Bring Some Student Home 1-23-57

Wed.
1-23-57

Dearest John,

Two letters came from you today and so I’ll try to dash off a letter to you and mail it on the way to prayer meeting. You should get it then before you leave on Friday. If you have time to shop it would be fine for you to get a few things. Some tuna would be good if they should have a special on that. I have bought just a few things since you left, and it still doesn’t seem that we have used much. I am trying to use some hot cereal these days. We are out of the cold and the family doesn’t eat the hot if there is cold around.

The report cards came home today and they have permission to keep them home until you get home next weekend. Pretty good this time. David got a letter from Mrs. Gage in La Grande and it made him very happy.

The weather stayed nice for about 24 hours and then zoom it was down cold again. Lots of wind and snow last night. But it was sunshiny today.

Well, I will close and get going. Bring Ruth or some student home this weekend if you wish. I’ll be prepared. It will be oh so good to see you again.

Nellie

A Siege of Diarrhea 1-21-1957

Margaret, David, and Dorothy a few years before this letter

1-21-57

My Dearest,

Monday’s wash is done and the noon news is on, so I should have time to dash off a note before the mailman comes.

You are probably wondering about David’s note. He begged me for a pencil when down at the Gospel Book Store and I refused him, because he has several now, and I had already bought him a new Sugar Creek Story. Mrs. Gage gave him a liquid lead pencil to try out and he just kept it. I didn’t know anything about it until somehow he came out on Saturday. One of the other youngsters mentioned it and he finally admitted that he had one and first told me that he thought she meant for him to keep it. But after a while he told me he knew better and had just kept it. So I asked him to write Mrs. Gage and tell her and send the money for it and also to write you and tell you what he had done. He really hated to do that.

But after they were in the mail box and he sat on my lap and talked to me about it, he was so happy to have it out in the open and taken care of. Several times during the day he told me he was glad about that. I do believe he gets his love of pencils from you. It always amazed me how many different kinds you kept around and ready for use. He said he was really tempted to take an eversharp that he saw down there but he didn’t and now is glad that he didn’t.

We have been having a siege of diarrhea around here. Dorothy was seized with it last night just before time for church so we didn’t go. Jack Dillon and Dottie Mann were here for the day so I took them to church and then came home. But while I was there Dave came up to me and said that the Men’s Meeting that afternoon had decided to offer us the Bollman house to live in, and rent free, and the men would move us. It is up to us to decide what to do. Now what? I’ve started praying, but I surely don’t know what the Lord’s will is in this matter. They still would like to sell it, but would not as long as we are in it.

Danny took sick with the diarrhea during the night and doesn’t feel good now. Funny how it hits all at once – the stuff just poured out of him for about two hours. Just kept changing him. He didn’t complain or cry, but Dorothy was in pain last night.

Millers are leaving tomorrow. I’ll keep Mike and Bobby all day until they are ready to leave. Their address is on the bulletin.

Mrs. Goodpaster’s mother is worse so she took the two boys and went up to be with her. The girls are going to get off the bus here and stay until Roy gets off work at 6:30. Edith and her husband are going to move in and stay until Hesper gets back. It may be two or three weeks.

Judy Johnson and Jack Krontz were to be married yesterday. I was talking to Karen Smith a while. I believe she is doing fine. Says she feels sure now the Lord wants her to be a nurse. She said she couldn’t see how the above couple if they were saved could stop school and get married like that.

Well. I will close and get my boys down for a nap. Danny really needs one after last night. Much love from all of us – pray for us and we have to decide about the Bollman house right away.

All my love,
Nellie

Life in Community 1-20-1957

Sun. (1/20/1957) [a handwritten postscript to the previous letter]

Can’t seem to get this mailed. Came home from Kings – had 40 winks and now Unshackled is on. Here come the first steps down the stairs (Jimmy). Bill M. and Arnie B. were at Kings for dinner too. Dorothy and Johnny were invited to Millers for dinner. Margaret was at Gertrude’s (De Groot) for dinner. Mrs. Griff (?) has taken a week off to go visit Uncle Charlie. So Gertrude asked Dorothy and Margaret to stay overnight. Nothing was said about dinner today. But when Margaret went after her suitcase Gertrude was fixing dinner for them. So Margaret stayed. David and Arnie built a house out of Lincoln Logs.

I asked W. Warner if he knew of a place in a town where wooden desk chairs could be fixed. He said he could do that for us!! So he has the chair now. Maybe you can think of something to do to thank them for this. Ward just found out that he has an ulcer and has to be on a special diet. He told me he thought his job has something to do with it.

