Spring Right In the House



March 15, 1957

My dearest John,

Time flies on and my letter writing is neglected. A few interesting things have happened. The weather is one – spring yesterday, and so windy and cold today. The house feels so drafty even though I spent some time stopping up cracks this evening.

I took Margaret to the eye doctor last night. He made quite a thorough examination, it seemed to me. She seems to have a farsightedness that is not too serious – often comes in the first three grades of school and can be corrected. If let go, though, it can develop into more serious trouble. So, $29.50 for glasses. Nothing can do but take their word for it. I watched her testing in reading and identifying things and she did miss a lot. He said that eye trouble follows certain patterns in growing children: the first three grades, the seventh grade, and the last two years of high school.

Sturgis won the game on Wednesday night, and now must win one tonight over Greenville in order to play tomorrow night for the regional title. They are handicapped because Steve Boyle had to leave the game Wednesday night with a bad knee and is out for the season, and two other have the flu. Dick Bunce has been sick, but the Dr. last night said he could wrestle this Saturday for the state championship.

Dave wasn’t there Wed. night to keep prayer meeting rolling according to schedule. They got involved in some business about the Belman house, etc. and it lasted until 8:25 – which makes problems downstairs [where the younger children are]. We managed to keep them reasonably quiet, but it is hard.

Damers asked us to come over for dinner on Sunday. They said that they would like a time when you were home, but that seemed impossible, so they asked us to come. So hurry home and you can come along!

There is one beautiful daffodil now and buds for six more – spring right in the house. I’m surprised how the youngsters enjoy it.

I’m really out of news so I’m going to close now. As usual it seems like a month since you have been home. I’m really looking forward to summer and trust that we’ll have more time together. The camp suggestion sounds good, but I sometimes wonder how effective our help would be. If it is a caretaker they need, our lives are not along that, judging from how we have cared for any place we’ve lived in. I’m glad we can pray and trust the Lord to work it all out for us.

Now, all my love darling. We miss you. The children have been good this week. Danny has a huge goose egg above his left eye. The wind blew the door knob into his head. Jimmy and Danny were like young colts the two days they could play outdoors.

Lovingly,
Nellie

Danny has graduated – you are now in Oooooook Park – not Chicago!!

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,
Nellie

Shoveling coal like mad – 1/18/57

January 18, 1957

My dearest John,

Just a note today and will enclose some letters that have come. I meant to write yesterday but got busy running the sweeper and didn’t get it done. Really got cold Wed. night. I couldn’t get the car started and so called Dillons, and they came after us. David wanted to run to Milliman’s [a neighboring farm] but it was so terribly cold, I didn’t want to get them out, when I knew that some of the folks at the chapel would be out anyway. 2 below zero at supper time with a good wind blowing. The boys’ room is closed up and they are on the davenport. That helps to keep the other two rooms upstairs warm. It got to 10 below that night and, while not that cold, it hasn’t been above 15 above zero since. Shoveling coal like mad (16 tons).

Yesterday Milliman’s went up and down the road starting the neighbors’ cars with the Jeep. The bus wouldn’t even start so Heitchers down the road picked up the kids and took them to school. Herb McLaughlin brought them home in the old greyhound the school owns.

We have been way off schedule this week since the youngsters are home every afternoon. Seems like another vacation. And it has been nice not packing lunches. We get a decent breakfast this way. Guess I should start earlier in the morning, but it is so cold. I have to get up though now in order to have a fire. I put 4 big shovelfuls of coal on last night at 11 and at six this morning there was just enough fire left to start some coal burning. And the house wasn’t above 65.

I delivered your message to Ralph. I think that he will write Mr. Little. At the farewell the young people gave Millers two beautiful lamps. The chapel gave them one of those pictures of Christ that have a bulb to light or plug in to put a light behind the picture, and a nice electric skillet. For such a cold night and such short notice, quite a few people turned out. Not as many however as if it would be on Sunday night. They would have had it then, but word got out that they were moving on Sat.; in reality it will be Tuesday. (if they can get a van – that hadn’t been arranged yet yesterday) Margaret Snook suggested that Harpers move in the house – if they do consider that, what shall I say? Since it is on sale perhaps they will not consider it.

Danny has an imagination. He calls that little peg thing that the rings fit on his “this I know”. He puts the rings (records) on and twirls it around! How about that?

Now I’ll close – . Oh, about the money, don’t bother to send any now. I have plenty for a while. Damers gave me 10, Moores handed me 10, and the check from Cathers was signed to me, so there is plenty. I have acknowledged all of those already. I don’t know if it was impulse or the Lord bidding – but all day Sunday I felt I should give Arnie $10, so just before I left on Sunday evening I saw Ralph and asked him to give it to Arnie anonymously. I was going to skip it thinking it was probably impulse but as I drove out of the yard and nearly bumped into Ralph, I had the thought to handing it to him to give – now how do you know?

I went to the book store in La Grange yesterday to get a little more material for Wed. nights and bought the youngsters a few more books. Wanted to get Milnot [evaporated milk] but forgot. Did get some day old bread and gas at Howe. Gas goes sooner when you have to run the car a while to get it warmed up each time.

W.S.T.R. has already sent your income things here. Mike Strong is taking your place at night. Dick Bunce won his ninth match last Wed. night. Sturgis plays East Lansing tonight – they are tied for first place so it is a big game. Millers invited the girls to go and David is about dying he wants to go so badly. They might ask him if he and Pat weren’t so goofy about each other. But I can’t take him, so he is mad and says he won’t even listen on the radio! But I’m going to!

Now I will close – Loads of love from all of us. We sorta have our hopes up that you’ll get home the 27th. But don’t do it if you are to preach someplace else – Unless you have the whole weekend it is too much. It is almost too much to come so far to preach and get back. Would you consider the train to Elkhart – I’d come meet you there. It would be so much easier traveling that way. Could study while riding.

As I said before, I must close. The chicken backs and necks for soup must be overdone by now.

Lovingly, Nellie