July 29 1950 Air Mail

Mailed August 1, arrived August 8. Worth the extra stamps?

803 Granger Ave. 

Sat 29th July. 

Dearest Mummy,

My Epic is growing to such immense proportions that I will have to send it by sea- it is 13 pages (both sides) and still not finished! So I am writing this A.M. so that you will get our news, and also to say thank you so much for our cable on our Wedding Anniversary – it was sweet of you to send it & both Cec & I were so pleased to get it. Poor Cec got quite a fright, as he arrived at the house to find a tag on the door for “Lt. Costain” saying there was a telegram at the office for him (they won’t leave telegrams here unless signed for) so he had visions immediately of the Navy calling up Reserves, & was so relieved when he dashed to a phone & found it was your nice message. We discovered that the code for the rate you sent it, was LT & it was just in front of the name Costains, so that was how the Lt. emerged!

We got quite a lot of good wishes & it was lovely! Amy Stainthorpe sent a card, & your nice one, & a very pretty one from Auntie Muriel, also one from Cec’s family which was sweet, & we also got letters & good wishes from Denis & from Anne. Cec & I gave each other cards of course, which were funny! His to me had 2 cats dressed as people – it was so sweet! It was our “Paper Anniversary, we discovered, so I gave Cec, Churchill’s 3rd book “The Grand Alliance” & he gave me “Tom Sawyer” which I requested! He also gave me a card table which we needed badly, as we have no table in the sitting room, & it is so inconvenient at times. Also the desk is very small & awkward for Cec to work at, as he can hardly get his knees under it. So I was delighted, & Cec said that it was instead of flowers as it would last longer & anyway the top was made of paper! (i.e. compressed cardboard stuff – red- with grey painted metal frame & legs.)

We had a nice day, & in the evening we invited the Sutherlands over & had a bottle of champagne! We all got quite jolly & had a nice time!! I didn’t get any flowers from you on the day, but this morning Gunborg drove me down to the “Farmers Market” which is held on Sat. A.M. on the other side of the town. I had the loveliest time & felt nearly as if I was back in Cambridge market again – except that it is held in a big shed place, but the stalls are the same kind with fruit & vegetables & flowers & eggs & chickens etc. I bought 2 pretty bouquets from you – one of pretty little button zinnias- pinks of different shades – & one of those browny-orange daisies, fine bluey–mauve spiky flowers & asparagus fern. They look so pretty & thank you so much, Mummy honey – they look nice & homey garden flowers & it is lovely to have them again – even nicer than a florist’s bouquet- they only cost 50¢ so we’ll just pretend you bought them for me!

I haven’t told you much that we have been doing lately, so I’ll bring you up-to-date now. I don’t think I ever told you about the Physics Dept. Picnic which we went to on 12th July. The whole Dept. went- about 200-250– & the Faculty wives did the food. – everyone paid 50¢ & then the wives brought various things. Gunborg took salad, & I took lots & lots of carrot sticks, celery, radishes & sp. onions (we were told what to bring.) I got out of work 1 hour early & the S’s drove us out to the lake- little Mary came too as Anne & Kirstin are at a camp & children were allowed to come. The Lake was quite nice, with tables, benches etc. under the trees. Cec has sore eyes so didn’t bathe, so I didn’t either, & it was funny because the beach was fenced off & you had to pay to go on, so we didn’t but stayed by the picnic tables in the shade! Cec played baseball, & I chatted to people, & finally about 6:30 we ate. They had two serving lines & you filed past & got cold meat, green salad, potato salad, carrot sticks etc., rolls & butter, coffee and afterwards ice cream – it was good! Then we sat around & after a while had a little cricket game & left just as the mosquitoes arrived- I got a few bites which still tickle!

We had a plethora of picnics that week as on the following Sunday Mary & Arthur Dockerill asked us to go a picnic with them. They said it was much nicer if you went early as it wasn’t so crowded, so they came for us about 10 o’clock- great effort for us on a Sunday! They have just bought a car (the 2nd one- the 1st they sold as it was a 2 seater) & although it is 2ndhand it is very nice & new looking – cost $800. We drove out to a lake about 25 miles away & it was very pretty. It had tables etc. on the beach- not fenced off this time! – & so we bagged one & left our stuff then went to the bathing huts, (1 for women, 1 for men) changed & had a bathe. The water was quite nice, but the beach was a bit pebbly underfoot where it was shallow & then it suddenly got deep. After that we changed again, as it wasn’t very comfy in wet things – we sat in the shade all the time & there was a nice breeze, so it was very pleasant. Arthur & Mary had brought a primus stove, & they had eggs & beans & we had ham & bacon & we cooked them all & had a wonderful feast! They made tea & had bread rolls, & we had brought iced lemonade & some cake, so altogether we ate & ate & had a lovely time! We took a picture, so I hope it comes out.

