803 Granger Ave., Ann Arbor, Mich.
Tuesday 19th June
Ever since Sunday I have been saying to myself “I must begin a letter to Mummy”, but we have had such hot weather the last few days that I have felt quite limp & very unambitious. This evening it has to begun to rain & is better than it was yesterday, but it still feels quite close & humid, although that is probably partly because the apartment has not had time to cool down yet. I just have one more week of work after this one, and although it isn’t really bad & I feel quite all right, Cec and I were just saying we were glad that I was finishing soon & won’t have the really hottest weather to go through at work.
Now first of all, your lovely parcel arrived on Friday, and I am just thrilled with all the darling little things! We didn’t have to pay any duty & it arrived in perfect condition – not even opened I don’t think – and I had a wonderful time opening it up & looking at everything. Cec was there too, of course, & kept laughing at me squeaking & squealing over everything, but it is all so fascinating – just like playing at dolls again on a much more intriguing scale!! All the little nighties are beautiful – they look so much prettier than the pictures on the pattern I sent you, & the little lace edging & the embroidery make them look so sweet. The two little pink cotton ones are very pretty, but it is the little white ones which I think are so cute – I think the Costain baby is going to be the best dressed baby in the neighbourhood- thanks to its Granny’s beautiful sewing! You really have put a tremendous amount of work into them honey, & I do appreciate it – I think they are all lovely, & that you must have worked very hard not only to make them, but to do all the little extra touches which make them look so sweet. The little jacket from Auntie Trix is very cute too, & I can just imagine the little thing looking really elegant and its nighties & bed jacket! I will write & thank her this week and also Auntie Moo for all the perfectly sweet little booties, but in the meanwhile please say thank you to her for me. I think it was such a good idea to make different sizes, & I feel that the baby will be well-stocked for a long time & will have nice warm tootsies! Cec made me laugh because he kept worrying that everything looked so big, that our tiny baby would be swamped- little does he know how quickly the little horror will probably grow, & begin popping out of all its clothes!
I have left the little silk dress to the last thank you for, because I think it is quite the pièce de la résistance of the whole parcel – and I am just enchanted with it! I keep bringing it out to have another look and another gloat over it, and I think it is absolutely the darlingest little dress I ever saw. I can see what a job you must have had making it out of those small pieces, but your faggotting [This is an embroidery stitch used to attach one piece of material to another- to lengthen a hem, for example] is lovely and no one would ever know that it was done with any ulterior motive- Cec said “My— open-work seams!” when he saw them. The silk is really lovely, isn’t it, and it is amazing to think that it has lasted so long and is still so perfect, and I think that soft creamy colour is very pretty for a baby, don’t you? Altogether, it was a simply wonderful parcel, Mummy, & thank you very very much for everything – I am getting quite thrilled at the “layette” now – there seems to be quite a lot of different things, even though I haven’t got the nappies etc. I intend to buy here. I got 2 little cotton vests, but they are 2nd size & at the time they had none of the smaller size, so I decided to wait & get them when they came in. Another present which I just got on Monday was a big surprise. When I came into my office, here it was a dear little parcel all wrapped in baby paper on my desk, & inside was another sweet little pair of white booties. They were from a girl, Janet Jackson, who worked here, but although she gave me a lift sometimes before we had MacTavish I didn’t know her very well. Her husband graduated this month & got a job in Illinois, so she left about a fortnight ago & I gave 25¢ towards a present for her as we usually do, but never thought about her giving me anything, so it was a real surprise. She had been in A.A. over the weekend collecting the last of their things & had got one of the other girls to put the little parcel on my desk – I thought it was so sweet of her, and as they are bigger than Auntie Moo’s, they will just fit in nicely.
This little letter has lasted from Tuesday till today which is Thursday, but it is so much cooler & pleasanter that I feel a new woman! I didn’t get much written on Tuesday evening as I was tired, but brought the letter to work yesterday & got a little more done until Cec rang me up at 5:15 & said “Let’s go home now- my feets hurt!” so I picked up the letter & left, only to find later in the evening when I settled down to write that I had left both my pens behind, & Cec had left his at the Lab. too! I am writing this at work now – the place is very quiet, & as I only have a week more to go I am not killing myself!! Charlie has had to go to New Hampshire to see his father who is very ill; Shirley & Lyons are both on holiday; Sylvia has left as there was no work for her, & she has got a job in another university department (we wonder how she’ll get on!); so that leaves Bob Peebles & Jeanie & me to hold up the Field Office, so we aren’t straining any muscles! Jeanie had 3 wisdom teeth out yesterday so was away for the day (one pen ran dry!) [The ink colour switched from blue to black] but is back today with a slightly “mumpy” face but says she feels O.K. However, Bob & I were alone in our glory yesterday & as he says he’s leaving early today, Jeanie & I will be on the loose!
