Mom 6/5/27 to Dad who is working at NCC
Back to my usual summer pastime but I don’t like to think that you are so far away. I tried so hard to keep the tears back before I left but after I got on the train I just cried. That last kiss took away all my force and I had to give way a little. If it had been in my power to stop that train I would have gone back to your. That pain in my throat stayed until I was almost to Fremont. I didn’t think it was going to be quite so hard to leave you. The conductor was very kind to me. He gave me a Denver paper to read but when I opened it what should I see first of all but a picture of a man holding a girl in his arms just ready to kiss her. Needless to say I had to turn away from that. The conductor talked to me quite a bit and told me about his little girl. He asked me if I would like to see the kitchen on the train. Of course I did because I have always been curious to know what it was like so he took me in. I thought it was very kind of him and it helped to get my mind on other things so I felt a little better. By the time I got to Fremont I was able to think about the home folk and that made things better. Papa, Lawrence and the dog met me in the truck. Lawrence could hardly wait to show me his garden and patches of corn that he had plated with Henry Field seeds. He said he had spaded up all that ground by hand. He has a patch of potatoes and watermelons that Dad planted for him to care for. He has one tiny little black pig that Dad gave him to fuss over and raise if he can. Then he wanted to show me Dales’ field across the creek. By the time I got through looking at all that I had seen a good bit of the old. farm. It made me more appreciative. I realize more and more what a fine home I have. I just love my family and everything so much. An uncle and aunt visited with their daughter and her 2 yr old girl. She was so cute. She won Dad right off and he’d let her do anything if he thought it made her happy. Any youngster can just run over him right from the start. Bill Got Dad in the notion of taking a trip to S. Dakota to fish and visit relatives. He is talking of getting a new car, probably a Chevrolet. It will leave all all the farm work to Chester and me but I’m going to encourage the fold to get their new car and take a vacation. Good for them to get away and have some fun. Dad has never gone fishing and I think he would like it. Jonah, the fish, is still alive but he just lays in the bottom of the bowl curled up and doesn’t eat. I don’t know what to do for him.
I have been writing letters all evening but have left the best until lat. The rest of the family have gone to bed so I am alone with you (I wish I were). You have always been so lovely to me even when I was unkind. I am always glad that you could keep cool and reasonable when I was angry. That is one thing I have always been able to say: that I have never seen you really angry. That mean’s so much and will mean more in our future happiness. I’m sure Ill never tire of that dear face across the breakfast table especially when there will be more than two faces. I went out interviewing my prospective music students and had good success. I will have five pupils this summer. Mama wants me to take lessons in Sioux City. I will have a busy summer in addition to helping with the housework, although Mama would try to do it all. Bless her, she is such an inspiration to me. She is so interested in my pupils. If it weren’t for her encouragement I don’t know what I’d do sometimes. I would think she would tire of hearing those youngsters laboriously go through their lessons but she says she doesn’t mind. She wants me to take lessons so if i don’t like teaching school perhaps I can teach music and I can teach music whether I’m married or not. Can you beat it? What mother’s won’t do for a person. You no doubt get the main thought here: that I think I have a wonderful mother. I hope that I may be as good a one. Sad news: Jonah died. Lawrence buried him under the lilac bush.
Dear Mr. Ferguson,
My interest has been aroused considerably since reading about the school you advertise. Of course I could not judge on such meager information and would thank you kindly if you could send me any further material you might ha on the matter. Or perhaps, dear sir, you could come and see me. I would much prefer the latter because I could see for myself a specimen of the student body. I hope you are good looking and have brown eyes. I do so like a good looking men. As you say, sometimes the friendships you form at school are invaluable. I am anxious that you should come as soon as possible.
Dearest sweetheart, wouldn’t I like to sneak up on you some time and overhear your conversation with some fond mother who thinks her son is the best boy in the world. I hope you meet with good success in your work and no one sets their dog on you. No joking, I do hope you can win new students for our school. Chester broke out with the measles this morning. The folks have been rather expecting it. There have been so many cases around this spring. Now I suppose all the rest of us will have them. I started my music lessons in Hubbard yesterday. Mama wanted me to go to Sioux City but I don’t make enough from my pupils to pay for lessons and transportation on the train too. I’m afraid my music career with Mrs. Krew won’t run very smoothly. In the first place I’m not very much taken with her method of teaching In the second place she doesn’t like it a bit that I am teaching. She started talking immediately about her starting a class in Waterbury hoping, I suppose, to take my pupils. I was supposed to start my pupils tomorrow but not sure now since we have the measles.
