March 26 1954

31 Acacia Avenue

Ottawa

Friday 26th/27? 1954

Dearest Mummy,
I wore my birthday panties today! Wicked, as it’s not yet my birthday, but I couldn’t resist at & they fit perfectly & are so comfy – also, as Linda says “Aren’t they pretty?”!! Cec is back at work so I am sitting up in bed scribbling – your letter mailed 22nd March came this afternoon – isn’t that quick?- and your last mailed 15th came on Monday, so I have 2 lovely long letters to thank you for & also my pretty birthday card – it is sweet & both Lindy & I are most taken with it! I have been meaning to write each evening this week, but Cec has been going back to work nearly every evening & I have been doing things like the washing & ironing – now Charlie is no longer waterproof I feel that his overalls etc. just about double the wash!

However, besides all the little toils we have had some fun – Cec worked very hard all last week in the evenings too (he feels he has so much time to make up for his very short work days when I was ill & also he wants to get results) so we felt we needed a little break & on Tues. we got Claire to come & baby sit & went to the pictures – my first real outing this year!! We went to a cinema over the other end of town as they had two older films on that we wanted to see & we had a simply lovely time. The first film was an English one- Alec Guiness in “Captain’s Paradise” & it was most amusing & well done. The other was a coloured film called “Lilli” with a little French girl Leslie Caron & it was one of the sweetest films I’ve seen for a long time – pretty & a nice story & music & some cute little puppets – I just wish Linda were a little bit older as she would love it. If by any chance it comes to St. V. make a big effort & go as I am sure that you would enjoy it as much as we did. Afterwards, as we were on the west side of town we drove over to Lu & Pete’s for a cup of tea & a little chat as I hadn’t seen them this year either & altogether we both thoroughly enjoyed our evening out. Pete & Lu move into their new house next week- their apt. is rented & we wouldn’t dream of going over that side of town – it takes 1/2 hour’s driving to get there through the city even at night with the streets clear but during the rush hour people say the traffic makes it an hour or even longer. Pete’s work is out in the country further west still, so it is fine for them & their new house is near by.


