April 22nd, 1951.
Today is your birthday, & Cec & I have just been saying “Happy birthday, Mummy!” I have my doubts whether my letter and card would arrive anywhere near the day, but I do hope that they are not too late. I was most annoyed at myself for not being in time because I had your card and I was all prepared weeks ago, but I kept thinking- oh the 22nd, there’s a lot of time yet- and then the time rushed by. Cec’s family have a plethora of birthdays this month too- his Dad, Russell and Carman all within two weeks. When we were home last summer I asked Mom Costain for all the birthday dates, as Cec never could remember them, so we bought cards & are trying to keep up with them now. Cec says that after all these years of ignoring birthdays they will all be shattered at this sudden remembrance, but I think they will survive the shock! Lee is home in Saskatoon now, with her little baby Darryl, and is doing some nursing while Mom Costain looks after the baby. She says he is so sweet & friendly – it seems such a long time since we saw him that I can’t realize he’s not a year old yet. Lee sent me such a sweet white bunny wool scarf- a little cravat, rather- which she had said she would make me, but she didn’t write so we don’t know what Wendy is doing. She made us laugh though because she just put in a note with the scarf & ended “Twins! Wow – what a man!” Cec gets quite embarrassed when I quote it at him!
I hope that you are having a lovely, lovely day for your birthday and that you are all enjoying yourselves. I expect that you will be having a picnic and a bathe, and having quite a celebration because besides your birthday you will be wanting to have as much fun as you can before the Aunties go. I can imagine what a whirl you must have been having lately, trying to do so much while they are still here – particularly with your bridge every evening! – and probably when they do leave, you and Auntie Moo will collapse with exhaustion and be glad to rest for a little while! But I know that you will miss them both and find things very quiet for a while. Auntie Trix is so energetic that probably a little relaxation will be welcome, but you will feel quite lonely without Aunt Ettie after having her with you for so long. I expect she is eager to get back and see the girls again & get all the news, but she must be sad at leaving St. Vincent.
That reminds me, about your finances, honey. It is so good of Auntie Moo to say that you must be her guest for these months, as you will be so hard up after paying for your ticket, but I know that you have said what a lot of expense she has had lately with visitors and entertaining and everything during these past months, and that you will hate to feel that you are imposing on her, so why not let me send you a cheque on Martin’s for some of the airplane ticket anyway, so that you will have enough left to keep on paying your expenses and not feel stony broke? After all, you are making & getting & doing so many things for the baby which otherwise we would have to get, and you’re making the trip to help us out, so it is only fair that we should share a bit, & it doesn’t upset our finances to send money from England. I can only transfer so much to Canada each year so after this year’s transfer there will still be some in Martin’s, so it will be quite O.K. & if sometime in the future you come into wealth & we are poverty stricken, you can always pay it back!! Write & tell me how much you think & I will send a cheque.
Spring is at last coming to Ann Arbor, but we are having very April-ish weather – one day it is lovely & sunny & blue-skied & the next it is cold or windy or rainy. It poured with rain all last night & is grey & dull today but one or two days last week were heavenly & we girls went out from work & got ice cream cones! Cec is out washing MacTavish now – he doesn’t really show the dirt much, but on the sunny days all the hidden grime emerged, & he did look grubby, so Cec is giving him a wash & brush up!
Talking of ice cream cones, my figure is going to pot – literally! I was so good about not eating too many sweet, starchy things etc. for months but this month I have been sliding down hill rapidly & have made the odd pie or cake or cookies, & have been eating potatoes & gravy, and ice cream cones, & on Sat. we had pancakes with syrup for lunch! I am getting into quite a little tub, & get a shock every time I see myself in the mirror, but my face seems to be the same, & I think most of the weight is around my middle! My waistline is now somewhere just below my bust, so you can imagine how alluring I am! The baby now seems to be quite widely active & is thumping & bumping around at a great rate. Cec felt it the other night & was quite astonished at the big thump! My next Dr. date is the 30th so surely by then I will get to know if it’s one or two! You said in your last letter that you had been preparing me for a disappointment all along, in case it was only one, but don’t worry, I am quite prepared & although Cec is still quite hopeful of twins, I have begun to think it must be only one- two would be fun though!
