie.

I wonder what has happened to Merl.  We have not heard a scratch from him since Christmas.  He hasn’t even written to Mother.  I think that is not very kind on his part even if he is peeved because the folks didn’t agree with his little idea of getting rich quick.  Lillian spoke as if they were not going to be married this summer.  Gee, they’re funnier than we are.  I know their trouble lies in Merl just as our difficulties are in me.

These terrible up and down feelings!  I never felt more like taking the first train out of town before.  I felt as though I just had to be loved.  Instead I had to stand before the kids in a strictly professional attitude and see that they did not tear things to pieces.  That is how I find life – always making demands and constantly driving myself to do things.  I would much prefer living in the pleasurable nice things on a high plane away from the ugly mean things.  Now I am in castles thinking of impossibilities so I’ll stop and go to bed.

 

2/28/29

It is about time I write you an nice letter. I have been feeling mean, hence the mean letters.  This week has been miserable made worse today by the entrance of a new pupil.  Is she dumb?  All she knows how to do is nod her head.  I am glad she can do that much.  I only lack one now of reaching my goal of 45 pupils. I’ll probably get that one next week.  Mrs. Warner said she never realized what I had to do until she came in and saw the mob before me.  The county superintendent and state inspector visited the school but didn’t visit the grades.

Last night I was so furious.  I kept Donald Roberts in because he is such a little imp in school.  About five minutes to four here came Wilber and said “I want Donald to come home.”  I said “he’ll be excused in a few minutes.  It is not four o’clock yet.  “I don’t care, you have no business keeping a kid in that goes on the wagon”.  It made me so mad I just raved in the office.  Bell was mad too.  He said the idea of a wagon driver talking to a teacher like that.  He told me if I wanted to keep that boy in, keep him as long as I liked and he’d stand behind me.  That boy is headed straight for the office and I hope Bell spanks him until he has to sit on a cushion.  This morning Wilbur sent me an apology which helped matters a little.

The mother of one of my pupils died this morning.  It is terribly sad because they are so very, very poor.  She has been sick a long time but they haven’t been able to do anything for her because they have no money.  Poverty is terrible.  The children in this family have actually not had enough food to eat.  One girl has graduated from high school and has been taking in washing to get the things needed for the girls who are graduating this year.

I was going to write a nice letter, wasn’t I?  When I heard that Ted was married I just naturally fell over on the davenport.  My goodness, why now? Why didn’t they wait until school would be out?  I just don’t see how they do it!    If those fellows can manage I know blame well you could, but I feel like I would be burdening you while if we waited until you have worked a year we would be able to really live and could have more of a home.

I don’t believe I would be much surprised if you told me now that George and Zola are married.  I’ll bet you a kiss right on the lips that they will be married this summer.  Will you take my bet?  Maybe I’ll make it two.

 

3/1/29

While I wait for the bus to H20bury I’ll write a few lines.  The bus will be late as usual so I’ll have plenty of time.  I am so tired I can scarcely move even though the kids have been fairly good.  The fifth grade are working on two projects; the language project is a study of Hiawatha that the folk are interested in.  The other is in geography covering the United States.  The fourth graders are working on a South America project.  It makes a great deal more work for me but the class remembers so much more from a project.  It gives an opportunity to introduce so many more interesting things that are not given in the books.

3/2/29 from Home

I nearly went under this morning when I received your telegram.  I have been nearly wreck all day and can think of absolutely nothing else.  No use to tell me not to worry because I can’t help it.  I’ll be worried sick until I can be hearing from you again.  Perhaps you are in no danger, but I have been hearing enough lately about this disease to make anyone feel worried.  There have been cases in Sioux City.  I wish you weren’t so far away from me.  I am wondering who could be ill and if it is anyone I know.  Whoever it is I am extremely sorry to hear it.  As I understand it, this disease is a dreadful thing.

We have not been without our worries here at home.  Chester has been very ill but I didn’t know anything about it until last night.  The doctor called last evening and said he thought it was only the flu settled in his leg or hip.  It started when he helped Dad haul some hogs and when he got them in town he had a strenuous time getting them unloaded. His fever has gone down considerably and he doesn’t have quite so much pain.

How will I do all week without any letters from you!  How will I know but maybe all kinds of things might be happening to my boy.  I will be hoping for your safety and will certainly be happy when I hear from you again.

I had a letter from Helen Potter.  I was surprised to learn that she has given up her school and is just staying at home now.  There was trouble in the school board and she just gave up before Christmas.  She said teaching and she didn’t agree and that it was a grand mess.  How unfortunate and would give one such a sense of failure and feeling of lack of confidence in oneself. I’m glad I’ve been able to hang on to my job so far and I’m sure I can make it the rest of the year.

 

Mother has been up to see Chester just now and his leg is getting stiff.  I am afraid…. Oh dear, it makes me sick through and through just to think of it.  I think I’ll stay in Allen tonight so in case…I’ll be at school and not quarantined here.

 

3/3/29  Allen

I really wanted you today above everything else.  I stayed in town last night after the play.  I didn’t get up this morning until ten o’clock  It isn’t often that I do such a thing but it is rather fun sometimes.  As it was I got up in time to go to church.

I called Mother to see how Chester was and learned is about the same.  His leg doesn’t hurt so much but he still has a high fever.  Poor kid.  At any rate I don’t believe he has what I feared he might.  However it will bear close watching.

If I could have one wish really come true, do you know what I believe I would wish?  There are lots of things I would like to wish for but one of them is that there would be no more clashing of personalities.  Isn’t that a really, truly Quakerly wish?  I do have noble thoughts occasionally which surprises me. It always makes me feel uncomfortable when people clash and I would rather not be around.  There was a disagreement in the gang because one girl was listening to a symphony and the others made a fuss because they only wanted to listen to popular music.  There were words and now there will be more hard feelings. I heard one of the girls say afterward “Benton is the sweetest tempered thing.  She never makes anyone mad at her”.  Reward, I suppose, but the credit goes to you.  I don’t always feel sweet but I do try to hold my tongue for I truly dislike to speak rudely to anyone.  I think I have learned that from you.  Mother says I need you just as you are to steady my ups and downs.  Perhaps so.  I know that you have a very firm will.  If it fluctuated like mine I’m afraid we wouldn’t get very far.

 

3/4/29

I am worried to tears this evening.  I just now called home and learned that they have taken Chester to the hospital.  I couldn’t hear what Dad said so central repeated for us.  She said Mother was coming home on the train this evening so it must not be terribly bad or they wouldn’t leave him alone.  His temperature is still high.  I am glad he is there because, of course, they can do much more for him there than could be done for him at home.  I still have dread of what it might be.  I am going to call again in the morning.  Between you and Chester I have much to worry about.  When will I ever hear from you?

We had a faculty meeting this evening and were presented with our new contracts.  I explained my situation and told him I didn’t care to sign until I knew what was going to happen.  We have had a month since reelection to decide and Mr. Bell didn’t know whether they would extend my time.  If they won’t give me an extension I guess I’ll sign and then if we get the other place we’ll be married and that will automatically drop my contract here.  Easy, isn’t it?

I will bury myself in work tonight and try not to think.  Somehow I have a feeling that things will come out all right but I dread the suspense.

P.S.  I’m sending some samples of the work the 4th grade turned in.  The examples are extremes.

 

3/6/29

You will think I am entirely crazy when I tell you what I have been doing all evening and what the gang are contemplating now.  We are going to put on a play.  Besides all our other work we are going to work up a play called “Cat O’ Nine Tails”.  Do you know it?  Mrs. Ingram is going to coach the thing and I imagine we will have fun but it’s a lot of work.  Fortunately my part is not heavy.

This has been a terrible day for me.  I have been ready to commit murder all day.  I am going to do some drastic things tomorrow.  I feel it in my bones.  Woe unto the victims!  They have worked on my nerves to the limit.  I won’t stand for it any more.

I tried to call home but no one answered.  Central told me that Dad came home and left word that Chester is very ill.  They operated but she didn’t know the results.  Mother is staying with him tonight.  My heart stops beating every time the phone rings  Central said she would let me know anything she heard about him.  I’ve cried myself to sleep nearly every night this week.  That is when I wish you were with me.

 

3/7/29

What shall I do now?  I had a letter from Bill today saying the vacancy at Crofton is filled but not by me.  That ends that as far as I am concerned.  I have made no other applications and, of course, I have had no word from you.  Tell me dear what should I do?  My contract here is ready for me to sign anytime.  Shall I do it?  If you go to NY I am going with you but if you teach I hardly see how we can manage.   Unless I could teach too we would have to buy furnishings for a house which would take all you could make in one year and then it would all have to be sold the next year if you went to school.  Oh honey it is such a muddle  I can’t think it through.  You do it.  I will sign this contract next Friday unless you can give me definite reasons for not doing so before then.

I  suppose you are out of bondage today.  It will probably be a grand and glorious feeling to all concerned.

I called home this evening and learned that Chester is much better.  They operated yesterday. That was not very good but he is much better today.  The trouble is all caused from an infection that localized in his side.

I paddled a youngster today.  I told you I felt it coming and it did.  The little dickens! I’d give it to them all if it didn’t take so much of my strength.

 

3/10/29

My heart has simply been torn to shreds this weekend.  I haven’t had the faintest idea the condition Chester has been in and when I saw him yesterday it was such a shock that I nearly flopped.  I hope I never see a more pitiful or terrible thing in all the rest of my life.  John, that boy has been delirious since Monday and has fought and raved day and night His life has been in question since Wednesday and I knew nothing of it.  After being in such a state all week his eyes and body are terrible  His eyes haunt me.  Words cannot tell what he has gone through  He didn’t know me yesterday morning.  It was so pitiful that I could scarcely bare it and then to think the folks have had to watch that all week with no sign of improvement. Mother says they feel ten years older and they look it.  Dad has gone to pieces and can do nothing but walk the floor and cry.  Chester has known the folks all the time.  If he hadn’t Dad would have been done for.  He is now sleeping a lot.  His mind has cleared up a good bit and this afternoon he was quite rational.  He knew me today but he is far from being out of danger.  The things he has said would be funny if they were not so tragic.  I have five brothers but I couldn’t get along without every one of them.  Everything possible is being done.  He has two nurses constantly on shift duty.  He is never left alone and they work with him all the time.  It has been so terrible for the folks that it breaks my heart.

 

3/12/29

Mother called this evening and said Chester was coming along fine with steady improvement.  It is such a relief and such a grand and glorious feeling that I went to the show.  I’ll bet Dad feels like he doesn’t care what happens now.  It is just too wonderful.

Yesterday was just awful.  I thought I was going to keel over right in the school room.  In the evening I tried to correct papers but I was so fidgety I couldn’t stand it.  I’d play the piano awhile or do any fool thing I could think of and then correct a few more papers.  Gee!!  It’s awful!

The show I saw was called “The Sawdust Paradise.  It was the story of a conflict between an evangelistic meeting and a carnival in the and how the meeting won.  It was pretty interesting but as I rule I am getting so I don’t care for the shows any more

You are having some interesting times aren’t you?  Those are the things that make me homesick for the old campus.  One doesn’t have a chance to meet people like that in a place like this.  Chances for meeting such people are reasons why I would like to live in a college town.  I know of no place I would rather live than in Central City.  Wouldn’t it be fun to have a home there somewhere near the college?  It would be ideal.  Where do you suppose we will live, sweetheart?

Well, I think you feel about like I do.  You want me to decide and I want you to decide while at the same time we both want to so much that we can scarcely stand to be separated much longer.  I hardly think either of us are bone heads enough to rush in without thinking of what will happen after we are together.  What peculiar people we are.  Victims of circumstances which we do not know how to overcome.

3/14/29

Well you are certainly having some time with your debating  I believe you have the most difficult side of the question.  Opinion could so easily decide the judges against you.  Now you should have me for a judge.  I would just look at you and say my decision is yours.  You would win every time.

Marvin Mitchell came back from CA last week.  His is the biggest nut you ever saw.  He is so conceited that he thinks everyone is crazy about him.  He is good looking and has a good physique but he spoils it by his attitude.  He got a permanent wave in his hair and sprouted a mustache and smokes cigarettes like fury. A conceited girl is bad but a conceited man is terrible.

 

3/17/29

This week has been another nightmare.  Mother called and me and said Chester had to have another operation.  If I would go down to the hospital they wouldn’t because they are so nearly worn out.  They took out about a pint of pus from his leg again.  I was so glad I could stay with him even though it was a strain on me.  He is so lonesome to her home again but he will be there two more weeks at least.  When I let eh hospital I went out to Meyer’s.  I stepped in the door and Catherine began talking to me and in a snap of a finger I went all to pieces.  I was with him all day today and feel as limp as a rag.  It is still a question in my mind as to whether that boy will pull through but I wouldn’t let on to the folks.

You must come this week.  It would be heavenly if you came Thursday evening or early Friday.  Then you could meet the gang here.  I promised Chester I would stay with him part of the weekend again.  You wouldn’t mind my taking that much of “our time” would you, dear?  You see how I have come to “meet” you?   You know it wouldn’t be good for my reputation nor yours if anyone found out that I am meeting you at Norfolk to stay overnight so you must tell people that you are coming to Allen.  No one must know that I have come to “meet” you. It will be a little secret between you and I which we will never mention to each other.  Are you pretending with me?  I would actually if I could but I can’t during school days you see so we will pretend just for fun. Mind you it is very secret.  I have planned this little pretending game for a long time because I knew I couldn’t get away to come to you.

 

3/19/29

After receiving your letter today I know no more than I did.  Somehow things do not seem to work right at either end perhaps indicating that you should not attempt to come this week.  I would not want you to lose your place at the store for I know you need that.  I had mentioned the possibility of going to the Passion play, but the tickets are all sold so I couldn’t get you and extra ticket.  If you can come I will turn mine back in.  You would no doubt get more from the play than I because it is all given in German.  I shall love you just as much if you come another weekend.

I just laughed today when I read of your new difficulties.  I think that is the best joke.  I know the girl.  She went to Kearney summer school last summer.  Surely she knows of your situation.  You see, dear that’s what comes of being tied up as you are – Ha!  I can’t imagine you falling for a girl like her.  You see I’m not scared a bit.  I thought it was such a good joke that I told the Ingram’s about it.  Ingram wants to have a look at you to see what kind of a man you are.  He seems to think men aren’t made that way in this day and age.

Well, sweetheart, I have been having experiences too.  I have meet a seemingly fine young man who I think is about the squarest I’ve ever met.  He was attracted to me at once so he says and quite naturally sought to further a friendship.  I was sure he would make a very find friend and I sized him up at once as a good sort.  Of course he knew nothing of my attachment so in fairness to him and you most of all I proceeded to tell him.  He immediately withdrew saying he would certainly have a low opinion of himself if he tried to break up a couple.  I like him for his attitude if for nothing else.  From my experience few men will take such a position

When Vernal read that part of your letter she said “does he always write like that using such wording in his sentences?  It sounds like a book.”  When I assured her that you did, she said she wouldn’t know how to talk to such a person.  She thought you must write a great deal.  Isn’t that a lovely compliment?  That is why your letters are so dear to me.  They are just like you, precise and good.

Dad said this evening that Chester seemed quite cheerful today.  Dad told him if he would only get well as soon as he could hobble about he would take him down town and buy him a new Ford.  Chester told me that last Saturday.  The tears came in his eyes and he said he was afraid we didn’t appreciate our Dad enough.  He is thinking such things because he realizes how near the cam to being taken away from us all.  When I left him he squeezed my hand saying how glad he was I stayed with him.  That was what broke me up but he didn’t know because I smiled and was as jolly as I could until I got home to Meyers.  He’ll be a different boy when he comes home if it is possible for him to be better.  I still think my brothers are the finest boys in the community.

 

3/21/29

I was disappointed of course in your letter but not as much as I might be sometimes.  You must come next week or I’ll explode.  How I love you!  Marvin tells me I’m very deceitful,  He said no wonder men hither and yon fall for me (ha!).  At first I seemed very cool and dignified but after a bit I showed just a bit of dare devilishness, enough to make them interested in finding more.  Do I seem like that?  Is that the reason you love me?  I know I can lead you on but I never deliberately tried to with anyone else.

You dear, fatherly old sweetheart, so you have turned counselor and guide.  What  blessing you are!  It is fortunate that you like to work with people.  I don’t.  I can scarcely bare it and so many of the children want to hang around me.  If I go out to play with them they nearly mob me wanting to stand beside me.  I have forgotten how many have said, “Miss Benton, you are the best teacher we have ever had” or ” Miss Benton, I think you are the prettiest teacher in the school”.  I think to myself applesauce.  They ask me if I will be back next year and I tell them yes because I have signed the contract.  Mr. Bell says he thinks he can give me just one grade next year.  What bliss that will be! But I’ll still have a great many pupils whichever grade I have.

Do you think we could leave each other?  I know we couldn’t if we tried it for a while.  We’d always come back to each other.  We have become too much a part of each other.  That is why I’m wearing your ring, darling lover.  Your girlfriends (who are struck – Ha! kiss me) and my boy friends (yes uh-huh) make no difference to me.

I must write to my other sweetheart.  Good night lover boy.

P.S. My other sweetheart is Ralph. I’m lonesome for him tool.

 

3/26/29

Will you do me a kindness please?  I want you to destroy the letter I mailed yesterday.  It was such a horrid thing.  I dislike to think of you having it. I shouldn’t have written because I was so tired and sleepy I scarcely knew what I was doing.  Come as early as you can Friday and take all the time you can while here.  I must hurry to school.  Please accept my apology and destroy that letter.  That will be one of the first things I’ll ask you when you come.

 

3/26/29

Once more I shall attempt to write to you and hope this will be much more satisfactory.  After reading your letter today I thought to myself, “what a trial I must be to you”.  Right in the midst of your busy debating season.  I know you should have no distracting influences entering in.  Perhaps you have become so accustomed to my outbursts that it won’t be quite so distracting.  I hope you have learned just to pass it over and expect me to be sane next time.

I have changed in many ways you will find and I’m afraid it isn’t a change that you will greatly approve of.  I came to the conclusion that my college days taught me to be too serious.  When I came here I took everything so terribly seriously that I have nearly wrecked myself.  Now I have decided to be less serious about things and have a good time.  Always a letter like yours today give me a slight jolt and makes me wonder if I am becoming so much different than you.

Some  of my pupils came to me the other morning and asked me what heaven is and what becomes of people when they die.  There was nothing for me to do but make some sort of an answer.  I don’t know if what I told them was satisfactory because I don’t know.  It isn’t a question that worries me a great deal so long as I do nothing of which I am ashamed now.

Sunday morning I went to the large Methodist church of Morningside and saw children baptized for the first time in my life.  Of course I have never been trained in the belief but I really don’t see any value in it.  I can’t see what difference it would make to anyone.  They have a lovely pipe organ there and a choir that sings beautifully.  You know how pipe organ music gets me.  I simply love it.  I should say I like it, but I mean love it.

4/2/29

My thoughts have been with you since you left Allen.  I hope you met with no serious delays.  Of course I am very sorry about the storm and all your difficulties but I am certainly glad you can for several reasons.  I have felt much more calm and at ease since being with you.  I certainly loved you a lot when you were here. You seemed more peppy or something and I fell more in love with you than ever if that was possible.

No doubt you are wondering what sort of an impression you left.  I should say quite good, in fact very good.  Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell were very much impressed.  Mrs. Mitchell was going to fix a lunch for you boys to take with you that afternoon but she said we slipped out before she knew it.  I thought it was very kind of her to think of it.

