Clothes Conundrum

Nellie’s great-granddaughter, Aria, modeling in 2014

Saturday, May 25, 1957

My Dearest,

Johnny brought home this story yesterday. Mrs. Lewis told them to write what they wanted and sound out the words they didn’t know how to spell. Not bad, eh? [I wish I could read it]

Haven’t been to town all week so I must go today in time to get to the bank. I started cleaning out drawers, etc. yesterday and today feel swamped with work. Keeping this size family’s clothes in shape is a huge task. If we only lived in the mountains where jeans were proper for everything.

Windy and cool today – I may have to start another fire. Except for colds, the family seems about back to normal. Jimmy has the worst cold now.

I asked Gertrude if there was anything I could do for the recital and got the job of writing out the invitations and typing the programs. So I must get that done today.

I expect you feel swamped right now too with all that is coming up. In a way I’m sorry you have to speak on the second [6-2-57], but there wasn’t much you could do about that. It will rush you. We’ll try to be good and let you sleep a lot the next week!!! That’s a hard assignment for us!

Now I’d better close and get to town. David is with Marvin but the rest are going with me, which really taxes my patience in town. They haven’t gone for a long time and in the long run I feel better taking them than leaving them home alone.

This seems hasty to send, my sweetheart, but the only reason I’m writing is that I do love you. Anyone else could wait. And I miss you so very much.

Always yours,


Blinking Lights in Farewell

Wednesday a.m.
March 20, 1957

My dearest John,

Your big long letter was such a treat on Monday. After Joyce called and I could relax more, I sat down and read it several times.

Before I forget it – your Dad’s birthday is next Tuesday. I’m going to leave the gift-sending up to you and if you’ve not written do it. Let my letter go and write him. I’m going to have the youngsters send cards. We don’t know how many more times we can remember his birthday. [He died in 1963]

Oh — spring is here — with snow on the ground. Rather chilly, too.

I’ve got flannelgraph spread out before me in preparation for prayer meeting tonight. I enjoy this, but it becomes more of a chore since I’m always tired now. Feel OK, just the draggy feeling, which goes with all my pregnancies. I feel guilty sleeping 8 and 9 hours a night when you get so little. I thought of you last night and wondered what time you got home from Champaign.

I watched last time you left and was sure I saw you get on the toll road and blink your lights. I could get confused, so many cars and lights. Glad you mentioned it.

My cold is hanging on and so is Danny’s and Jimmy’s. The older ones did not seem to get it.

Made some yeast rolls Monday – they were good this time and I’m nearly proud with all the nice things the children said!!

Time to close – wish you were here to talk to instead of writing. Take care of yourself these busy days. We love you and your name is mentioned umpteen times a day. I’m learning that when you really love a person you never get used to having him gone – it gets worse instead of easier. Hurry up, summer!

All my love,

Talking Crooked 3-12-57

John and Nellie, circa 1944? Dad was in the Navy.

Tuesday, 3-22-57

My Dearest,

If your cold got any worse, I can’t imagine how you felt by Monday a.m. Thought of you so much.

Here’s the tract with Dean’s address and some clippings from the paper. Ray Smith paid a real tribute to Dick [Bunce, a high school wrestler friend and hero of the kids] on last night’s program. They had the drawing for the regionals last night and I believe Sturgis got Albion for the first game on Wednesday night. Accordig to Ray it was the least favorable drawing.

Jimmy has a cold now — pretty soon we’ll all be talking crooked!! Kids think I sound funny with my cold.

Lots of rain yesterday, but very warm sunshine today and the birds are really swelling today on trees.

Margaret’s appointment for her eyes is Thursday at 4:00 p.m.

Now I’ll close and let Jimmy put this in the box. It was so good to have you home — be nice when summer comes. But the trip takes so much that you better not come until April 6th. The time gets long for all of us, but summer seems closer now.

All my love,