December 9 1952

14 pages- the last long one for a while!

31 Acacia Avenue. Ottawa. Ont. 

Tues. 9th Dec. 

Dearest Mummy,

Your parcels arrived yesterday- no duty to pay – all safe & sound & causing much excitement! I put away the one addressed to me, but of course as soon as Cec came home, we had to investigate the other one & make sure that it was all right & that the contents hadn’t gone bad or anything! Actually we waited until later in the evening to have a “taster”, & I had some lime juice & we mixed up a drink & ask Dan down to share it & we all thought it was wonderful & slept like tops! Cec is just delighted at the 2 great big bottles & we are so tickled at getting it all “for nothing”, as it were- thank you very, very much, Mummy – you can just imagine what fun we will have with it. Auntie Muriel’s calendar came too, but I didn’t open it – I have quite an assortment of parcels put away already & have decided to wait to open them – it is so much more fun than just opening them as they come & even if it is a little before or after Christmas, I’d rather sit around the Christmas tree & do it in style!

You will be glad to hear that we are all organized for the event- at last! Actually, we have been waiting to make final arrangements with Lee & Jim, as they had asked Linda & Cec earlier you remember, but we hadn’t seen them for a while & didn’t know if their plans had maybe changed. Lu & Pete also said they would be very pleased to have them, but Lindy is so happy with Lee & Barry that I thought it would be best if she went there, but actually if Jim’s mother comes from Toronto for Christmas (which is doubtful) Cec can go and sleep at Lu & Pete’s as it is just across the way- 100 yds or so. When I go into hospital, Cec will take Lindy over there & her cot & as it is very near the hospital it will be very convenient- much more so than here. We have broken the news to Dan that he is to be abandoned, but I will leave food in the fridge & he is agreeable to looking after himself. Cec will come in every day & fix the furnace etc. When we all come back home after the event, we had thought of having a “housekeeper” – they are women you can get through the Nursing Registry, who will come every day & look after the house, cooking, “light housework” etc. while you look after the baby. I had even phoned & made arrangements about it, then Cec & I began talking & considering that he still has a lot of leave to take- also that he will get from Wed. till Mon. on both Christmas & New Year & what a lot of other help we could get for much less than the $4.50 a day we’d have to pay this woman – & we’d only be able to have her for a week or so. So we are not having her after all. Cec is going to take time off work; we are having diaper service- $2.00 a week- beginning for Lindy when she is at Lee’s; I’ll send Cec’s shirts to the laundry; & last but not least, I think Phyl Douglas is going to let me have her cleaning woman for a day every 2 weeks ($5.00 the day). Phyl & I just talked about the latter yesterday – I hadn’t intended to have anyone regularly, but thought it would be nice to have someone for an odd day before I went to hospital & once or twice when I came back & asked Phyl if she knew of anyone, & Phyl said well she was just deciding she couldn’t afford her woman every week & how about sharing – so of course I said it would be wonderful for a while anyway, although I hadn’t intended to have anyone permanently, but Cec says we can see how we manage anyway & at least have her for a month or so. Phyl is to talk to her & let me know, so hasn’t that all arranged itself nicely for me? I feel very happy about the whole thing because I think Lindy will be more contented at Lee’s than anywhere & Cec will be there too if it is over Christmas, & when we get home I think having Cec here & no stranger in the house will be much more fun & will help Lindy to get used to the baby more quickly too. Did I tell you that she pats my tummy & says “Algee- Algee”!! One morning I went into her just in my nightie & she was patting the bulge & I said “That’s Algy” & she immediately repeated “Algee” & has remembered it ever since!

It seems ages since I told you of our activities & giddy social whirl!! It has now ceased, as I decided about a week ago that going out etc. really wasn’t worth it now, as I was uncomfy nearly all the time & felt tired out next day, so we have refused invitations from the Ramseys, June & George & Margie & Cy, & I am just sitting at home & enjoying it- with lots to do, too! What with appointments with Dr. Smith every other week (I go again tomorrow) & Dr. Flora about every week, we have been kept pretty busy anyway, but thank goodness I am through with Dr. F. for a while – I now have my falsies!! Since my bad “do” I have been to him 3 times- once to get the impression taken & I was sick all over him! He’ll be glad to get rid of me too! Actually that is a great exaggeration – I was sick into the little dish, not all over him, but you know when they are taking the impression all that gloggy stuff oozes into your mouth & down your throat & he keeps sticking his fingers down & pulling it out – well – I just neatly sicked up my lunch! However, the impression was o.k. & I felt fine (!) & the next ap’tment was just a minute while he stuck the bar affair in to see if it fit it. On Sat. Dr. F. said for Cec to bring me- taking no chances! – & he just whoopsed out the 2 front teeth & stuck the others in. The extractions were both easy- the abscess came right out on the root of one- & the other teeth just sort of clipped in. There is no palate part- only a thin metal bar across the roof of my mouth & the teeth have two little metal clips at the side to hold them in place. Of course it felt wierd to begin with – particularly all stiff lipped with injections – but it was really amazing how they fit in perfectly at once & I have worn them all the time since with no real discomfort. I know it will take a while to get used to the sensation of always having something in my mouth, but already I don’t find eating too difficult, although I have to concentrate on it! They look pretty good I think too, & Cec says he wouldn’t know the difference. I mustn’t forget- Dr. Flora asked to be remembered to you & also Mrs. Richer when I went over to get a letter the other day!