Besides our Big Night we went on Sunday evening to the Douglases & had a chat & a cup of coffee & one short rubber of bridge. It was nice to get out as it was a miserable sleety, snowy weekend & Cec worked all day Sat. & in the evening too, so we didn’t feel as if it were the weekend at all hardly! I called Phyl up last Fri. & she & “Baby Andy” (Linda still calls him that – nearly as tall as she is & running all over now) came up for coffee in the morning – she & I see each other quite often out shopping & walking with the children etc. & she is so nice – we enjoy chatting together & it is fun to have someone so near. With all the snow through the winter I haven’t managed to get over to see Margie much, but we promise each other we’ll do it more when the weather is better. Do you remember what the thaw was like that year in Eastview?! It is like that now – there was lots of snow this winter & now it is just slush, water running over ice & MUD!
I was telling you about Charlie’s eczema – I didn’t know I hadn’t mentioned it when he was tiny. He always had roughy bumpy little knees & then sometimes behind his knees the skin cracked & “wept” & Dr W. said it was eczema. It was so slight that he just told me to keep it dry (powdered with cornstarch) & keep him cool as heat aggravated it. As soon as summer came it vanished completely when he was out in the sunshine & it didn’t appear until, as I told you, when I got out of Hospital here these cracks had begun behind his knees again. It has spread up the inside of his knees & thighs & on his tummy- mostly round dry red patches, but sometimes he will get at it & scratch until he makes a sore & it is very irritating for the poor little fellow. Dr. W. thought the rubber pants might aggravate it or the ammonia in the diaper & he did have eggs when I was away which we have now cut out, but as far as we & Dr. W. can tell it doesn’t seem to be an allergy. However last week towards the end Cec found on the inside of one of his legs that under a red patch of eczema he now had a lump. We didn’t know what it was but over the weekend it got so big & hard that on Mon. we decided we should take him to the Dr. again, so Cec took him on Monday p.m. while I stayed home with Linda. It turned out to be a deep abscess & because of his eczema Dr. W. didn’t want to cut it as it might spread the eczema all over his body so he is trying to clear it up without that. He gave him a great double injection of penicillin & we are giving him aureomycin every 4 hours during the day & putting hot wet pads on it. It has now got too dark red spots on it, but the hard lump below seems to be getting smaller, so I hope it is doing the trick. It doesn’t seem to bother him very much – he doesn’t cry or wince even if you press it & he is as cheery as can be – but isn’t he the unluckiest little fellow? Margie calls us the druggist’s Best Friend with all the prescriptions we’ve had filled lately & the doctors must like us quite a bit too!! Monday was a bad day for poor little old Charlie because besides the big shot in his little behind I took him to have his hair cut in the morning & he screamed & yelled solidly the whole time! Covered me & himself with an absolute mat of hair which even the vacuum cleaner can’t get out of our coats, but emerged looking a real little boy & a baby no longer!! He looks perfectly adorable with a little topknot of curls on his head & little fat chubby cheeks & somehow his eyes are so much more noticeable now – so mischievous & cute & full of twinkles. He loves to run (crawl!) away when you chase him or take something of yours & dash off with it & chuckles & laughs & has a big joke. He & Linda have such fun together & if one of them has a big joke over something the other one laughs too. Charlie is still as sweet & cuddly & affectionate as ever – he & Linda are lovely sometimes – she will lean forward to kiss him & he puts both his little hands on either side of her face & presses his face to hers & nuzzles up & Lindy will say “Look – Charlie is loving me!” He just loves to take your hand & press it to his cheek & kiss it & if any one of the rest of us kisses he starts making kissing noises & dashes up for his share! Lindy still just puts her face up to be kissed & has no real idea of giving a kiss or a hug, but Charlie puts his little arms around your neck and hugs & really kisses properly! The welcome Cec gets when he comes home is lovely, although at other times Charlie can go all coy & if you ask for a kiss says “No – no-” & shakes his head & giggles!
Our Big excitement this week is that we have bought a stove & refrigerator!
Monday P.M.!
What a weekend! I had just got to this point on Friday when Linda began calling “Mum-mee- Mum-mee-Mum-mee” which usually means a wet bed! And sure enough! So when it & she was all changed etc. I just crawled into mine & went to sleep! She is really very good about staying dry now, but every now & then she gets a spasm & for a few nights she will wet her bed before we lift her – I don’t know if she gets a little chill or what. In the afternoon she will get up & sit on her potty herself, but at night she is too sound asleep. One afternoon it was so funny – she & Charlie usually go to sleep very soon after I put them to bed at 1 o’clock, but this day I could hear them talking & laughing & playing until finally at 2:30 I went up & here was Charlie bouncing around his crib with only his little shirt on & Linda in her bed with only hers on! He had had a B.M. (fortunately very neat & compact!) & with jumping & bouncing had managed to get rid of his overalls & then 2 diapers – Lindy (in sympathy presumably!) had wet her pants & then removed them & put them on the floor! And they were so happy & having such a good time – protested strongly when I repaired the damages & made them go to sleep! That story reminds me of Lindy in the bath tonight- lent forward & gave Charlie’s J.T. a little pull! I said “What are you doing Lindy?” & she said “Just touching Charlie’s little peanut!” (i.e. penis to you!!!)
