853 Nassau St. Winnipeg, Man. Can.
August 15 - 17
My Dear Will,
Wednesday afternoon, and I must get a not off for the 10 A.M. collection. The foreign mail closes at 1 p.m. There has been no more mail in since, but may come any day now so I am anxiously waiting for more word from or of you. The "rush" still continues Monday I washed - cleaned up the house & ironed. Tues - cooked up a big "dinner" - to last a few days and in the afternoon wrote to Ruby - Hattie - Mattie - Mrs. Pryor - & Mrs. Clarke - & I went to bed tired after 10. To-day (so far) baked my 4 loaves and just about 9.30A.M. who should come but Mrs. Fred Williamson. She is down to have 8 teeth extracted, and is to go at 4 p.m. She stayed till 2: and with the bread - & getting dinner, it has been quite busy. To-night. that Miss Plowman of Toronto -sister-in-law of Mr. Woods - back of us - wants us - & Foremans to come over for some "music", and I think we shall go for a while. I hate the bother - having to dress the kiddies all up - and I feel tired - & have no inclination to visit. Mrs. Williamson thought we might go to Strathclair with her & Mr. to-morrow but I guess Ruby has all she can handle - she has been asking if I can supply a maternity ward for Nov. 15, and I said yes - Mrs. Fred asked me to-day if Ruby had told me anything - as she had not spoken to her of it, but her suspicions were aroused, & I told her his. She is a good, kind woman. She said at once that she would take Muriel & Mavis, & let Frank & the boys "rough it". So I guess that will be a relief to Ruby. I'll have to write her another line now & tell her. Ruby has been real well, but Mrs. Fred says the crops are very poor again - no rain since June. Ruby will need to get a nurse for 2 or 3 days at first, and I guess I would be able to manage then - as well as our Mrs. Smith any way. You will be here before that so I shall have quite a hospital. Oh, you asked about the $ 25.ºº. No, it has not come back yet - but they have a pig for us this Fall. The have 8 little ones, so I guess it will be all right. I did not pay John George yet - he did not want it - so I just "set Frank debt over and against what goes to him." Yes - Mr. Findlay has his all paid off. Edith was telling me about their terms. She was in the hospital in Selkirk with Dr. Ross in attendance, & when the first one came the Dr. says - "Mrs. F: I must tell you, you are having twins; and to keep your courage up - this one is a girl." They were both girls (4 girls, but one died and the other one was not likely to live either. Miss McDdonald (her sister) is married to Lawyer Fred Heap - His first wife died less than a year before - leaving a family of 4 or 5 boys - The oldest about 17.
I have been learning so much knews lately I don't think I have told you it all. Old man Forsythe (Sclair) who was married lately (at the age of only 98) had just been fined $ 200- for keeping a whisky shop: Mrs. W. says he seems to be losing his mind since. Mr. Smalley says he has been at it a long time now, but always said they would never catch him. It was Rev. Martin, I think, who did most to have him caught - & now the old fellow prowls around up by there place till Mrs. Martin has got quite nervous and frightened.
I wish I could give you a loaf of my nice fresh bread I have baked all summer, and have a whole bag of flour, & 1/3 of another yet, and a bag lasts us over 3 months - I guess about 4 - now when we use potatoes & vegetables again. I went out in the rain first thing this morn & picked a great dish of beans - the first real feed of them we have had. The beets are ready for use any time, & I think the carrots too. I bought 30 ¢ worth potatoes from a "vegetable man" -16lbs- & you just get 6 lbs for 25, "on sale" at the stores. I think I'll just buy one more lot this week, then use ours - & get our garden supply as I can get my fuel early. Did you know that Ret'd soldiers get 3 months extra pay? Mr. Foreman is just getting his now - got the first installment the other day. His wife told me Albert Hardman has been wounded. His name was in two or three days ago - but I have not heard any particulars. The allies seem to be making good headway just now - An Extra yesterday said "Pope proposes peace" - but I don't expect much from it & another Extra today say the allies have broken thro' a long stretch of front line. I must write to your Mother and Bella - I put a note in when I send these to Rose. I am wondering what part of England you are in, and anxiously waiting to hear if you will be sent home, and how soon. I hope they let you convalesce at home, rather than in the "Homes" here. They say it is a bad place for "shattered nerves"- so you'll have to try for your own home & quietness. I hear that there are as many as 80 in a ward - and it is not very quiet.
I'll stop for just now, my dear and add a line before mailing it. I'll have to tell you what we to to-night - only I wish I could sit quietly here and rest.
Thursday, 8.30 A.M.; and I am up. We went to Mr. Woods last night, & it just struck 12. when we got home. This is my first evening out since you went away (except to the Xmas tree) I felt rather strange, but got thro' not too bad. This Mr. Foreman (ret'd soldier) is quite a wag, and it seems to please him to tease me chiefly about you, etc, the children were dandy. Billy had a long sleep on my knee while the music was on. Then Miss Plowman set a wee table for the 2 little Woods girls & Shirley & Billy, in the parlor, while the rest of us had ours in the dining room. It tickled Billy, for they both dearly love the appearance of the eats. The kiddies have go so much bigger - & less bother when one is out, during the last year & a half.
Mrs. Williamson phoned in the evening to say she had got her 8 teeth out. They will be going home to-day - I got up about 8 & had my breakfast (fresh bread & marmalade & tea) - but the kiddies are still sleeping. It has got so cold again - but clear & bright - & very like frost. I wonder if the Br. Mail will come today. - also if my letters are finding you. I wish I had thought to send them to Rose right at once. I sent 2 to Rose. I start at 1 again this time. Will you be home before I get to 28 again? I am making all enquiries re. meeting you at the clearing depot. The kiddies do not know whether they want to go down or wait for you here. Shirley seems inclined to meet you at home. The other day they were asking me why I cried so much when I got the telegram, & I said I thought they would be crying too. Shirley says - "Well if we had all been crying it would have been on awful house." & Billy says - "Well, all the same I was feeling pretty bad about it, anyway." They say " Now, talk about papa coming home" - & we go over it all. They wonder if I'd be brave enough to go get you, when the Mayor is shaking hard wish you etc. It is one month now, all but 2 day or less. I'll stop now, & get this up to the box by 10. so it will get off to-day. I must write to the Eng. Friends (your) just as soon as the next mail comes. I hope dear Will, that you are getting on all right. If there is anything you want just let me know.
Love & kisses from all to dear daddy,