I seem to have gotten myself in some difficulty.  Monday evening the Ingram’s went to a party, the men dressing like women and the women like men.  Ingram said I told him to help himself to my clothes and he proceeded to do so.  He took the blue sweater outfit I wore Sunday.  Imagine that on his shoulders and he tearing around like a man would.  I had just had the thing cleaned and only worn it once or twice myself.  I felt quite provoked about it but didn’t say anything until the rest of the gang butted in.  Then all I said was that I should think he would know better than to wear a sweater like that because it would stretch so.  Mrs. Ingram flew up and was terribly mad at me.  Now they are scarcely speaking to me.  It means nothing to me whether she speaks or not only the feeling they have is not conducive to the best atmosphere in the gang.

 

4/4/29

So that is how they explained your tardiness in returning to school.  Nice, it had only been true.  I venture you won’t attempt to come again very soon after all that trouble.

Your passion for youngsters is astounding.  What are we going to do about it?  I just can’t take any delight in them whatever.  You don’t see how Leonard and Katherine could be naughty in school. Let me tell you – that is just what all parents think and then blame the teacher for any trouble in the schoolroom.  All children are alike.  Give them one privilege and they take everything.  One of my “darlings” took some money from my desk Monday.  I accused one girl of it and she cried like rain but I still think she took it.  Her mother wrote me a mean letter this morning.  At the first of the year I would have been heart broken, but I don’t give a …. Now.  I expect more trouble from this family because I am not going to pass one the girls. I’ll just tell her if she doesn’t like what I do get someone else to do it.

P.S.  I hope you take the Fullerton school.  It is a larger place.

 

4/8/29

I’ve had another full weekend as usual and feel the effects of it this morning.  It was good though.  I spent all day Saturday in Wayne at a  music contest.  Did I take in music?  I just breathed myself full to overflowing.  It was wonderful.  Then last night I heard the cantata Springbank had prepared to present last Sunday but postponed because of the storm.  It was very, very good.  All this gets me inspired in a way that you probably won’t approve but I wish I might go on to school and just study music and methods of teaching.  Then I could teach music and not have to bother with these little kids in the grades.  I could be doing something then wherein I could find some pleasure.  I wish I might go to school next year but can’t see my way clear.  If you go to NY, I think I shall plan to go to Penn College the next year and so fulfill my desire.  You see if I had an education in music I could always make use of it anywhere, anytime – married or unmarried.

 

4/9/29

I just finished making out report cards for the past six weeks.  What a relief to get it done!  Just once more, thank goodness, and I’ll be through for this year – I wish never to come back to it.  Only five more weeks after this and they can’t pass too quickly for me.  I despise to see the pupils come in the morning.  They are such a noisy mess.  I dislike them more every day – they can be such “darned little fools”.  It will be a long time before I’ll want any of my own to bother with.  The gang says “what will you do when you are married?”  I say I won’t have any.  Then they always say “how do you know?”  Then I have to admit I don’t know and that’s the trouble.  I suppose the only remedy would be not to marry.  I’m sorry for your sake but that’s how I feel now.

You mustn’t get in the habit of making so many speaking engagements because after a while I’m not going to let you do it  If I’ve got a husband I want to know I’ve got one.  You see I’m going to make you do a lot of things that you don’t know about.  Do what you please and make the most of your time, dear, before I start on my reform.

I saw Chester last night and the folks tonight.  The folks have to bring him to the doctor every day.  They got crutches for him this evening but he isn’t allowed to use them except to move about the house a little.  He is so thin and pale it rather worries me to look at him.  He certainly doesn’t look strong.

It is very late and I am getting cold.  It is raining and the wind is blowing outside.  Ideal weather to suit my mood…

 

4/11/29

I am putting off your question until such time when I am feeling better.  It is absolutely impossible for me to think connectedly tonight so I’m not going to try.  Dearest, by feelings frighten me and then I get more mixed up than ever.

I have the most overwhelming sense of failure this evening.  The day has been a terrific one and everything has been so messy.  These rainy days the kids have to stay in all day and it is enough to drive anyone straight to Norfolk.  My room is a mess and we are all having to help normal trainers along besides.  I began today with the poorest one in the bunch.  My room is not one bit like I had planned as far as discipline is concerned.  The kids have no respect for anything or anybody.  They would just as soon make fun of Mr. Bell right to his face if they weren’t afraid of a good paddling.

 

4/14/29

I begin this letter with a great deal of hesitation.  I have just read your letter and am at once conscious stricken.  I feel terrible for making you feel bad. Instead of feeling more like it is right for us to marry this summer I am getting farther from it.  I want above everything else to be married sometime but not just now, dear.  I am just not ready for it.  Our time together at Plainview has been the disturbing factor this time.  I do love you.  What must I do to convince you of that.  There seems to be only one thing I haven’t done and that you know.  I absolutely refuse until the proper time.  That is one desire of yours that I will not give in to.    I have told you over and over that I love you and if you can’t take my word for it I know not what to do.  Is it because I don’t want to be married now?

You know I always write my letters just like I am feeling.  I have been having some school difficulties and I am extremely sorry if I seem to be taking it out on you.  I realize now it isn’t fair to you and I will henceforth try to keep them out of my letters.  I will make myself be cheerful in spite of things.  It will be a good habit to cultivate.  There are only five weeks left of school and I’m sure I can do it for that long.

The atmosphere has cleared a good deal for me since talking with Ralph.  We had one grand confab last night lasting into the wee small hours.  I do not know whether religion is at the roots of our differences but it may be.  You cannot feel my way and I have not experienced your way.  I will not be a hypocrite about it and say I am experiencing it when I am not.

I am sorry you didn’t get the position at Fullerton but perhaps you will be just as happy at Monroe.  At least you will get a year of experience which is going to be a great one I warn you.

Please don’t get so disheartened over these shadows I seem to have cast over you.  I didn’t intend to and I don’t intend to thoughtlessly cross your hopes and plans but you see they rather involve me also.  My purposes do seem to change a lot but perhaps they wouldn’t so much if I could have decided of my own free will.  Just now I do not care to be married perhaps for a year or two.  I prefer the prospects for the future to be more definite.  I would like to know what I am getting into.

 

4/16/29

Ralph just left and I am very sorry to see him go.  His visit has been most refreshing to me.  Work has gone along wonderfully well this week and I told him I thought it was because he renewed my spirit.  I know that he is the best brother ever.  He is going to be home this summer and I bet we have some good times.  He is always so peppy and Dad is always so glad to have him around.

I know some boys who are going to be very, very happy tomorrow.  The new Ford is to be delivered.  The boys will be please to death  Dale said to me Sunday evening “Isn’t Dad a good scout?”.  I’ll say he is.

I promised my fifth grade a picnic tomorrow and am taking them out right after school.  I don’t know how I’ll take care of the going but I hope things will go nicely  One boy I used to think was so naughty has taken quite a fancy to me and I take it rather as a good omen.  There will only be fifteen in the group since I lost one pupil Monday.  He is a boy I am very glad to get rid of.  He wouldn’t have passed if he had stayed in Allen.

I take it you do not believe my religion is deep seated enough to help me any.  My dear, I think God has placed me in these surroundings and under these circumstances and has given me a mind to reason with.  Now it is or me to draw my own conclusions.  He isn’t going to reveal the whole situation to me in a vision.  It will only come to me by degrees and largely through my own decision and conscience.  That sounds rather emphatic but that is the way it seems to me.

 

4/21/29

Just after returning from church and I keep thinking about “out of the heart are the issues of life”.  I am trying to think what the issues of my life are.  How far am I justified in thinking of material things or should I disregard thoughts of a home (meaning house and a few luxuries) and think only of those so called higher things in life?  I go over it and over it in my mind but have not satisfied myself yet.

It may not be any of my business but I am very much puzzled over one of your latest announcements.  My dear, how does it come that you will be in debt $500 at the close of the year?  The way you live I should think $400 would pay your school expenses very easily and then you have worked more this year than you used to.  How can it be so much?  And then in the face of that you planned to be married this summer and go on to school.  How could you?  If I hadn’t already made my decision, that would have made it for me.  I would feel an absolute burden to you.  I’m afraid, my sweetheart, your aspirations almost get beyond you or else I’m not made right. You need not answer this question if you would rather not.  It is not my affair I suppose.

Saturday afternoon I went to a kid circus.  Two of my youngsters were at the head of the affair and of course asked me if I wouldn’t go.  It was too funny for words.  Just a lot of craziness not very well organized but I got a big kick out it  I expect I’ll have a circus of my own when I attempt to take my fourth grade on a picnic.  They are such wild little Arabs and so many of them.

Have you decided whether you are coming to Quarterly Meeting? If so it will only be two more weeks until I see you again.

 

4/23/29

The lights have just gone out in the midst of a storm so now I am writing by the aid of an old fashioned kerosene lamp.  Quite primitive.  It has been rainy and disagreeable all day and this evening it has had lightening and heavy rain.  I hate these days because the pupils have to stay indoors too much.

Tomorrow evening we have planned another faculty party.  This is going to be a rare occasion I’m sure because we are making it a shower for Miss Eberly who will be married shortly after school is out.  It will be a green kitchenware shower and then for funny we are giving her baby things.  It is a mean thing to do but it will be so funny.

Speaking of weddings – I have been swamped with invitations.  More fun – I had a   letter from Lillie this morning asking me to be her bridesmaid ad then your letter telling of George and Zola’s wedding

 

4/24/29

Do I love it?  It is perfectly wonderful.  I like it so much that I can do nothing but look at it when I am near it.  It is absolutely splendid of you and I love it but not more than the sender.  What were you thinking of when you had the picture taken  I think I’ll have to take it down home and only look at it during weekends.  I’m afraid I’ll never hold out with you looking at me like that all the time.  I was so excited this afternoon I was going to send a telegram immediately after school but I remembered you said this was the evening for the extempo.  I was afraid a telegram arriving about six might be  distracting.

 

4/25/29

I was disappointed not to get a letter today, but the picture made up for it.  I haven’t quite recovered from that yet.  The whole gang has surely been teasing me.  Someone is always saying “come to Ruthie and die right”.  I was  composed enough today to rule the room however and that is all I ask.  Just two more weeks of real teaching and the finishing week and then I’m through.  I’m having to think up something all the time to work the kids.  I feel rather guilty sometimes when I stop to think how I work the poor creatures to get results.  If nothing else I tell them I’ll send them upstairs to the office.  That takes the kinks out of any of them mighty quick.

 

4/28/29

It was fortunate for all concerned that you letter today held the trend it did.  I have been feeling tip-top this week and have been having a good time.  If your letter had been sad I would have been disappointed.  I guess you still don’t understand me as well as I do you.  I’ve begun to think I am rather crazy as mother says I am.  She says I don’t know what I want and I guess she is about right.  I just want to have a good time.  You may think I  am frivolous but I think (notice I hesitate) I have done something that the teacher didn’t do last year.  I seem to have gotten a hold on my fifth grade boy that is meaning a lot. The ones that fought their teacher nearly every day last year and caused me so much grief at the beginning of the year are minding me in school now and bringing candy to me and other things to show they like their teacher.  One boy especially has come out in fine shape.  He doesn’t study as much as he might but I believe I could even get him to do that if I had longer to work with him.  I’m going to have to guard against one of these so called pupil crushes.  The boy is thirteen years old.  He stayed after school this evening to talk with me and from his conversation I was amazed to discover the “inner workings” of the boy, the very one that first showed himself so worthless.  Comparing the conversation of this boy last fall and this spring I can scarcely believe they come from the same boy.

I took my fifth grade pupils on a picnic last evening after school.  We had a lovely time and the kiddies were just wonderful.  They played well together and minded me like little soldiers.  Some of the sixth grade boys came out to see what trouble they could stir up and I thought to myself that I was going to have trouble, but was simply amazed to see how they would look to me first and obey everything I said.  When I said it was time to come back to town  they all gathered right up and started in with me.  Easy as an old hen calling her chicks together.  The two oldest and naughtiest fairly fell over themselves to do things for me.  Now isn’t that enough to make anyone feel better?  I told the gang if school didn’t hurry up and close I’m afraid I’ll begin to like my pupils.  I hate to admit it but I think it is partly due to the fact that now I am sure I am coming back and feel more sure of myself.  I am on something solid again.

I think you are foolish for not giving up your contract at Monroe and taking the place at Fullerton.  There I criticize again – forget I said that.  That’s the kind of thing I said I wouldn’t write.

Last evening when I came in from the picnic I stopped at the garage and saw the new Ford roadster.  It was too much of a temptation.  I had to have a ride.  I picked up four of my boys on the streets and we went for a little ride on the highway.  The boys can have a peachy time in that.  It was to be delivered down home today.

No wonder you feel so virtuous getting grades like you get.  It isn’t normal.  You can afford to aspire to eastern ways.  I never could.  If those grades wouldn’t impress eastern friends, nothing ever would.  With those grades and your other aspirations no wonder the students think of you as Mister Ferguson instead of John.  It isn’t natural you know.  That’s why you are different and makes me a bit fearful of you myself.  I wouldn’t discourage you for a minute but I’m too made that way hence your lectures to me.  You old darling, if you do it anymore I’ll pull your ears.  You might as well save your breath and energy for some more pliant soul. I like to have a good time.  So does Ralph.  We come together just about right and does he understand – oh brother!

 

4/28/29

I congratulate my dear sincerely on your ability.  I am very proud of you, boy.  Your character shows in your picture, sweetheart.  No wonder everyone admires it.  My first thought on receiving your letter was to go to Omaha next week to hear you speak.  On second thought I have decided it might be better not to since it is such a busy time.  I am so tempted – I suppose you will be all dressed up with your hair slicked down and just laying it off to your audience.

I was in the city yesterday trying to find a dress I could wear.  Everything is too big around.  I am absolutely too slim around the hips for the rest of me.  I think I dragged Meyers around to every dress shopping the city.  I’ve just written to Lillie asking her what she wants me to wear at her wedding.  I am getting so excited about going back to the campus I can scarcely contain myself.  For once I can get in on all the fun of commencement and not have to be over burdened with work.  I am a visitor this time.  There is only one thing I would like to do and that is play the commencement march for your class.  I wonder if I could.  That would be all that would be necessary to make me feel as though I belonged to the college group.  I’ll always feel that that little place by the church piano is mine.

I am as extremely sorry about Ruth Crain as you.  I don’t think that my sweetheart would have anything to do with it but it does rather look that way.  I imagine her nerves were quite unstrung making her do things she wouldn’t have done under ordinary conditions.  Pardon me for asking, but did you go out with her any, even once?  I don’t think I would feel hurt if you did but I just wondered if you ever did.  You told me how you finally settled the matter.

 

4/30/29

I just returned from a dinner party given by one of the teachers.  It was one good dinner; everything wonderful from cocktail to ice cream.  After dinner we played bridge.  Yes, I have even learned to play bridge after a fashion.

After school I walked out in the country about two miles to pick flowers with some of my youngsters.  Their mother’s wouldn’t let them go unless I went with them and because they wanted the flowers for May baskets, I went.  They told me about the wonderful May baskets they were making for me.  More fun.

A most sickening thing happened at school this morning.  One of my boys tore a place open on his arm on some broken glass.  Of course he came running to me.  It hadn’t bled much and I could see right down in the flesh and see the blood vessels.  I had to take care of it.  The youngsters told me afterward that I was as white as could be  I didn’t feel faint but afterward I just trembled like a leaf in the wind.  It happened at the first recess.  At the same time another boy had the nose bleed that bled so long and just stopped before the bell rang.  Shortly after, it bled again.  Joys of school teaching!

Well, it is something to have the children think enough of one to respect ones word.  They still cause trouble in school but I’ve got them pretty well trained to “eat out of my hand” so to speak.  They fairly fall over each other to gain “teacher’s favor”.  Monday one boy hung around my desk and I wondered what he wanted.  Presently he dropped a Baby Ruth on my desk and beat it.  I laughed to myself but later gently let him know I greatly enjoyed it.  Now they are all asking which grade I am going to teach next year.  The youngsters amuse me now.

 

5/3/29

I’d be happy if this day were over.  There is so much to do and I feel rotten right now.  There’s a reason and it isn’t grapenuts either.  I’m taking the fourth grade for a picnic this afternoon and that in itself will be a day’s work.  I want to go to the play that Chester is in this evening and then home.  I’ll probably work at home all day tomorrow – Quarterly Meeting and then I have to speak at the church Sunday afternoon.  Don’t have my speech prepared and don’t know when I’ll do it.  The next two weeks are going to be a grand rush.  I’ll feel like a prisoner let loose when it is over.  I won’t know what to do with myself.

 

5/4/29

I have been lonesome this weekend without you.  It hasn’t seemed like Quarterly Meeting to me without you.  The other fellows were mighty poor substitutes I want you to know.  They were absolutely no good.  Kenneth did the best of any  He would talk to me some but the others would scarcely come near.  I was by myself most of the time.

Joy of joys it will only be about two weeks and a half until I shall be with you again on the old college campus.  I am so excited about it I can scarcely wait.  Mr. Beeman said he warned me now that the dormitory rules said strictly 10:30.  I couldn’t tell him, of course, but you can tell him to go to seed.  I’ll stay out as long as I choose and I’ll keep you with me if I want to.  I’d like to see him try to keep me from it.  I don’t know why but I have a feeling like I would like to antagonize him just to see what would happen.  I guess I have never learned to leave fire alone.  I’m always getting near the flames.  I suppose after all it is a good thing you are so steady in that respect.

I want always to be working for more, but I would like to feel more satisfied.  I’m afraid so far I have missed my calling.  I should be doing something else but I don’t know what it is and how am I to find out?  I am wondering and wondering if it is in music.  I do not feel that I am gifted enough in that line to devote all my time to it but it does make a most delightful side line.

I may have music pupils again this summer.  I’d like to just for the fun of it but I’m not sure how much of the time I’m going to be home.  I thought I would just rest this summer but there are so many interesting things coming up to do I don’t believe I’m going to rest after all.  I would like to take a music class and I have a chance to do some 4H club work again that would be fun.  I would have a cooking club teaching girls how to cook – I know so much about it, you know – I would simply follow directions.  It might inspire me with new interest in the culinary arts.  Everyone isn’t given such opportunities and they may not always come to me. They certainly would give some worthwhile experiences  Can I afford to let them pass by?  What do you think?

I have been thinking of something else recently and Horace startled me today by speaking of the very same thing.  We were talking of your plans for a boy’s camp this summer.  Horace said “why don’t you have a girl’s camp?”  Would it be possible?  I do not know much about camp life in that style.  The question would be where to hold it and how it would meet the  approval of parents.  Food for interesting speculation.  Pipe dreams perhaps.

 

5/6/29

What an honor you have won and you have my most sincere congratulations.  Words do not express it quite as another means I know.  Needless to say, I am very proud of you.  You seem to be able to do better things when I am not around.  Perhaps I bother you too much.  I wish I could have been in Omaha this weekend.

Oh – shocking – I’ve been out with a boyfriend tonight. Ta! Ta! This one didn’t happen to be my friend but one of Meyer’s.  We were downtown and when coming home we were picked up and went for a ride.  Had lunch with one of my boy friends.  You don’t think I am doing anything wrong do you?  I hope not.  I tell you what I am doing rather than let you think I am trying to pull something over in case you should hear of it.  I have my friends; I differ from you in that respect.  There again I suppose you are wiser but I try not to deceive anyone.  They always learn there is only one person I love.

 

5/8/29

So we can soon be congratulating Lawrence and Rose.  I expect they are all enthused.  Strange I can’t feature myself in like circumstances  I have thought and dreamed of it for several years and now that that dream could be realized I don’t seem to want it to be all true.  I want some privileges of both married and unmarried life  Another freakish characteristic  As I told you last fall, I just don’t see myself always cooking, washing dishes, and cleaning house – washing, ironing, sewing.  Do you?  You join the Aid’s Society and the Woman’s Club and talk about how to raise the family properly.  You can’t be married and be a kid.  John, will you tell me frankly what you think is the matter with me?  Is it because I am too selfish?  I’d rather think about going to school.

