July 21 1952

31 Acacia Ave. 

Monday morning. 

Dearest Mummy,

I have just put Lindy to sleep in the garage & not having a thing to do thought I would write to you! Actually, I meant to write yesterday of course, but we asked Angie & Paul Routley to tea & it was a very hot humid day & their apartment was stifling so we persuaded them to stay to dinner & they ended at leaving around 11, having washed all the dishes for me.

I have been so busy lately- no one to sit around & gossip with or have cups of tea with! – and Lindy has been wonderful about sleeping in the morning- till 11 and after each day, so I have had a nice long time without interruptions. On Wed. afternoon we went down to see Phyl Douglas as I told you & we had a nice obstetrical chat! She is full of praise for my Dr. Smith – she has her old family Dr. but says she has heard so many good reports of Dr. S. & that if ever she changed she would go to him. She has offered to give us a piece of linoleum for the kitchen floor which they had in the other house & don’t use, so I may yet keep the kitchen floor reasonably clean!!

On Thursday I did a good old clean of all the rooms, & it was another really hot stuffy day. Lindy & I sat on the grass in the afternoon & Mrs. Graham entertained us with light chatter!

On Friday we had our shopping expedition & it turned out very well. Lindy & I went with Cec in the car to work & got back here at 8:45, so I just bathed her & gave her breakfast as usual. Then she slept till 11 & I washed and tidied etc. and then off we went in the car, picked up Margie & the boys & went to the Dominion. The boys were thrilled at Linda coming shopping & behaved beautifully! Lindy sat off in the little chair in a nonchalant fashion & surveyed one & all in a lofty way, but really seem to enjoy it. She chewed a box of cereal & squeaked & everyone said “Oh look at the little baby!” We drove Margie home & then went straight to pick up Daddy & it all fitted in very well- especially as he carried all my parcels in for me!

It has been so hot & sticky ever since Thursday – no breeze or air at all, & today it is dull & cloudy & looks drizzly – just when I have diapers to dry too-  I washed them yesterday but only got about 1/4 hung out, so have the rest still sitting here. 

On Sat. Cec had his morning sleep & I got up & then I did a big old cooking. It was so hot that I didn’t know how well the meat would keep, so I made a meatloaf; cooked two little tongues; made a chicken casserole (saved some for fried chicken that night or Cec would have been so sad!); baked a cake (mix!); and made some little tart cases. I felt it was a noble effort! Cec finished weeding the front path & it looks very nice & neat & on Sat. afternoon he went & helped Cy paint the outside woodwork of his house. Cy can’t go up ladders or stand heights at all, so Cec is going to help him & Cy will help us paint our rooms. I forgot to tell you that we put an ad in the paper for our rangette & sold it to a young French couple for $35.00 – we asked $40.00 but they were humming & hawing & we wanted to get rid of it, so when they offered $35 we accepted. Now the prune room is doomed! Lindy & I walked over to Cy & Margie’s on Sat. about 5 & saw the painting & had a little gossip. Margie has just had the most wonderful present from her Father – a lovely big new refrigerator with a big freezer compartment. They just had an ice box before so she is thrilled to bits & it really is lovely. A few weeks ago Cec told me that they had bought a vacuum cleaner & it turns out to be a Kirby, one of the super jobs the man demonstrated to me, so they are well set up!

On the Sat. evening at about 9:30 Phyl arrived with the raspberries I told you she was getting for me & they were really gorgeous. In the whole 6 qts. there weren’t more than 3 squashed berries & not one bad or horrid at all. Cec & I set to then & there & a bottled 9 jars full while they were fresh. We thought at first we’d just pack them in the jars, but with two of us working it didn’t take long & we found that they fitted beautifully in the big roaster to boil, so we did them straight away & they look very nice.

Sunday was my turn to sleep in, so Cec looked after Lindy & bathed her & I just lay back & didn’t get up till 10:45! Lovely! I just got through my chores before Angie & Paul came at 3 (made sandwiches, iced cake & made raspberry tarts) & then we had such a nice chatty time that we were both glad they stayed to supper. They were both delighted with Lindy & you would have been so pleased with Paul after George, Mummy- he just loved her & played with her & made such a fuss over her. He kept saying “She’s a lovely little girl – let’s have a baby right away, Angie!” We had chicken casserole, beans & corn, salad, hot rolls, raspberry & coffee for supper & they both thought everything was wonderful – such nice guests!

It is 10:30 now & not a dish washed, so I think I had better get cracking. Thank you so much for your note – we were so glad that you arrived all right despite a bumpy storm & that the girls & A. Ettie were waiting for you. Just what I thought- gossiping & drinking tea till all hours! Give them all my love & a hug from Lindy- tell me all about them & particularly what you think of Alan & Milly’s family! I hope it is still nice & cool with you & that you have fun shopping – don’t forget to buy some nice dresses. Did the girls think you looked purty when you arrived?

Must stop- hugs & love from us or & a big, big wet kiss from Lindy- With lots of love from Cyn. 

(P. T.O.)

P. S. Just had a call from your bank & you have been giving your friend Mr. Pridham of the Hearing Aid people heart failure! Apparently the last cheque you wrote him for the extra cord etc. ($13.30) wasn’t presented before you closed your account & it bounced!! He, apparently, didn’t know where you were, & didn’t remember my name, so looked up the City Directory for the address & found it listed for Lt. Cdr. Roberts & on making inquiries about him found he had gone to Florida, so the poor man was in a tizzy!! However, he embraced me verbally when I phoned him & told him we would send him a cheque & you could pay us, so everything is under control. We will send it off today & you can send us a Money Order or something. It is now 1:30 & it is still raining & has done so ever since I hung the diapers out! I shall now proceed to take some in and drape them around the place as we are reduced to 5! 

                                 Lots of love

                                        Cyn

This letter is going to take a while, because one niece has re-directed it to her sister up-state!

A few notes of explanation to add: both Carol Ewing and the sister she lived with in St Vincent, Auntie Moo, were hard of hearing, and had little access to technology or specialist medical care on the island.  When they visited relatives in New York or, now, Ottawa, they could get help, and the relatives would keep the help coming.  Both wore Hearing Aids a bit smaller than a pack of cards tucked in their décolletage, with a cord running up to the earpiece.  Cyn sent Carol her special batteries (which she had to cross Ottawa to get from Mr. Pridham, presumably) for decades!

Now that Cyn’s live-in baby-sitter has gone off to New York, she is adjusting to life without her: to get the car for errands, she and the baby have to drive Cec in to the NRC building on Sussex Drive and pick him up later at the end of the work day. Then she was free, within the confines of the baby’s schedule, to organize her grocery shopping at the Dominion and give another NRC wife and her boys a ride too. Clearly, Margie and Cy Garret and their 2 boys were within walking distance of Acacia Ave., and Alec and Phyl Douglas, who had 2 children a bit older, lived close by too. Cyn and Cec found good friends among the NRC community, as the letters will show.

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