853 Nassau St Winnipeg. Can. April 29 1917
My dear Will.
I mailed No. 24 yesterday, and shall likely send this with Shirley to school to- morrow. The box is just across the corner from the school, which is very convenient now. This is Sunday - and is rather dull again. Yesterday was fine & sunny & warm, but in the p.m. Mr. Faulkner had to burn a heap of straw (manure) in his back yard, & the wind was blowing right across here so I had to keep the door shut - the ashes blew right in on the table I went out in the evening for 10 minutes & collected all our tin cans - & raked up the sticks. It will not be much of a job to clean up out there - will have quite a heap of chips to burn: we will bring them in dishfuls & get the good of them. I was delaying getting wood, till I got track of a "splitter" - & also for another cheque to come. The cheque came yesterday. & The night before, I was out fixing the spout in case of rain, when friend Burchill came down the alley. He remarked that my supply of wood was getting low, & I said "yes" that I was going to get some Tamarac one of these days - & he said : Well. I'll split it for you." I said I'd be very glad to get it done if he'd let me pay him, & he said. "Well, if you pay me I won't do it." So that was very good of him. I'll get it one of these days. I can get my wood & pay $15 on the Insurance, & pay the other $12 as soon as the next cheque comes. I have just got $45.ºº out of my Ap'l's cheques yet. We will be o.k. now. I got your letter of Apl.10 yesterday morning. Am rather sorry that you are sending back the money for we are getting on all right and meet all the payments I think. I have about $ 24.ºº on hand - besides what the cheque I got yesterday for 25.ºº - that is I have $ 49.ºº now, & want to get wood $ 9.50, & can pay $ 15. on Ins, & will have $ 24.ºº left and $ 39.ºº to come for April. I don't think I have anything to pay in June, only the phone for 3 months (It may be going up $ 5.ºº a year too - because of the operators going to "strike".) I paid the Clergyman's till the end of July. Of course there is wood, & coal. I have 2 ton in, and if you do send that money back I'll get the other 2 ton in before I put in the garden, if possible. When I pay the necessaries, will keep as much ahead in the Bank as possible, so if you do want it sent back again I'll have it ready. It will not take much to fix us up for summer. My last year's hat is o.k. for this Summer - I'll need some footwear, & a few items, may be a dress after while, & a few things for the children, but will keep the expensees as low as I can. I won't have anymore expense for the house now, to speak of - just a bit of curtain stuff for the kitchen shelves - I have the kitchen done except that. The smell of paint is fierce - Tho dying down a little now, it's all done. I Kalsmined it - gave all the wood work one coat put white oilcloth behind the sink & grauwted the sink white - white oilcloth on the table & trunk, painted the "little green" chair gray like the walls - & gave the woodbox a coat of that for the verandah floor. - and gave the trunk & pipes a coat of aluminum. It looks pretty fair now - clean anyway. I have the parlor & dining room curtains to fix up and a few odds and ends to do, and then I guess the clearing will be about done. I have not the storm windows or doors off - only I took off the front bedroom one myself - & we had the middle bedroom one off when they had the measles. I'll get Mr. Burchill to take them off when he comes to do the wood. You-know-some folk that offer help make one tired - the man next door - Faulkner - always offering to do anything - but never doing a thing. Am sure he knows the windows are to come off - when he took his own off - but never asked if he could. I suppose he'll do it all right if I asked him, but Mr. Burchill's way suits me better. Mr. Gunn will likely speak of them, but I am reserving him, in hopes he'll do the garden again. I want to get back at my spring sewing for the kiddies. Mrs. Gunn is just up a day or two, but her stomach is troubling her a lot yet. I have not been over - because of the measles. Ray & Mel will likely take them any day now. I phoned her & said I was going that p.m. - but she advised me not to take Billy near them - so I was quite pleased. She is very sensible, and I am sorry we had the trouble over the children. They never ask to go there - nor has Shirley been there to play since that day [?] brought them home. Shirley is very chummy with the new neighbor - Mrs. Foreman. She is staying alone now too - since he is in the Hospital. & Shirley goes in after tea every evening & stays an hour or more. I think she likes to see her feeding the baby ("titty") & bathing it. Well, its time to eat a bite now, and I'll look over your letter & finish this I want to write to that aunt down east - I owe her one for months: also must write to Father - he wrote himself lately. I've never heard another word of Adds, whether they are still at Lenas or where. They may have settled right down at Assiniboia, instead of here going east, I gave you the news from Rubys in my last.