Talk about agents!  They are thicker than fleas on a dog’s back.  That’s another thing you’ll find next year.  An agent every time you turn around – insurance, hose, pictures, books, etc., etc.

 

5/9/29

My absentmindedness is growing worse.  I told a youngster to stay after school last night and when I had my back turned he skipped out  I intended to punish him today but I forgot all about it.  It probably would never have entered my mind again if his father hadn’t come to see me this evening.  No, his father wasn’t angry at me.  He just wanted to know if there was some way he could help me.  He wanted me to know he is willing to cooperate with me.  Believe me, that helps a lot.

I’m trying to teach fractions in the fourth grad but with some of the pupils I don’t seem to be having very good success.  I don’t see how some quite brilliant parents can have such dumb offspring.  Imagine a child in the fourth grade not being able to add 2 + 4 correctly. Then imagine trying to teach him fractions.

I am going to a party tomorrow night.  The seniors are giving their play tomorrow evening and after the play we are all invited out to the Wilson’s for a slumber party.  I know without you telling me that it is a dumb thing for me to do since there won’t be much slumbering, but school is nearly over and we might as well make the most of our time.  Nearly everyone is going into the city Saturday.  Won’t we be in fine shape for next week?  Fortunately only one more week of school.

 

5/12/29

Only four more days; Friday I can get my books checked and then I’ll be gone.  But best of all it won’t be long now until I’ll be at NCC again and with you.  By the way, I’m invited to another wedding June 5th.  Miss Eberly’s wedding. I’m sorry I can’t get back for it.  I would like to be there except that Mr. Ferguson I accept with pleasure your invitation to attend the alumni banquet with you June 4th so I can’t possibly be back.

I’ve decided to do music lessons myself, give piano lessons, and do the cooking club.  I intend to do considerable house cleaning for mother after I return from Central.  Do you know for certain what you are doing this summer?

I will attend commencement in Waterbury this Friday.  Chester is valedictorian of his class.  Something to be proud of after all he has missed.   His average isn’t high but it is the highest in the class.  He still has work to make up.

 

5/14/29

The news of Dorothy’s death has hurt me terribly  It doesn’t seem true to me.  It is the cause of her death that haunts me and I can’t get away from it.  Wasn’t the price of her life too great in this case?  Being a man, you can’t imagine or understand how it frightens me.    Dorothy was always so peppy and happy.  I can’t imagine her gone and to think it should happen so near Mother’s day.  I should think her husband would feel guilty.  I wish I could forget it.

This evening the Methodist church sponsored a picnic for the teachers.  Had to go, of course, and then played ball and such things  Came back and corrected papers.  I expect to finish most of my exams tomorrow.  I wish my pupils would feel as worried about them as I do.

You and Edith are fortunate in getting schools but I certainly feel for both of you.  Perhaps fortune will be kinder to you both.  I hope so.

 

5/17/29

You don’t want any letter from me now because it won’t be nice.  This is just to let you know I am still percolating but have nearly gone under in the midst of this mess.  It is nearly over.  Virgil came in last night to help me and we worked until twelve o’clock trying to get report cards ready for this morning.  I’m not half through averaging grades.  Never before have I realized what it meant to teachers to get out grades.  I have until ten thirty to work this morning.  Virgil is coming in to help me again.

 

5/19/29 from Waterbury

Home again, but not quite conscious..  The letdown is terrible.  I sleep and sleep and still feel like I am in a walking stupor.  Perhaps if I sleep long enough I’ll recover.

I didn’t realize you were having your camp as early as that.  You are undertaking a big thing, boy.  I hope you can make a success of it.

It certainly is a relief to know that school is over.  Now it I could only forget it but things keep running through my head – things I have done and things I  should have done, mostly things I should have done.  Wouldn’t it be nice sometimes if we could stop our minds like we stop a clock and start it again when we wanted to think?

Chester seems to have carried home the trophies Friday evening.  His diploma of graduation, diploma of honor and two scholarships – one for church college and the other from normal college in the state.  Quite an honor for the family, don’t you know.  He doesn’t plan to go to school next year and I doubt if he ever does  I hope he stays on the farm and puts all his energy there.  Ralph would be wise if he would spend his time next year on the farm instead of school.  Education is all right, of course, but I have come to this conclusion that education is not what you learn from books but it is development of character.  Ralph has his education now.  I am very proud of the backing we children have in the folks.  Grandmother Benton was a lady of genuine character and culture if ever there was one and I don’t think she had a  great deal of education.  Aunt Lola is visiting here now from Iowa.  She has that refined something about her that is fascinating to me.  It makes her delightful to know.  I desire those characteristics for myself but only time can round them out and make them real.

 

5/21/29

It seems strange not to be thinking of school work and planning the next day’s activities.  Yesterday morning I went to town and checked in my books.  Relief to say the least . Got through without much criticism.  The last thing Mr. Bell said to me was to have a good time this summer but don’t get married.

Mary Way and I went to a club meeting near Dakota City today.  I had a good time and haven’t laughed so much in many a day.  We talked about club work and explained how to organize my club.  More work than I anticipated.

Won’t be long now – I’ll get to Central on Friday.

 

6/6/29

It doesn’t seem as though I should be writing to you  – a feeling as if you would be coming over soon and I could talk to you.  Would that it were so.  I certainly hated to leave Central Wed.  On the way home I arrived in Columbus with and hour and a half layover so I called up your folks and Edith came down and got me and I had lunch with your mother, Edith, and the kiddies.  They are the cutest things.  How could anyone help but fall in love with those eyes of Chester’s.  It amuses me so because they all call me Ruthie.  Your mother wanted me to stay over and come home today, but it is a good thing I didn’t because it has rained all day today.

I went to bed early and slept late.  I’ve been cleaning in my room today.  Chester made me a bookcase so now I can put my books away in order.  I collected all your letters preparing to put them away as I have been told to do but I started reading them and didn’t get it done.  It is so interesting to read again and compare those first letters to the ones I receive now.  As I read them now I do not see how I could have failed to see how you loved me then but I didn’t understand.  Now I understand what heartaches you must have had loving me so and not knowing whether I cared or not.  Your letters express so much yearning which I didn’t see then.  What a dear you are and always have been to me.  Do you remember the picture you sent me called Love 50-50?  You said your love was 50 and more and you asked if I would give the other 50.  That letter you signed Love – ?  It isn’t a question mark now is it dear?  If those little things didn’t’ express your desire clearly nothing ever could.  You said once you thought I didn’t care for you because I didn’t write.  You seemed to think, judging from your letter, it wouldn’t be worth going back to school if I didn’t care for you.  You appeared to know your heart well even then and you were very young.  Those letters am in 1925.  It was true then as it is now that the mood of my letter always reflected in yours.  When I was happy you were, if not your letters showed the same.  Thinking over all the letters as a whole, they fairly throb with love, it is so great  I do not know what I have done to merit it but I am more proud of that love now than I believe I have ever been before.  A love like that will mean a life of happiness for me  and I want so much to give back in a measure that love.  It seems very small in comparison but I know that that small bit has given you happiness.  It frightens me to think that I have deliberately played with so big a thing in youthful ignorance little realizing what I might have missed.  Now I must make myself more worthy.

Well – I thought I was only going to have two or three music pupils but I have discovered that the number will be more like six or seven.  I hardly think I’ll have much time to waste this summer.  My vacation did me good. When school was out I didn’t care what happened, but now I’m getting my ambition back.  I look forward with pleasure to my two classes  I don’t like to feel like I did earlier in the spring.  It is a dreadful sensation.

 

6/9/29

Writing is such an inadequate way of expressing myself, extremely poor for me although not so much for others.  There are too many things that can’t be formed in words  I am still reading, at odd times, your old letters to me.  I am still in 1928.  It is a continual source of wonder to me how one person can be so wholly lost in love to another person and then to think that those two people are you and me.  In fact I don’t believe I could believe such a thing trueif I didn’t feel a wholly lost in it myself.  I would almost like to read some of my letters to you to see if my letters express as a whole as much love. Words don’t come to me as well as to you but I hope I have shown you a little of that all-consuming fire within me.  Your letters have not been without a touch of humor and I have laughed.  I see you pretending to be cross with me but you know what I’d do to you if you were with me.  Your suggestions of serving meals, ways of spending evenings together, our home – they are the lovely things that will bridge over the difficulties that might arise occasionally for I don’t suppose we are so much different from other folk that we will never have any troubles.  Hoe with you I know is going to be wonderful.

I was in church this evening but I don’t remember what Mr. Clem said  You can’t reprove me when I tell you where my mind was – with you, of course at our wedding.  A plan has come to my mind which I rather like to play with but I can’t imagine what you will say about it  is just another suggestion you see for us to consider.  I even thought of a number of details but there would be a lot to think about.  Do you want to hear it now or wait until we are together?

If another year of teaching affects me like this one did I won’t teach again.  So absorbed and worried was I about my school problems that I began to feel indifferent to my sweetheart.  I knew I was but I couldn’t seem to control it.  I still loved you but my work so claimed my attention and was made so important in my eyes that I put thoughts of the future aside and lived only in the present, in fact only in each day.

You may well be grateful that I am taking this work with the cooking club.  You are going to have to be very patient with me.  I am so woefully ignorant about so many of the fine points in culinary arts.  I know a good many things right now that you are going to have to help me with.  It may be embarrassing to have to ask you and if you laugh at me I’ll die, but I don’t know how else I would manage.  As I said before, you’ll need a world of patience.

 

6/12/29

I find I will have seven music pupils.  Some are getting quite well along and can play quite nicely.  One little girl is just beginning.  Her hands are so small.  Most of them are not very far along and it takes a lot of time and patience to work with them.  I really enjoy it and only wish I were better prepared myself to do the work.  Beside the enjoyment of the work there is quit  material return from it.  I am confident that I could have more of a class if I advertised around a bit but I don’t feel qualified enough for that.

I believe my club work is going to be great sport.  There is a great deal more to it than I had first realized.  The girls are very much interested but it remains to be seen what success they will have.  I need to do some cooking myself to see what the results might be.  If they ask me any questions I wouldn’t know what to tell them.  I know when food tastes good but I don’t always know how it should look.  Mary is a big help.  She is very good at such work.

I certainly had a good dinner at Mary’s home last evening  ore fun.  Arvilla was there, the county agent and an old friend of ours from 4H.  I certainly don’t have any trouble making friends, in fact, sometimes I’m afraid I get along too well.  Fortunately we are both gifted the same way.  I always feel proud of you when we meet people because you meet them so easily and they always seem attracted to you at once.

We have a house full since we are all home.  The whole gang is here and it is like cooking for a gang of threshers.

 

6/13/29

This afternoon I took Mother to missionary meeting and rather enjoyed myself  Arvilla was there.  The only thing I got out of it, besides lunch, was another job.  The ladies are having a bake sale next Saturday and Arvilla and I are to be the salesladies.  That won’t be so bad but I don’t know how to price the foods brought in.  A nice fix we’ll be in.  We may spoil the chances of ever having another sale.

 

6/16/29

 

I don’t mind the weeks so much but Sunday always gets me.  I hate to be alone then.  Had a chance for a date tonight but turned it down.  I like other dates when they actually do talk politics and religion in a purely friendly way but when they get “sloppy” I’m out.

Yesterday when things were slack Arivilla and I talked about everything in general.  Things she mentioned about their home life and things they do together made me want them to.  In our case it will even be nicer I think because you are not like Cecil.  Perhaps I don’t understand realities but I should think it would be almost unbearable to be separated once we were married.  I wouldn’t like a secret marriage.  Our friends seem to be greatly concerned about our plans.  They ought to know us well enough to know that we couldn’t be married without letting the world know.

I got my annual ambition to sew again last week and started to make over a dress.  So far it has gone beautifully and hasn’t blotted my disposition a bit.  While I was sewing Mother came in to talk.  She is greatly concerned about Merl and his future.  Naturally she wonders if he might be married.  Then, speaking of marriages, I asked her how she wanted me to be married – at home or elsewhere.  I told her you wanted Pres. Carrell to perform the ceremony.  She said she thought we ought to be married at the Carnell’s home and after our honeymoon come home for a reception in our honor.  I had always supposed she would want me married at home but if that is her wish it will be less fuss and bother for us  A wedding here would mean a lot of work for Mother but I think she thinks she couldn’t fix things nice enough for us  If I was sure she would be perfectly happy to have us go away it would be all right with me.  I don’t think I would worry nearly so much about it myself.  Anticipation will make enough nervous strain for me.  You know how it is.

I hesitate to mention the thought I had the other evening for I don’t think you will like it at all.  I was just thinking of a simple wedding in our little old church.  I think it would be rather quaint and different.  The trouble there would be to know when to stop inviting friends.  I had the whole thing pictured out in my mind just how we would work the whole thing.  Ceremony at 10, breakfast at 10:30 and we leave at noon.  Just a thought you see  I don’t know of anyone who has ever been married in that little church.

 

6/18/29

I’ve just read two books, “The Keeper of the Bees”, purely romance, and

The Emigrants” that tells of the trials and triumphs of the early settlements of foreigners in our middle west.  It was gripping.  Life now is so sheltered and easy to live; but I am born in it.  I don’t have the heart of a pioneer.  There is no desire to start on new adventures or attack unexplored situations.  I like restfulness and peace in a quiet home.  I’ll admit it takes venturesome spirits to make advancements.

I wonder quite often about Ralph and Marie.  I still think she lost her chance long ago by her indifferent until she woke up to the fact that she was losing him.  Probably they will marry in the end but she won’t have the absolute, filled to the brim heart of love she might have had.  Our lives are too hopelessly mixed together to be eve separated now and I am content to leave the so.

 

6/20/29

Your letter was very eagerly read this morning by me sitting on the top of the gate  I couldn’t wait until I got home to read.  You have so many interesting experiences everyday it makes your letter exceedingly interesting  I fear mine grow monotonous.  My days are pretty much the same routine day after day.

My cooking club meets every other Friday.  It rather amuses me since I know so little about cooking but since I am older I suppose they take it for granted.  What I know about cooking wouldn’t feed a canary bird.  This afternoon I made some oatmeal cookies and they were served with supper.  Dad wanted to know how I got the rough finish on them.  I surely laughed.  They all make lots of remarks but I noticed the cookies didn’t last long.

Ralph is slightly disabled just now.  A bee stung him yesterday close to his eye.  This morning it was swollen shut.  I laugh every time I look at him.  He looks too funny for words.  Dale is digging a cistern at the top of the hill and Ralph is digging the main water line from the cistern to the barn.  It is a pretty tough piece of work.  Angle Brook Farm is a place of great activity this summer.  There are so many of us around to work.  We have plenty to do but none of us are what you would call over worked – not by any means.  I greatly appreciate everything this summer perhaps because I won’t be a part of it again.  I try not to think of it that way.  I’m glad that Mother never makes it hard by saying anything against it.  She always plans with me saying I must know and do this and that when I am Mrs. Ferguson.  Isn’t it splendid?

 

6/24/29

Do you happen to know where Merl is?  Does he happen to be around Central where you might see him?  If so, tell him to keep us informed about his address.  Some letters have come here for him and we don’t know where to send them.  We would rather like to know where he is and what he is doing  He very seldom writes home anymore.  I wonder if he does any better with Lillian.  Ralph certainly doesn’t write to Marie like he used to.  Their affair seems to be fading out as far as he is concerned.

Our family and Way’s were at Knox’s for dinner yesterday. Mary and I had the best time. She told me a good deal about her work in Philadelphia.  It must have been very interesting and I think it is a shame she had to give it up and come back to the work she must do now.  I like to be with her very much even though she is much older than I.

I think you would have been highly entertained Friday afternoon if you could have attended our cooking club (I have 10 girls now).  I assure you I felt rather entertained myself . The girls brought samples of cookies and little cakes they baked.  They were really very good samples.  They told me about some of their difficulties but as a rule most of them are getting on very nicely  However, it isn’t of any particular credit to me because I don’t help them with any of their actual cooking  They have to depend on their own resources or their other’s assistance.  Your sweetheart for better cooking, Ruth.

 

6/25/29

Peculiar creatures are we.  So much depends upon word from you.  I reason with myself sometimes saying that I know you love me and even though you didn’t write so often it would make no difference.  I can feel that way all right until I don’t get an expected letter and then I don’t.

I have been doing a great deal of reading – devouring it as you know I do. All novels are so thoroughly fascinating to me that I think each new one is better than the last.  I am occasionally buying a new book to add to our library  I try to get only the best novels and I’ll let you supply the theological and ethical shelves.  Our likes and dislikes should balance each other.

I have had an interesting time today with my music pupils.  They labor so industriously and the results are so amusing to me.  Perhaps when I begin my studies my instructors will feel the same way about me.  I begin Thursday.

 

6/28/29

Because of heavy rain I couldn’t go to the city yesterday and am going today.  We had such a heavy rain bit it didn’t do a great deal of damage to us  The old creek banks were level full to over flowing.  The water was rushing is little rivers everywhere but we have been quite fortunate.  West, south and east many have suffered from hail and floods.  The picnic or our club girls had to be cancelled.  It won’t be long until time for the state picnic at Crystal Lake.

I’ve been thinking more and more about next year – and not about teaching either.  Perhaps you are interested in how my cedar chest is progressing.  Mother gave me material to make sixteen dish towels (ought to last awhile) and I  have fixed some pillow cases.  How’s that for progression?

6/30/29

Such a hot, messy day as this has been!  A sticky, perspiring sort of day and now it is raining.  We have had so much rain that it is scarcely welcome any more.  It is rather unfortunate for those farmers who have so much corn to care for.  With so much rain they are unable to work in the fields.  Dad is more fortunately situated having so much help about.

In my letter Friday I told you that I was going to the city to make investigations about music.  Honey sweetheart, it was fun!  I hope you are sitting down when you read this.  I may say things that will take your breath.  We, meaning Edna and me, went to the Heizer School of Music and found it to be really a private home run by an elderly man and his wife.  He teaches violin and cello  she piano.  Their house is very lovely and her pianos are grand.  When Mrs. Heizer came to talk to us, I was very much surprised at the appearance.  She acts very common and makes one feel at ease immediately but at the same time you feel that you are not talking to an ordinary sort of person.  I was fond of  her at once and hope that I shall continue to feel so after I begin actual work with her.  She talked to us for awhile upon various subjects one thing leading to another.  In telling her about my schooling and training in music it came out that we are Friends.  It reminded her that her husband’s grandfather was a Quaker but he was churched because he fought in the Revolutionary War.  She thought we must be very much in favor of Hoover.  I assured her not just because he is a Quaker.    She is very fond of him.  After expressing a few thoughts concerning national affairs she said ” I see you are too broad minded to think Hoover just right merely because he is a Quaker”  A subtle touch of flattery but it does make one feel that he is more than wa worm in the dust.  Her mind doesn’t seem to be narrowed on music alone although she knows it from beginning to end.  She can talk fluently about any phase of music and is personally acquainted with a number of contemporary composers.  She has pictures of them and can tell things that would fascinate me by the hour.  However when she gave her prices I had to mentally grasp the edge of the divan to steady myself: $1.50 for 30 min, $2 for 40 min and $3 for an hour.  Thirty minutes is an extremely short time but if I feel I am really getting full value I may change to an hour.  With my seven music pupils (that I didn’t tell her I had) I make $3.70/week which would more than pay for my lessons.  I know I am going to look forward to Wednesday afternoons with great delight.

I met another very interesting character the same day.  Mrs. Heizer sent us to a music store in town where we could get a reduction on our music.  He was so funny and had his store in such a funny place that I couldn’t help being amused.  He has stayed old and quaint with his store.  I’m going to invent excuses to back again soon.