So ends my first day of teaching for the summer and tired — well I never tried to do anything quite so nerve racking in my life If I thought I had to do this sort of thing every day for years to come…darling you wouldn’t have much of a lover very long. It takes the patience of a saint to go through a day like this yet one can’t help but enjoy it too. I didn’t mean to tell you this because i thought what you didn’t know wouldn’t hurt you but some how I can’t seem to keep anything from you. I have been out with Barney. No he isn’t married. You know I have always liked Barney but he isn’t anything compared to you. I have been reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. It has been quite depressing. Jane had been denied everything lovely all her life and when she finally found love it was snatched away from her the very day she was to be married. Such a thing always shakes me. Even though I know everything is alright I just want to hear you say that it is. I have been dreaming about you every night. Dearest if anything should happen to me as it did to Jan in my story I think I should die at least want to. But why be gloomy. Nothing will happen. Our love is strong enough to meet any obstacle and whatever come I will love you always.
For the last week I have been feeling full of the very dickens, if you’ll pardon the strong expression. It took me the first week to rest up and now I never felt so good and ambitious before. I have to use my energy some way if in no other way than teasing the kids. Chester is pretty well straightened up again and none of the rest of us have the measles yet but of course there is plenty of time to take them. I have often wondered how much I am worth and now I know: $1,000 to Mother at least. Dad took that much insurance for me yesterday. He wanted me to do it and let him pay until I got to teaching. If I remember correctly you are the man who doesn’t believe in insurance. To tell the truth I don’t see much value in it myself However it si a sure way of laying up money – if you have any. The insurance agent in this is my cousin-in-law from CA. This afternoon we stopped to see another cousin before coming home and I couldn’t help but think that that house and family were just what you don’t want our home to be. The three youngsters were so dirty but Clara had been too busy to clean them up. The porch was dirty the house didn’t smell fresh, the screen door stood ajar and the flies came in. And lasst of all Clara is getting fat. Ha! Yes dear, I think our idea of a home is quite utopian yet I truly hope it is attainable. Perhaps I will b too fussy about the house and spend too much time keeping the babies clean. Can you feature me doing those things? Especially caring for a baby. Really, I imagine it would be quite entertaining.
I was at Sara Way Kingston’s this afternoon. Sara took my old sweetheart (Floyd) you know. That has rather upset me — or not. HA! She showed us all her things that she has made. They were lovely and have need to be. he used all her money from teaching school and then friends have given her things. The thing that took my interest most was her treasure chest. It was a cedar lined walnut walnut chest Perfectly adorable. She showed us the dress she was married in. Floyd wanted her to put it away and keep it. I had the most fun Tuesday giving lessons. Each pupil is so different that one has to change their method of attack for each one. I have one little pupil that is too dear for words. She alway wants to count and while she counts she sings. The others won’t count at all. It’s great work but I get lots of laughs from it too when I get home and can tell mother about it. I’m afraid I’m inclined to see the funny side too often but I do’t dare laugh until I get home.
Lawrence and Dale certainly have been sick with the measles and I’m afraid Mother is coming down with them but she doesn’t think so. Friday and Saturday she didn’t feel a bit good and Sunday morning her face began to break out although she says she’s alright. Dad has been dragging around feeling bum with a cold in his head and a cough. Rather a sickly outfit, aren’t we? I had the most fun yesterday. In the afternoon I went down to Uncle Frank’s. The McAfee girls were there. Had a picnic dinner and then we all went wading in the creek. The water was war even if it was muddy and we just had the most fun. When you come you’ll probably get to see Guy but I’ll warn you he can have only fifteen minutes of your time You see I am going to claim all your time and if any one wants to talk with y dearest they’ll have to arrange time with me. So there.
I wish you were here today instead of last Sunday. My but I was in a sorry condition. I look pretty decent again although the measles still show if I get hot or very tired. I getting back my pep and feel mean again. I sure sign I’m well. Poor Dad is still in bed and still has bad coughing spells. I’m anxious to see you again next Sunday. I’d like to have a chance to really enjoy your company but don’t suppose we’ll have much chance at Young’s Park. Cecil is at McAfee’s now but don’t know how long he’ll stay. He brought Arvilla home. Wish those kids would get married. Cecil sure is funny; I hardly know what to make of him but I guess it’s all right. I’m not the one who will always have to be with him, thank goodness. I just couldn’t be so meek and quiet as Arvilla seems to be. If she would dress just a little more “flapperish”, if I may say that, she would feel like asserting herself more. Perhaps I shouldn’t advocate such a thing and tone down a little myself but I guess I was just made on a different plan. Mother says I’m inclined to wear my dresses too short and my hat too much on one side – you know the style. Now if I must be YW president just what kind of example am I going to be? Or do I need to be an example? I still think Avis is the girl for the position.