I got your lovely long letter dated June 10th on Sat. (16th) and just loved hearing about your weekend in the country. I am so glad that you had such a good time & enjoyed yourself so much – it sounds very beautiful and you certainly had a great time with all the people visiting & going out to tea with 8 children! I am glad that you are getting into practice singing babies to sleep – you’ll probably need to make great use of that accomplishment! I was very interested in hearing all about the peculiar, but beautiful Eileen, but curious to know if she is fair or dark or what. I was wondering if Jeanie is still as pretty as she used to be – of course I know all those girls will still be attractive when they are 100, because they have such charm, but Jeanie was so nice looking too. I was also wondering about Peggy- she was such a little podge when we knew her, then she got thin and we saw some snaps of her before she was married in which she looked very pretty, so how is she looking too! After all these enquiries about everyone’s looks, I might say that I think my face looks pretty (?!) much the same as when you last saw me! The last month or so, I think it has gotten thinner, but it may be that my hair is getting a little longer, & is due for another cutting off.
I was amused at your remarks re. Mrs. Young’s home being full of Doulton figures, and that she was rather Bella-ish!! It definitely doesn’t sound much in my line – with all my ideas and criticism of other people’s decorations, it’s going to be rather intriguing to see what kind of a place we have, isn’t it!! Cec & I agree very well on furnishings etc., so we shouldn’t find it too difficult – the only thing we disagree over is pictures! When we look in art shops we squabble over which pictures we think are nice, but doubtless we will be able to compromise when it comes to the point! Pictures will be about the last thing we’ll be worrying to get!
I hope that the patchwork is progressing satisfactorily, & that you’re not finding it too fiddly! I was delighted to know that Mrs. Johnny’s shawl had arrived safely, but I was so sorry that you had to pay duty on it, because probably if she had sent it straight to me I wouldn’t have had anything to pay as they seem to be very big-hearted over baby’s things. Talking of Customs & so on, reminds me that we wrote to the Canadian Consul in Detroit about what formalities etc. I would have to go through to enter Canada (remember all the x-rays etc. before) & we were so glad to get a letter back this week saying that there would be none as I had been in the U.S. for over a year. We were very pleased as that is one less thing to do. Will you have to have inoculations etc.?
You end up your letter with various queries etc. about our health, so I’ll answer those before going onto our doings. We are all fine really – the baby is getting more active all the time & pushes me like mad! I am quite O.K. & being a good girl & keeping my weight under control! I go to the Clinic on Monday & think that I have gained less than they said I could, so I am pleased. I had a letter from Anne , telling me all the Cambridge news- so much & poured out so breathlessly, that I’ll have to send you the letter – I can’t possibly repeat it. Anyway – she tells about 2 babies being born- one nearly 9lbs and one 9lbs 10ozs, so I think it is a good thing the Drs. are being strict with me- none of the babies I’ve heard of here haven’t been more than about 8lbs, at the most, & it must be so much easier than having a whopper! Her baby is doing fine, by the way, but she doesn’t mention Tadek getting a job or anything.
Cec has been keeping very well, I’m glad to say. He doesn’t get enough sleep of course, but he is looking well in spite of that & is cheerful & just as sweet as ever! He works all the time & things have been very discouraging in some ways, but he just goes on. He is still doing his experimental work as well as writing the thesis, & he will just keep plugging away at it. He takes great care of me all the time & helps me all he can, & we have decided that we will have our “good” things- china, glass & silver packed for us. We thought at first we might pack it all ourselves & hire a trailer & take it all with us, as we thought it would be so expensive to get it done for us, but we find that it is not so much after all, & as I couldn’t do too much, & Cec has plenty to do otherwise, it will be a saving in the end to have it done for us, so we are going to see about it this weekend. The time is coming so close, & we both have the kind of shivers about it, as we have such a lot to do! I expect you get the shivers too!!
