Tonight It Was Just Too Much

Thursday eve. (date illegible)

Dear John,

Tonight when Danny was going to bed he was sobbing on the bed in the living room. I’ve never heard him sound so broken-hearted. I gathered him up and he told me, “I want my Daddy” over and over again. He is feeling so punk and has been my little shadow for a couple of days, but tonight it was just too much. I would have spent the money on a phone call if I was sure it would have helped just to let him hear you. With some loving from me and Carol he settled off to sleep. He is not so sick, but enough to be miserable, hardly enough to keep him down.

Marian Bunce was just here. She brought out some ice cream, books for the children and cough syrup — and some news. All of the Dillons are down with flu, Gladys Lindeman is down, so is Mr. Kribs. Only a handful at prayer meeting last night. At the school the peak seems to have been reached, but still plenty of it.

Carol [about one month old] has been good but wanting to eat about every three hours, and hardly staying awake long enough to eat; on a chance that perhaps she wasn’t getting enough I tried giving her some formula tonight, but she would hardly take any. She may have a light case of the flu now.

Tomorrow morning I go to the dentist. I will have to leave the children here alone while I go. They should get along all right, if they’ll behave.

The service man was here to check the washer yesterday — it worked O.K. for him. He said we must have lost the “prime” somehow and showed me what to do when that happens. He also said that on this model the sudsy water does not get pumped out the drain, but has to go down the drain from the tub we save the suds in, which may cause trouble in the basement with only a hole in the floor. I may be able to get five loads washed before the water is too cool, but more likely only four loads. Did I tell you the new gyrator works fine?

We have had another rat and two mice die since you left. And by the noises we still have some more around.

A lot of wind last night. I’d forgotten how drafty the house is.

Been reading A. Whyte [Alexander Whyte, a Scottish author]. Also some of E. Stanley Jones. Must say that I find Whyte much the more stimulating. “Mastery” may be good – but I don’t always get the point. His magazine [an Intervarsity magazine for college students] just came. You’ll enjoy it this month — the inside cover — article by Ken Pike and two articles about non-professional missionaries that I enjoyed.

Must close for now. I do love you and like Danny I often would like to give up because “I want you.” But because of you, I take heart and strive to do a good job here. Take care of yourself and hurry home next weekend.

All my love,
Nellie

I Believe We’ll Get Along

Wednesday, 10-23-57

Dearest John,

The baby is sleeping past her feeding time, so I’ll grab these few minutes to write a note to you. I felt better after calling you last night, as I didn’t want you wondering what had happened to us. Danny is running a temp today, and has the bad throat and stuffy nose that the others have had with this. But he doesn’t complain of a headache, muscles aching, or chills like they did. Jimmy hasn’t complained about that either, though they both have had pretty good temps.

They have had some rare dreams during this siege. Johnny asked me one morning, “Why did that man give us all that money last night?” A dream. Last night I dreamed (with no temp) that you had gone to Litchfield and they were so happy to see you they were in tears and raised a special flag to let everyone know you were back!

This morning I gave the youngsters baths and clean clothes and am washing up the other pajamas. And I’m also making some cinnamon rolls for lunch.

When Dale was out the other evening to look at the washer, Danny grabbed him and took him in to see the baby.

Well, I had better sign off – lots of things I could chatter about, but time is at a premium these days. I am letting some things go and getting to bed with the children so that the calls during the night aren’t too much for me. So far I feel fine and am thankful for that. Keep praying for us, but don’t worry if you don’t hear much. I’ll call if any trouble develops, but as things are now I believe that we’ll get along all right.

Right now the older ones are not too sick, but sick enough to be touchy and quarrelsome. I’m keeping them in separate beds and rooms upstairs most of the time with different things to do, which eliminates most of the fussing. Glad the weather is mild enough that I can do that.

Love you sweetheart, and it will be so good to have you home for a whole weekend again.

All my love,

Nellie

Some Household.

May 22, 1957

Dear Daddy,

I am home today and probly tomorrow with scarletina [strep throat with a rash or scarlet fever]. Margaret has lost her voice and Jimmy has the measles. So I am writing you instead of her writing you.

Mrs. Wolcott came over last night and ironed lots of clothes for us. I can’t spell nothing today [n-o-t-h-i-n-g, haha!]. I as asking Mother everything.

[Mom’s handwriting] And she asked me to finish it! Ralph [Wolcott] had a meeting so Louise came over here and how it helped out. …

Jimmy is not very sick yet, but I can’t keep him down. Danny can’t throw off his cold. The girls are not so sick but, you know—just bad enough to not stay in bed all the time, but bad enough to be restless and cranky. Some household. Wish I didn’t have prayer meeting tonight – hard to get prepared in this atmosphere.

How I miss you—last night we had a terrific storm. Rain and wind. Children slept through it all, but I didn’t. Ralph suggests we go to commencement and return that night in their car as he gets off work that night. It is the only way I could come, as the girls have a recital on the [page cut off]. I’ll have to be here.

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,
Nellie