Cold again – but this “hardy pioneer” still sleeps in her upstairs bed!! Millers plan on moving a week from Tuesday – the house I mentioned. How I hate to see them leave – I’ve enjoyed Joyce so much.

Well, I’ll close and try to mail this tonight. How I miss you and still I have a peace about staying here till school is out. Perhaps that sounds strange. Jimmy’s on my lap – and sends his love.

All my love,
Nellie

Wish you were here, 1-11-57

From left: Margaret, David, John, Dorothy, Mom holding Jimmy

[On the day before my husband was born in Minnesota, my mom wrote this letter in Michigan.]

Fri January 11, 1957

Dearest John,

Just finished a washing and my lunch of bacon and eggs and toast, so while it is digesting I will try to get a note off to you. Danny is up on the stool watching and every once in a while poking a finger into something to see how it works. Last Sunday night we were all in the car and no Daniel. Dorothy went in to see where he was and he had escaped us to run back up front to watch Bill and tape recorder. Sunday morning he dashed up there too when I let go for a minute to pick up my things to go down and do my turn in the nursery.

The temp was really down this morning – ten below zero, but the house was nice and warm – no wind and that makes the difference in this place. The night before when it was storming we could feel the cold and it was just in the twenties. The youngsters bundled up last night and played outside in the drifts. They thought it was fun, but I had trouble looking over all the mess it made. They want to do it again tonight! (handwritten: They did.)

Marv came in the morning with two rabbits for us to eat. All cleaned. They caught one out under the shed here yesterday and the other one down in the woods. He and Mr. Hawkins seem to enjoy going hunting together.

I’m going to get David and Margaret some shoes this weekend. (added: I did. 1 pr. David 2 pr. Margaret) They are having sales now and they both need them. David can still wear his to school, but Margaret doesn’t have any for school or Sunday. She is growing taller too. The purple jumper that looked so nice last fall is way too small now. So I’m trying to fix another skirt over for her now.

I called Louise this morning to see if I could help her with any entertaining this week end. Someone said that Dan Ball was coming with the young people and that Bill McDonald was to speak, but no one seems to know anything definite. She looks for word today or a telephone call. At any rate they are planning to have some of the camp y.p. that know Bill in on Sat. night for a little get together. I said that it was so near exam time that I doubted if many young people would be able to get away for as long and as hard a week end trip as this one is to Sturgis. People are always asking if you are coming home. I hate to explain about you speaking on week ends to everyone and still I don’t want them to think that you didn’t come home because you can’t afford the time, energy, or money.

Danny has brought me one of his doggies so I guess I’ll cart it and him up to bed for a nap. I am ambitious and want to empty my wash water and do another wash this afternoon and perhaps get caught up for the first time in weeks. He bumped his chin where he shaved last week this morning and it really bled. It must have been deeper than we thought as it has taken a long time to heal. Jimmy is good – likes to tease Danny with his toys, but most of the time a sweet helper.

Did you see where Donald Gray Barnhouse spoke a word of approval of Adventist on the radio. Sword of the Lord had a word about it, Natch.

A Mike Strong is on at W.S.T.R. now. Working with Ray Wells this morning. I wonder if he is quitting. I’ll soon know I guess as I tune in mornings to get time and temp. Ray Smith is going to be on again at 5:45 – probably a reason for that time, so he can’t spoil the sports cast for the station! He hasn’t been on all fall. Kinda missed him. Now I’ll sign off for this time. All our love, Sweetheart. It sure seems more than a week since you have been away. Jimmy was telling me know good you are at fixing things today. Whenever I give him an “I don’t know” answer he tells me that you would know! Next Tuesday I to to have conf with all the teachers. Wish you were here

Lovingly, Nellie

Troubles, troubles 12-17-1956

Monday, 12-17-56

Dear John,

Troubles, troubles, – sure did need your shoulder to bawl on Saturday:: Had a letter from Mother with a $25 check in it and lost it. Completely out of money I needed it for Margaret’s music lesson which I was to take her to town for. I must have absent mindedly filed Mother’s letter in the waste basket instead of on the desk. Although it runs in my mind that I put it up some place where I would not lose it – but I can’ find it now.