Last week we seem to have such a lot of things happening – there really wasn’t much, but we lead such quiet lives now that it seemed extraordinary!! I told you that Milly’s baby was born on the Monday (11th), well – on Wednesday I went over to the hospital to see her. It is quite close to the Institute, & the visiting time is 3:30 – 4.0 so I just popped over. One of the other girls came with me, but they would only allow the husband & one other visitor & although Jerry wasn’t there, they still would only let one in, so Gilly was nice & let me go. Milly is in a room with another girl – it has a little bathroom, with shower etc. & right next door is a little nursery with the babies in. Milly was up the very day after the baby was born, (they get mamas up as soon as poss now) & can go in & see her baby anytime, & change its nappie herself etc. She was just up when I arrived & looking very well – pale, but not unduly so- & she took me at once to see the baby. She went in the nursery & wheeled him to the door & I looked through the glass & made comments! He was so cute, with masses of black hair about 1 1/2 to 2” long! (Jerry is very dark). He wasn’t at all red, quite creamy coloured & quite a distinct tiny Jewish nose! He was asleep & had his little face all screwed up & looked so sweet. He isn’t a fat baby, but looks strong & healthy. I laughed at Milly because here she was, combing away at his hair & trying to put a parting in it & the little thing only 2 days old! Like a little chicken, his hair looked still dampish, & stuck out in tufts, & the combing had no effect, but Milly was just so thrilled & proud. We went into a sitting room then, (Milly was in her dressing gown) & sat & talked & she told me all! She had had this codol (don’t know how to spell it – spinal injection anyway) – & she said it was wonderful. She had a small cut about 1” long with stitches, but they do that to everyone now practically to prevent tearing, & she said it was a bit uncomfortable but not bad. She walked awkwardly of course, but I was surprised at how well she got around & how well she said she felt. She said it was nice to be up, because if you lay for long you got stiff & sore. She is just thrilled with the whole process of having a baby! Each moment is more wonderful than the next- seeing the baby – holding the baby – feeding the baby etc. – it’s all incredible & wonderful to Milly – it’s really sweet to hear her. She is probably going home today, so I’ll be going over to see her again.
Last week was a big Physics Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, & nearly all the Profs etc.went. Cec couldn’t go as he was too busy, but Gordon read a paper of Cec’s, so at least some of his work went. Leonard wrote that he was coming down with another fellow from Ottawa, so I sent him a note saying to call & see us, or stay with us if he had time, & sure enough, on Thursday evening when we came back from our week’s shopping, there was a little car in front of the house & here was Leonard & another English fellow we didn’t know called Peter. They had left the meeting early, so were sooner than we expected, but it didn’t matter. They came in & we had cool drinks & talked (physics, mostly!) & at about 10 or 10:30 I cooked them bacon & eggs & then I left them all the sheets, pillows etc. & went to bed about 12 leaving them still talking! They made up the sofa bed in the sitting room & shared it & found it quite comfortable. Next morning I got up and had breakfast, then woke Cec, & left everything ready for them to get their own breakfast & I trotted off to work! I met them all at noon, & we had lunch at a nice place, & the two fellows paid for Cec & me! Then Peter left to go & see friends in Detroit & Leonard stayed with us till the next day, when he went back to Ottawa by bus. He wanted to shop, so Cec went back to work, & as I was a bit tired (& anyway I still had 2 days of sick leave left!) I called up & told them I wasn’t coming into work that afternoon. I had a bit of a rest, then tidied up & prepared dinner & had myself a cup of tea! The next day was Cec’s birthday & we were having a few people in to a buffet supper you know, so I wanted to get a few things ready if I could, & so I boned my chicken!! All in one piece, & then stuffed it with sausage & stuffing, rolled it up in a cloth & boiled it gently for about 1 1/2 hours then I took it out, put it in a clean cloth & pressed it between two plates. [Chicken Galantine] I was glad to get that done & out of the way, as it was the biggest thing to do.
After dinner (I fed Leonard stuffed heart, baked potatoes, mixed veg, then strawberries & cream) Cec was going back to the Lab. & the idea was that he would leave Len & me at Gunborg’s & pick us up on his way home. However, when I heard that he wouldn’t be ready to come home till about 11 o’clock I said I’d stay at home & go to bed early & Cec thought it was a good idea, so he took Len to Gunborg’s alone. I had asked Len about Connie of course, & from what he said I think she has been pretty much like me & has had an easy enough time- but being Connie probably grouched a bit! She wasn’t sick at all – just had nausea at Christmas (as we both did!) & didn’t seem to have the tiredness I did, but of course she probably had more opportunity to rest. She gets a bit of backache now, but what can you expect! Most of her baby things have been sent from England from parents, so she is all set.
On Sat. we were up quite early & had breakfast & took Len to his bus at 9:20. Then Cec & I went to the Farmer’s Market as we were in town & then came home & Cec got his birthday presents!! I gave him a compass for the car, which he had been wanting badly; a tie clip to keep his tie from hanging in his soup; a duster for MacTavish!; some plastic ice cube holders- very cunning- we have been wanting some; & some swizzle stick things we have been wanting too!! And a funny card of course!! He had fun with them all & put his compass on MacTavish, & then went to the Lab. while I cleaned the apartment. After lunch, Cec went to work again & I fixed the buffet supper. We had the boned chicken which I glazed & decorated – stuffed eggs- tomatoes cut in waterlily shapes on lettuce & watercress- my hors d’oeuvres dish with radishes, Sp. onions, sweet pickles, cucumber, pickled beets & olives- hot rolls – then strawberry tartlets with whipped cream & coffee. We made a bowl of punch with burgundy & fruit juices & ice & served it before & during supper & it was very cool & nice. Oh, I forgot- we had potatoes au gratin too- it was the one hot dish besides the rolls.
