2nd Jan. 1956
& on to the 3rd!
Happy, happy New Year! I can’t really believe that Christmas and New Year are both over – after all the preparations they just seem to flash past & I don’t feel a bit inclined to go back to the normal routine with no excitement in view! You know me – I work much better with a goal to spur me on & now I feel quite uninterested in work! I hope that you and Auntie Muriel had a happy holiday season & that you enjoyed it more than you thought you would. I am sure that it would take you a while to get acclimatised & adjusted again – you would feel out of things & cooped up, but I hope you will find settling in not so bad after all, & it will be fun looking forward to Milly & Ford’s visit. I am sure that they will both be just ideal visitors – Milly so nice & easy going & Ford so interested in every single thing – I know that we both enjoyed having them here in Ottawa, & that it will be extra fun to have them in St. Vincent.
My Christmas letter (or rather after-Christmas) was very scrappy so I have a long way to go back to tell you our doings. I have talked so much about this List of Things to Do that I made before Christmas that I am going to tell you all the items so you can see how varied it was! Of course lots of things were also done which never got on the list, but it wasn’t a bad effort! I made the list two weeks before Christmas & as I told you it nearly all got done before Christmas Day! Here goes: – Make Charlie’s Birthday Cake; Ice Charlie’s Birthday Cake; Ice Christmas cake; Make Gingerbread Men. Make dolly’s bed clothes; Make my navy dress (hem still to do!); Wash & polish bathroom floor; Wash & polish kitchen floor; Wash & polish stairs; Wash & polish sitting room floor; Clean oven; Stuff Turkey; Finish Lindy’s 2 prs. pajamas; Make Tommy (doll’s) pajamas; Decorate Christmas Tree; Hang Christmas Cards; Paint & decorate doll’s bed; Alter grey & yellow taffeta dress (Not done!!) Send Costain’s parcel; Mail Christmas cards; Defrost; Get Charlie’s Hair cut; Get my hair cut; Christmas letter to Mummy; Alter new dress. My, wasn’t I a busy little woman!
Charlie’s birthday was the first social event of the season, as it were! He was just thrilled with his new wagon & was so pleased with everything. He takes things more calmly than Lindy, but was really tickled at it being his birthday! He kept singing “Happy birthday to me!” & says now “I am free years old” very proudly. I told you how attached he was to your musical box & it is so funny to hear him singing to it in his little high voice. He loved your card & got quite a lot more & a nice lot of presents – another nice pale blue jersey from Amy & Charlie & a book & something from Nan but at the moment I can’t think what! We had his birthday cake at tea time & then went to dinner at a place called Sharry’s in Sparks St. It advertises Sunday as “Family Day” & every adult is allowed to take one child free, so we had a huge dinner of tomato juice, fried chicken, veg. salad etc. milk, ice cream & pie & coffee all for $4.00. It was very good & we all enjoyed the outing.
The next day was Monday & in the evening we went to the N.R.C. Christmas Party. It was held at a Club over in Hull – the place was taken over for the night. To begin with it was a terrible cold night- about 15° below zero & just bitter. However we dressed up – me and my new dress – & set off. Alex and Phyl, the Klemans, Joan & Boris, us, a girl Barbara from the Lab & her husband & another couple I didn’t know were in the group. We all arrived at about the same time & the men checked our coats etc. (took them nearly 1/2 hour) then we got a table. Like most U.S. nightclubs it was so gloomy lighted it was practically dark & I could have worn an old shift for all anyone saw of my new dress! The place was crowded & our table was between the cash register at the bar & a loudspeaker so consequently we had to scream at each other to be heard & halfway through the evening I was hoarse! In addition, it was cold! Our feet were frozen & goose pimples on our arms & to crown it all, I didn’t have one dance! The program was this: – when we came in the band was playing & everyone went to dance except Cec & I who stayed to pay for the drinks we’d ordered – long band interval- a girl from the Council played piano accordion (quite good) & everyone sang – long interval – band came back & played a square dance (impossible on a tiny nightclub floor) – long interval – more of the girl with a piano accordion – long interval – regular nightclub floor show (very poor, with an M.C. telling the filthiest dirty jokes) & we left in the middle! As a crowding insult Cec was the first at the Check Room to get our coats & boots & after 3/4 of an hour the female having given him our coats & his rubbers just told him she couldn’t find my boots & threw the ticket away! By this time there was a near riot going on as people wanted to get their things & apparently some waited 1 1/2 to 2 hours for coats etc. Cec saw the Manager & phoned next day but my boots were never found, & we were told to buy me a new pair & send them the bill so we’re waiting to see results! Wasn’t that a lovely evening? We were also disappointed as we had thought it would be such fun – I was sorriest of all for poor Gudrun – she has had so much sickness & has been nowhere & this was her first big outing.