We didn’t have time to take a lesson Friday and were going down tomorrow to begin but I have my doubts now because of the rain.  I shall be so disappointed.

Uncle Frank, Fuzz, Mable and Roy were her for dinner today.  Mable and I had a real old confab over the contents of my cedar chest.

Darling, I dreamed last night that we were married – but oh what a way we lived!  Our house had three rooms and was so funny.  The worst of it was some of our relatives were there all the time and I never knew what to do with them because of our crowded condition.  At the same time I was trying to take care of someone’s baby.  Imagine of all things.  We’ll hope for quite the opposite of such a thing.

 

7/11/29

Needless to say, I shall be very disappointed if you are unable to attend the conference this week.  I am sorry to have been the cause of your absence but I believe I would rather have had you here than to have you such a short time at the conference.  I’m not absolutely sure I will get to the conference.  I get so disgusted at the boys because they won’t say what they are going to do.  Dale thinks Chester ought to go but Ches isn’t greatly enthused until Dale says he will go.  Ches can’t do a thing unless Dale does it too. Dad doesn’t want them both to go because he wants to begin harvesting this week.  Dad’s taking cattle to the city so someone needs to bring the new threshing outfit down from Allen and the hay must be cut before harvest.  As if we don’t have enough work to do Dad bought another farm this week.  It joins ours on the southwest.  He seems to forget that he isn’t as young as he used to be.

You certainly do have the worst times getting home from here.  I fear you will be afraid to come again soon.  The idea that you might have been “stewed” was such a good joke on you.  I won’t soon forget it.

I was in the city Wednesday.  My lessons are getting worse – I mean in length.  I was there from 2:30-6:00.  Imagine!  In the midst of my lesson Mrs. Heizer gave me some of her philosophies which are very interesting.  It really is worth two dollars a week to get acquainted with these delightful old people.

 

7/15/29

Your whole letter was very interesting yet very disturbing.  I thought the question was settled and I was breathing easy.  I see it is not.  It is a question that I can do nothing about.  You must settle it yourself.  If you decide in favor of it, I do not care to have a family.  I feel sorry for a minister’s family and it would be a tragedy to pity my own family.  You have chosen the wrong girl to be a minister’s wife.  I am not made of the stuff of which they must be made.  I am sorry that I have such a prejudice against it.  It has been with me always created by my observations and it stays.  There is no use meditating upon it because I know I would go with you whatever you do especially in that because it would be my religious duty to do it but I would always feel rebellious.  I’m  glad I didn’t get you letter before I went to the conference.  It would have spoiled our time together.

Poor Chester has tough luck.  This morning when he awoke he found his jaw so swollen and stiff he can scarcely open his mouth.  It is caused by a wisdom tooth.  The doctor lanced it this morning and this evening it seems a little better.  I surely hope it gets better at once for he isn’t able to stand very much sickness yet.  I’ve been wondering what I’m going to have this summer to contend with.  I always do you know but so far I haven’t had a thing.

 

7/19/29 from Isaak Walton Beach

This won’t be more than a note because time doesn’t allow.  In this camp program they didn’t allow for letter writing and with a group of 25 peppy little girls under my wing I don’t feel as though I can take very much time just yet.

I’m so tired as you might guess  It is a lot of fun and my girls are getting the biggest kick out of it.  We are much more crowded than we had expected.  More folk came than they planned for.  Makes a grand mess at night and there are girls, girls everywhere.

I hear a whistle blow and I can’t tell for sure what its for.  It will soon be breakfast time and I must take a girl down to the highway to catch a bus at 7:15.  We are going home this afternoon and then I’ll write, really.

 

7/21/29

Now that the conference and camp are over I hope I may continue at a more composed pace.  I took five girls with me and arrived about noon.  After seeing them partly settled, I drove to the city for my lesson.  I was so tired my mind was almost blank.  I was so ashamed; it distressed poor Mrs. Heizer a great deal.  I vow I shall make up for it this week although my lesson has suffered from lack f practice and ill use of my hands.

The camp was much more crowded than the officials had anticipated making many difficulties.  I found places for my girls to sleep but was left without a place for me and Mary.  Near eleven o’clock we finally feathered our nests with blankets behind the lodge with the clear sky above us.  I was too tired to mind and slept well.  We received something of a shock the next morning to see above us an old dead limb, broken from the tree and lying lightly across tow other branches.  From all appearances it might very easily have been dislodged and fallen upon our place of repose.  Seeing that limb above me I thought how often we come near disaster but never give it a second thought. When something frightens me I always wish for you.  Chances are you couldn’t help the situation at all but I don’t want you so far away.  Silly notion perhaps but it must be the feminine instinct for protection.

At camp I was put in charge of a group of twenty-five girls most for them quite small.  They tagged after me asking questions and asking my permission to do things.  In the afternoon they wanted to be in the water.  At swimming time my duty was to keep count of how many went in the water and I had to see that they all came out at the proper time.  On Thursday we took them into the city showing them the factory where La Fama candy is made and through Davidson’s storerooms and part of the main store.

I had one tiny little girl only 8 or 9 that was very dear.  She wanted to learn to swim in the worst way and went at it bravely but she couldn’t quite conquer her fear of the water.  We really had a very good tie but my girls were glad enough to get home again.  Just when I was getting ready to come home I discovered that the car had a flat tire.  Nothing to do but change.  ow, my dear, I’ve never changed a tire in my life but here was the opportunity of a lifetime to learn.  Mary and I were not very serious aobut it I’ll admit but in the process I dropped the spare tire on my knee.  I fear our task bravely begun might have been a failure if someone had not taken pity on us and come to our rescue.  Fortunately I don’t have to change tires every day or I fear I should have to leave the car at home.

I don’t believe Ralph has written to Marie for some time.  I am ore than happy that my sweetheart is sentimental enough to continue his letter writing after all these years of it.

 

7/23/29

Mrs. Heizer was talking to me a week ago about her one adored son.  She wants him to get married because she thinks it would be so nice to have a daughter but she thinks times are too hard for musicians and they couldn’t afford to marry this summer.  Our story again – oh money, money – it may not bring happiness itself but think of the happiness it could give? How true it is that for everything one accepts there must be a sacrifice of things one might have had.  Life is made up of choices.  What you are depends upon what you choose  My trouble is in making those sacrifices.

I read an interesting article in a paper yesterday that gave me good ideas on furnishing a home.  Maybe I could do it much more cheaply than I used to think possible.  With the use of a little paint and varnish one can do wonders.  If our house would be small it could very easily be done  There is only one thing I wonder about and that is a piano.  I want it to be very good.  One can get good second had furniture but a second hand piano wouldn’t do unless it had been used by dealers.

Speaking of housekeeping, the question I’ve been meaning to ask you is about quilts.  I don’t have time to make them nor does Mother and they are rather expensive to buy  I would like to have Mrs. Grieve make some for me but she charges a good deal.  I just wondered if your grandmother at Kearney would make such things and what she would do it for.  Perhaps your mother might know if she would be interested.

 

7/25/29

Has this terrible heat bothered you any?  It is just about doing away with me. I have been perfectly miserable today.  Yesterday was bad enough.  I drove to the city and nearly melted away.  Mrs. Heizer’s went off on a tangent again and this time it was about Catholicism. She isn’t radical against it but just stating her views.  Little Catholic children often tell her things they are not supposed to tell but which she wouldn’t repeat.  I wish you could talk with her sometime.  You’d love it.

I got the prettiest little orange colored cushion to make yesterday and had to begin working on it right away.  I don’t know that it will be very practical but it is pretty.  Some things will just be for prettiness in our little home.  If I feel like donning my best dress and wearing an organdy apron while I serve your meals, I’ll do it.  It would at least make me feel better and might make you a little happy – if the meal was properly prepared.  I’m still thinking about furnishing our home  Oh, its going to be so much fun working together.

I have an opportunity to teach music in Waterbury for the rest of the summer but I can’t decide if I want to do it.  I don’t feel I know enough; I’m pleased with my current pupils but hesitate to take new ones.  Mother suggested the added funds would buy the linen table cloths I want so much.  That may be, but I despise to have anything to do with money.  I like to have it to spend but I don’t like to take care of it.  That’s why I’m going to let you do it.

Dad is starting out with his new threshing outfit tomorrow.  It will be a terrible task in this heat.  The boys nearly perished in the heat today putting up hay.  I hate to go to bed now because my room is so hot.  We ironed today and a good share of the heat went up in my room.  Wouldn’t it be nice to b out in the mountains now where it would be nice and cool?

 

7/28/29

I was down to Mary’s for dinner and spent the afternoon.  I am finding that Mary and I have any common views on various things.  The reason for our pow-wow was club work.  Mary wants to get a certain number of woman’s clubs started and wants me to help her on the project.  Thursday at the missionary meeting we are going to give a tying and dyeing demonstration.

I talked to Ralph last night and he is thinking he’ll make a little trip south in a week or two and says I may go with him.  We would go on a Saturday and come back on a Monday so it wouldn’t take away from your work time if you are going to be there.

 

7/30/29

I have two new music pupils now – began with them today.  One is a beginner but the other has had some music and will be perfectly delightful to work with.  That makes nine pupils all in one day which is quit a few to handle.  I’d like to change some to another day but don’t know where to put it in.

I was interested in what you said about Mr and Mrs Hawkes.  Are your parents a great deal different?  The folks aren’t – however they never quarrel or say harsh words to each other but they never show much affection or do things as we say we will.  It makes me wonder if all fold get that way sooner or later.  Our intentions are very good but don’t you suppose other folks have thought the same as we do?  I don’t mean that I think we will become the same way – at least we have each others promise to try not to become indifferent.

 

8/2/29

You no doubt can tell more about what we should do than I since it is going to b largely your responsibility, but I don’t think we should try to go to school next year because it would necessitate too much debt.  It just seems wiser to work another year before trying it.  You are right n thinking we should get our preparation over as soon as possible.  Perhaps it would help to settle your mind on your work.  I’ll try not to prejudice you there – you know how I feel about it and you may give it the weight you desire.

Imagine my dismay last evening when I learned that Mr. Bell has resigned. Only four weeks until school starts an no superintendent.  The school board is “up a tree” to know what to do at this late date.  I’m afraid they’ll have to take just anyone they can get with no so much regard to his qualifications.  I wish I could resign too but it would only make more complications.

One of my girls said the other day, “Wouldn’t it be terrible if you got married now?  What would we do without you?”.  Isn’t it pleasant to be needed and wanted like that? It gives quite a feeling of satisfaction, you know.

Club meeting  this afternoon and it is so hot I feel terrible.  Must do a good deal of planning because next week we want to entertain all the mothers at a little informal luncheon.  Good training for the girls in entertaining.  Imagine our home without any entertaining or did you ever think about it?  I have always thought of us having our friends in our home often.  I’m preparing for that and have a lot of plans for it.  I have indulged in a bit of extravagance.  It is a lovely bit of table cover.  I’m very fond of things like that.  Had you guessed?  You accuse me of being practical minded.  Anyway, I want to know, in a very definite way, what I’m going to live on and what I can expect in the future.  You have always lived on nothing so to speak.  I haven’t.  Thats why I’m hesitant about this thing you are so willing to venture out on.  I want you to tell me very definitely how you expect to work it then I shall be more at ease.

 

8/3/29

The folks are gon and I have things pretty much to myself.  I have done scarcely anything worthy of mention but just mess around and loaf.  The boys are away threshing.  I must motor into town presently – that’s why I’m writing because I can mail th letter immediately.

At club meeting yesterday the girls were to bring in their latest assignment which was bread making and thy brought in their loaves to be judged.  All of the bread was really very good.  I would certainly hesitate to put mine with theirs.  They are very nice about the judging – no unkind remarks or hurting anyone’s feelings which I was told often happens.

I went to the show last night in Allen.  It was “Abie’s Irish Rose” and was th  best show I believe I have ever seen.  It was about a Jewish boy and Irish girl who fell in love  but their father’s disowned them when they married.  I liked Abie because he kissed Rose just like you kiss me.  When he gave her a ring he did the same thing you did – slipped it on her finger and then kissed it there.  My heart turned right over.

 

8/4/29

We have has such a long session with Mrs. Heizer this afternoon and I am thoroughly tired.  Ralph wants me to go to Allen with him tonight to hear the band.  He has n disappointed because I’ve neer gone before to hear them play.  I ordered him a new trombone today.  How he’ll ever pay for it is more than I know but I’m glad he is getting it.

I understand we have a new superintendent now.  He is a young fellow just finished his college work last year but has taught school a number of years.  He was principal at Allen tow years ago.  If he really has the job the gang will have some merry old times I’ll venture.

 

8/15/29

I just returned from the picnic we had this afternoon.  Girls from three clubs were there and some of the mothers so it really was quite an affair.  A good time was had by all.

Mary wants me to help her with a demonstration tonight and I told her I would.  Mother spoils it y scolding me for it.  She doesn’t like it because I’m taking on so much and maintains I’ll be played out by the time school starts and won’t have any pep for that.  She may be right but I tell her I might as well die happy doing the things I like to do.  A little rest wouldn’t hurt me especially because I can lie down anywhere anytime of the day and go to sleep.  I’ve slept twice already today and could go to sleep right now if I didn’t have to go to town.

Now who’s getting in a hurry about preparations for next spring?  Even I haven’t gone that far but I’ve thought a good deal about it.  I can hardly wait even nine months.

Your recent visit and lengthy talks has dispelled many of the doubts I have been having.  You are always so confident it gets into me too.  Ralph surely believes in us and our abilities.

 

8/18/29

A week ago we were very happily together.  I do so love to be with you but I do wonder sometimes how it will be when we are always together.  Will we grow tired of being with each other so much?

I have wondered about that further work for us but I am really looking forward to it now.  In a way it will be like extending our honeymoon over several years instead of a few months because we will be living together but not keeping a regular house.  I sincerely wish we could be without the year before us.  So many things have coe up and I hav read so many things that make me more anxious.  I wonder if you’ll guess what I had in mind when you receive your birthday gift.  It isn’t so much the gift I want you to get as the love that sends it.

I have another new pupil in music beginning on Tuesday.  I’m anxious to learn what she can do because she has been taking from a teacher I don’t think much of.  I’ll need to spend most of tomorrow studying my music lesson because I neglected it sadly last week.  That will never do if I hope to progress much.

 

8/20/29

Tiny bits of melodies are running like toy race cars on a miniature track in my head this evening  things my pupils have played for e today.  Thy are almost annoying now.  My new pupil is going to be a problem.  She thinks she knows a good deal ut according to my standards I think differently.  It will be fun to see what I can do with her.  Perhaps the next teacher who gets her will groan mentally.  I am getting on to teaching a little better and enjoy it more all the time – especially since I have a little added knowledge myself.  Four of my present pupils have asked to continue their lessons after school starts which would amount to enough to pay for my own lessons.  Now isn’t that real business planning?  I think I can manage four pupils Saturday morning and go to the city in the afternoon.  Considering this, I am counting on just one grade this year.  I haven’t received any notice of a teacher’s meeting yet and I wish I knew.  I’d like to have an opportunity to talk with our new superintendent.

I attended a very distressing funeral this afternoon at Wayne.  Floyd Kingston’s sister was killed in an auto accident Sunday evening.  I went with Dale because Mrs. Kingston wanted Doris’ old classmates to be there and Doris and Dale were in the same class.  I hope I can sleep off this peculiar mood.  It isn’t all together pleasant.  Trying to think of it in a large sense – why be so distressed ad sorrowful over the loss of one life when it is such a very small part of the great plan of things.  That is an idea too large for me to play with.  I notice too that it doesn’t work when it actually comes down to personal facts.

 

8/23/29

It seems like fortune walked up and took me by the hand but others don’t seem to think so.  I hav to think twice to make myself really believe it is true.  Wednesday afternoon after my lesson Mrs. Heizer asked me – me, mind you – if I would be one of her assistant music teachers this winter.  Think of asking me to be an assistant in the oldest music school in Sioux City!! Well I just haven’t quite grasped the fact yet myself.  Something must be wrong some place.  Mrs. Heizer must have overestimated my ability because I don’t see how I could really qualify.  She wants me to have a branch school in this section under her name and then when I have time assist in her studio.  It was her plan that I take just a few pupils – four or five – during the week beside my own lesson.  I could go in on the train Saturday noon and take my own lesson and spend the remainder of the afternoon assisting her in the big studio while she worked in the smaller one. You can easily imagine my enthusiasm over such a wonderful opportunity even though I feel so unworthy of it. When I got home I could scarcely contain yself but Mother immediately dashed cold water on it and so discouraged me that I didn’t have the heart to write to you fearing I might get the same response from you.  Mother thinks it will divide my mind on y school work, be too heavy work, not give me any time for rest – and so on.  I haven’t mentioned the subject since. I feel so badly about it because it is the very thing I want to do and and such good fortune may never come again.  I want to do it so much.  It really isn’t work to me – I enjoy it so much.  I’m sorry if you feel like scolding too but I’m like Ralph felt about his horn – I feel it in my bones that I am going to do it.

 

8/25/29

What dreams I have of our little home! It must never become a studio for music for then it would lose its homey atmosphere.  I do want music to play a large part in the making of our home and you know I want to teach music but not to the exclusion of any home atmosphere.  It would be perfectly lovely if our house could be one with a lovely big library with rows on rows of book of every kind for you.  Where you could study and work alone at a big desk.  Sometimes I could come in and interrupt your work for a little love.  Then sometime little feet might skip in and little hands lose the place in your book but you wouldn’t scold.

Another room would be for my work away from other things.  Any music loving soul could come there for instruction.  I am sure of the future has much in store for us if we only choose our way with care.

 

8/228/29

You are domestically minded, aren’t you?  And so practical too.  Your idea was perfectly lovely but I have my heart set on community plate silverware, the pattern like the one on the spoon I have.  You didn’t say what it was you were looking at not what the pattern was like.  I prefer a simple pattern because it is so much easier to keep clean.  I wanted a well known pattern that could easily be matched in extra pieces not with a regular set such as salad forks, fruit spoons, its.

 

 

9/1/29

I need you tonight for reassurance and moral strength.  My biggest nedis to be strong and steadfast in everything but I haven’t learned to be that way yet.  Being with this gang again is going to bring back my unrest and dissatisfaction.  I think I am in the wrong crowd.  Their ways and mine are so different.  Forgive this melancholy in the beginning.  I’ll not dwell on it more.

You no doubt are waiting with many and varied expectations for the morrow.  I sincerely hope that everything proves satisfactory and you enjoy your work.  I do not know what to look forward to.  Supt. Kruse assigned me the fourth and fifth grades before he knew how many there would be.  Upon counting them the number proved to be 63 which gave me a sinking spell.  Kruse called my room the assembly. He said he would be down first thing in the morning and will separate them some how.  How I hope I get just the fourth grade – at that I’d have 37.

I left right after church yesterday in order to be here in time for a faculty dinner Mr. Kruse gave for his teachers.  It was vey nice.  Mr. Kruse and Mr. Rising are going to be good additions to our faculty I believe.  Mr. Ingram gets rather crude sometimes and lst year he had things pretty much his way being the only man.  These other men have much more dignity and sense if I may say so.

 

9/3/29  Allen, NE

Tuesday evening and all is well.  The breaks are coming my way at last.  I’m not bragging yet because the thing has barely start but my hopes are high.  You should have seen my room yesterday morning.  Children flocked in by the dozens until I had 63.  They were sitting thicker than fleas on a dogs back.  Meyers had such a few in the sixth grade that they moved the fifth grad into her room.  Was I glad?  but I do feel terribly sorry for her.  She has forty-two in the two grades.  Her room is crowded just as mine was last year.  I still have plenty, thirty-seven, but having them all in one grade makes it so much easier.  Then too, I just inherited a naturally good group of youngsters.  They really are quite dear and so far I have enjoyed working with them.  I truly hope it continues.  We like Mr. Kruse very much.  He seems to be everywhere doing everything at once.