We scoured around and found some change and went to get the car started and it wouldn’t start. Mrs. Warner had been out and we talked so long that we were late as it was. So I had to call Gerturd that we could not make it in. So I sent David down after some eggs and to ask Marvin to look at the car when he came by. The chapel fellowship Christmas banquet was on Sat. night and we were going to go to that one we didn’t make it to your banquet. Marv. came up and told me the spark plugs were dripping wet from condensation since the weather had warmed up so abruply and I hadn’t used the car since Tuesday. So he pushed me and we got ready to go to town and hunted the whole house over for Jimmy’s shoes. He finally went to town with just boots on. David brought the eggs in and handed me a check and some change. He said “Mr. Milliman handed me this and wouldn’t let me pay for the eggs!” Nearly six dollars. So we got a $2.00 tree and had money for the banquet. Margaret just beamed and said, “See Mother, it pays to trust the Lord. He knows all about the messes we get in and takes care of us anyway!” I hadn’t gone to pieces as I wanted to and sorely wished for you to help us out, but had told the children that none of these things happen but that the Lord knows about it and will work it all out for good. And when Margaret spoke out I just about bawled for sure – from joy this time. And at the banquet, Jean Mead came up and told us not to put anything in the basket as we were their guests! So we had offering for Sunday – only David ate so much at the banquet that he was sick all night and only got relief towards morning, which mess I cleaned up and gained his admiration as he can’t stand that. So we didn’t get out on Sunday morning. But by evening he was feeling good again so we went to hear Don Taylor. And last night I received a card with $25 dollars in it from the Warner, Kribs, Wolcotts, McLaughins, and SMith’s (Karne’s Folks).

We tried to get the lights on the tree, but can’t get the bubble lights on. By the end of this separated living you’ll be so appreciated for all you usually do that we’ll put you on a shelve and not let you do anything!!! I promised cookies for the Good News Club parties so must go to town today to deliver them.

About the Christmas plans I know nothing more. I guess it is up to you about what you do on Friday – whether tyou stay there or come home. The Nash is to be fixed on the 28th – early in the morning. I suppose that I should be home for prayer meeting on Wed. night, unless something imp. keeps us in Wheaton any longer. Danny loves the tree – keeps tugging at one or the other of us to see it with him – talking a steady stream of Dutch all the time.

[Handwritten] Wrote about 20 cards notes & letters today so I’ll make this short. All my love, Nellie

Lovingly, Nellie 12/11/56

[Typewritten, with handwritten sentence at bottom. I tried to copy the letters exactly, typos and misspellings included.]

Monday
12-11-56

Dearest John,

I can’t write much tonight but do want to send a couple of letters your way and get them in the mail.

I mailed a package to Grace and Harold today. And have one about ready to the cousins in Washington. Renewed their subs. to Moody Monthly for the adults. We are averaging about a dollar for each one — certainly not going overboard. Looking around and getting the best we can for that. Even though the Lord has been so gracious to us I certainly don’t feel free to spend more. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could put as much out for the Lord as we do for gifts? Remember when Mickey Dowden did that?

Called on Beckwiths today. They haven’t been out for several sundays. Busy redecorating a house on week ends. Of course, Walt hasn’t been coming for a long time.

Paid some bills and the Lord is answering again as we will have everything all paid off as soon as I get to the places to do it.

I sent $20 each to Cathers, LaBuff’s and Betty. I sent to Betty for Christmas as we did not mail her anything. Did you want me to send to Norbies? I thought it sounded as though you wanted to write to them and send them a check. I’ll keep a balance above $20 in the bank so you can do that or when you next write me just mentioned for me to do it. It should be getting in the mail. What about Joan and Mark?

I ordered some clothes for me, namely a girdle ( so you’ll think I’ve lost weight – I’ve outgrown the other!) No, I’m really trying to come down.

Jimmy was sick last night. Woke up with a 102 temp. He had complained of a headache and stomach ache before taking his nap. So we stayed home and he stayed down. This morning he woke up and everything was normal. He has felt good all day. I’m sure I don’t know what caused it.

I have an appointment at Arnold’s and Don’s for the 27th, but perhaps I will call tomorrow and make it the 28th. In case we got snowbound at Wheaton we would have alittle more leeway to get home.

Now I’ll sign off. Sure miss you – but it won’t be too llong until vacation. Sounds like we’ll come for Christmas eve, so you would be ahead to stay their and get a day or two to work on you studies. Mother will stop in here first and we can travel down with her on Monday. We especially miss you and your record player during this season. But I couldn’t handle it by myself, so I’m glad you have it there.

Lovingly,
Nellie

Pray concerning the noon hour situation. Pilkenton is in charge and he and David have their troubles. David is on his chair by the locker most of the time I guess. They say that P. is hot tempered and always changing his mind about rules. And we know David’s shortcomings.