The Tuesday we had Lee & Wendell & Daryl for dinner. Everything seems to be going well at Carp– & what do you think- Lee is pregnant & they have bought a television set! After the latter piece of news Cec says he is finished – they are just beyond hope!
On the Wed. it was still a fierce cold day but we took the children to town to see Santa Claus & do a last bit of shopping. Lindy of course wouldn’t go & talk to him, but Charlie went up & told him his own & Linda’s requests then later when we’d been around the store & seen the toys he dashed back up to Santa to tell him where the trains were!!
On the Friday we had a hectic day – I picked up Doreen Moore & her 2 children at 9:30 & we drove out to Orleans for meat, then to the store for groceries, then took them home & us home. Lunch, the children to bed, then I made a loaf of egg sandwiches, got the children up & dressed & picked up Pat Tomlinson and her 2 children & a loaf of sandwiches to go to the Sunday School Party! We arrive to be greeted by a cold empty room, one or two children & the S.S. teacher to say they were sending all the children home as they arrived as the furnace had broken down! Us with all our sandwiches!! However, Pat said “Come on home and we’ll have a party of our own!” & that’s what we did & really we probably all enjoyed it much more than we would have done the other, but I could have done without the rush!
Christmas Eve was more or less uneventful – I got my last cleaning done & got the stuffing ready for the turkey. I went to Midnight Service at St. Margaret’s- packed as usual & I stood all the time, but it was very nice. We didn’t get to bed till about 2 as I didn’t get home till so late, but the children were very good & didn’t wake till 8. They brought their stockings into our bed, then we got up & they saw our (& Santa’s) presents which we hadn’t wrapped up & then we had breakfast before we began on all the others! It was great fun & Linda was suitably surprised by her bed, but she still says she likes the ironing board best! She had a wash day at once & was very busy! Charlie was pleased with his train but of course likes to push it along the floor best! The friction car you gave him is a big favourite as he can make it go, whereas he can’t wind the train yet. They both love the sparklers you sent & the books – we have read them all of course! Your presents to us were much appreciated! I wore your pretty earrings with my new dress that day & Cec likes his cufflinks very much. My petticoat was a real surprise & so was Cec’s ashtray- he was delighted to have another & it is much prettier than his old one. Gunborg sent Lindy a new dress for Christmas & I was so pleased (so was she!) as I had felt I’d like to make her a new dress but hadn’t got around to it. It is red & white nylon in a fine stripe with a red trim & tickled me to bits as it had the new “dropped” waist line, like this; – however it was much too long for her so I took a big tuck in the waist and made it like this- & it looks just darling on her. She wore it that afternoon & a red bow in her hair & she looked so sparkly & pretty with nice pink cheeks. Lila said she’d never seen her look so pretty & really her new dress seem to give her so much self-confidence & pleasure & she wasn’t at all shy but just as gay as could be.