 

9/5/29

We have been having a lovely time this evening after a very satisfactory day of teaching.  Honestly,  things have been heavenly for me this week.  My work is light, I have no discipline problems, o trouble of any kind.  If my good fortune continues, I foresee a pleasant year.  I never work after supper – just have a good time.  Last evening we went over to the house where the other girls stay to a party in honor of Cundy’s birthday.  We were all sitting on one bed talking as only a group of girls can having the best time when all at once the whole bed went right own in the middle.  Then we did laugh.  the street lights were out went Meyers and I came home and then Ingram tried to scare us, old sap.  I’m glad we have these other two men teachers.  They are very nice and entertaining yet not crudely familiar.  Mr. Kruse plays a violin wonderfully well and Mr. Rising plays the piano.  They came over this evening and we played and sang for a long time.

A funny thing happened today yet it was pathetic too.  One little fellow I didn’t promote last year went into the fifth grade anyway.  In the jumble at first it rather slipped our notice but today i called him back.  He was nearly heart broken and sobbed for a long while afterward.  I wasn’t enthused about having him back again because he can’t seem to get his lessons but there was nothing else to do.

I am certainly happy for you that things have begun nicely for you.  However, one can’t tell much about it the first week.  It is after about a month has past and you are right down in the midst of things that the real results come to light.  That is about the most discouraging time of the year.  With a good superintendent you ought not to have any trouble.

 

9/8/29

For the first time in the history of my teaching career am anxious for a new week to begin so I may get busy with my teaching work. It doesn’t hang over me like a heavy weight o a beast preying upon my mind.  You can not know what a joy it is to me and what a relief.

Yesterday I puttered around and missed the train to Sioux City so Dale took e down.  He really wanted to go anyway but thought the roads were too bad to drive.  He went to the show while I took my lesson.  I had a glorious times taking my lesson.  Edna was not with me so I had the whole time to myself.  I was there two hours but a part of the time we were just talking.  Mrs. Heizer is the most delightful person to talk to.  Yesterday we talked about this one and I have thought about it often today. “The consciousness of doing right is sufficient reward”.  She is a little afraid of losing their home.  I wish there was someway I could help that situation.

 

9/10/29

You might just as well begin to sing “Oh Boy, that’s where my money goes.  Of course I want you to come see me but it up to you to decide.  I’ll be anxious to talk over your experiences in these two weeks.  You mentioned working late hours.  I know how diligently and faithfully you would work to have things as near perfection as possible but I’ve gotten over that.

I suppose college is getting into the old swing again.  I feel rather detached from it this year and don’t think much about it.  You being elsewhere makes a difference I suppose.

9/17/29

I cannot think of anything but you since you left Sunday evening.  It is like a glorious dream from which I never want to awaken.  You said we do not love now as we used to but I don’t know but what I prefer our present love.  It is more deep and lasting even though it is not complete.

Ralph came up yesterday to say goodbye.  I surely hated to see him go but such is life.  Must hurry to breakfast now.

 

9/18/29

I’m so glad you had a pleasant trip home in so short a time.  Mayhap you won’t mind coming again soon.  I have ben very happy all week until today.  Things have not been so nice for anyone today.

This morning Nurmie got word from his wife that her sister died last night.  We feel very sorry for them but there is nothing we can do.  The tragedy of it is that this girl was expecting a little one any day.  Something went wrong and she died.  Stories like this scare me nearly to death.  I don’t know how I’ll ever stand it.  I guess I’m not very brave.

Krause and I went over to Clougles with that gang to play and sing and fool away our time.  It was fun but my fur got rubbed the wrong way and the evening didn’t end very happily.  My temper got up and I though for awhile I was going to get mean but I cooed a little.

 

9/23/29  Waterbury

I will go back to Allen soon but I hope Meyers isn’t on a tear because I don’t feel that way.  Since I can’t be with you I would like to spend the evening quietly talking with someone or playing some soft, melodic music and thinking of you.

We have been hassling over this question of a minister or not at our church.  It is a question of whether to keep Clems or not.  A meeting today settled the matter.  The meeting doesn’t feel it can pay more than $700 a year and it is preposterous to expect a family their size to live decently on that amount.

I sadly fear I must give up some of my Saturday work. As it is, it is very tiring.  Especially yesterday since I felt it necessary to attend the freshman initiation last even since all the other teachers were going.  I was too tired to enjoy it and then we had some rather serious trouble with our perpetual trouble make, Mary Brown.  Krause took her home and told her mother to keep her there.  We had a faculty meeting after the party and decided to take it up with the board and see if she hadn’t better be expelled from school.  It would be good for the school, but it really is a serious thing to do.

I want vry much to go east next summer to see Cathryn but when we go doesn’t make a great deal of difference.  That is one thing I wish you would decided please – our honeymoon.  I really would rather you say because I know your judgment will be good.

 

9/27/29

Gloomy weather again  What a nuisance it is.  It is quite impossible to keep things entirely quiet at school.  Hall duty is a little heavier on such days and of course this would be my week for hall duty.  I can scarcely realize that this ends the first four weeks.  Through all of this messy weather and al I’m not having a bit of difficulty.  My children behave very nicely.  I wonder every day how long it is going to last but it still is true.

Last night Krause came over and we played everything we could get our hands on.  I have taken a number of the accompaniments to work on but are the difficult!!  I’m taking them down to Mrs. Heizer so she can help me.  He’d like to play in a concert here in Allen if we can ever work it up.  We love the practice and it will be good for both whether we play or not.

6/30/29

Such a hot, messy day as this has been!  A sticky, perspiring sort of day and now it is raining.  We have had so much rain that it is scarcely welcome any more.  It is rather unfortunate for those farmers who have so much corn to care for.  With so much rain they are unable to work in the fields.  Dad is more fortunately situated having so much help about.

In my letter Friday I told you that I was going to the city to make investigations about music.  Honey sweetheart, it was fun!  I hope you are sitting down when you read this.  I may say things that will take your breath.  We, meaning Edna and me, went to the Heizer School of Music and found it to be really a private home run by an elderly man and his wife.  He teaches violin and cello  she piano.  Their house is very lovely and her pianos are grand.  When Mrs. Heizer came to talk to us, I was very much surprised at the appearance.  She acts very common and makes one feel at ease immediately but at the same time you feel that you are not talking to an ordinary sort of person.  I was fond of  her at once and hope that I shall continue to feel so after I begin actual work with her.  She talked to us for awhile upon various subjects one thing leading to another.  In telling her about my schooling and training in music it came out that we are Friends.  It reminded her that her husband’s grandfather was a Quaker but he was churched because he fought in the Revolutionary War.  She thought we must be very much in favor of Hoover.  I assured her not just because he is a Quaker.    She is very fond of him.  After expressing a few thoughts concerning national affairs she said ” I see you are too broad minded to think Hoover just right merely because he is a Quaker”  A subtle touch of flattery but it does make one feel that he is more than wa worm in the dust.  Her mind doesn’t seem to be narrowed on music alone although she knows it from beginning to end.  She can talk fluently about any phase of music and is personally acquainted with a number of contemporary composers.  She has pictures of them and can tell things that would fascinate me by the hour.  However when she gave her prices I had to mentally grasp the edge of the divan to steady myself: $1.50 for 30 min, $2 for 40 min and $3 for an hour.  Thirty minutes is an extremely short time but if I feel I am really getting full value I may change to an hour.  With my seven music pupils (that I didn’t tell her I had) I make $3.70/week which would more than pay for my lessons.  I know I am going to look forward to Wednesday afternoons with great delight.

I met another very interesting character the same day.  Mrs. Heizer sent us to a music store in town where we could get a reduction on our music.  He was so funny and had his store in such a funny place that I couldn’t help being amused.  He has stayed old and quaint with his store.  I’m going to invent excuses to back again soon.

We didn’t have time to take a lesson Friday and were going down tomorrow to begin but I have my doubts now because of the rain.  I shall be so disappointed.

Uncle Frank, Fuzz, Mable and Roy were her for dinner today.  Mable and I had a real old confab over the contents of my cedar chest.

Darling, I dreamed last night that we were married – but oh what a way we lived!  Our house had three rooms and was so funny.  The worst of it was some of our relatives were there all the time and I never knew what to do with them because of our crowded condition.  At the same time I was trying to take care of someone’s baby.  Imagine of all things.  We’ll hope for quite the opposite of such a thing.

 

7/11/29

Needless to say, I shall be very disappointed if you are unable to attend the conference this week.  I am sorry to have been the cause of your absence but I believe I would rather have had you here than to have you such a short time at the conference.  I’m not absolutely sure I will get to the conference.  I get so disgusted at the boys because they won’t say what they are going to do.  Dale thinks Chester ought to go but Ches isn’t greatly enthused until Dale says he will go.  Ches can’t do a thing unless Dale does it too. Dad doesn’t want them both to go because he wants to begin harvesting this week.  Dad’s taking cattle to the city so someone needs to bring the new threshing outfit down from Allen and the hay must be cut before harvest.  As if we don’t have enough work to do Dad bought another farm this week.  It joins ours on the southwest.  He seems to forget that he isn’t as young as he used to be.

You certainly do have the worst times getting home from here.  I fear you will be afraid to come again soon.  The idea that you might have been “stewed” was such a good joke on you.  I won’t soon forget it.

I was in the city Wednesday.  My lessons are getting worse – I mean in length.  I was there from 2:30-6:00.  Imagine!  In the midst of my lesson Mrs. Heizer gave me some of her philosophies which are very interesting.  It really is worth two dollars a week to get acquainted with these delightful old people.

 

7/15/29

Your whole letter was very interesting yet very disturbing.  I thought the question was settled and I was breathing easy.  I see it is not.  It is a question that I can do nothing about.  You must settle it yourself.  If you decide in favor of it, I do not care to have a family.  I feel sorry for a minister’s family and it would be a tragedy to pity my own family.  You have chosen the wrong girl to be a minister’s wife.  I am not made of the stuff of which they must be made.  I am sorry that I have such a prejudice against it.  It has been with me always created by my observations and it stays.  There is no use meditating upon it because I know I would go with you whatever you do especially in that because it would be my religious duty to do it but I would always feel rebellious.  I’m  glad I didn’t get you letter before I went to the conference.  It would have spoiled our time together.

Poor Chester has tough luck.  This morning when he awoke he found his jaw so swollen and stiff he can scarcely open his mouth.  It is caused by a wisdom tooth.  The doctor lanced it this morning and this evening it seems a little better.  I surely hope it gets better at once for he isn’t able to stand very much sickness yet.  I’ve been wondering what I’m going to have this summer to contend with.  I always do you know but so far I haven’t had a thing.

 

7/19/29 from Isaak Walton Beach

This won’t be more than a note because time doesn’t allow.  In this camp program they didn’t allow for letter writing and with a group of 25 peppy little girls under my wing I don’t feel as though I can take very much time just yet.

I’m so tired as you might guess  It is a lot of fun and my girls are getting the biggest kick out of it.  We are much more crowded than we had expected.  More folk came than they planned for.  Makes a grand mess at night and there are girls, girls everywhere.

I hear a whistle blow and I can’t tell for sure what its for.  It will soon be breakfast time and I must take a girl down to the highway to catch a bus at 7:15.  We are going home this afternoon and then I’ll write, really.

 

7/21/29

Now that the conference and camp are over I hope I may continue at a more composed pace.  I took five girls with me and arrived about noon.  After seeing them partly settled, I drove to the city for my lesson.  I was so tired my mind was almost blank.  I was so ashamed; it distressed poor Mrs. Heizer a great deal.  I vow I shall make up for it this week although my lesson has suffered from lack f practice and ill use of my hands.

The camp was much more crowded than the officials had anticipated making many difficulties.  I found places for my girls to sleep but was left without a place for me and Mary.  Near eleven o’clock we finally feathered our nests with blankets behind the lodge with the clear sky above us.  I was too tired to mind and slept well.  We received something of a shock the next morning to see above us an old dead limb, broken from the tree and lying lightly across tow other branches.  From all appearances it might very easily have been dislodged and fallen upon our place of repose.  Seeing that limb above me I thought how often we come near disaster but never give it a second thought. When something frightens me I always wish for you.  Chances are you couldn’t help the situation at all but I don’t want you so far away.  Silly notion perhaps but it must be the feminine instinct for protection.

At camp I was put in charge of a group of twenty-five girls most for them quite small.  They tagged after me asking questions and asking my permission to do things.  In the afternoon they wanted to be in the water.  At swimming time my duty was to keep count of how many went in the water and I had to see that they all came out at the proper time.  On Thursday we took them into the city showing them the factory where La Fama candy is made and through Davidson’s storerooms and part of the main store.

I had one tiny little girl only 8 or 9 that was very dear.  She wanted to learn to swim in the worst way and went at it bravely but she couldn’t quite conquer her fear of the water.  We really had a very good tie but my girls were glad enough to get home again.  Just when I was getting ready to come home I discovered that the car had a flat tire.  Nothing to do but change.  ow, my dear, I’ve never changed a tire in my life but here was the opportunity of a lifetime to learn.  Mary and I were not very serious aobut it I’ll admit but in the process I dropped the spare tire on my knee.  I fear our task bravely begun might have been a failure if someone had not taken pity on us and come to our rescue.  Fortunately I don’t have to change tires every day or I fear I should have to leave the car at home.

I don’t believe Ralph has written to Marie for some time.  I am ore than happy that my sweetheart is sentimental enough to continue his letter writing after all these years of it.

 

7/23/29

Mrs. Heizer was talking to me a week ago about her one adored son.  She wants him to get married because she thinks it would be so nice to have a daughter but she thinks times are too hard for musicians and they couldn’t afford to marry this summer.  Our story again – oh money, money – it may not bring happiness itself but think of the happiness it could give? How true it is that for everything one accepts there must be a sacrifice of things one might have had.  Life is made up of choices.  What you are depends upon what you choose  My trouble is in making those sacrifices.

I read an interesting article in a paper yesterday that gave me good ideas on furnishing a home.  Maybe I could do it much more cheaply than I used to think possible.  With the use of a little paint and varnish one can do wonders.  If our house would be small it could very easily be done  There is only one thing I wonder about and that is a piano.  I want it to be very good.  One can get good second had furniture but a second hand piano wouldn’t do unless it had been used by dealers.

Speaking of housekeeping, the question I’ve been meaning to ask you is about quilts.  I don’t have time to make them nor does Mother and they are rather expensive to buy  I would like to have Mrs. Grieve make some for me but she charges a good deal.  I just wondered if your grandmother at Kearney would make such things and what she would do it for.  Perhaps your mother might know if she would be interested.

 

7/25/29

Has this terrible heat bothered you any?  It is just about doing away with me. I have been perfectly miserable today.  Yesterday was bad enough.  I drove to the city and nearly melted away.  Mrs. Heizer’s went off on a tangent again and this time it was about Catholicism. She isn’t radical against it but just stating her views.  Little Catholic children often tell her things they are not supposed to tell but which she wouldn’t repeat.  I wish you could talk with her sometime.  You’d love it.

I got the prettiest little orange colored cushion to make yesterday and had to begin working on it right away.  I don’t know that it will be very practical but it is pretty.  Some things will just be for prettiness in our little home.  If I feel like donning my best dress and wearing an organdy apron while I serve your meals, I’ll do it.  It would at least make me feel better and might make you a little happy – if the meal was properly prepared.  I’m still thinking about furnishing our home  Oh, its going to be so much fun working together.

I have an opportunity to teach music in Waterbury for the rest of the summer but I can’t decide if I want to do it.  I don’t feel I know enough; I’m pleased with my current pupils but hesitate to take new ones.  Mother suggested the added funds would buy the linen table cloths I want so much.  That may be, but I despise to have anything to do with money.  I like to have it to spend but I don’t like to take care of it.  That’s why I’m going to let you do it.

Dad is starting out with his new threshing outfit tomorrow.  It will be a terrible task in this heat.  The boys nearly perished in the heat today putting up hay.  I hate to go to bed now because my room is so hot.  We ironed today and a good share of the heat went up in my room.  Wouldn’t it be nice to b out in the mountains now where it would be nice and cool?

 

7/28/29

I was down to Mary’s for dinner and spent the afternoon.  I am finding that Mary and I have any common views on various things.  The reason for our pow-wow was club work.  Mary wants to get a certain number of woman’s clubs started and wants me to help her on the project.  Thursday at the missionary meeting we are going to give a tying and dyeing demonstration.

I talked to Ralph last night and he is thinking he’ll make a little trip south in a week or two and says I may go with him.  We would go on a Saturday and come back on a Monday so it wouldn’t take away from your work time if you are going to be there.

 

7/30/29

I have two new music pupils now – began with them today.  One is a beginner but the other has had some music and will be perfectly delightful to work with.  That makes nine pupils all in one day which is quit a few to handle.  I’d like to change some to another day but don’t know where to put it in.

I was interested in what you said about Mr and Mrs Hawkes.  Are your parents a great deal different?  The folks aren’t – however they never quarrel or say harsh words to each other but they never show much affection or do things as we say we will.  It makes me wonder if all fold get that way sooner or later.  Our intentions are very good but don’t you suppose other folks have thought the same as we do?  I don’t mean that I think we will become the same way – at least we have each others promise to try not to become indifferent.

 

8/2/29

You no doubt can tell more about what we should do than I since it is going to b largely your responsibility, but I don’t think we should try to go to school next year because it would necessitate too much debt.  It just seems wiser to work another year before trying it.  You are right n thinking we should get our preparation over as soon as possible.  Perhaps it would help to settle your mind on your work.  I’ll try not to prejudice you there – you know how I feel about it and you may give it the weight you desire.

Imagine my dismay last evening when I learned that Mr. Bell has resigned. Only four weeks until school starts an no superintendent.  The school board is “up a tree” to know what to do at this late date.  I’m afraid they’ll have to take just anyone they can get with no so much regard to his qualifications.  I wish I could resign too but it would only make more complications.

One of my girls said the other day, “Wouldn’t it be terrible if you got married now?  What would we do without you?”.  Isn’t it pleasant to be needed and wanted like that? It gives quite a feeling of satisfaction, you know.

Club meeting  this afternoon and it is so hot I feel terrible.  Must do a good deal of planning because next week we want to entertain all the mothers at a little informal luncheon.  Good training for the girls in entertaining.  Imagine our home without any entertaining or did you ever think about it?  I have always thought of us having our friends in our home often.  I’m preparing for that and have a lot of plans for it.  I have indulged in a bit of extravagance.  It is a lovely bit of table cover.  I’m very fond of things like that.  Had you guessed?  You accuse me of being practical minded.  Anyway, I want to know, in a very definite way, what I’m going to live on and what I can expect in the future.  You have always lived on nothing so to speak.  I haven’t.  Thats why I’m hesitant about this thing you are so willing to venture out on.  I want you to tell me very definitely how you expect to work it then I shall be more at ease.

 

8/3/29

The folks are gon and I have things pretty much to myself.  I have done scarcely anything worthy of mention but just mess around and loaf.  The boys are away threshing.  I must motor into town presently – that’s why I’m writing because I can mail th letter immediately.

At club meeting yesterday the girls were to bring in their latest assignment which was bread making and thy brought in their loaves to be judged.  All of the bread was really very good.  I would certainly hesitate to put mine with theirs.  They are very nice about the judging – no unkind remarks or hurting anyone’s feelings which I was told often happens.