I got real ambitious yesterday and sewed but it was too much of a strain on my eyes and I went around crying all evening, crocodile tears. You know sewing isn’t very good for my disposition I can get the most provoked over sewing of anything, I believe. It will just be too bad for you whenever I get a spell on to sew. I’ll always giv you warning so you will know when to handle me with care. I know you’ll say “learn to control yourself” but I can’t when I’m sewing. Everyone just has to watch out. Mr. Mann, the Waterbury merchant, was hear that day. He said if there was anything he could do to help he surely would but he thought I had just better drive over to his store and buy a pattern but I didn’t. I just thought and thought until I worked it out myself. Wasn’t that clever of me? As I have told you before, I never think of the future without you I know I could never find anyone else who would be so perfectly lovely to me all the time. Even in public I can just feel your love for me and I sincerely hope I may always merit your best admiration and devotion. Girls have told me I could consider myself fortunate in having one who wa as devoted to me in public as in private as you always are No girl likes to be taken out and then be practically ignored. Girls have told me that there were taken out and their friend treated them almost like strangers when with other people and then in private — I never thought anything about it because you never did. Another reason I have to adore you.
Even though our time together was short it was sweet beyond description. As to the problem you are facing just now, I have thought of it all afternoon and only wish there was something I could do to help you but I think it is more for you to solve alone. Rest assured that what ever your decision is I shall do all i can to help you carry it out. I have always felt like you would be a minister but as you know I have always fought against it and hoped in my heart that your decision would finally turn some other way I want you to decide carefully and I will try to be happy even though it means more years of study and a longer period of separation. Whatever you do I want you to do good If you feel that you should preach the gospel then by all means do it.
I don’t like the sound of “some of our plans must be changed”. I think I know what it means but if it seems best then we must try to be happy. I don’t want to make it hard for ou but I can hardly bear to think of you going so far away without me. It will be hard to wait alone but perhaps then I can come to you better prepared and more capable of helping you. I am glad harvesting is over. As soon as the oats were ripe enough to cut they had to cut it immediately for fear it might rain and knock it down. That meant they worked until dark and I had to wash dishes after nine o’clock. A little too late to suit me. People have been writing to me about the Estes Park conference. Last week I got a letter concerning the class work i wanted to take. Several books were mentioned which they wanted me to read. One I thought you had and I wondered if you would bring it before I leave for Colorado.
Your letter yesterday put me in such state of mind that I just had to talk to someone so I told the whole thing to Cora. I have never told her a thing before but of course she surmised as much. I don’t know what to do. I would love to do a you thought perhaps we might but I don’t see how I can. I won’t ask the folks to send me to school any longer. I feel like a I should do something for myself. I know thereare lots of things the folks want themselves which they would have to deny themselves if I wento on to school I can’t think of borrowing the money to go on bcause it would only be for you to pay back and there will be enough expense without tht. It would be nice to go on thru college but I tell you frankly I don’t care a geat deal if I don’t. If I did I would never have a chance to teach school and I want to try it so much for at least a year. Dad o graciously sent me or will send me through two years of college and then he expects me to teach and help myelf. If I don’t teach how will I ever pay back my YW debt of this fall, pay insurance, etc? I don’t see how I can go on to college now.
