October 31 1955

Box 330
Ottawa R.R.1.
Monday 31st.

Dearest Mummy,
Peace – with the children asleep in bed! I washed & polished the bathroom floor & down the stairs this morning, so I was a busy woman and glad to sit down & put my feet up for lunch. The children were supposed to be playing outside but were out & in, you know! We took down bread for the birds & I cleared up the garbage that your old friend the skunk upset again! The weather is lovely just now – sunny & mild, but we’ve had quite a bit of rain & the bottom of the hill at the back is all wet & swampy. One morning last week we woke to snow & I was so disgusted! The children were thrilled of course but practically as soon as I had them all snow-suited & booted & out, it had melted!
Thank you so much for your letter all about your weekend at Marie’s. High life, indeed! I had to giggle over Marie & Bebe hunting & told Cec these were my huntin’, shootin’ & fishin’ relatives! It sounds lovely – the farmhouse & country, I mean, but somehow a bit depressing. With Marie there all by herself I suppose. The theatre must have been lots of fun – as you say, ages since you saw a stage show. Also very satisfying to the curiosity to meet Bebe & all her family etc. Is she still a glamour girl or has she let herself go like your daughter? All those martinis! – I can’t say I envy you – horrid drinks I think!
We have been very quiet & abstemious & hard-working! Yesterday we began covering the sofa – having set ourselves a deadline again by inviting some people for a buffet supper on Friday! In the morning I took Linda to S. School & also Pat Tomlinson with Joanne. On Sat. Cec went with Ken up into the Gatineau & helped him bring back lots of little fir trees. He is replacing all the ones that got killed in the drought & Cec got a few for us – he put 3 little ones by the gateway in the bed the bulbs were in & another one on the grass near the house where there used to be a clump of poppies & they look very cute. I went around to Fanny’s on Fri. evening & we sat & sewed & chatted – her baby is due any minute or overdue I think – she says Teddy doesn’t believe in it anymore! I have made the little skirt for Janita’s Christmas present & I’m making Anne one to match. The material is very gaudy – grey & green with rivers & fishermen & Mounties & moose! I have also made the youngest Ramsay daughter a frilly pillowcase which I must deliver sometime.
We got lots of news from various people last week. First of all a parcel for me from Carmen & Leona of a very pretty red handbag – with not a word enclosed, just their address outside! We were so frustrated! However 2 days later a letter came & they seem to be settling very nicely. They enjoyed the crossing & only had one rough day. They shook me to the soul by saying they took a taxi from London to Cambridge – £7!! They found when they arrived the flat wasn’t ready but Mrs. Moore had got a furnished house for them nearby for 3 weeks. The lady next door to it had them in to tea & Mrs. Moore had them to dinner, so everyone seems to have been very kind to them.
The next news we got was a “change of address” card from Hugh Brown! Just changed from one APO number to another, so we have no idea where he is, but I must write & find out – funny if he’s in England too.
On Friday morning we had a phone call from Joan & Ray wanting us to buy them an electric dryer! They had seen an ad. in an Ottawa paper, so Cec went to the shop & got it for them – we’re just sorry it wasn’t for us! They are well, but we hadn’t much time to chat.
Today is Hallowe’en & we have a pumpkin Jack o’ Lantern sitting on the windowsill. Linda is quite excited about it, but doesn’t want to go out – just stay at home & hand out apples! Dorothy Jane has been talking about it on the radio & I think Linda is a bit wary of all the witches & goblins etc.!
I thought that I might go downtown tomorrow with the children & buy a hat! Or at least look at some – how I will succeed with the children’s assistance, I don’t know! So far, the weather has been so nice I haven’t worn my coat much, but it can’t last too much longer. I think it will be very nice if you stay with the Sims. till Thanksgiving – after all, two Thanksgiving dinners won’t harm anyone! Even though it is late it will be even more excuse for not staying with A. Trix! Talking of her there is a letter from her or A. Gee which I am enclosing, also one from my Father – I hope the latter won’t be too miserable. Cec intends to get the colour pictures today I think, so I’ll enclose them too, if he does.
I think that is all the news, so I had better stop & cut out some sofa cushions. Lindy & Charlie still miss you & talk about you a lot – they are just the same – sometimes sweet & sometimes horrid!
Lots & lots of love from us all – Cyn.
P.S. Fanny had another boy this evening – a Halloween boy! No pictures yet.
Love Cyn.

Now that Carol has been to Ottawa for 4 months, Cyn has less explaining to do about her friends and her house, and Carol knows what her grandchildren are like too, but a few words of explanation seem in order.
In New York, Carol has a choice of places to stay- with the Simmons sisters and their families, and their mother, Aunt Ettie, on Long Island; the third sister upstate a bit; as well as her sister-in-law Marie, and her daughter Bebe, who seem to live the high life with martinis on occasion! Staying in New York for a month seems to make it easier to avoid a long visit in Trinidad, where her elderly sisters Trix and Gee live, on the way home to St. Vincent.
I wasn’t surprised to hear that it shook Cyn to the soul to hear of the 23 year old newly-weds spending the equivalent of her monthly rent in Cambridge 10 years before, on a taxi from London to Cambridge! When she went up to London to see a show with her friend Hugh Brown (a major in the US Army, thus the change of address) back then, there were trains for 12 shillings.
And finally, the CBC had a radio program for children called ‘Kindergarten of the Air’ where Dorothy Jane entertained Linda and Charlie in those pre-TV days.

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