I went to the show last night in Allen.  It was “Abie’s Irish Rose” and was th  best show I believe I have ever seen.  It was about a Jewish boy and Irish girl who fell in love  but their father’s disowned them when they married.  I liked Abie because he kissed Rose just like you kiss me.  When he gave her a ring he did the same thing you did – slipped it on her finger and then kissed it there.  My heart turned right over.

 

8/4/29

We have has such a long session with Mrs. Heizer this afternoon and I am thoroughly tired.  Ralph wants me to go to Allen with him tonight to hear the band.  He has n disappointed because I’ve neer gone before to hear them play.  I ordered him a new trombone today.  How he’ll ever pay for it is more than I know but I’m glad he is getting it.

I understand we have a new superintendent now.  He is a young fellow just finished his college work last year but has taught school a number of years.  He was principal at Allen tow years ago.  If he really has the job the gang will have some merry old times I’ll venture.

 

8/15/29

I just returned from the picnic we had this afternoon.  Girls from three clubs were there and some of the mothers so it really was quite an affair.  A good time was had by all.

Mary wants me to help her with a demonstration tonight and I told her I would.  Mother spoils it y scolding me for it.  She doesn’t like it because I’m taking on so much and maintains I’ll be played out by the time school starts and won’t have any pep for that.  She may be right but I tell her I might as well die happy doing the things I like to do.  A little rest wouldn’t hurt me especially because I can lie down anywhere anytime of the day and go to sleep.  I’ve slept twice already today and could go to sleep right now if I didn’t have to go to town.

Now who’s getting in a hurry about preparations for next spring?  Even I haven’t gone that far but I’ve thought a good deal about it.  I can hardly wait even nine months.

Your recent visit and lengthy talks has dispelled many of the doubts I have been having.  You are always so confident it gets into me too.  Ralph surely believes in us and our abilities.

 

8/18/29

A week ago we were very happily together.  I do so love to be with you but I do wonder sometimes how it will be when we are always together.  Will we grow tired of being with each other so much?

I have wondered about that further work for us but I am really looking forward to it now.  In a way it will be like extending our honeymoon over several years instead of a few months because we will be living together but not keeping a regular house.  I sincerely wish we could be without the year before us.  So many things have coe up and I hav read so many things that make me more anxious.  I wonder if you’ll guess what I had in mind when you receive your birthday gift.  It isn’t so much the gift I want you to get as the love that sends it.

I have another new pupil in music beginning on Tuesday.  I’m anxious to learn what she can do because she has been taking from a teacher I don’t think much of.  I’ll need to spend most of tomorrow studying my music lesson because I neglected it sadly last week.  That will never do if I hope to progress much.

 

8/20/29

Tiny bits of melodies are running like toy race cars on a miniature track in my head this evening  things my pupils have played for e today.  Thy are almost annoying now.  My new pupil is going to be a problem.  She thinks she knows a good deal ut according to my standards I think differently.  It will be fun to see what I can do with her.  Perhaps the next teacher who gets her will groan mentally.  I am getting on to teaching a little better and enjoy it more all the time – especially since I have a little added knowledge myself.  Four of my present pupils have asked to continue their lessons after school starts which would amount to enough to pay for my own lessons.  Now isn’t that real business planning?  I think I can manage four pupils Saturday morning and go to the city in the afternoon.  Considering this, I am counting on just one grade this year.  I haven’t received any notice of a teacher’s meeting yet and I wish I knew.  I’d like to have an opportunity to talk with our new superintendent.

I attended a very distressing funeral this afternoon at Wayne.  Floyd Kingston’s sister was killed in an auto accident Sunday evening.  I went with Dale because Mrs. Kingston wanted Doris’ old classmates to be there and Doris and Dale were in the same class.  I hope I can sleep off this peculiar mood.  It isn’t all together pleasant.  Trying to think of it in a large sense – why be so distressed ad sorrowful over the loss of one life when it is such a very small part of the great plan of things.  That is an idea too large for me to play with.  I notice too that it doesn’t work when it actually comes down to personal facts.

 

8/23/29

It seems like fortune walked up and took me by the hand but others don’t seem to think so.  I hav to think twice to make myself really believe it is true.  Wednesday afternoon after my lesson Mrs. Heizer asked me – me, mind you – if I would be one of her assistant music teachers this winter.  Think of asking me to be an assistant in the oldest music school in Sioux City!! Well I just haven’t quite grasped the fact yet myself.  Something must be wrong some place.  Mrs. Heizer must have overestimated my ability because I don’t see how I could really qualify.  She wants me to have a branch school in this section under her name and then when I have time assist in her studio.  It was her plan that I take just a few pupils – four or five – during the week beside my own lesson.  I could go in on the train Saturday noon and take my own lesson and spend the remainder of the afternoon assisting her in the big studio while she worked in the smaller one. You can easily imagine my enthusiasm over such a wonderful opportunity even though I feel so unworthy of it. When I got home I could scarcely contain yself but Mother immediately dashed cold water on it and so discouraged me that I didn’t have the heart to write to you fearing I might get the same response from you.  Mother thinks it will divide my mind on y school work, be too heavy work, not give me any time for rest – and so on.  I haven’t mentioned the subject since. I feel so badly about it because it is the very thing I want to do and and such good fortune may never come again.  I want to do it so much.  It really isn’t work to me – I enjoy it so much.  I’m sorry if you feel like scolding too but I’m like Ralph felt about his horn – I feel it in my bones that I am going to do it.

 

8/25/29

What dreams I have of our little home! It must never become a studio for music for then it would lose its homey atmosphere.  I do want music to play a large part in the making of our home and you know I want to teach music but not to the exclusion of any home atmosphere.  It would be perfectly lovely if our house could be one with a lovely big library with rows on rows of book of every kind for you.  Where you could study and work alone at a big desk.  Sometimes I could come in and interrupt your work for a little love.  Then sometime little feet might skip in and little hands lose the place in your book but you wouldn’t scold.

Another room would be for my work away from other things.  Any music loving soul could come there for instruction.  I am sure of the future has much in store for us if we only choose our way with care.

 

8/228/29

You are domestically minded, aren’t you?  And so practical too.  Your idea was perfectly lovely but I have my heart set on community plate silverware, the pattern like the one on the spoon I have.  You didn’t say what it was you were looking at not what the pattern was like.  I prefer a simple pattern because it is so much easier to keep clean.  I wanted a well known pattern that could easily be matched in extra pieces not with a regular set such as salad forks, fruit spoons, its.

 

 

9/1/29

I need you tonight for reassurance and moral strength.  My biggest nedis to be strong and steadfast in everything but I haven’t learned to be that way yet.  Being with this gang again is going to bring back my unrest and dissatisfaction.  I think I am in the wrong crowd.  Their ways and mine are so different.  Forgive this melancholy in the beginning.  I’ll not dwell on it more.

You no doubt are waiting with many and varied expectations for the morrow.  I sincerely hope that everything proves satisfactory and you enjoy your work.  I do not know what to look forward to.  Supt. Kruse assigned me the fourth and fifth grades before he knew how many there would be.  Upon counting them the number proved to be 63 which gave me a sinking spell.  Kruse called my room the assembly. He said he would be down first thing in the morning and will separate them some how.  How I hope I get just the fourth grade – at that I’d have 37.

I left right after church yesterday in order to be here in time for a faculty dinner Mr. Kruse gave for his teachers.  It was vey nice.  Mr. Kruse and Mr. Rising are going to be good additions to our faculty I believe.  Mr. Ingram gets rather crude sometimes and lst year he had things pretty much his way being the only man.  These other men have much more dignity and sense if I may say so.

 

9/3/29  Allen, NE

Tuesday evening and all is well.  The breaks are coming my way at last.  I’m not bragging yet because the thing has barely start but my hopes are high.  You should have seen my room yesterday morning.  Children flocked in by the dozens until I had 63.  They were sitting thicker than fleas on a dogs back.  Meyers had such a few in the sixth grade that they moved the fifth grad into her room.  Was I glad?  but I do feel terribly sorry for her.  She has forty-two in the two grades.  Her room is crowded just as mine was last year.  I still have plenty, thirty-seven, but having them all in one grade makes it so much easier.  Then too, I just inherited a naturally good group of youngsters.  They really are quite dear and so far I have enjoyed working with them.  I truly hope it continues.  We like Mr. Kruse very much.  He seems to be everywhere doing everything at once.

 

9/5/29

We have been having a lovely time this evening after a very satisfactory day of teaching.  Honestly,  things have been heavenly for me this week.  My work is light, I have no discipline problems, o trouble of any kind.  If my good fortune continues, I foresee a pleasant year.  I never work after supper – just have a good time.  Last evening we went over to the house where the other girls stay to a party in honor of Cundy’s birthday.  We were all sitting on one bed talking as only a group of girls can having the best time when all at once the whole bed went right own in the middle.  Then we did laugh.  the street lights were out went Meyers and I came home and then Ingram tried to scare us, old sap.  I’m glad we have these other two men teachers.  They are very nice and entertaining yet not crudely familiar.  Mr. Kruse plays a violin wonderfully well and Mr. Rising plays the piano.  They came over this evening and we played and sang for a long time.

A funny thing happened today yet it was pathetic too.  One little fellow I didn’t promote last year went into the fifth grade anyway.  In the jumble at first it rather slipped our notice but today i called him back.  He was nearly heart broken and sobbed for a long while afterward.  I wasn’t enthused about having him back again because he can’t seem to get his lessons but there was nothing else to do.

I am certainly happy for you that things have begun nicely for you.  However, one can’t tell much about it the first week.  It is after about a month has past and you are right down in the midst of things that the real results come to light.  That is about the most discouraging time of the year.  With a good superintendent you ought not to have any trouble.

 

9/8/29

For the first time in the history of my teaching career am anxious for a new week to begin so I may get busy with my teaching work. It doesn’t hang over me like a heavy weight o a beast preying upon my mind.  You can not know what a joy it is to me and what a relief.

Yesterday I puttered around and missed the train to Sioux City so Dale took e down.  He really wanted to go anyway but thought the roads were too bad to drive.  He went to the show while I took my lesson.  I had a glorious times taking my lesson.  Edna was not with me so I had the whole time to myself.  I was there two hours but a part of the time we were just talking.  Mrs. Heizer is the most delightful person to talk to.  Yesterday we talked about this one and I have thought about it often today. “The consciousness of doing right is sufficient reward”.  She is a little afraid of losing their home.  I wish there was someway I could help that situation.

 

9/10/29

You might just as well begin to sing “Oh Boy, that’s where my money goes.  Of course I want you to come see me but it up to you to decide.  I’ll be anxious to talk over your experiences in these two weeks.  You mentioned working late hours.  I know how diligently and faithfully you would work to have things as near perfection as possible but I’ve gotten over that.

I suppose college is getting into the old swing again.  I feel rather detached from it this year and don’t think much about it.  You being elsewhere makes a difference I suppose.

9/17/29

I cannot think of anything but you since you left Sunday evening.  It is like a glorious dream from which I never want to awaken.  You said we do not love now as we used to but I don’t know but what I prefer our present love.  It is more deep and lasting even though it is not complete.

Ralph came up yesterday to say goodbye.  I surely hated to see him go but such is life.  Must hurry to breakfast now.

 

9/18/29

I’m so glad you had a pleasant trip home in so short a time.  Mayhap you won’t mind coming again soon.  I have ben very happy all week until today.  Things have not been so nice for anyone today.

This morning Nurmie got word from his wife that her sister died last night.  We feel very sorry for them but there is nothing we can do.  The tragedy of it is that this girl was expecting a little one any day.  Something went wrong and she died.  Stories like this scare me nearly to death.  I don’t know how I’ll ever stand it.  I guess I’m not very brave.

Krause and I went over to Clougles with that gang to play and sing and fool away our time.  It was fun but my fur got rubbed the wrong way and the evening didn’t end very happily.  My temper got up and I though for awhile I was going to get mean but I cooed a little.

 

9/23/29  Waterbury

I will go back to Allen soon but I hope Meyers isn’t on a tear because I don’t feel that way.  Since I can’t be with you I would like to spend the evening quietly talking with someone or playing some soft, melodic music and thinking of you.

We have been hassling over this question of a minister or not at our church.  It is a question of whether to keep Clems or not.  A meeting today settled the matter.  The meeting doesn’t feel it can pay more than $700 a year and it is preposterous to expect a family their size to live decently on that amount.

I sadly fear I must give up some of my Saturday work. As it is, it is very tiring.  Especially yesterday since I felt it necessary to attend the freshman initiation last even since all the other teachers were going.  I was too tired to enjoy it and then we had some rather serious trouble with our perpetual trouble make, Mary Brown.  Krause took her home and told her mother to keep her there.  We had a faculty meeting after the party and decided to take it up with the board and see if she hadn’t better be expelled from school.  It would be good for the school, but it really is a serious thing to do.

I want vry much to go east next summer to see Cathryn but when we go doesn’t make a great deal of difference.  That is one thing I wish you would decided please – our honeymoon.  I really would rather you say because I know your judgment will be good.

 

9/27/29

Gloomy weather again  What a nuisance it is.  It is quite impossible to keep things entirely quiet at school.  Hall duty is a little heavier on such days and of course this would be my week for hall duty.  I can scarcely realize that this ends the first four weeks.  Through all of this messy weather and al I’m not having a bit of difficulty.  My children behave very nicely.  I wonder every day how long it is going to last but it still is true.

Last night Krause came over and we played everything we could get our hands on.  I have taken a number of the accompaniments to work on but are the difficult!!  I’m taking them down to Mrs. Heizer so she can help me.  He’d like to play in a concert here in Allen if we can ever work it up.  We love the practice and it will be good for both whether we play or not.

10/3/29

Your letter was just what I was afraid it would be because of what I wrote Sunday.  I don’t want you to think I don’t trust your judgement.  Please don’t get the blues over it.  Keep happy in our love and we’ll get it settled by and by.  Do your best in your work and son’t let the future get you down.

I guess I’m doing too much running around and keeping late hours.  Last night I wanted to see the show in town, Lon Chaney in Thunder, so Meyers and I went.  We had a little scare that made us want to run all the way home.  Just as we came out of the picture house an old bewhiskered man was standing in the door.  He kept looking right at me and so I smiled just a little to be nice and he raised his hand as though to hit me.  I went right on out without saying anything but it surely frightened me.  He surely was no a dangerous character at large; just a distorted notion of mine after seeing the show.

We have another football game tomorrow here at Allen.  School will be dismissed early so I’ll have a chance to see another game.  I can’t get nearly so thrilled over these games as I did over our old games at Central.

I wonder when the Centralian is coming out?  No one has sent any word and I thought they would surely ask for my subscription.  Although I don’t know  many of the folk this year yet I would rather like to hear about things happening there since you aren’t there this year to tell me about events.  I see now how easily one grows away from their old college  Even though one is still interested, your tie and thoughts become devoted to something else.

We had an interesting little experience in school today.  Some music teachers from Sioux City came out to visit and demonstrate rhythm bands for your youngsters.  My kiddies were so excited they scarcely knew what to do with themselves.  Most large schools have rhythm bands.  I imagine Columbus does.  After school the faculty got together and played.  More fun!  We laughed as much as we played.  The piano plays the melody and all the children have little instruments with which they keep time.  I hope they introduce it here but I fear the expense will hinder its introduction.  It gives all children a little taste of music without expensive lessons.

 

10/6/29

I realize I am wasting more time this year than I did last that I could be making good use of somehow.  My school work is heavy as it naturally would be with 37 youngsters but I have nothing to worry me  That makes a world of difference.  I work diligently while I work and feel as though I am really accomplishing something.  Yet the tie is passing so quickly an when I look back it seems like such a little that I have tried todo.  I have begun to wish time would pass a bit more slowly an enable me to do more.  Does time seem that way to all older people I wonder?  When I was little time passed so slowly.  From one Christmas to another seemed like an eternity and ow it is as nothing  Speaking of Christmas reminds me that another one will soon be upon us.  Remember the last? Never can another be quite like that.

It is tim for six weeks exams.  By the time I had taught six weeks last year I imagined I knew quite a little about teaching but how little did I know.  I have really begun to teach ow.  I can imagine nicer things in the world than public school teaching but it his giving me an opportunity at things I probably would never have had otherwise.

Last week was rather a busy one in school and socially too and I didn’t get to spend much time on music.  It came into my mind to give it up and not try to keep my mind on several things at once but after my lesson yesterday I thought what a foolish thing that would be for me to do.  Although I do not practice as much as I should still there are so many valuable things I am learning from Mrs. Heizer that will be so useful to me when I teach.

I drove into the city alone yesterday and Mary Way came back with me.  She told me as much about her work as she had time for on the way home.  She works in the Community House doing welfare work.  She has found some of the most interesting cases and so pathetic that one wonders why people are as they are.  There seems to be injustice somewhere or a great wrong somewhere in our world of affairs.  She finds it very often true that many of these cases are people who left the farm thinking they could live more easily in the city.  She went out on a case Saturday morning and was amazed to find people who used to live in Allen.  People I know of very well although not personally.  Mary says her advice to everyoe is to stay where they an at least reaise a garden if at all possible.

Problems like that make one , or should make one, think twice before getting married.  Fortunately we are both well equipped to meet the situation but if there is sickness in the home it sometimes does terrible things.  Usually the families in the ost eed tell the welfare workers it sos because there has been sickness that has taken everything.  I never could do such work.  It is too pathetic and heart rending.  Then too you never know what kind of people you might have to work with.

 

10/7/29

I must confess I have felt rather mean toward you today for the letter you sent me last.  I ask forgiveness for such thoughts and hope your letter in the morning will not be a scoldy one.  If it is I shall destroy it.  I don’t like those kind. I will come half way will you meet me the rest of the way?

(An enclosed letter from Guy Puckett is from a boy’s school in California where he is teaching.  He and Ester are planning on getting married in the spring and he suggests the possibility of a double wedding).

 

10/9/29

Last night I just got home from supper and was practicing my music when in dashed Kruse saying they needed me at once at the school building. He is trying to put together an orchestra to pay for a Masonic meeting next week.  The pianist couldn’t be there so they called on me.  Of course I was happy to do it but didn’t get home until eleven.  Kruse has been asked to play a solo at the church Thursday evening for some kind of  meeting and we are working on that too.  I love to do it but this is rather a rush time in school work to have things like that come in.

Mr. Parkinson who conducted the rhythm band last week is coming again to work with the children and also give a cello recital for the high school.  His wife usually accompanies him but for some reason she is unable to come today and he wants me to play for him.  I tell you right now, I am scared stiff and worried.  He is an accomplished musician, has studied and traveled and then to expect me to play for him impromptu. I don’t know whether I’ll live through it or not.  Too much excitement!!

 

10/11/29

This has been such a busy week that I begin to feel a bit rushed again.  I have a stack of exam papers to correct but simply have not found time for them yet.  The children have been very dear about them.  Really these youngsters are so angelic I marvel.

Wednesday I played for Mr. Parkinson afternoon and evening and used up so much nervous energy that I feel like a wreck now. It was fun and he was wonderful to work with.  He would correct e in such a kindly way.I managed beautifully in the afternoon but the evening wasn’t quite so good.  He told me I did very well considering the time I had to practice.

Played for the orchestra last night – got mad at Kruse and then came home and corrected papers until nearly one.  Tired now but will catch up sleep later.

 

10/13/29

Mrs. Heizer speaks of you as my husband.  She told me Saturday she like me – my personality – and thought I would make a good teacher.  She said she wanted to give me as much work as possible and help as much in my music as possible so that I might teach along with my husband and be a credit to him.  I would like to study cello for a little while to get a little knowledge of some other instrument in case I ever had the chance to conduct an orchestra.  I wish it might be possible for us to be near enough to Sioux City for me to continue working next year under Mrs. Heizer.