What do you suppose I was doing yesterday when your letter came?? You never could guess in all this world. I was playing with my old dolls Oh not really playing with them but I had them out looking at them and a lot of the other things that I played with when I was a kid. It was the most fun and it made me think of so many things I used to do especially of how I took care of my family. It was a large family of about nine. I put them all away and intend to give them to my little girls some day, relics of by gone days. I don’t suppose you can ever understand and will always go on living as you did the last year. This is the reason I say I will not make a good minister’s wife. I can’t live like you are happy to live. I abhor missionary and aid societies and all that sort of thing. I would detest always being talked about like they always talk about the minister’s wife and having to be a shining example”. Next Sunday will be the quarterly meeting and I won’t expect you to come here until Sunday evening. It will probably be fortunate you you because Dad and Mother are going and I will be guarding the roast so if you value your life you’d better go or else take out an insurance policy at once. No need of taking a useless risk since all your work lies before you. It will probably be such a disappointment to you that it will unnerve you for the rest of your life. I am referring to y lak of mastery of the culinary art and I don’t mean maybe. Ruth had better wait until she has Brother John for sure before he finds out what kind of a cook she is or she will never get him. Later in another letter: I had a talk with Mother and Ralph after meeting last night. I mentioned how much I wanted to teach and other said she supposed you’d have something else in my head by next spring. I told her nothing like that until you were through college. I asked her if she would have any objections then. She said she thought we were rather young but if we wanted to go into it then she would ot interfer, So there we are. How does it make you feel? I don’t know how Dad will feel but I don’t think he would object seriously.
I am just living now until your lovely plans can be carried out to the last little detail. You surely put something into my head when you told me all that you did when you were here. Your plans couldn’t suit me any better if I had made them myself, in fact they are better because you eliminated several difficulties that I didn’t know what to do about.
Shortly after you left I dreamed that our church was burning and the only people that were much concerned were you and Guy Solt. Part of the church building fell in and burned Guy but you were uninjured. I thought perhaps the dream came in that way because I have been thinking how much concerned you are about the welfare of the churches and your desire to help in the best way. You were straining to save the church and the people’s indifference in the dream was my seeming indifference in the work. It bothered me all day. When I received your letter telling of your horrible experience at Hoskins Mother wanted to know if I remembered my dream. Doesn’t it seem strange but perhaps there is nothing to it. Maybe our strong love forms a connection that even distance cannot break and I am feeling in a sense what you are experiencing. I am so disappointed that I am not going to get to go to Colorado. Ralph feels that he cannot afford to leave the work now. If he stays on through the threshing season he gets a share of the machine profits that would amount to nearly enough to take him through this school year. If he leaves he will only get a month’s wage. He can hardly bear to give up his plans more on account of Marie than for any other reason. I have met another disappointment but I haven’t given up yet. Mother has been begging me not to study music this winter because she is with all the other work I’ll have it will be too much. I’m afraid she is right. I hate to give it up because I don’t see when I can ever study music agai and I would like to so much.
I makes me feel rather queer inside to think that I won’t be home so very much longer. The last time Mother and I were coming home from Sioux City I told her it would probably be the last time she would take me on a shopping trip. Mother and I had lots of fun on that trip and it made me wish I could o a lot of things before I leave her but I don’t see how it can be done. One thing I’d like to do is take her back to Ohio to visit her old home but you see if I did that I would have to give you up for a while at least ad I am selfish enough to rather have you. Cora said that if we wait too long we are apt to drift apart and never be married. I would rather not take the chance.
I had the most fun at my little recital Friday afternoon. My pupils played remarkably well and I was happy. Even my little beginner played well. I think Mother is as happy with my work as I am. The “bunch” had a gathering today over by our creek. It wasn’t in our place dear but just across the little bridge. The Way girls, McAfee girls and me. We ate dinner over there and spent the afternoon together having a good time. We do have the best of times together. I am rather looking forward to school starting It si always fun to get back and see all the old friends again. You certainly know how to write nice letters to me. If you write anything like that to the prospective students I don’t see how they could resist coming to school – but I hope you don’t. There is a young couple at Springbank that I can almost envy. They have three of the sweetest little youngsters one could want. This evening an old man sat beside them and in the course of the meeting got up and made a long testimony. During his talk he got rather loud. When he sat down the little girl said right out loud, “Do you have to make that much noise?” Her mother was nearly convulsed with laughter yet mortified too but you can’t keep a child from saying what it thinks. They are so amusing at times and then turn around and be just as trying to one’s patience.
