Blossomed Out with Measles

Friday, 4-20-57

Dearest John,

While I’m sitting by Johnny’s bed I’ll get a note off to you. Johnny was very sick last night and this morning he finally blossomed out very red with the hard measles. Last night I stayed down here with him. He chattered in his sleep and temp was high. Towards morning it seemed to break and he rested then. 103° temp. all day yesterday. He is still feverish, but his head has stopped aching. Slept most of the morning.

Shortly after Johnny started to rest better during the night I head Danny start to holler first for you and then for me – really screaming. I hurried upstairs and what a sight when I turned on the light. He had crawled into our bed and, not finding either of us, got scared. He really snuggled up and loved me. The other night James [? usually Jimmy] had a nightmare and when I went in he jumped up and clung to me – just felt glued to me, but he soon woke up and never even told me what it was about, all gone then.

Very warm today – some thunder now so we’ll probably have a storm.

We gave the upstairs a good cleaning today – much to the chagrin of the girls as they were anxious to start coloring eggs. David is out with Marvin and having the time of his life. He said he got to steer the new diesel [tractor] for a mile on the way home from the feed mill.

We had some lovely cards from your Mother for Easter. She sent $5 for Easter things for the kiddos. The older ones have been aching for a Monopoly set, so I’m going to put the money in that instead of Easter trimmings.

I called Lennie Moss today and asked her about these capsules Dr. Friegel prescribed. Mary Rogers once used them. I took one today and they certainly give me pep and take away my hunger like magic. But Mary Rogers says that when you stop, you are hungrier than ever and your eating pattern hasn’t really changed – as you must change it if you expect to lose weight and keep it lost. And they are expensive – 15¢ a day. So I don’t think I’ll rely on them except when I feel too tired or pepless.

Storm is getting nearer and I hoped to corral David and get yard cleaned this afternoon. Jimmy and Danny will likely get the measles in 9-16 days. I could have had shots for them if I had suspected the hard measles in time. I kept thinking it was scarlatina – so much if it around. By today it is doubtful if it would help and just added expense if it doesn’t.

Now I’ll close. Johnny has gone back to sleep. He has been so good all week. Danny will be the hard one to care for – so much younger. We miss you, but pray you’ll get much done.

All our love,


He Throws Off Trouble

[The last post (4/18) was out of order. This one, and the next, come before it.]

Monday, April 15, 1957

My Dearest,

This will likely be just another note as I have several irons in the fire and have to be at the Doctor’s office at 1:30.

The weather is so lovely. I have to mention it, although it got down to 11° last night. We must get the yard cleaned up.

Gertrude took the girls to the auditorium yesterday to hear the American Piano Trio. They got autographs on their program. I had to laugh — Dorothy went out without a hat and Gertrude wouldn’t take her that way!! Fortunately, Mrs. Wolcott had just given her one or she would have been out of luck.

Lennie Noss came out and said that John and Bill McPherson and Al had spent a long day at camp on Wednesday and poured all the footing for the new cabins – a huge day’s work donated. She brought me two M. [maternity] dresses – and has she ever lost weight. She looks grand.

David was home with a sore throat yesterday a.m. so we just went to S.S. [Sunday School] and only left him alone that long. By evening he felt good, so we all went. He is really healthy and throws off any trouble in a hurry.

I dread the ordeal this afternoon (at Dr’s).

Now I must get to work – washing. Wish I knew how the income tax was coming along. The youngsters want to drive down early Sunday (Easter) and come back Monday a.m. They have no school Friday or Monday. I’ll tackle it if you O.K. it and let me know by return mail. Lennie has asked us to dinner on Easter and I have to let her know. Would be wonderful to see you, but quite a trip for me and the car! Now I must sign off.

All my love,


Thursday, 4-18-57

My Dearest John,

After yesterday’s sketchy note, I will try to do a little better today. I have three youngsters on the sofas in various stages of measles. Johnny causes me some concern as he has more fever and quite a cough with his. Margaret will soon be better and Jimmy is just starting a little fever. I take it for granted that he will be next. Dorothy stayed at home with them last night while we went to prayer meeting. I don’t feel quite right about leaving them, but I couldn’t get anyone to take the class. Not so many out either. Lots of sickness around.

Your reply certainly came back promptly. It came in Wednesday’s mail. A long time since service was so good. But as you have figured out, with the measles we’ll be staying home. Some of them may be better, but you never can tell when they will pop out on one of the other youngsters. I had hoped to plan a surprise for the youngsters and drive up to camp one of these days, but that is out, too.

I reported the furnace draft again, and Mr. Blanchard put another one on today. Because we have not had good draft there seems to be a lot of soot, so I’m going to buy some that stuff to clean that out.

Fluffy is getting huge – really wobbles around. She has been demoted to the porch again. She won’t stay in the house long because Danny won’t leave her alone and she is touchy.

You’ll have to buckle down and get your work caught up. Rather have a Hoyt reputation than a Bauman one, eh? A lot more satisfaction in the job done, also. Good thing that you are staying there because there is not much joy with sickly scrappy youngsters. The house gets a mess in a hurry. They are not sick enough to lie still and keep things in order. I guess that you know what it is like.