It rained so much Thursday and Friday last week that Chester didn’t come after me.  I went to the city on the train and then stayed over with Catherine.  I enjoy being in her home and being with her family yet I never feel satisfied because their home is so typical of the type of home we do not want.  I really don’t’ believe they could spend a quiet evening together at home alone.  They had dinner with some friends taking me along. This family wasn’t so good either.  The one daughter -divorced – stays at home with her little girl.  This child was a case – calls her mother

by her first name and her grandmother mama.  Irregular habits, slang, Sunday shows – such things do not set so well with me.  All in home training I suppose and i’m certainly thankful my home is what it has been.

Another thing that has made the weekend disagreeable is that I am trying to cut  wisdom tooth.  Is it painful? You should know.  My jaw is slightly swollen but not enough to be noticeable.  It is coming thru so I don’t think it will be anything very serious.  I’ll not be sorry when it begins to behave properly.  Dad has been crippling around and feeling so badly for a long time.  Finally he went to a dentist and had his teeth x-rayed.  A wisdom tooth seemed to show evidence of misbehavior so he had it pulled.  He does so hate to be laid up.

 

10/13/29

At last my busy bit of work is finished and I will have time to breath easy again.  I finished the report cards this evening before supper.  I was going to have a quiet evening at home with nothing to do but first thing I knew kids came in and we sang and fooled around until late.  I didn’t get to do a thing I had intended to do.

Kruse visited my classroom today and complimented me upon my class work.  It isn’t my credit however, it is just the darling group of youngsters that I have.  I wish you could drop in someday to see them.

 

10/17/29

I have played my music until I’m filled to the brim.  I haven’t practiced as much as I should but I was feeling just right for it this evening so I had a good workout.  A lady came up from Waterbury this evening to see if I would give her little girl music lessons.  Of course she want Saturday but I couldn’t do that. I told hr if she would bring her up to me after school some evening I would take her.  She doesn’t know for sure.

We have a football game tomorrow.  Thank goodness old Central won a game.  I have a schedule now and I surely wish I could see some of the games.  I got a letter telling about homecoming and I’m so anxious to go down.

A gang of kids are going to Lincoln tonight to be there for the game tomorrow.  Wish I could go not so much to see the game as to see Ralph.

 

10/20/29  Waterbury

There are so many things I want to do but will have to dismiss from my mind when I marry.  If it wasn’t for my dislike of housework there wouldn’t be a question in my mid nor would there be another month of time elapse before we were married and I should be happy forever.  When I think of the housework necessary i order to have the kind of home we want, it is like the feeling I imagine you have when you think of farming.  I don’t like that kind of work.  I guess I’m too lazy.  I suppose it would have been better for me if I had been married before ever I got a taste of other kinds of work then I would never have known anything different.  Because I love you and will not let you go, there is no other way and I know I will do it when the time comes.

I have told Mrs. Heizer that I think you are going to Columbia University in New York.  She said to be sure and let her know when we go and she will give me introductions to some of the best music teachers in New York who are friends of hers.  Talk about good fortune, how is that?  Won’t we set the world on fire when we get started, sweetheart?

What do you think of Guy’s suggestion of a double wedding next summer?  I have always felt that when we are married I want us to be the whole show.  Down in my heart I believe I would rather be married here at home if arrangements can be made.  I’m afraid I’ll never be quite satisfied if we don’t.  Remember we will only have one wedding so why not make it a good one.

 

10/22/29

It makes me ache for you when I think of you at banquets like you spoke of.  I can see you pepped up for a time – your eyes sparkle then and my heart melts.  Don’t kid yourself, my lover boy, you are too handsome for your own good and you know it.  Do you want to know what a dark suit does to you?  I shan’t tell you for fear you may become conceited.

My ring twinkles at me tonight.  I think it knows how I am feeling inside.

 

10/24/29

I’ve gone into a slump today but I guess it isn’t anything serious. Mr. Mitchell’s father came in to play for the teachers.  He plays old fashioned music.  You know how I detest it and they drug me in to play for him.  I was feeling mean anyway and that didn’t help.  Finally I came home and then our surveyor friend came in bringing his violin and banjo and played for about an hour.  I feel better now, but I wish I had a little time for myself to do what I “lame please”.  I keep y school work up in fine shape for which I’m thankful but I never get anything else done.  I’m glad tomorrow is Friday; the youngsters are getting on my nerves.

Too bad about your bank and what a shame for all these small towns.  It certainly is hard on them.

 

10/27/29

The days are counted until I see you in Norfolk.Whether the convention means so much to me or not I don’t care so long as you are there. I favor going to Columbus on Friday and on to Central Saturday morning.  There is a hockey game at 10:00 and I want to see that and some of the football game.  I hope lots of old friends will be there.  Merl will be there and I suppose Ralph will too.

I seem to have gotten myself into trouble about where I’m to stay during the convention.  Last year I stayed at my cousin’s home.  This year I wanted to stay at the hotel with the other girls just for fun.  Mother thinks I did wrong by not planning to stay with Blanche.  What a mess!  How am I still going to keep peace among the relations and t the same time do what I want to do.

 

11/4/29

We had a very pleasant journey home but I’m afraid Mr. Nurenberger thinks I’m rather dumb.  I didn’t talk very much because I couldn’t think of anything to talk about to him.  The one outstanding thing I learned abut him was that he is very fond of his family.  Just before we got to Wisner we saw a car tipped over on its side in the ditch.  Two rather old men were standing around the car.  One man had gotten his hand cut and it was dripping with blood.  The said no one was hurt seriously so we drove on.

Sunday morning when you and Dale cam up the stairs you looked so dear I just wanted to run and kiss you but didn’t dare.  Your eyes were so sparkly and shining and I knew they were for me although you were nice to the other girls as well.  That is another thing I admire about you.  You are always so cordial and kind to everyone.  Meyers has quite fallen for you but that doesn’t worry me.  After what you said Sunday, nothing will ever worry me.

 

11/10/29

Am I proud of my sweetheart – just a little.  I don’t need to ask how you are getting along in the community.  Your place seems to be made. I’m glad for you.  Sometimes I rather think it would be better for us to stay in Monroe next year if you have your work again.  I can even imagine me keeping house for you and not trying to teach myself.    I guess I’d be happy any way you plan things just so I’d be with you.

If it depended on my saving money in oder that we might be married I’ afraid we’d wait a long time.  Last Saturday  sunk a good deal of my money in some musical encyclopedias.  They are wonderful but I’ve been having some misgivings over it since.  I decided I wouldn’t get a new coat and buy these instead.

 

11/12/29

It snowed all day in a blustery way that makes me realize winter is upon us.  I have felt mean today, but I don’t know why.Even though they are nice youngsters and I like the group as much as I could like any group, they still get on my nerves.  Children tire me to death.  When I get away from them I am all right.

we took al the grade children to the assembly for an armistice program.  We hadn’t prepared much and so for most of the period we let them sing songs that they like.  They sing with all their might.

I cant think of you as a professor in school dealing with the general run of high school students.  It seems such a small, petty thing for you to be doing.  I can more easily picture you in those things that you call your outside activities.  I see you working with men and big things – if you get what I mean.  I can imagine you as a college professor but I can’t get you connected with high school.  You flatter me in making me think that I shall be so much help to you.  To be sure I can love you a lot and be in your way but further than that I don’t see that I would count for much.

I am glad I had the opportunity of seeing your place of abode and your surroundings.  Now when you speak of the things you are doing I can picture it in my mind’s eye.

I read an article by someone say that girls today are too independent and are trying to avoid their natural duties.  Interesting, but I firmly believe in birth control.  I am glad you are well versed in it or woe to me.  My poor unfortunate cousin who evidently doesn’t believe in it has had a baby in her arms ever since she was married.  She began nine months after she was married.  The fifth one came last month  Her husband is passionately fond of her.  Poor things!

 

11/17/29

Once more I can write expressing myself and not through the pen of someone else yet I knew that you would rather have Catherine write to you than have no word at all.  I remembered how glad I was that George wrote ot me when ou were ill last winter.  My illness was quite short, thank goodness, but was severe while it lasted.  After school the day I got sick I had to make a stencil for the rate-speed and when I was finished my head ached but I didn’t think much of it.  I did notice that my hands trembled so much . I gave a piano lesson then went to supper.  By that time I was so ill I didn’t care what I

did.  I went home to bed and Catherine fixed up some kind of medicine that I imagine had something like aspirin in it.  At the time what I took to relieve th pain.  The next morning I felt fine and have ever since.  Yesterday and today I feel as calm and sure of myself as the rock of Gibraltar.

As  usual I had the most interesting time at Mrs. Heizer’s Saturday.  When I arrive two Catholic sisters were there.  I talked to them a little.  They were very nice  Before I left a little negro girl came for her lesson.  She was a cunning little thing and does quite well in her music.  Mrs. Heizer had to answer the telephone so I sat down ad played some duets with the little girl.  She thought it was great sport and would grin so big.  She counted her time so very carefully that it was almost funny.

This is the best of all however.  Mrs. Heizer asked me to come into the city on the 26th to play on a program she is sponsoring.  It in’t anything so big but it is a chance for me to try out.  This program is an annual affair give at the home for “misguided” girls.  Dale will come and take me in if he can go to the orpheum while he waits.  Catherine will come too and go to the show with him.  I thought Mother would disapprove, but she seemed to think it was quite fine.

After dinner today we all got to talking about our wedding.  Mother says she would like to have her only daughter married at home but she thinks it will be so solemn and sad that she would almost rather I wouldn’t be married here.  Since I’ll only be getting married once, I would like to have it at home but I dislike the fuss and bother especially if mother feels that way.  It would make me feel terrible and that wouldn’t do at all.  I told her I guessed I’d better get married sometime unexpectedly and tell her about it after it had all happened.  She admitted it might be a happier way.  What should I do?

11/19/29

Again I have been foolish enough to go to the show.  I usually refuse to go with Meyers but I decided to go this time.  the sow was “Charming Sinners the story of two married couples but there didn’t seem to be much affection anywhere.  I have been wondering what married life does to people. They always seem so different after they are married.  I want to be your wife but I don’t want us to become different.

You certainly are a busy man.  I don’t see how you get so much done and grow fat on it as you do.  So many things would make me nervous.  I guess I use my time like my money – recklessly.

The book I’ve been reading has made me think about many things that I know nothing about.  The author’s remarks about the Ford plant are interesting. I know nothing about industrial problems of a large city.  My life has always been well sheltered and I have lived comfortably.  In fact I admit I like to live comfortably.  I wonder sometimes what you actual thoughts about me are.  They can’t be very bad or else you would not still be thinking of making me your wife.

 

11/24/29

The problem that I mentioned still hangs over me and I dread it.  The boy has not been in school since but he will surely be there tomorrow.  What shall I do with him?  I told Mr. Kruse about it and he wants to handle the case but I fear he will be too harsh – he is so angry about it himself. If I should turn it over to Kruse I will always feel that I shifted the burden as the easiest way out.  At least the thing must be stopped in the school room.  It makes me furious and t the same time iI’m so helpless.  Such are the problems of school teachers.

I have a new music pupil and who do you suppose it is?  Roy.  I nearly fell over in a faint when he asked me.  He rather thought he would take a jazz course but of course I begged him not to.  I tried to persuade him to go to Mrs. Heizer but he doesn’t think he can afford to do that (neither can I but I do anyway. I’d rather have that than anything else).  I will feel rather foolish trying to teach Roy it will be interesting working with an older person who will comprehend things faster.  Heretofore I have always worked with just children.

 

12/3/29

It has been a real temptation to me today just to sit down and dream of you.  If it gets any worse I am going to have to give in to your appeals and come and live with you.   You shouldn’t put it that way because I would like so very much to be with you and then to think I am so far away.  My mind and heart are not here much any more.  I am constantly thinking ahead to the time I can just b with you.  I am sure now that the time has come for us to be married.  I almost feel tempted to let someone else struggle with my gang the last semester.  No, Im not going to talk like that nor even think about it.  I don’t think it would be a wise thing to do.

I had great fun giving Roy his music lesson this evening.  He is so interested and enthused over it that he will certainly advance rapidly.  It is rather amusing to watch his big hands concentrate on two little notes at a time.  He certainly tries hard to do every little thing I tell hime.

 

12/4/29

Dad hasn’t told me yet if I can have the car for sure Friday evening.  I do so want to hear that concert.  We can’t stay with Catherine’s folks so wrote to Mary Way to ask if we could stay with her in Sioux City.  We won’t mind a little inconvenience if we can hear the concert.

We had a real party down at the house last night.  Roy’s birthday was Friday after  Thanksgiving and following our old custom of having a party for everyone who has a birthday we had to throw one for him.  We had a lovely dinner and then played a few games fooling around.  Later we pulled taffy and popped corn.  a good time was had by all.

 

12/7/29

The cold is penetrating into the marrow of y bones even though I am sitting directly over the register absorbing all the heat there is.  Very seldom do they ever give us very much heat and when they do it is too much.  I suppose they have been away from the house a good bit of the day and haven’t kept the fire up much.  Meyers is so cold she can’t sit down so she is correcting her spelling books standing up.

Catherine, Roy and I drove to the city on Friday.  We went to Catherine’s home for supper and then we sent to the concert.  Don’t ask me if it was good.  Two men played on two big Steinway grand pianos.  The program was marvelous.  I don’t know when I have enjoyed anything so much.  they played for nearly two hours and then I was sorry they stopped.  We were with Mrs. Heizer in the box to the right of the stage.  Mrs. Heizer knew the artists so she took me with her back stage to meet the men.  I was quite properly thrilled and certainly appreciated the privilege.  We strayed with Mary Way; she has asked me several times to stay with her but I never stay over very often.

12/10/29

I must be getting old or set in my ways.  There is a party at the Methodist church tonight to which I was invited but I didn’t have the least inclination to go so I didn’t.  I never attend the League meetings either.  I haven’t the least interest in partying.  Meyers is out tonight so I have spent a quiet evening at home alone.  I like it very much and wish that I had an opportunity to spend more evenings that way.  Perhaps I am allowing myself to get too engrossed in my studies and shutting out other things but I would much rather do what I’m doing.

 

 

12/15/29

I am so tired of school now.  I think perhaps after Christmas vacation I will pep up just a little.  I did last year and got along much better the last semester.  I’m giving up two of my music pupils – the ones who come on Saturday.  I have to give up something and I would rather it would be my music pupils rather than my own lessons.  I just can’t give up my lessons with Mrs. Heizer.  I don’t know when I’ll ever get another teacher I like as much and can do as much for me.  Saturday afternoon another pupil of Mrs. Heizer’s came over and we did some two piano work.  I enjoy it so much.  But there I told myself i wasn’t always going to be writing about that for fear you might think me growing single minded.

I went to a bridge party last Friday evening and really had a most enjoyable time  I am beginning to learn the game quit well and find some pleasure in it but it gets terribly bore-some to me.  For once we had quite a formal party and the gang acted really decent all evening – they usually get so silly as the evening wears on.  Dale left the car for me as he went to Belden to play basketball.  He came back with the other boys.

They won their game over which Dale is quite elated.  To hear him tell about it he was quite the star player.

 

12/17/29

By the little old kerosene light I shall take a little time to write.  I liked you letter so much this morning.  I laughed and laughed over it and have been laughing all day.  It put me in good humor.  We are having some good old winter weather today which has early blown me out of my room at the school building.  It wasn’t as cold as I thought it might be.

I was trying to sack candy and nuts for my school children this evening so Ray came over to do his Christmas wrapping too. Due to the storm we have no electric lights tonight.  Ray says you can stay with him as long as you like over Christmas break. I am more than happy that you have decided to stay over a few days to visit our school.

The light has come on again and I must make a dash for the bed while it is light for in a moment darkness may reign again.

 

12/19/29

How long?  How long will you keep me waiting?  I wish I knew for sure when you are coming but whenever it is I shall greet you most joyfully.

I will be so glad when tomorrow is over.  It is going to be a perfectly “ripping” mess.  My children are so excited about the program and tree.  I won’t be able to get a single thing out of them as far as classes are concerned.  I think this way, that Christmas comes but once a year so why not let the children have a good time.  I can’t imagine how the program will turn out.  Mother said she wanted to come up for it if she could get a way into town.  I hope she can.  It would please the kiddies to death to have her come.

You never could guess what Mitchells gave each one of us teachers for a Christmas gift tonight.  After supper they brought out enormous boxes for each of us containing big angel food cakes.  Each one of us, mind you, got a whole cake.  The gang got Mrs. Mitchell an electric waffle iron.  My dream is to have one like it someday when we have a place to use it.

This little matter of going to Baltimore is rather interesting to me too.  Haven’t had much time to think about it – in fact about much of anything.

 

 

10/3/29

Your letter was just what I was afraid it would be because of what I wrote Sunday.  I don’t want you to think I don’t trust your judgement.  Please don’t get the blues over it.  Keep happy in our love and we’ll get it settled by and by.  Do your best in your work and son’t let the future get you down.

I guess I’m doing too much running around and keeping late hours.  Last night I wanted to see the show in town, Lon Chaney in Thunder, so Meyers and I went.  We had a little scare that made us want to run all the way home.  Just as we came out of the picture house an old bewhiskered man was standing in the door.  He kept looking right at me and so I smiled just a little to be nice and he raised his hand as though to hit me.  I went right on out without saying anything but it surely frightened me.  He surely was no a dangerous character at large; just a distorted notion of mine after seeing the show.

We have another football game tomorrow here at Allen.  School will be dismissed early so I’ll have a chance to see another game.  I can’t get nearly so thrilled over these games as I did over our old games at Central.

I wonder when the Centralian is coming out?  No one has sent any word and I thought they would surely ask for my subscription.  Although I don’t know  many of the folk this year yet I would rather like to hear about things happening there since you aren’t there this year to tell me about events.  I see now how easily one grows away from their old college  Even though one is still interested, your tie and thoughts become devoted to something else.

We had an interesting little experience in school today.  Some music teachers from Sioux City came out to visit and demonstrate rhythm bands for your youngsters.  My kiddies were so excited they scarcely knew what to do with themselves.  Most large schools have rhythm bands.  I imagine Columbus does.  After school the faculty got together and played.  More fun!  We laughed as much as we played.  The piano plays the melody and all the children have little instruments with which they keep time.  I hope they introduce it here but I fear the expense will hinder its introduction.  It gives all children a little taste of music without expensive lessons.

 

10/6/29

I realize I am wasting more time this year than I did last that I could be making good use of somehow.  My school work is heavy as it naturally would be with 37 youngsters but I have nothing to worry me  That makes a world of difference.  I work diligently while I work and feel as though I am really accomplishing something.  Yet the tie is passing so quickly an when I look back it seems like such a little that I have tried todo.  I have begun to wish time would pass a bit more slowly an enable me to do more.  Does time seem that way to all older people I wonder?  When I was little time passed so slowly.  From one Christmas to another seemed like an eternity and ow it is as nothing  Speaking of Christmas reminds me that another one will soon be upon us.  Remember the last? Never can another be quite like that.

It is tim for six weeks exams.  By the time I had taught six weeks last year I imagined I knew quite a little about teaching but how little did I know.  I have really begun to teach ow.  I can imagine nicer things in the world than public school teaching but it his giving me an opportunity at things I probably would never have had otherwise.

Last week was rather a busy one in school and socially too and I didn’t get to spend much time on music.  It came into my mind to give it up and not try to keep my mind on several things at once but after my lesson yesterday I thought what a foolish thing that would be for me to do.  Although I do not practice as much as I should still there are so many valuable things I am learning from Mrs. Heizer that will be so useful to me when I teach.