We had a very quiet week last week – Cec was working on a short synopsis of his thesis which he had to send to Cambridge, & I typed it, & otherwise I was lazy & didn’t seem to do a thing- at least I can’t remember doing anything except ironing! Yesterday we went to the Sutherlands for dinner & then onto a “Theater Club” to which they belong. Poor Kirsten broke her wrist on Friday afternoon roller skating, so it was all done up in a plaster cast & as she had bumped her face too, when she fell, she looked quite sad, poor honey. We didn’t see the girls much though, because after a nice dinner we dashed off to the little theatre – it is an effort to begin a repertory theatre here, & is run by a group of young people in a big room. They have no stage or scenery, but act in the middle of the floor with chairs all around. The only stage “prop” they have is a long chest on which they sit or stand or uses a throne, bench or what have you! The lights just centre on the middle of the floor, so you really don’t notice the other people much, & I thought it was quite good. The play was a Restoration comedy called “The Recruiting Sergeant” so was very bawdy, but it was quite amusing. Gunborg & Gordon thought they over-acted a bit but I didn’t think it was too bad. In the intervals they serve coffee in another little room & after the play audience & actors all stand around & drink coffee & discuss the play etc. You don’t actually buy seats, but but join as members & can take so many guests etc. – it is really rather fun. We left after the play as the S’s were going on to a “house-warming” & as it was pouring with rain, Cec & I were very happy to go home. I tell Cec I am a real stick in the mud now – I just love staying at home!!
I meant to say thank you so much for your nice letter which I got on Sat. I always enjoy getting them on Saturdays because I can sit back & really enjoy them. This one was written on 15th &16th & you enclosed Bebe’s letter too- I will maybe get around to writing to her & sending something someday!
I was glad that you had got my typed letter O.K. – it was about my birthday mostly & you were admiring the sound of the housecoat Cec had given me. I wore it in the house this weekend & it was so comfy and nice & yet looked tidy & respectable too- i.e. – didn’t gape in front!! You mention my birthday cards & I have them here to tell you about- they were from Nan & family; Mummy; Zinnia & Sandra; Mrs. Allan; Mr. & Mrs. Pasquier; Dottie; Denis & family; Jessie; Stainthorpes; Irene & Bill; Joan (Cox!) & Don; Peter Burton & John Barton; & a perfectly darling one from my big husband. I also got Easter cards from Nan & Mrs. Allan & also one from Tom & Doris & family, & I don’t think I told you that I got a package from Irene with a rubber lined tartan bag which folds up small & clips or opens out big – she says it is rubber lined for nappies!
Thurs. 26th April.
I have been meaning to finish this letter all week & each evening I have been foiled & you will be wondering what has happened to me. One evening I was tired & fell asleep after dinner & got nothing done, & the last 2 evenings we have been going over to Sutherlands. Gordon was going to Washington this week & came over the evening before he left about some work Cec had done. He said Gunborg had a sore throat so had gone to bed, & he hoped she wasn’t in for a bad cold, so I said I would ring up next day & if she was ill I could go over or help in some way. Well, when I did call next day, poor Gunborg was in bed & felt awful, but she had the girl, Viola there for the day, so I said Cec & I would go over in the evening, which we did. We took a few things she needed- Kleenex, Friars Balsam etc. & I made her a thing to inhale, but she felt very poorly and didn’t look well at all. We took the kids ice cream & I helped Anne make sandwiches for school lunch next day etc. In the morning I went to take them to school, but Anne stayed home with her mother, so she wouldn’t be by herself & when we went this evening Gunborg looked a bit better, although still very throaty & coldy. Gordon comes back on Sat. & the girls have tomorrow holiday from school, so she will have someone around, but she certainly doesn’t look any too well yet, although her temp. has gone down now.
Well, that is my excuse for not getting this off to you long ago- our trips over there have sort of disrupted our evenings, but I’ll finish it now & post it first thing tomorrow. I always begin to answer your letters thoroughly & then never do, but I really will in my next!!
Cec & I had a little drink & a nice big reminisce before dinner tonight- guess why! Three years ago on this very day you & I gave a Housewarming Party & I met my Canadian magazine! We were just saying, little did we know that evening that in 3 years time we’d be as preggy as could be!!
Lots & lots of love
from Cynnie & Cec