Life is quite common place here. Just doing everything as usual: washing dishes, sweeping, ironing, giving lessons, sewing, etc. I’m sure if it wasn’t for you to think about and all the nice things associated there with it would get quite monotonous. As it is the day passes all to quickly. The boys, especially Ralph, torment me a lot to add a little extra spice to life. I get disgusted with Ralph some times. I should think he would want to be more purposeful and determined about his life. He is always talking about getting married but goodness only knows what he would do or what he would live on. If somebody would give him several thousand dollars and a nice little home with nothing more to do he would just be happy. The way he talks he would not be satisfied to begin married life with nothing less than the best of everything. That is the reason he says he can’t farm. He wouldn’t have money enough to get a new tractor, good machinery and have a nice house. If I go to Hartford with you I wonder if you’ll think am just an expense. Does it ever seem rather strange to you to think of us really going to Hartford together? It does me some times. Merl left today and won’t be back until Christmas. As Mother was watching him drive away she said she was glad it was only one leaving. All of u at once was too much. It just made me think how hard it must be for the folks to see their children go away like that. I imagine she hates to think of me going away far and for so long. I can’t bear to think of it that way. I’ll have to leave some time you know. Who did they finally take for the new secretary at NCC? It will certainly seem strange in the office without Cora. Perhaps the office won’t be such a gossiping den this year and a place to have a good time. We certainly are going to miss Cora in every part of the college
I have been trying to reason myself out of my impatience and trying to convince myself how wise it would be for us to wait until you are entirely through school. I’m trying to see both sides. You know what I want to do but if I would aty you would be so much freer for your work and there are so many things I could be doing in the meantime that I couldn’t do or at least you wouldn’t want me to do if we were married. If we wait until you are through school then we could have a real home like we want. I have to write these things to you because I never can say them to you when you love me and kiss me I forget all about it and just want you above everything else.These last days before leaving for school will be busy. I had to help make the bread the last time and it wasn’t so bad. I also had to make the pies for the threshers. I fairly held my breath for fear they might break their teeth on them but they were quite edible. Rather encouraging don’t you think? I had a card from President Carroll last week saying how glad h was that I was going to have charge of the Y work this year. What am I going to do? I must get out of it some way. More sad news. Rebecca died today. So ends my family of fish. I think Rebecca died of lonesomeness She has never been very lively since Mrs. Midas expired so I think he was lonesome. I don’t blame her. I think I would go the same way if I lost my beloved sweetheart. Mother still has it in her head to have a baby in our home. A lady came to talk it over Saturday morning. She is going to NY this month to get orphan children and if she can find one she thinks would suit she is going to bring her out. Perhaps I will have a little sister yet. It might be good training for me.
Did you have a nice Christmas? I have certainly enjoyed being home if it wasn’t for the thoughts of Mother going into the hospital. She goes tomorrow. She has ben telling me how she has suffered without saying anything to anyone except Dad so now I am glad for her to go if she can be relived. I don’t know how she has endured for so long. The day before Thanksgiving she felt so badly she could hardly stand it but she went to sleep and felt better so she didn’t say anything. Two weeks ago she thought she couldn’t stand it any longer and Dad wanted to send for me, but then she felt better so she wouldn’t let him but he did take her to Sioux City to a doctor. I feel things are going to be all right but I ask for prayers this week. We can’t get along without Mother. I will probably be alone much of the week as the boys are going to husk corn for Mr. Hill and Dad will be in Sioux City a lot.
I know you are the dearest boy that ever lived. You’ll spoil me always getting me everything that I want. Oh I love that little bag you gave me. Thank you a thousand times. You know what I’d do if I could see you for a few minutes. Your lips are like intoxicating wine to me. Once I get a taste I want more.
Mother is much better than she was last night. The operation was yesterday and when Dad came home in the evening and told us that she was in bad condition we were all pretty blue. Poor Dad; he was so restless and worried this morning he could hardly stand it until Merl got ready to go. We were so relived when we got the report that she was much better. They removed her gall bladder and her appendix. No wonder she has felt so bad.
I have some job here at home. It may encourage you to know that I believe I am doing a little better with my cooking. It seems all I’ve done since I came home is cook. I’m going to try to bake bread tomorrow. I want to see if is going to be any good before Lillian comes (she’s such a good cook). If it isn’t, I’ll buy some. I’ve been trying to picture myself doing all this for you but I’m afraid you’ll be very much disappointed in me. It embarrasses me to death to cook for you for fear it might not be good. You’ll have to be patient with me.
I’m sure I want you as badly as you want me. I think of you all the time. Mother didn’t have to have a tube put in her side so perhaps it won’t be so terribly long until I can come back to you.
P.S. Dad got Mother a pressure cooker for Christmas and I am trying to use it even though I a scared early to death of it. I’m afraid it will blow up. Dad laughs at me and says it will be all right but never-the-less……
(She enclosed a newspaper photo of two people kissing)