Millimans have changed to diesel tractors. Mrs. Milliman said that they figured they could save in fuel in three years the price of the tractors. Green John Deere’s.

I stopped taking the vitamin capsules, and take just the mineral tablets. Those vitamins seemed to increase my appetite, which is totally unnecessary. Dr. Fiegel told me to go ahead and diet and even gave me a prescription for capsules to take away my appetite. Everything seems to be O.K. with me. But I sure feel icky most days. I carried Danny too much on the weekend and hurt my back…so from now on he is walking on his own legs.

Almost forgot to tell you that he is progressing in this training business. “Big boy,” he says. But just part of the time now. He won’t let anyone sit on one of the dining room chairs at the end of the table in the kitchen. that is what you always use and he fights to save it for you!

Now I must get lunch. Tuna salad sandwiches. Only starch I’m supposed to have is one slice of bread each day. Leave eggs out too, unless I want just the white. Report cards came yesterday, but only Dorothy’s showed improvement. David brought one up and went down in two. I surely miss you and look forward to summer. We’ll be praying for you on Easter [4-21-57]. And we will surely miss you on that day. Love from all of us, me especially.


Is This the Face?

Jesus on the Cross, Rembrandt

Is this the Face that thrills with awe
      Seraphs who veil their face above?
Is this the Face without a flaw       
      The Face that is the Face of Love?
Yea, this defaced, a lifeless clod,   
Hath all creation’s love sufficed
Hath satisfied the love of God,       
     This Face the Face of Jesus Christ

Christina Rossetti

Easter Monday


From the view of the sunrise outside our front door
to the pitter-patter of raindrops on the roof as we fell asleep,
Easter was a magnificent, glorious, rich celebration.

Today, Easter Monday, is a day of hugs and good-byes
with family returning to their homes,
a day for the washing machine to exert itself,
a day of putting away,
a day of happy, contented sighs.

I read somewhere that in Greek villages,
they celebrate Easter Monday with practical jokes,
reflecting the cosmic “joke” of Christ’s resurrection.
It is a holiday in many countries, a designation I fully support.
I think I’ll take a walk.


Like Wheat Arising Green


Now the green blade rises from the buried grain,
Wheat that in dark earth many days has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been;
Love is come again, like wheat arising green.

In the grave they laid him, love by hatred slain,
Thinking that he would never wake again,
Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen;
Love is come again, like wheat arising green.

Forth he came at Easter, like the risen grain,
He that for three days in the grave had lain;
Raised from the dead, my living Lord is seen:
Love is come again, like wheat arising green.

When our hearts are wintry, grieving or in pain,
Your touch can call us back to life again;
Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:
Love is come again, like wheat arising green.

J.M.C. Crum (1872-1958)

New Bread

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy and save me!
Let me lie down like a stone, O God,
and rise up like new bread.

~ Tolstoy in War and Peace
quoted by M.F.K. Fisher in How to Cook a Wolf

Isn’t this quote about perfect for Holy Week? 

Also a prayer for our young friend Isaiah, who remains in a coma.  It is a great reminder that we used to be dead in our sins and God has made us alive in Him.

God made this world chock full of pictures–symbols–of death and resurrection.  The more we look, the more we see.  Help me add to the list. 

Night and day: each day dies followed by a new day 
Our sleep is a little death; awaking is a little resurrection 
A seed dies and is buried in the ground; a new plant rises
Tulips turn brown and brittle…and come up green.
A tree becomes a skeleton…until new leaves bud
Hibernating bears
Drowned rice fields
Grapes are killed, crushed, bruised
Yeast is buried in flour and water
An act of repentance, a dying to self, precedes new growth

Arise! Rejoice! Death is Dead.

Rise, daffodil,
against the stones
that shall yield
to your yellow vow.

Rise, onion shoot,
from an odious shroud
to green exclamation;
your death is done!

~  from Poem for Easter by Barbara Eash Shisler

The daffs in the top picture are from our front garden.
The onions are from the vegetable garden.
The pictures were taken Good Friday morning.
The snow was gone by afternoon.

My favorite Easter poem is by Thomas Blackburn.
Bach used it in Cantata No. 129
You can hear a snippet here (scroll to 14).

Awake, thou wintry earth
Fling off, fling off thy sadness.
Fair vernal flowers laugh forth,
Laugh forth your ancient gladness.

A new and love tale,
Across the land is spread,
It floats o’er hill and dale,
To say that death is dead.

Happy Easter!  He is Risen!

Death as a Tool of Love, Blood as a Bleach

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power,
Till all the ransomed church of God
Be saved to sin no more.

~ William Cowper

He has delivered us from the power of darkness
and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
in whom we have redemption through His blood,
the forgiveness of sins.

~ St. Paul

How well chosen wine was
to stain our souls with remembrance!
He knew how it burst, vivid,
from the flushed skins of grapes
grown for this sacramental crushing:
a shocking red, unforgettable as blood
a rich brew in the cup, a bitter,
burning in the throat, a warmth within,
chosen well to each our lintels
with the paradoxes of
a high priest bound to his own altar,
death as a tool of love,
and blood as a bleach.

~ Luci Shaw

Good thoughts for Good Friday.
Be still.
Give thanks.