Afterwards we just lay in the shade & by this time it was getting more & more crowded. Some people A & M knew arrived & they had a little boat with a motor, so Arthur & Cec went for a ride & brought back some water lilies for us – lovely white ones. Arthur took Mary & I for a little ride, but by this time I was beginning to feel very hot & a bit sore, so we decided to go home (about 3 o’clock) & anyway the place was by now just about crammed full, so we were glad to get away. Neither Cec & I had been in the sun at all hardly, but we both had quite a case of sunburn, & my neck & Cec’s arms have been peeling since.

It was when he was bathing that Cec first felt his shoulder. It was quite painful all the rest of that day and night, then on Monday felt better, but by Tuesday was bad again & then was so bad Wed. that night that he was in pain the whole time & just couldn’t sleep. I went along to the S’s in the morning & they rang their Dr. & he recommended that Cec go to the Hospital & see a Specialist in that line, so he did & it was bursitis. The pills, as I said, made him sleepy & dopey, but resting did him good too & I’m glad to say that it is much, much better now & he doesn’t feel the shoulder except when he raises his arm.

On the Mon. before this though, we met Jessie Forsyth (Cec’s friend Pete’s sister) after work & had an early dinner & went to the pictures to see Betty Hutton in “Annie Get Your Gun”. It was quite good, but of course Cec and I liked the play better. The Wed. evening Dr. S. came around & asked us to come along & meet an English couple they had staying overnight with them. Cec’s shoulder was hurting, but we went along, & a couple called Ramsay were very nice. They are in Ottawa, he working at the place Cec will eventually go to- & they had been down for a trip through the western states in their little Austin with their 1 year old daughter! The baby has been very good & enjoyed the trip!

Cec stayed at home the rest of that week & most of the next & the rest & sleep did him a lot of good. We had a quiet weekend at home together-I  had to go to the dentist at 9:30 on Saturday a.m. & slept in till 9:10, but made it just the same- minus breakfast! I did the chores, but it was very peaceful & I felt better for the rest too. (Still more visits to the dentist for my tooth.)

Last week we didn’t do anything except having the S’s in for our Anniv. except that on Thurs. & Fri. Ann Arbor had Bargain Days!! All the shops had sales & I got a BARGAIN! I had decided previously that I might try & get a navy blue summer suit to travel to Sask. in, as I had nothing suitable, so during the lunch hours at the beginning of the week (Cec was at home) I toured the shops & was so disheartened. All the suits had pencil slim skirts, & when I tried them on I bulged fore & aft!

So I gave it up, but on the Bargain days I was touring around looking, for the fun of it & went to a Teen Age Dept. in one store & on a small rack I found a dark green unlined, grosgrain suit- size 9- reduced from $12.95 to $9 to $7 to $4!! So I thought, well, I can but try! – did-, & it fitted me perfectly! Cec likes it & everyone who has seen it thinks it is nice! It has three-quarter sleeves, self covered buttons down the front of the jacket, & unpressed pleats at the side of the skirt.

On Sat a.m. I went to the Farmers Market as I told you & bought gr. beans & asparagus & corn on the cob & new pots. & baby carrots & rasps! We had phoned Jessie Forsyth during the week & asked her if she would care to come & spend the weekend with us to get away from the Woman’s Residence for a while & she was delighted, but couldn’t come till Sat. night as she was going to Detroit to meet a friend of her fathers. So she came late Sat. ( it is now Monday!) & slept on the sofa in the living room, which pulls out into a bed, & we had quite a lazy day yesterday – sleeping late – except that I washed & cooked a big dinner & it was so hot I nearly melted! In the evening I had a girl Ronnie from the office & her husband Jim for sandwiches etc. & we had fun- Ronnie is a nice girl- funny & interested in everything, but they are just here for the summer. Jessie left with them & they all seem to enjoy themselves.

Today the heat & humidity has been terrible & everyone has been 1/2 dead! Me included! I couldn’t sleep it was so hot & finally slept with the fan on, but it was a scorcher – hope it isn’t like that tomorrow – Detroit & the Ball Game! I am excited about it!

Just got your nice letter of July 24 today – so glad to get it & that you are having such a lovely time. Will answer it in my Epic which I will try to finish tonight & send by sea. 

Cec sends his love & says to be a good girl, with lots 

     & lots of love from 


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