Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Visit With Grandma and Grandpa

In a conversation with Dwight I happened to mention some letters I have that Grandma wrote to Mother and Dad.  The hints of loneliness and missing the farm, missing noisy kids coming and going and someone to share her gingersnaps and hot cross buns with, was so apparent in her writing.  Dwight "suggested" I should share some of what is written in the letters so here goes.  The holidays seem to bring back so many memories for me, and one of those sweet memories is of Grandma and Grandpa in Penrose.  I see hints of Grandma's illness creeping in by what she wrote, but at the time I don't think anyone suspected what was going on, other than she was just getting old.  (I haven't corrected anything, these are as Grandma wrote them.)
(No date and no envelope with this letter)
Thursday morn.
Dear Folks:
How are you all? We don't see or hear anything from up that way so am wondering how all are.
We hope all well, and know you are busy as usual.  The weather continues spasmodic all kinds during a day.  Dad did plant a row of potatoes, peas, lettuce, etc, but it stays so cold cant see that any thing can even sprout.  You know we got a stove but the instruction book was not with it, and I sure need it.  They promised to send it but so far, not.
Now I am bothering you as usual, if you happen to go in town would you please go to the Modern Electric and ask if they have found an instruction book if they will please send it.
It works different than the old stove did and I have not got how to work the oven and some other things.
Dad is feeling some better this morning, but had a bad night.
Hope you are all well, and come to see us when you can.  There was something Dad was wishing for the other day, if Russ came down but don't know now what it was.
Guess this is all for today, know you are all busy.
Love to all
Dad and Mother

April 13, 1959
Dear Folks
Dad is so anxious to plant garden, has a row of spuds, lettuce and peas planted but it is to cold for them to even sprout.  So I talked him out of planting more right now.
Dad says if you should happen to come down would you please bring him a can of used oil and about 25 pounds of amonia phosphate.
I am so forgetful have to have him stand here and tell me while I write.
Then we will pay you.
Thank you,
Dad and Mother

Jan 4, 1960
Monday Morn
Dear Folks:
Thanks for the nice day we had at your house.  Hope you will forgive the monoply we made of the time telling our tale of woe.
We have been wondering about the folks and hope they got home alright.  We had nice sunshine in the afternoon but the roads were icey and yet people drove like they were sent for in a hurry.
Hope you get adjusted to your new job Minnie.  It will help to keep you out of mischief.  It has turned colder here, my Mother used to say "when the days begin to lengthen the winter begins to strengthen: which seems to come true here.
Best love to all of you
Dad and Mother

Lovell March 28, 1960
Dear Folks:
Haven't seen or heard any thing from you so wonder if you have gone on a vacations too.  Did see Stephen name in the paper.  Dont know if it is my glasses or just my eyes but seem I can't follow the lines.
It gets quite lonesome around here.  Of course people have been very good to take us to SS and Church,  Dad has had some bad days and that don't help to pass time.  But yesterday and today he has felt fairly good.
Suppose you are busy getting arranged for farming.  Cant think of any news, thought I had so much to tell when I started but now I've run down.
Let us hear from you if you have time to write, and we would not turn down a visit any time.
Love to all of you,
Dad and Mother


Elizabeth said...

They do sound so lonely. I remember when Brig was around 2 or 3, when I went home for a few days, and Grandpa had been in the hospital. Mother and I (and Brig) went to Lovell to see him. (Dad must have had Pat.) The hospital bed was set up in the living room, and even though he was very weak, he had all kinds of stories to tell me about working in the Park. It seems like Mother was going back and forth quite a bit to Lovell at this time. Even with Sofe around the corner, and Cal's former wife, Jessie (who was a nurse, as I recall), and Cindy close by, the loneliness sounds acute. Our grandparents did not have an easy life - sad to think of their declining years being lonesome for Penrose and what "used to be". Thanks for posting these. It adds another dimension to our relationship with our Wasden grandparents.

Louise Blood said...

Thanks for giving us these little insights to our grandparents. And, Elizabeth, your comment gies us another dimension (to borrow your word) to their situation at that time.

Judy said...

I can't begin to tell you of the pangs these letters gave me. As we get older, we find ourselves relating the reality of our grandparents' feeling lonely. By the time period of these letters, I was married and living in Seattle-Tacoma and though I wrote to them while in college, I do not remember writing once I married. I could have and should have done more.
I do remember reports of how tired Mother was from teaching school all day and then trying to take care of things in Lovell before it was time to milk the cows.
The sentiment in these letters are a good reminder to reach and spend time with any family members or otherwise who might need us.