Cyn’s letters seem to reach Trinidad quite quickly- this one was written on the 23rd, posted on the 24th, and stamped in various parts of Trinidad on the 27th and 28th, having been redirected by Auntie Trix to her son’s house where Carol must have moved to visit, but nothing from her is getting to Cyn and Cec in Ann Arbor! It is interesting, though, to hear about the visit to Toledo they had been reluctantly forced into, and to get Cyn’s take on Til’s son Bill’s second wife whom she had heard about, but not met, at the end of her year teaching there.
We have been dashing to the post all week to see if there was a letter from you, but so far it hasn’t arrived. We are panting to know how your trip was and how you’re getting on and all about everything, so it will be fun when it arrives – I’ll be interested to know too, how long letters take to get to the W. Indies.
I was so mad last week because I finished the great long A.M. I was writing to you, & on Sat. morning took it, and 4 bundles of magazines and 1 parcel all downtown in the bus to the Post Office. My arms were about breaking by the time I got there & I staggered in at 12:03, to find that P.O.s in America close at 12.0 on Saturday! I could have bitten someone, as I had quite a bit of shopping to do, & instead I just had to turn around & get the bus home again. Actually, I had to get a present for Mrs. Atkinson’s birthday, as they were coming up that afternoon, so I bought a pot of blue hyacinths, & really did totter under the weight of that as well! Anyway, it all meant that I had to keep your letter over the weekend and take it to the P.O. again as I knew it was overweight.
The Atkinson’s finally arrived on Sat. at about 3:15 p.m. and we sat & talked a while and then I got tea. They both kept up a constant stream of talk- Mrs. at me, & Mr. at poor Cec, who was ready to scream by about 4 o’clock! Our tea wasn’t very elegant with a makeshift tea pot etc., but I used Mrs. Chaple’s tea cosy which enlivened the proceedings! During the afternoon I gave Mrs. A. the flowers which she liked & Mr. A. suddenly suggested we come down with them & stay overnight, as if it were a sudden bright thought, and after a few hesitations Cec & I agreed, so we slung a few things in a bag & were off, arriving in Toledo about 8:15. Mrs A. went to the door first- the whole house in darkness – opened it, and just stepped in, when suddenly out of the darkness came the sound of voices singing “Happy Birthday”. Mrs. A. got quite a shock & it was a real surprise as she had no idea anything was going on. There were about 8 people there & they all gave Mrs. A silver salt & pepper shakers & Mr. A. gave her a corsage of red roses. We sat & had a drink & then split up & played cards- Cec & I played bridge & did quite well. Then we had sandwiches (brought by the visitors) & tea & coffee & birthday cake, made by Mrs. A’s sister-in-law. Everyone stayed till after 12 & it was quite late by the time we got to bed. We were exhausted! But we had been by the time we left A. Arbor, & the party was really much better than I expected & we liked the people. Next day we slept till 12, – nice way of passing time on an uncongenial visit! – & then got up & had a breakfast-lunch. Mr. A. took Cec a drive while Mrs. A. & I washed up, then I phoned Til & had a chat & found that Bill & Jan were there for the day. As I was longing to meet Jan, I asked Mr. A. & he took us over for a little visit & I had my curiosity satisfied!! I liked her – although I told Cec she reminded me very slightly of Jessie Fisher! Not her colouring- she’s dark & square kind of face & glasses that turn up at the corner, but just her mouth or something. However she seemed nice & Cec liked Bill. They are having a baby & are off to Panama for 2 years sometime next month- Bill is in the Army you know. I asked Til another time if she thought they were happy & had found the right person this time & Til said “Oh no- there’s been talk of separating & so on, but I hope it works out all right”. Bill seems to like the Army though, & Jan likes the life so I hope it is all right.
When we got back, Mrs. A. gave us tea & then drove us back home, and we were so glad to be in our own little place again! They are kind & mean so well, but they just get on our nerves until we practically pop! Poor Cec is nearly driven crazy by Mr. Atkinson’s pomposity & know-all cockiness, & Mrs. A. talks worse than Amy & has a loud shrill laugh! Aren’t I rude? But we had a good grumble together & got it out of our systems, & hope we won’t see them for quite a while!
Cec has been working hard this week, & I have done nothing unusual except help Mrs. Sutherland with her tea party. I made some little cookies at home, like so
with a recipe out of her Swedish cookery book. Then yesterday afternoon I went along & helped polish silver & get out tea cups etc. and also made about 40 little choux pastry cases. Then this morning I went & made sandwiches (egg & chives: tomato: date & orange juice) & put cream in the puffs & coffee icing on top. The tea was for 3:30, so I went at 2:30 & everything looked lovely – the sandwiches, cream puffs, lots of different cookies & slices of fruit cake- & the table decorated with pale green & yellow candles & napkins & a bowl of daffodils, irises & white snapdragons. Twenty-eight ladies arrived, & they all said they had a lovely time & thoroughly enjoyed the tea. I stayed & helped Mrs. S. (Gunborg to me now – but I daren’t pronounce it!) clear up & wash dishes & while we were busy Dr.S. arrived having just dropped Cec, so he went along and brought Cec back with him & we all had dinner together. Since then we have been writing letters & both feel very virtuous!
Cec is chasing me to bed as it is 12 o’clock, so I must go.
My love to Auntie Trix-
With lots and lots for my Mummy,