Well – to return to the fridge & stove & then to our hectic weekend!! We are busy house hunting now- we want a house if we possibly can & if so we must have a fridge & stove. So one evening Lu phoned up that a woman in one of the adjoining apts. was leaving & selling lots of her stuff including a stove & refrigerator. She’d had them in storage for 2 years while her husband was in S. America & now he’d got a job somewhere else & she was joining him & just getting rid of all her stuff as quickly as possible. It sounded a good chance so Cec went out & saw them at the warehouse – the stove is Hotpoint- older – of the type of the one here but less cumbersome & with much newer, quicker elements & an automatic control on the oven. She wanted $50.00 for it & $200.00 for the fridge which is a big (8.8 cu.ft.) Kelvinator, 3 years old, but only used for 1 yr. & in storage since – $369.00 when new. We offered her $200.00 for both, but no she thought she couldn’t let them go for so little, so we gave her $20.00 as a down payment & said we’d take the stove anyway & maybe if she found she couldn’t sell the fridge at her price we would hold our offer open! So the next week – sure enough – she phoned we could have both for $200.00 & there they are sitting in the dining room as large as life.! We are so thrilled as everyone thinks we have got a wonderful bargain- this huge gleaming refrigerator!- and now we have everything we need for a house.
We are working away at the house business – of course my being ill set us back 2 mths. but we want to move at the end of April if we can & not leave it till the very last minute. We have been looking outside the city a bit as we thought the country would be so nice for the children & thought we had found a lovely place with 1 acre of land (grass & trees) just about 5 miles out the Montreal Rd. We had signed a year’s lease & everything when the owner decided he wanted to sell & not lease so it all fell through & I was so disappointed! I was all set to write & tell you of our country estate & was planning to plant morning glories on the porch & have a kitten!! However, we had to start all over again & it was that that made our weekend so hectic. On Sat a.m. we set off with the children about 10:30 & drove out to various small towns & villages outside Ottawa to see what they were like & if there were any signs of house agents etc. We saw nothing worth stopping for though, so home for lunch. In the afternoon we read the ads in the paper & found a few places & Cec drove out to see the location of one & made an appointment for us to see round the next day. Sunday at 10 a.m. off we went with the children away down south of Ottawa to see this house – one of a group of 20 bungalows – only $60.00 a month. It was cute looking & lovely for children with a garden & a playground for the children at the end of the little dead end road, but smaller than the apt. at the Richer’s & no basement or storing space. Also a wood stove for heating & 1 mile from the nearest bus! Not even for the children & the small rent could we do it!! Home to lunch, children to bed; dishes; beds; diapers; children up & off to tea with George & June. The first I’ve seen of them for ages! George is working in Montreal at the moment, home only at weekends & June has a Fellowship at NRC (not in Cec’s department but he sees her occasionally) so they are busy. Anyway – Lindy, who is now fine with the people she knows, got a shy, stubborn fit & refused to enter their house!! Rolled in the snow & yelled & we entered in style with me bearing a screaming daughter! (She isn’t good all the time you see!!) She was talking to June & showing her book 2 mins. after we were in, but of course she had set Charlie off too, so it was really lovely! Home at 6, dinner – children to bed – Cec got Donna at 8- & off we went again! This time to the West End to return things! I had a coat of Lee’s (Cec forgot mine the day he came to get me out of hospital!!) & Lu & Joyce Heywood sent me little food presents when I came home & I had dishes of theirs. We went to Lu’s & found her in the throes of packing etc. & ended by driving her & all their clothes over to their new house & helping hang them up. Then to the Heywood’s & then to Jim & Lee’s & then home! We were TIRED!
I seem to have spread so much I hardly have any room to answer your letters but I must say while there is room that I would just love 1) the stainless steel knives & 2) the new skirt. I am afraid I am very late in writing about the latter, so please don’t worry if there is none of the material left – it was so sweet of you to think of it & I meant to write straight away, but the house hunting is keeping us on the go. The gold like Jean’s sounds lovely, but whatever colour you think is pretty. I really will take my measurements & send them. By the way the skirt is short, isn’t it? Because I don’t think I’d use a long one much. The knives will be a blessing – I have been meaning to get some for months for every day, but have kept putting it off, so we will be most grateful. I seem to be getting presents right & left what with these & my birthday parcels from you & also the Gorray skirt! I shall write about it now – I thought a brown & blue material would be pretty with blue jerseys. Charlie would just love some new overalls too if you are sure you have the time – he wears so many now and I wash them so much they are having a tough life!! The little ones you made him before are so sweet & everyone admires them – they are a little bit tight around his tummy now & maybe still a couple of inches long in the leg but otherwise fine. Lindy is so well off for dresses but for playing in I think a little pair of overalls the same as Charlie’s would be lovely- the ones made out of your dress fit her beautifully except about 2″ long in the leg again – & I think she & Charlie would look so sweet dressed alike! Thank you so much, dear Grannie!
Cec & I were so glad to hear that you & Auntie Moo were going for a little holiday & getting some bathing – we hope you have the loveliest time. It is snowy & icy here again – 10° tonight – curses! I long for spring. Kisses from us all & lots & lots of love from Cyn & Cec

  • xxx Lindy xxo Charlie.

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