We have three letters from this month. In this year's correspondence her love of animals is very evident as shown by her concern abuot a Spaniel owned by person who cut her firewood. Her interest in the birds surrounding her home is also present with a particularly elusive bird mentioned once again in her correspondence. As with other year pages, images embedded in the text from the letter will include the first page of the letter or card and occassionally the envelope itself if it is of interest. All dates of letters are drawn from the postmark on the envelope unless otherwise noted.
January 17, 1962 Page 1
This will be just a note to say I wonder whether you’re with your second cousin this Sunday. She should be good company.
I suppose the leaves are turning color. A few were turning in the mountains before I left.
Had a note from Effie saying Fate died—and it was the day I left. (I left before dawn.) She is staying with her son next door.
Last week a Moravian young man, former student, now teaching in Va., admired the clock. I hope to visit his home, more than 150 years old, in Winston-Salem Nov. 11. That weekend I hope to go to an English meeting in Charlotte.
The old clock and the Seth Thomas differ only a few minutes a week. That’s good for the oldster.
(side note, handwritten after the typed letter, “The picture was taken for the sale of the cabin. Can you see Kip?)
January 23, 1962
January 23, 1962 Page 1
Examinations are in progress. I give my last at seven tonight. Thanks for recipes. They sound good—with nuts and cocoanut.
Meg, like you, was born Feb. 9. And I think we’ll have to celebrate Bonnie’s anniversary the same day. Meg had no pups, though the Holts came over the previous Sunday and brought rags, a rectal thermometer and the like, for my use. They explained my duties also—as they saw them from their experience with Danes. I kept Meg in the kitchen almost a week; now she is out in the dog house with the other two.
I’m sure you did all that could possibly be done for your mother, and no doubt she realized that fact. She must have been much more comfortable with experienced aid than she could have ever been elsewhere. Do think of the good things you have done—which far outweigh any chances of error.
I think you thought the Havana I mentioned was in Cuba. It is only 20 miles from here.
What is Mrs. Martin of Moquoketa doing now? How does Teddy like the U. of Virginia? If Mrs. Lowery would like a nylabone I’ll send one. My dogs seldom chew them—and I bought three large “bones.”
Recently I saw a Spaniel in a pen with four large hunting dogs, at the home of the man who cuts my firewood. The dog’s ears were matted and he bit fleas. I suggested the man take him indoors; he wouldn’t. I asked the price; he answered $10. The following Sunday I ran an ad in the paper and a girl and her mother bought the dog for $10. I hope he has a happy home.
With love, Laura
(side handwritten note as follows, “I guess you and Lou will soon see the ????????”) unknown word at end
For some time I’ve intended to write but since I have a Saturday class rather often I seldom find time to do my housework and correspondence both. I sent in your gift in memory of Buster—we won’t forget him. I know Brother must be cunning too. I’m glad Brenda had a chewy roll. One can buy them in pet stores or at Macy’s pet shop in N.Y. Three in a package cost less (79 cents)—and since I have three dogs I usually buy three rolls.
You asked about mother’s farm. There used to be a fine house—built by her father in 1885. During my sister’s management, while my mother lived, it seems the buildings were left unpainted. Finally my sister said they were uninsurable—though two years ago, though the windows were largely broken in the house, it looked to me as though the floors could be straightened and repairs made and a fine dwelling created. However, one barn or corn crib burned and all the buildings were finally carried away for lumber the tenant could get. Unless one lives in a house, it is hard to keep a place in repair. My niece and her family come the 14th and will probably ask to buy my share, which my sister asked to buy earlier. I think land is far more valuable than cash in the bank.
The valuable letters you are discovering should be filed in some library if you are willing to part with them. I hope your task of sorting is soon over, for it must be a very sad duty. However, with the snow on the ground outside, and a pleasant fire inside, you were probably not tempted to stray away from the work.
Yes, Mr. Hunt is still here. He was in Damascus two years, teaching, but has returned. His wife has arthritis in the hands so it is difficult for her to lift a coffee pot. I’d asked her to pour at a Coffee Hour of the department, but she had to decline.
The woman teacher who has Parkinson’s disease seems to have discovered a “cure.” I saw her on the campus the other evening and gave her a ride home. She went to Gainesville and had injections, which stopped the shaking (except in cases of extreme excitement) and has allowed her to continue her work. However, her right hand was partially paralyzed before the treatment, and she uses that only with difficulty. She has an electric typewriter. It seems a small dose of medicine dried up the fluid at the base of the brain—so no operation will be needed—unless in ten years or so the medicine will not be effective—as I understand it. She said people who had flue in 1981 seemed to be susceptible to the disease. There are things she can’t do, as cutting steak at the table, but she is pleased to know she can manage and that she has no pain—she recalls a friend in agony with arthritis. (Stevie, too, seems to have arthritis in the knees, so she can hardly walk.)
Thank you for asking me to visit this summer. I plan to spend it in the mountains—though I would like to see you. Won’t you and Lou come down? Couldn’t someone stay in your house a week or two? My car is 11 years old and I have three dogs, and Meg will probably be bred in May, so her pups should come in July. Also, since we go on the trimester system, the year begins the day after Labor Day. (And next summer we won’t be free until the middle of June, I think).
In the mountains I hope to make a lily pond near the house, after I have diverted the course of the stream. Also, I want to reorganize two courses, so I’ll have to read a number of books.
I do hope the snow has vanished so the deer can be safer than they were. I didn’t understand where telephones had removed to save money. (handwritten note here “the warden’s quarters?”, the previous sentence must have referred to removal of a game warden’s quarters by the telephone company)
Bonnie was out barking at something in the grass—perhaps a snake—so I went out and brought her in. She is now lying in the sunshine on the couch beside me. She tries to lick my face when I lower my head.
Someone suggested that instead of government supervision of laboratories the veterinarians should be supervise. I’m not sure they’re always humane—though the one who wrote the book you mentioned likely is. A student was telling me about Dr. Lee, who often takes care of my dogs. It seems he was telling some men in his office how he hunted bear—by setting a trap so it’s foot was wounded and he could track it. He was telling it in a matter-of-fact way, the student said.
You mentioned the Phillips were in Sarasota. If they come through here, I’d like to see them. Some people from the mountains live in Sarasota (the former Park Ave.—Wall St. man).
I do hope the bluebirds don’t vanish from the earth. The cuck-wills-widow comes in the spring, to stay half a year. One night Bonnie was still roaming and barking when the bird called at twilight. Another hunting dog was also prowling. For a few nights I missed the sound of the bird, but this morning I hear it further off.
Tomorrow, with grocery stamps, I’m going to get a folding steel-frame cot covered with plastic, to take to the mountains. If you and Lou and Brother come, there will be beds for all. I do hope you can.