Now back to our social activities! About a month ago I think we had Pete & Lu over & I don’t believe I told you about it. We had asked them when they 1st arrived in Ottawa but at the beginning they were busy, then we were tied up with the party & so it got postponed. Well, we finally arranged this weekend & as they live so far away & have no car & didn’t have a babysitter for Leslie either, we said for them to come & spend the night. Cec brought them over about 4.0 or soon after & then when Lindy was in bed we had dinner – I had got a lovely big roasting chicken- a capon- about 7 lbs.- & stuffed it etc. & we had roast potatoes & green beans & carrots & cranberry sauce & gravy & then coconut cream pie to fall out. Everyone was ravenous, because of course my entertaining & conversations made dinner later & later & so everyone really enjoyed it & tucked in – only enough left for Cec & I to scratch one other meal, but we had nice soup! Cec & Pete washed up & then Margie & Cy came over about 8:30- 9 & we had drinks & a grand time. It was the first time the 5 of them had all been together since the old days in Saskatoon, so they all thoroughly enjoyed it & so did I – it was a really successful evening. Next morning we all got up anyhow & put the children to rest about 12, & then they left about 3 or so after we all had a coffee & sandwich lunch – very informal! It was very nice though & they were grand visitors – the kind who do all the washing up & keep telling the hostess to go & sit down! Just after they’d gone, there was a ring at the bell & this was Mr. & Mrs. Burrough – but not to come in – just to give me a little parcel! Which turned out to be a dear little blue jacket she had knitted for Algy! They really are overwhelmingly kind – in some ways she reminds me a bit of Bella, but without Bella’s deliberate way,- she chatters more & is a bit sillier too, I think!! She’s very self-depreciating & doesn’t think anything she does is any good, but everything Betty & “Father” do is wonderful! He is a nice little man – very intelligent & most interesting to talk to- has lots of hobbies like wood carving, leather work etc. & is interested in Chinese lacquer work & so on, but usually with Lindy there & Mrs. B. & I chattering, he doesn’t get much chance! The blue jacket was Algy’s first present, but Amy is sending me 3, & yours & Jeanie’s will be wonderful. I have knitted nothing, but some of Lindy’s are still fine & I have bought some Viyella & cut out 2 jackets from A. Trixie’s, so he’s not going to do too badly, poor little fella – it would really be rather a shame if he had all hand- me-downs!! By the way, I had a card from Jeanie & Al Stern in Ann Arbour & they have a son- Bradford Allen. It is a cute card – a very pleased looking stork on the front saying “I did it & I’m glad”!

The week after Pete & Lu’s visit I had a horrible cold & did nothing except slept in the afternoons & get all behind with the work. However, I blessed it in one way- on Mon. Mrs. Hughes rang up & invited me to tea next day, so I accepted & she said bring Linda & come about 3 or 3:30, so that was fine. On Tues. I was feeling lousy though so I called her & told her I’d  better put it off I was so sneezy etc. but she kept protesting she didn’t mind until it turned out that it was a real pukka tea party with about 6 or 8 ladies coming! At that, I really said no firmly- imagine me – in my condition! Nothing decent to wear as I really bulge now! – a sniffly cold in my head – & trying to look after Lindy amongst all those strange women – all probably very elegant! I was so glad to get out of it!!

The following Friday Pete & Lu had asked us & the Garretts to a late (7:30) dinner, so that all the children would be in bed, so we set out in good time (Dan stayed in for us) – & about halfway there stopped for Cec & Cy to get cigarettes & MacTavish wouldn’t start again! It was a damp rainy night, & although we were right opposite a Service Station they just sold petrol & couldn’t help at all. It ended by Cec having to phone a garage & they came & towed us there & then found it was more than just a flat battery & we’d have to leave it, so we had to phone then for a taxi. Of course Pete & Lu have no phone yet, so we couldn’t let them know & we arrived at 10 to 9!! Lu had gone out & phoned our house at about 8:30 & Dan had said we’d left soon after 7, so she just about fell on our necks, she was so glad to see us! Fortunately her dinner was one that didn’t spoil & was delicious. We had cocktails first, then served ourselves buffet style to casseroled meat balls cooked in a sort of Mexican way with green peppers & beans, & hot garlic bread & tossed salad, then afterwards meringues with ice cream & then coffee – not to mention white wine with dinner & cherry brandy afterwards – I was popping! We had a taxi home & Cec got the car the next day- we were just thankful it hadn’t happened at a more awkward time- going to the hospital, for instance!!

On a Sunday we had Mr. & Mrs. Burroughs to tea- she, sure it was too much for me! Apparently, she had a son after Betty who only lived a few hours, so she is very jittery, but she had to have Caesareans in both cases & the 2nd one was at 8 months & after it they sterilized her, so she mustn’t have been made the right way!