I drove into the city alone yesterday and Mary Way came back with me.  She told me as much about her work as she had time for on the way home.  She works in the Community House doing welfare work.  She has found some of the most interesting cases and so pathetic that one wonders why people are as they are.  There seems to be injustice somewhere or a great wrong somewhere in our world of affairs.  She finds it very often true that many of these cases are people who left the farm thinking they could live more easily in the city.  She went out on a case Saturday morning and was amazed to find people who used to live in Allen.  People I know of very well although not personally.  Mary says her advice to everyoe is to stay where they an at least reaise a garden if at all possible.

Problems like that make one , or should make one, think twice before getting married.  Fortunately we are both well equipped to meet the situation but if there is sickness in the home it sometimes does terrible things.  Usually the families in the ost eed tell the welfare workers it sos because there has been sickness that has taken everything.  I never could do such work.  It is too pathetic and heart rending.  Then too you never know what kind of people you might have to work with.

 

10/7/29

I must confess I have felt rather mean toward you today for the letter you sent me last.  I ask forgiveness for such thoughts and hope your letter in the morning will not be a scoldy one.  If it is I shall destroy it.  I don’t like those kind. I will come half way will you meet me the rest of the way?

(An enclosed letter from Guy Puckett is from a boy’s school in California where he is teaching.  He and Ester are planning on getting married in the spring and he suggests the possibility of a double wedding).

 

10/9/29

Last night I just got home from supper and was practicing my music when in dashed Kruse saying they needed me at once at the school building. He is trying to put together an orchestra to pay for a Masonic meeting next week.  The pianist couldn’t be there so they called on me.  Of course I was happy to do it but didn’t get home until eleven.  Kruse has been asked to play a solo at the church Thursday evening for some kind of  meeting and we are working on that too.  I love to do it but this is rather a rush time in school work to have things like that come in.

Mr. Parkinson who conducted the rhythm band last week is coming again to work with the children and also give a cello recital for the high school.  His wife usually accompanies him but for some reason she is unable to come today and he wants me to play for him.  I tell you right now, I am scared stiff and worried.  He is an accomplished musician, has studied and traveled and then to expect me to play for him impromptu. I don’t know whether I’ll live through it or not.  Too much excitement!!

 

10/11/29

This has been such a busy week that I begin to feel a bit rushed again.  I have a stack of exam papers to correct but simply have not found time for them yet.  The children have been very dear about them.  Really these youngsters are so angelic I marvel.

Wednesday I played for Mr. Parkinson afternoon and evening and used up so much nervous energy that I feel like a wreck now. It was fun and he was wonderful to work with.  He would correct e in such a kindly way.I managed beautifully in the afternoon but the evening wasn’t quite so good.  He told me I did very well considering the time I had to practice.

Played for the orchestra last night – got mad at Kruse and then came home and corrected papers until nearly one.  Tired now but will catch up sleep later.

 

10/13/29

Mrs. Heizer speaks of you as my husband.  She told me Saturday she like me – my personality – and thought I would make a good teacher.  She said she wanted to give me as much work as possible and help as much in my music as possible so that I might teach along with my husband and be a credit to him.  I would like to study cello for a little while to get a little knowledge of some other instrument in case I ever had the chance to conduct an orchestra.  I wish it might be possible for us to be near enough to Sioux City for me to continue working next year under Mrs. Heizer.

It rained so much Thursday and Friday last week that Chester didn’t come after me.  I went to the city on the train and then stayed over with Catherine.  I enjoy being in her home and being with her family yet I never feel satisfied because their home is so typical of the type of home we do not want.  I really don’t’ believe they could spend a quiet evening together at home alone.  They had dinner with some friends taking me along. This family wasn’t so good either.  The one daughter -divorced – stays at home with her little girl.  This child was a case – calls her mother

by her first name and her grandmother mama.  Irregular habits, slang, Sunday shows – such things do not set so well with me.  All in home training I suppose and i’m certainly thankful my home is what it has been.

Another thing that has made the weekend disagreeable is that I am trying to cut  wisdom tooth.  Is it painful? You should know.  My jaw is slightly swollen but not enough to be noticeable.  It is coming thru so I don’t think it will be anything very serious.  I’ll not be sorry when it begins to behave properly.  Dad has been crippling around and feeling so badly for a long time.  Finally he went to a dentist and had his teeth x-rayed.  A wisdom tooth seemed to show evidence of misbehavior so he had it pulled.  He does so hate to be laid up.

 

10/13/29

At last my busy bit of work is finished and I will have time to breath easy again.  I finished the report cards this evening before supper.  I was going to have a quiet evening at home with nothing to do but first thing I knew kids came in and we sang and fooled around until late.  I didn’t get to do a thing I had intended to do.

Kruse visited my classroom today and complimented me upon my class work.  It isn’t my credit however, it is just the darling group of youngsters that I have.  I wish you could drop in someday to see them.

 

10/17/29

I have played my music until I’m filled to the brim.  I haven’t practiced as much as I should but I was feeling just right for it this evening so I had a good workout.  A lady came up from Waterbury this evening to see if I would give her little girl music lessons.  Of course she want Saturday but I couldn’t do that. I told hr if she would bring her up to me after school some evening I would take her.  She doesn’t know for sure.

We have a football game tomorrow.  Thank goodness old Central won a game.  I have a schedule now and I surely wish I could see some of the games.  I got a letter telling about homecoming and I’m so anxious to go down.

A gang of kids are going to Lincoln tonight to be there for the game tomorrow.  Wish I could go not so much to see the game as to see Ralph.

 

10/20/29  Waterbury

There are so many things I want to do but will have to dismiss from my mind when I marry.  If it wasn’t for my dislike of housework there wouldn’t be a question in my mid nor would there be another month of time elapse before we were married and I should be happy forever.  When I think of the housework necessary i order to have the kind of home we want, it is like the feeling I imagine you have when you think of farming.  I don’t like that kind of work.  I guess I’m too lazy.  I suppose it would have been better for me if I had been married before ever I got a taste of other kinds of work then I would never have known anything different.  Because I love you and will not let you go, there is no other way and I know I will do it when the time comes.

I have told Mrs. Heizer that I think you are going to Columbia University in New York.  She said to be sure and let her know when we go and she will give me introductions to some of the best music teachers in New York who are friends of hers.  Talk about good fortune, how is that?  Won’t we set the world on fire when we get started, sweetheart?

What do you think of Guy’s suggestion of a double wedding next summer?  I have always felt that when we are married I want us to be the whole show.  Down in my heart I believe I would rather be married here at home if arrangements can be made.  I’m afraid I’ll never be quite satisfied if we don’t.  Remember we will only have one wedding so why not make it a good one.

 

10/22/29

It makes me ache for you when I think of you at banquets like you spoke of.  I can see you pepped up for a time – your eyes sparkle then and my heart melts.  Don’t kid yourself, my lover boy, you are too handsome for your own good and you know it.  Do you want to know what a dark suit does to you?  I shan’t tell you for fear you may become conceited.

My ring twinkles at me tonight.  I think it knows how I am feeling inside.

 

10/24/29

I’ve gone into a slump today but I guess it isn’t anything serious. Mr. Mitchell’s father came in to play for the teachers.  He plays old fashioned music.  You know how I detest it and they drug me in to play for him.  I was feeling mean anyway and that didn’t help.  Finally I came home and then our surveyor friend came in bringing his violin and banjo and played for about an hour.  I feel better now, but I wish I had a little time for myself to do what I “lame please”.  I keep y school work up in fine shape for which I’m thankful but I never get anything else done.  I’m glad tomorrow is Friday; the youngsters are getting on my nerves.

Too bad about your bank and what a shame for all these small towns.  It certainly is hard on them.

 

10/27/29

The days are counted until I see you in Norfolk.Whether the convention means so much to me or not I don’t care so long as you are there. I favor going to Columbus on Friday and on to Central Saturday morning.  There is a hockey game at 10:00 and I want to see that and some of the football game.  I hope lots of old friends will be there.  Merl will be there and I suppose Ralph will too.

I seem to have gotten myself into trouble about where I’m to stay during the convention.  Last year I stayed at my cousin’s home.  This year I wanted to stay at the hotel with the other girls just for fun.  Mother thinks I did wrong by not planning to stay with Blanche.  What a mess!  How am I still going to keep peace among the relations and t the same time do what I want to do.

 

11/4/29

We had a very pleasant journey home but I’m afraid Mr. Nurenberger thinks I’m rather dumb.  I didn’t talk very much because I couldn’t think of anything to talk about to him.  The one outstanding thing I learned abut him was that he is very fond of his family.  Just before we got to Wisner we saw a car tipped over on its side in the ditch.  Two rather old men were standing around the car.  One man had gotten his hand cut and it was dripping with blood.  The said no one was hurt seriously so we drove on.

Sunday morning when you and Dale cam up the stairs you looked so dear I just wanted to run and kiss you but didn’t dare.  Your eyes were so sparkly and shining and I knew they were for me although you were nice to the other girls as well.  That is another thing I admire about you.  You are always so cordial and kind to everyone.  Meyers has quite fallen for you but that doesn’t worry me.  After what you said Sunday, nothing will ever worry me.

 

11/10/29

Am I proud of my sweetheart – just a little.  I don’t need to ask how you are getting along in the community.  Your place seems to be made. I’m glad for you.  Sometimes I rather think it would be better for us to stay in Monroe next year if you have your work again.  I can even imagine me keeping house for you and not trying to teach myself.    I guess I’d be happy any way you plan things just so I’d be with you.

If it depended on my saving money in oder that we might be married I’ afraid we’d wait a long time.  Last Saturday  sunk a good deal of my money in some musical encyclopedias.  They are wonderful but I’ve been having some misgivings over it since.  I decided I wouldn’t get a new coat and buy these instead.

 

11/12/29

It snowed all day in a blustery way that makes me realize winter is upon us.  I have felt mean today, but I don’t know why.Even though they are nice youngsters and I like the group as much as I could like any group, they still get on my nerves.  Children tire me to death.  When I get away from them I am all right.

we took al the grade children to the assembly for an armistice program.  We hadn’t prepared much and so for most of the period we let them sing songs that they like.  They sing with all their might.

I cant think of you as a professor in school dealing with the general run of high school students.  It seems such a small, petty thing for you to be doing.  I can more easily picture you in those things that you call your outside activities.  I see you working with men and big things – if you get what I mean.  I can imagine you as a college professor but I can’t get you connected with high school.  You flatter me in making me think that I shall be so much help to you.  To be sure I can love you a lot and be in your way but further than that I don’t see that I would count for much.

I am glad I had the opportunity of seeing your place of abode and your surroundings.  Now when you speak of the things you are doing I can picture it in my mind’s eye.

I read an article by someone say that girls today are too independent and are trying to avoid their natural duties.  Interesting, but I firmly believe in birth control.  I am glad you are well versed in it or woe to me.  My poor unfortunate cousin who evidently doesn’t believe in it has had a baby in her arms ever since she was married.  She began nine months after she was married.  The fifth one came last month  Her husband is passionately fond of her.  Poor things!

 

11/17/29

Once more I can write expressing myself and not through the pen of someone else yet I knew that you would rather have Catherine write to you than have no word at all.  I remembered how glad I was that George wrote ot me when ou were ill last winter.  My illness was quite short, thank goodness, but was severe while it lasted.  After school the day I got sick I had to make a stencil for the rate-speed and when I was finished my head ached but I didn’t think much of it.  I did notice that my hands trembled so much . I gave a piano lesson then went to supper.  By that time I was so ill I didn’t care what I

did.  I went home to bed and Catherine fixed up some kind of medicine that I imagine had something like aspirin in it.  At the time what I took to relieve th pain.  The next morning I felt fine and have ever since.  Yesterday and today I feel as calm and sure of myself as the rock of Gibraltar.

As  usual I had the most interesting time at Mrs. Heizer’s Saturday.  When I arrive two Catholic sisters were there.  I talked to them a little.  They were very nice  Before I left a little negro girl came for her lesson.  She was a cunning little thing and does quite well in her music.  Mrs. Heizer had to answer the telephone so I sat down ad played some duets with the little girl.  She thought it was great sport and would grin so big.  She counted her time so very carefully that it was almost funny.

This is the best of all however.  Mrs. Heizer asked me to come into the city on the 26th to play on a program she is sponsoring.  It in’t anything so big but it is a chance for me to try out.  This program is an annual affair give at the home for “misguided” girls.  Dale will come and take me in if he can go to the orpheum while he waits.  Catherine will come too and go to the show with him.  I thought Mother would disapprove, but she seemed to think it was quite fine.

After dinner today we all got to talking about our wedding.  Mother says she would like to have her only daughter married at home but she thinks it will be so solemn and sad that she would almost rather I wouldn’t be married here.  Since I’ll only be getting married once, I would like to have it at home but I dislike the fuss and bother especially if mother feels that way.  It would make me feel terrible and that wouldn’t do at all.  I told her I guessed I’d better get married sometime unexpectedly and tell her about it after it had all happened.  She admitted it might be a happier way.  What should I do?

11/19/29

Again I have been foolish enough to go to the show.  I usually refuse to go with Meyers but I decided to go this time.  the sow was “Charming Sinners the story of two married couples but there didn’t seem to be much affection anywhere.  I have been wondering what married life does to people. They always seem so different after they are married.  I want to be your wife but I don’t want us to become different.

You certainly are a busy man.  I don’t see how you get so much done and grow fat on it as you do.  So many things would make me nervous.  I guess I use my time like my money – recklessly.

The book I’ve been reading has made me think about many things that I know nothing about.  The author’s remarks about the Ford plant are interesting. I know nothing about industrial problems of a large city.  My life has always been well sheltered and I have lived comfortably.  In fact I admit I like to live comfortably.  I wonder sometimes what you actual thoughts about me are.  They can’t be very bad or else you would not still be thinking of making me your wife.

 

11/24/29

The problem that I mentioned still hangs over me and I dread it.  The boy has not been in school since but he will surely be there tomorrow.  What shall I do with him?  I told Mr. Kruse about it and he wants to handle the case but I fear he will be too harsh – he is so angry about it himself. If I should turn it over to Kruse I will always feel that I shifted the burden as the easiest way out.  At least the thing must be stopped in the school room.  It makes me furious and t the same time iI’m so helpless.  Such are the problems of school teachers.

I have a new music pupil and who do you suppose it is?  Roy.  I nearly fell over in a faint when he asked me.  He rather thought he would take a jazz course but of course I begged him not to.  I tried to persuade him to go to Mrs. Heizer but he doesn’t think he can afford to do that (neither can I but I do anyway. I’d rather have that than anything else).  I will feel rather foolish trying to teach Roy it will be interesting working with an older person who will comprehend things faster.  Heretofore I have always worked with just children.

 

12/3/29

It has been a real temptation to me today just to sit down and dream of you.  If it gets any worse I am going to have to give in to your appeals and come and live with you.   You shouldn’t put it that way because I would like so very much to be with you and then to think I am so far away.  My mind and heart are not here much any more.  I am constantly thinking ahead to the time I can just b with you.  I am sure now that the time has come for us to be married.  I almost feel tempted to let someone else struggle with my gang the last semester.  No, Im not going to talk like that nor even think about it.  I don’t think it would be a wise thing to do.

I had great fun giving Roy his music lesson this evening.  He is so interested and enthused over it that he will certainly advance rapidly.  It is rather amusing to watch his big hands concentrate on two little notes at a time.  He certainly tries hard to do every little thing I tell hime.

 

12/4/29

Dad hasn’t told me yet if I can have the car for sure Friday evening.  I do so want to hear that concert.  We can’t stay with Catherine’s folks so wrote to Mary Way to ask if we could stay with her in Sioux City.  We won’t mind a little inconvenience if we can hear the concert.

We had a real party down at the house last night.  Roy’s birthday was Friday after  Thanksgiving and following our old custom of having a party for everyone who has a birthday we had to throw one for him.  We had a lovely dinner and then played a few games fooling around.  Later we pulled taffy and popped corn.  a good time was had by all.

 

12/7/29

The cold is penetrating into the marrow of y bones even though I am sitting directly over the register absorbing all the heat there is.  Very seldom do they ever give us very much heat and when they do it is too much.  I suppose they have been away from the house a good bit of the day and haven’t kept the fire up much.  Meyers is so cold she can’t sit down so she is correcting her spelling books standing up.

Catherine, Roy and I drove to the city on Friday.  We went to Catherine’s home for supper and then we sent to the concert.  Don’t ask me if it was good.  Two men played on two big Steinway grand pianos.  The program was marvelous.  I don’t know when I have enjoyed anything so much.  they played for nearly two hours and then I was sorry they stopped.  We were with Mrs. Heizer in the box to the right of the stage.  Mrs. Heizer knew the artists so she took me with her back stage to meet the men.  I was quite properly thrilled and certainly appreciated the privilege.  We strayed with Mary Way; she has asked me several times to stay with her but I never stay over very often.

12/10/29

I must be getting old or set in my ways.  There is a party at the Methodist church tonight to which I was invited but I didn’t have the least inclination to go so I didn’t.  I never attend the League meetings either.  I haven’t the least interest in partying.  Meyers is out tonight so I have spent a quiet evening at home alone.  I like it very much and wish that I had an opportunity to spend more evenings that way.  Perhaps I am allowing myself to get too engrossed in my studies and shutting out other things but I would much rather do what I’m doing.

 

 

12/15/29

I am so tired of school now.  I think perhaps after Christmas vacation I will pep up just a little.  I did last year and got along much better the last semester.  I’m giving up two of my music pupils – the ones who come on Saturday.  I have to give up something and I would rather it would be my music pupils rather than my own lessons.  I just can’t give up my lessons with Mrs. Heizer.  I don’t know when I’ll ever get another teacher I like as much and can do as much for me.  Saturday afternoon another pupil of Mrs. Heizer’s came over and we did some two piano work.  I enjoy it so much.  But there I told myself i wasn’t always going to be writing about that for fear you might think me growing single minded.

I went to a bridge party last Friday evening and really had a most enjoyable time  I am beginning to learn the game quit well and find some pleasure in it but it gets terribly bore-some to me.  For once we had quite a formal party and the gang acted really decent all evening – they usually get so silly as the evening wears on.  Dale left the car for me as he went to Belden to play basketball.  He came back with the other boys.

They won their game over which Dale is quite elated.  To hear him tell about it he was quite the star player.

 

12/17/29

By the little old kerosene light I shall take a little time to write.  I liked you letter so much this morning.  I laughed and laughed over it and have been laughing all day.  It put me in good humor.  We are having some good old winter weather today which has early blown me out of my room at the school building.  It wasn’t as cold as I thought it might be.

I was trying to sack candy and nuts for my school children this evening so Ray came over to do his Christmas wrapping too. Due to the storm we have no electric lights tonight.  Ray says you can stay with him as long as you like over Christmas break. I am more than happy that you have decided to stay over a few days to visit our school.

The light has come on again and I must make a dash for the bed while it is light for in a moment darkness may reign again.

 

12/19/29

How long?  How long will you keep me waiting?  I wish I knew for sure when you are coming but whenever it is I shall greet you most joyfully.

I will be so glad when tomorrow is over.  It is going to be a perfectly “ripping” mess.  My children are so excited about the program and tree.  I won’t be able to get a single thing out of them as far as classes are concerned.  I think this way, that Christmas comes but once a year so why not let the children have a good time.  I can’t imagine how the program will turn out.  Mother said she wanted to come up for it if she could get a way into town.  I hope she can.  It would please the kiddies to death to have her come.

You never could guess what Mitchells gave each one of us teachers for a Christmas gift tonight.  After supper they brought out enormous boxes for each of us containing big angel food cakes.  Each one of us, mind you, got a whole cake.  The gang got Mrs. Mitchell an electric waffle iron.  My dream is to have one like it someday when we have a place to use it.

This little matter of going to Baltimore is rather interesting to me too.  Haven’t had much time to think about it – in fact about much of anything.

 

 

 

 

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