Of course we had a busy time – it was getting on for noon & I was just thinking “Well, I’ll get the children lunch, then stuff the turkey” when who should arrive but Jack Shoosmith, his son John, & a girl from the Lab., Kelly. Each year we tell Jack to come to us on his Christmas rounds & each year we forget he’s coming!! However, we gave them drinks & they sat & chatted & didn’t leave till after 1 o’clock! Then Cec gave the children lunch, I stuffed the turkey & shoved it in the oven, we ate ourselves, I had a shower & washed my hair. Cec drove down to get Santiago & Lila at 2:30 & I washed all the breakfast & lunch dishes!! However, after that scramble everything was very peaceful & nice & I think we all had a lovely time. We had tea & Christmas cake about 3:30 then dinner about 6:30 – turkey; m. potatoes; frozen peas; creamed onions; gravy; cranberry sauce; celery, carrot sticks etc.; then Christmas pudding, hard sauce & coffee. After the children were in bed, everyone helped me wash up & then we all played a game we gave the children called “Ups & Downs” – just like Snakes & Ladders, but Ski Slides instead of snakes! (Lindy loves it!) Altogether it was a really nice Christmas & we had a lovely time.
We had a quiet day on Boxing Day – Cec let me sleep late & gave me breakfast in bed, then about 11 we went around to Fanni & Teddy’s for a drink. We sat & chatted & had wine & Fanni’s Christmas cookies – I having just had breakfast! On the Tues. Cec went to work again & in the evening we had Margie & Cy out for dinner & game of bridge. As always we thoroughly enjoyed having them & sat & chatted & then played bridge – it was ages since we played & it was fun. Margie is really big now & finds things pretty tiring I think. Later in the week I met her at Steinberg’s & she told me Cy had cancelled all her engagements as she was so pooped, so I was glad that we’d had them first. We had another couple to dinner on Thursday – Dr. & Mrs. Velasco, & their 6 mth baby. He is a new post doctorate Fellow from Spain -not at all like Santiago – rather squat & ugly with one queer eye! His wife is dark & nice looking but can speak very little English so it is a bit difficult. Cec brought him from work & picked up Mrs. V & the baby on the way, then she fed the baby & put him to sleep in his Carricot in our room. He was very good & Lindy & Charlie were tickled to have a baby here.
Friday was the night we should have had the Spectroscopy Party & we booked Mrs. Martin to sit for us long ago, so we decided to have an evening out anyway. We were going to have dinner in town & asked Pete & Lu to join us, but they couldn’t get a sitter, so the arrangement was for us to go out to them for dessert & coffee afterwards. We had one of our favourite Chinese meals & then out to Pete & Lu’s & had a very nice evening just chatting. We got home about 12:30 & just afterwards, while Cec was taking Mrs. Martin home Charlie suddenly let out a yell & when I went in demanded a B.M. very definitely & I just got him on the pot when he had such diarrhea, poor little fellow. I was so thankful I was here and not Mrs. M. as he was quite alarmed! We got that all over & I was just getting into bed when Linda called & the same thing happened with her! And so on through the night, first one & then the other two or three times. On the Sat. morning Cec & I were just talking about what to do about Lee & Jim & family coming on New Year’s Day as we were sure it was some infection the children had & Cec was feeling off-colour too, when the phone rang & it was Lee to say they all had terrible colds & couldn’t come! We were very relieved especially as it continued all Sat., Sat. night up with them trotting to the bathroom more than one once, Sun. the same, Sunday night again & Monday. Last night was the first night they slept through & today Charlie seems completely back to normal, but Cec is still feeling poorly & Lindy has got a bad cough & a bit of cold & is still eating nothing. I am so sorry as they are both looking pale & peaky & before they were looking really so well, with colour in their faces & Charlie’s little cheeks getting quite plump. However, I’m sure they’ll recover quickly & so far – touch wood – I haven’t caught the bug – also by the way, my Christmas festivities have only added one pound to my weight, so I’m not doing badly! As a matter of fact, on Sat. & Sun. when Cec & the children were all off food & busy trotting, I was so hungrey all the time & kept eating & eating! I think I submerged the bug with food, but I also thought I would have put on pounds, but so far it hasn’t shown on the scales!
I must stop now as this letter is huge already – I hope the children are well enough for us to go down to Grenier’s to post it tomorrow. Cec is out shovelling snow – we’ve had quite a big fall in the last 48 hours – he is also softening the water & fixing my stove, so he is a busy little man!
Lots & lots of love from us all = hugs & kisses from the children & Charlie says “Happy Newear”!
Lots of love from Cyn.
Happy New Year & love to Auntie Muriel.