The following Sat. I left Linda with Cec & did a little Christmas shopping- mostly little books & bibs etc. for all the children. I thought after sending the girls stockings (in McCall’s magazines) I would have no parcels but of course ended with quite a few. I sent Ruth her “dish” & a white organdie apron & my father a mixed food parcel & a tin of sweet biscuits. In the evening we went over to Angie & Paul Routly’s, & they had another couple who had had to bring their little 4 mths baby son with them. He was the funniest looking little fellow- wouldn’t settle very well, so spent most of the evening with us!

Next morning Cec got up to Linda as the Sunday usual, & then suddenly felt awful- was violently sick & had diarrhoea & felt wretched. It continued practically all day & we decided that it must be stomach flu which is going around because he had nothing to eat or drink that I hadn’t had & other people have had this sudden flu bug too. He stayed at home on Mon. & that felt very tired & washed out & looked pretty wretched, & on Tues. morning he got up at & looked after Linda & let me sleep as I felt rather worn too after a late Sat. night and no extra sleep on Sunday! However he went to work in the afternoon & although he felt very tired for a while & nothing tasted good to him, he is fine again now & fortunately Lindy & I didn’t show any signs of catching the germ.

On Wed. evening Jim & Lee came over & we had a hand of bridge- the first for ages! They brought Barry as they had no sitter & he slept quite happily in our bed. Their car broke down on the way, this time, but they were able to let us know & Cec took them home. Lee brought the machine & I am longing to get on with making the curtains, but so many things keep cropping up. Last week I at last managed to make up & get off all the parcels to England- when they’ll get there, goodness knows! – & – don’t collapse – your old clothes parcel too! I put in gelatine; 2 dish cloths; 1 sponge which I find is grand to use instead of a dish cloth- for washing up, wiping up etc.; my old junk jewelry, & a present for you from Lindy in the toe of one shoe!! I couldn’t get the white shoe cleaner at Joanisse & was in a hurry then, so left it. On Sunday Cec helped me measure & cut all the curtains & linings, so I am all ready to tack & sew now, but tonight I just have to send Christmas cards or they’ll never get there, so the poor curtains must wait. Each weekend I feel I’ll get so much done, but most of my visits to Dr. F. have been on the Sat. a.m. & afterwards I have been finished for the day & not much up to much on Sunday either. I have been resting a lot when Linda does too in the p.m. as I felt tired & uncomfy last week, but I had a good rest on Sunday & feel fine this week. I cleaned well yesterday & washed the kitchen floor & ironed in the evening, then washed this morning, so feel I’ve really got on- it gets me down a bit when I see it piling up! Last time I went to Dr. S. my feet were swelling a bit & he told me to try & keep off salt, but they have been much better lately- less than 2 weeks now- my-my! As you can imagine, we are still wrangling about names!!

We got your letter of 1st Dec. on Friday & thank you so much- I am hoping to have a really good do answering them all in a hospital – am I optimistic?! I didn’t write properly last week, but sent a sea mail with odds & ends of material patterns and Ruth’s letter etc. that I had been meaning to send you.

I have already posted the material samples as she wrote about them, but this was in the sea mail too.

By the way Cec got official word of his promotion- due on 1st Jan. & a raise of $500.00 a year – isn’t that lovely? We have really been so hard up lately- paying off the extra furniture (all done now) & $100.00 for winter fuel & insurances coming up, as well as the fact that Dan’s room didn’t begin to pay off for a while, but now we feel we are getting ahead & should do fine. I said to Cec little while ago “Well honey, we’re getting around the corner” & he said “Yes & what did we find there? Another little baby”!!

I wonder if Peggy has had her “little” baby yet- if so I hope all is well & that she is fine – & rejoicing in a flat tummy. Dr.S. seems to think I’ll be up-to-date & says Christmas in hospital for me, so I’ve got used to the idea – & I really would hate to hang on & on & not know when I was going or if to get a Christmas dinner ready or not. I am so glad that you are all going to Jeanie’s & hope you will all have a grand time. You sound very Christmassy decorating the store windows etc. – I haven’t a vestige of the Christmas spirit yet – my mind on other things I guess!! But we have decided we must have a tree, & we are taking Lindy shopping one morning. She fell in love with a horrible stuffed doll with purple hair in Dube’s the other day & I could hardly drag her away!

I was so shattered & sorry to hear from you about Oliver’s sudden death – it is terrible & must have been such a shock as he was such a big strong looking man. Marjorie will be coming home I suppose & will live in N/C eventually, but what a tragic lot of things has happened in that family. I owe Dottie – & just about everyone – letters, so that is another thing to do.

I must stop now – it is 4:15 & I have the kitchen door shut, so haven’t heard a squeak from Lindy, but I am sure she must be awake. She sends a great big Christmas hug & a wet kiss & lick to Granny- we will all be thinking of you & let you know the news as soon as possible-

Lots & lots of love from Cec & me & a happy, happy Christmas –                                                                                                                                                       Cyn                                                                              

Love to the family

XXX

From Linda

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