853 Nassau St. Winnipeg, Can. May 10.17
My dear Will.-
Three letters to hand yesterday. (April 15, 22 & 23.) Was glad to get them (Gee! The fire brigade came there, up Beresford - & one up the next street - I ran for my life for fear of the kids. I went by last night too but we met it on in the street car. I think it was just grass [?] for its away back already.) Well, It seems rather odd to be "out of work" - so that there is not much waiting to be done. I could be "on my land" putting in the seeds - but have to go down for them & think I'll go in the morning. Mr. Burchill finished my wood, & I was up at 6 this morning I got it all piled before Shirley and Billy were up. We have two dandy long piles, and great heaps of chips. I have no fire on today and his dust pan of chips got the dinner. I have the yard all tidied up & it looks fine. Got 10¢ off staples yesterday & will mend my back fence soon. I expect I have about enough slabs to last over summer. I think if I get a cord & a half more Tamarac it will do for the winter. It is still $ 8.50 I phoned today. Coal is $ 12.00 and 75¢ a ton extra if they bring it in sacks. I am wondering what to do - get it now in sacks & pay the extra 75¢ a ton or wait till Sept. I also phoned the Main Bank to see if that money was over. He said he would [?] at the main office today & would see if it was there, & if I did not get a letter in two or 3 days to let them know & they'd look into it. You asked about the Emerson 14.°° fund: It is still coming along. I have not got April's yet but it comes about the middle of the month. I hope they keep on sending it. You know I get $20.°° in here: so without it I'd be getting $70.°°. It is awful how things are still going up - soap - and everything. Flour is about $7.20 or about than, & another raise coming any time. We were lucky to get ours going at 4.95 & 5.°°.
Yesterday at noon, I had a long distance from Mrs. Fred Williamson asking me to meet "Aunt May"- on her way east - at 5.45. So I got the children ready & gave them the trip. She stayed overnight, & left at 4 A.M. today. That is why I was up so early.
Shirley has quite a bad cold: is feeling a little tough today, but is at school yet. She is getting on more and it's Billy that's going to be the scholar too. He has a marvelous memory. I think I'll begin to teach him a few words & sounds. He's learning the sounds, but has not seen them written down yet.
I painted the back screen door with that green paint but it is very light. It is too light for the verandah so I'll let it wait this summer I guess. It would make the rest of the front look to shabby I think. It would be nice to have the place painted up fresh but it would cost 35.°° or 40.°° so that's out of the question. Aunt May thought it was real nice & cosy inside. It looks a lot better since it has been cleaned.
I must look over your letters now. The children laughed about the big egg full of kisses in the last one. I have not read the clippings yet. I saw that one of Mr. Knowles in the Tribune. I read about your visit to Lady Td's to Aunt May. An we laughed about it. How did you get along the second visit? I felt very sad reading about your father - & mother. I do feel sorry For him. If we could just get him out here for his old days. It does seem hard to think of coming to their stage of life - in their condition - & not much hopes for improvement.
Yes the Canadian boys are doing fine. Lately things are not moving so fast, seemingly. Surely the U.S. will hurry & send over some men. I am waiting feverishly to see if it is not over by another winter. A couple of Battalions are leaving here this week.
Shirley's eyes are all right now - she does not do that winking. She soon tired of her smoked glasses. Say- are you going to take a far 160 acres & a loan of $2000-when you come back. Have you been reading about it? I see they are beginning to ask what is to be given to the "prof" men who do not want to farm. I have felt easy about you while the quarantine was on - but now I am wondering again where you are. When we heard you had gone to France - the 3rd night I got a chill that & had to phone for Mrs. Pittis. I think the laugh she have me the next day must have done me good. It was the day I enameled the beds & toilet. - & for all I told her not to she went enammelled & sat on it & ruined my new marble top - not to mention her clothes. She cleaned it off her hide with turpentine - & blistered herself & did not get only a few winks of sleep. Meantime I was over my chill & sleeping nicely. Every time I thought of it next day I laughed. The only drawback was the work I've had with the seat - & not done yet.
I am saving all Shirley's little paper works & writing, so you'll see them when you come. When the fire engine she ran in for me. She says "I was just going over to have a little talk with Mrs. Nesbitt" - the old brown house in front, she tells her all the news - her own version - that 28 of you had the Mumps, etc. Did I tell you Mrs. Gunn was over a night or two ago. Mr. G. was going to dig my garden as soon as he could get time - also take down the windows. I'll get him to put on the screen door. I'll make a list of "debts" now. This letter is an "extra".
Love & kisses from us all.