2 p.m. and dinner work over & Shirley off to S.S. Billy will start again - only Nellie is not going just now because of measles. At dinner I was telling them that it was in the paper last night, that every oz. of food wasted helped the Kaiser. Shirley took a fresh start and cleaned of her plate; and Billy did his meat all up & says "Well the Kaiser can have the potatoes." He's awfully good - with anything he does no want - a crust & anything he wants to send it to you. He has some pumpkins planted beside that frame at the end of the wood - where they will have a good chance to climb.
Mrs. McCeod is to be over to see me this week if nothing happens - We have phoned quite often, and I am looking forward to meeting her. She must live out by the [?] station - Polson Ave. I think. It is in St. John.
You mentioned writing to Smalley - that was quite a while ago, for he told Ruby he had had a letter. I am a bit disgusted with him - sending world he was coming & not doing so - & not writing you. You'd think he could have managed one letter. However, we can leave him alone, also. I wonder how your mumps are. Do you have them? There is a chance of you being tied up for quite a while - the only thing is - so many have gotten them over, as children. The best part is - while you are there you are not in France - which I suppose you count the worst part. You got the letter re "churches" - I don't know why I wrote that one, but I am always being "disgusted" with their 10¢ teas, etc.
This old Mrs. Pittis, who slept here thought she was going to haul me into some quilting & 25¢ teas over here. She's a bossy old hen, but I simply did not go & I think now she will leave me alone. By next Sunday I hope to be ready to go to Broadway. Have to get Shirley a hat & wash her coat.
In this letter you wondered if I had any regret etc: No! There is a lot one might not say - that might sound like fault-finding etc - when it is not meant for that. Since reading you letter, I too have done a bit of looking back, and in spite of all the good - something has said - "It has not been easy." I think the mistake was, if there was any mistake, in my marrying on the amount of strength I had. Of course, no one has any estimate of how great the demand is going to be. It is fairly easy now - the children are able to take care of themselves pretty well - but when one thinks of 3 or 4 or more years - no reading - no [?] - & too much work for one's health and stress tho' one can't say it was easy. My health is so much better now - my stomach seems to be cured - and I am just looking after the home - no "Ladies Aids" etc - to take up ones only time for rest - and I have to say - that as far as health goes - I have not been better for a long time. When you come back I shall be ready to be up and at it again, and I think it will be easier, for this time of "relaxation" & opportunity to look at things from a distance, & getting their true lie. Now, my worry is about you, and I am longing for & looking forward to you coming home & confidentially counting on it being before another winter. We would better try to forget regrets and everything that has not been as we wished, and now with our little family, past the baby stage - make the days that are to come what we once dreamed they would be. You are different to me: even a joke, is flat to me if I have it all to myself - I enjoy it when I tell it to someone else & we laugh together- in fact - I am afraid I'll have Shirley old before her time- trying to share up with her - even to reading parts of daily paper to her - but you keep things all bottled up - and we are all "outside". Do not take any of this as faultfinding: It is just a little of how things have appeared to me: and I may not see aright either when you get this, if you are where you can write, keep me wherein I am astray.
I do wonder if there is any hope of it ending soon. I keep thinking this summer will finish it. What is Russia doing? - and so very many turning against Germany will surely hasten the end. I do not know how we will stand it when you do get over to France - it was hard, for the week & a half we thought of you there- but this "reaction" had helped: only then - there will be no "reaction" - only to hope, trust & pray - I'll stop now: Your letters come oftener now. I fancy the [?]. Seems happy to be going re your letters, Even he always chat a minute.
We celebrate our wedding anniversary this week - May 3 - seven years married. It does not seem so long: that day we never dreamed of the present situation. I'll be lonely that day: shall try to write to you. Thurs - I'd like to know that box reached you on that day - it should about there.
Did I tell you I meet Miss Sadie Reid in Eatons a week ago Mon. She is not married yet, but may be in May or June, & is likely to live in Transcord here. There is no streetcar out there- just train & jitneys.
Had a letter from Maggie & Flett. "Grandma" has had Rhumatism since Jan'y. Edith McIvor is training for a nurse in Selkirk hosp now. That will be 3 nurses in the family. Willie McIvor is still in England.
This is all for now. - Oh - I had a photo from Bella yesterday too & a note. - A family group. They look fine I wonder if she & your mother got the photos I sent - our group - I am glad Bella sends the parcels. It all helps - I hope to send another soon. I sent a 2 gal. crock to Ruby for Butter, & it will be here by the time I get the cleaning finished & I can send shortbread again. Bread is 8 cents a loaf now.
Love & kisses from us all. Betty XXXXXXX