The guests were to come at 7, but I was delighted when they were late! Mary Jo & Pete came & Cec went & collected Jacqueline & Bill Baker- the latter are a very nice couple- we liked them both. We gave them punch & then they all helped themselves to the food which I had set out on the table on the landing, & they ate in the sitting room on their knees or on the card table etc. Everyone seemed to enjoy it all very much & had 2nd helpings etc. & Cec & Mary Jo raved about the chicken particularly, so I was pleased! We cleared & stacked the dishes & I rinsed them off, so it was all nice & tidy, then we just sat & chatted & later on Gunborg & Gordon came in after the theatre & had a drink & then they all left about 12 o’clock. We all enjoyed it, I think & Cec & I felt that it was the nearest we’d come to having a party in Ann Arbor, but believe me- 6 people eating in our sitting room & it was full!!
At home now.[different coloured ink!]
Next day- Sunday – of course we slept late, and I, at any rate, had a lazy day! It was Father’s Day, so I had a funny card for Cec & a little present of a propelling pencil & he didn’t have to do any chores all day!! He went to the Lab. & worked, & as I say, I didn’t do much as we ate party leftovers! We took a trip to the Sutherlands in the afternoon just for a minute, as they have got a puppy! Grunberg took the children to see the new County Humane Society Animal Shelter which has just been built & is apparently the last word, & they came back with this little puppy! It is black- 1/2 Cocker & 1/2 dachshund, but at the moment he just looks roly-poly puppy & so sweet! He staggers about & his little fat tum weighs him down & he slithers to one side! He is very cuddly & affectionate, & of course the girls are crazy about him – & Gunborg is just as bad!
When Cec brought me back home, Mrs. Kaufman called me in to meet her sister & a friend who were there. Sat. was Commencement Day for the University & Mrs. K.’s younger daughter & her husband were both graduating – Fay got her M.A. & Morris his M.D.- so the K.’s had had lots of excitement & quite a big party, & the sister etc. were the remains! Fay & Morris are going to live in Detroit now, as Morris is doing his internship at one of the hospitals there, so Mrs. K is quite sad as both her daughters will have left A.A. She had the other daughter’s 2 little boys to look after when I was there on the Sunday – they are about 1 yr. & 2 yrs. old, I think – & the sister (unmarried!) I thought was such a silly woman! Every single thing the kids did she had to interrupt & correct or tell Mrs. K. to see what they were doing, so that she wore out herself, Mrs. K, the boys & even the other lady & myself! We never got a chance to talk as she was rushing around after them all the time, & of course they were just the centre of attention, & really it wasn’t their fault as they were good little boys.
It was hot on Sunday & apart from visiting I didn’t do anything, but had a good rest. I don’t remember if I told you that our apartment is let to a fellow in the Physics Dept. called Lewison. Cec doesn’t know him well, but he seems a nice chap & when he heard we were leaving he asked Cec about the flat as he is getting married in Aug. Cec told him to come over one evening, which he did, & he saw Mr. K. & made arrangements. His fiancé was away at college, so he asked if he could bring his Mama-in-law-to-be to see it, so of course we said yes, & then last week the girl came home & he brought her over on Monday evening, so we have had a thorough inspection & everyone seemed pleased! He is a nice jolly young man & obviously very much in love with the girl, whereas she took it all quite calmly & cooly, as if it were all her due in a very American-wife-ish way! Cec says he hopes they’ll enjoy our squeaky bed!! Poor newly-weds!
I must stop now, as Cec is at the Lab. & I promised him I’d be in bed at 10:30- good, aren’t I?!! I have done some typing for him too, so I have done my duty!!
Hope you got your passage fixed up O.K. without any bother – will write again soon, although don’t see that I’ll have any news!! Love to A. Moo & thank you all again for my lovely parcel.
A big hug & lots of love from us all to our Grandmummy-
P. S. What do you know? The latest person to come to the West Indies is a great friend of yours! Anne tells me Jessie Fisher has a job in Jamaica & sails in Aug.!! I wonder if she’ll find that a happy hunting ground! Rosemary & Sheila are both married.
P.P.S. Forgot to say that we laughed at the cutting from “Tell me Doctor” about the girl feeling as if she had quintuplets inside. I feel as if I had hundreds sometimes – all squirming! Also I feel that I look immense! Cec looks at me now & shakes his head & says “Yes, I really think you’re going to have a baby, Cynnie!”