853 Nassau St. Winnipeg. Man. Ap27.17.
My Dear Will,
Imagine my surprise to find you are still in England. I don't think I knew how much I had been pushing it, till your letter came. I nearly had a fit between the letter and the kids. I was crying & Shirley ran to get a big handkerchief & got one arm around my neck & started mopping it off. She says, "Billy, run & get a dish to catch them," & Billy hiked to the pantry and got a bread pan. By this time, I was able to tell him I'd manage now & after a while I heard him muttering away, over by himself "Shame" - "Shirley, I'd just go and leave her there." It was funny. Billy tries to be like you now. When I am washing, he comes in once in a while & says, "Well, Mother, how are you getting on at the washing?" So Shirley is pretty taken up with school and she has a lover - she announced the other day - after I asked her who it was walked home from school with her. I saw the two standing & a man passing them, turning to look back at them. You see, Herbie Gunn got German measles so Willie could not go to school, so this Gordon somebody improved his opportunity. This eve I happened to go to the back door just as they arrived, Shirley carrying a handful of pussy willows to give Mrs. Foreman to take to her husband who is in hospital (Hernia case). At sum she told me he was coming on Saturday to take her for a walk.
Well, did you take the mumps and are you out of quarantine yet? Were you not allowed to go on rambles or anything it would be dull. My, there are long lists coming out now. I see Winnie Norris brother (Emerson) is killed also a Hyford (Percey) wounded. I'll send you the last 2 or 3 papers since the long lists started - I will just cut out the lists from the old ones I intended to send but did not. I will be so busy soon. I have got nearly to the end of cleaning - the hardest part anyway. I spent all the spare time this week in the kitchen. Gave the ceiling 2 coats of white Kalsomine - & oh laud - the back and neck ache I've had - but it was worth it. The walls just needed a coat - real deep pinky cream - & its real nice. I stuffed all the cracks and holes with plaster paris & there is hardly a crack showing. I did the pipes & the board they are painted to cream too as far as the tank is will do it "silver". This evening I gave all the woodwork one coat of silver grey paint, and gave the stoves & pipes range a proper cleaning. That is where I am now, but today I gave the whole place a sweep - scrub and clean up for Sunday. I am feeling rather tired, but now that the dirt is cleaned out, & the place clean, I can take my time. It cost Kal .40, paint .45, Aluminum .55, [?] .25, oilcloth .80, plaster paris $2.80. I have two cans varnish we got when we came in line and I may do some of the furniture - the 3 kitchen chairs & table legs. I got oilcloth for the table & I think I want to put some behind the sink - could not get the [?] same so will paint the sink white. I got up the big can of grey paint - to do the 2 doorsteps - the little green chairs - & later will do the [?] floor. I have to put new curtains on the shelves. So there's the kitchen; don't you think it will be nice? It certainly was very shabby and dirty.
Well, surprises will never cease. This morning arrived in the mail, an envelope containing a post office order for $1.50 & not a line - only the name of the sender in the order - Mrs. Riley, the only clue. What ever [?] her? I'll just [?] a [?] and say nothing.
Re: that insurance - on house - the other company popped in and would not let Bell's take it over. Guess its satisfactorily settled now, without any trouble. I can pay it at my convenience. I have not got any more cheques yet, but they will be along anytime now. I did not get the wood yet - looking for a man to split it. I'll get it when more cheques come. I was wishing you'd keep that money over there. Perhaps you will have my letters telling you that we are managing. For you to keep it there - & just send the signed cheques. I have not got any boarders yet - another hopeless task I am afraid. I feel sorry for Ruby. Had a letter from her today. She said Frank was making a final search for a man that day & if he did not get one she would take the hammock out to the field & leave Mavis in it & she would work. It seems pretty hard. Fred's are taking [?] for another visit soon.
Looking over your letters: I rec'd all the books of views, all right, & I guess we got all the cards. There is another parcel 4th on the way [?] end of March. You may have it for your wedding day celebration - May 3 - have you forgotten the deal? Were you home for it last year? I rec'd the letter with the plants from [?] garden also.
No more just now. Will start another & get this one off.
I hope you are well; we are fine - & busy - a bundle of papers will follow soon.
Love & kisses from us all.