10th Oct. 1956
I have just been writing to Auntie Muriel with an enclosure to Uncle Fred. I got a note from Auntie Muriel today asking for our phone number & I had intended writing to Uncle Fred and telling him how pleased we be to see him, so I did just that and gave him our phone number too. I have a feeling he will get so involved with his business friends that he won’t have time, but it would be fun if he did.
Thank you so much for your letter of Oct. 1st. You had just had A. Moo’s letter written here, but not mine yet, but by now you must have it. I don’t think that I have written since then and you will be having fits at me, but really – what a busy time! I don’t know how it is, but I don’t really seem to recover from one bit of excitement when the next bit pops up! However, before I begin telling you my saga, I must thank you for the book you sent “Antonia” which arrived last week. I read it the last few days and enjoyed it and quite understood why you sent it to me – cordon bleu, wonderful sauces & all! I must say that I thought it was a bit Cinderella-ish, local-girl-made-good etc. though, didn’t you? I must be getting cynical in my old age but all these pure poor maidens with whom handsome lords become enamoured make me feel very “oh yeah?” now! I wonder if you have read “Tender Victory” yet & how you will like it. The film of “The Bader Story” is on this week & Cec & I would so like to see it but I guess we’ll have to wait. Which reminds me, Lu phoned this morning & told me that she had just heard her mother has had to have a leg amputated. She has had the same circulatory trouble that the late King had and apparently one leg went gangrenous. Lu is very worried of course and wonders how she will get on with an artificial leg as she must be over 65 & is a big woman.
Well when I last wrote after A. Moo and the girls were here I must have told you that Charlie was sick. He was in bed a couple of days with a temperature & then was up a couple of days & then developed the runniest, drippiest cold, poor little fellow. On the Fri. we had Santiago to dinner & Charlie didn’t even feel like playing with his bestest friend! With Santiago we had a Dr. & Mrs. Swalen – Jerry and Mary. He is Cec’s new post-doctorate Fellow from Harvard & knew Santiago there, & he & his wife drove up & apartment hunted a couple of days, then went back to Boston & packed up before coming to officially begin on 1st Oct. They seem an awfully nice young couple- both tall with round young ingenious faces! Mary is a teacher of small children – 6 and 7 yr. olds – & hopes to get a job up here & Cec thinks Jerry is going to be good and that they will get on fine. Cec has just had a big new tube (valve) which he invented at an exhibition in Toronto. A technician went down with it & other exhibits & was such a numbskull that he pulled out the cord & then got it back wrong & couldn’t get the thing to work, so Cec got an SOS on the Sunday before the exhibition opened & Brian, his technician, had to fly down to Toronto to fix it up! I think Brian thought this was great fun, but you can imagine Cec’s disgust at the other clot!
Anyway, Charlie just got his cold going nicely when poor Cec got it and it really made him feel miserable. In fact it was the worst cold Cec had had for a long time & little Charlie had it for 2 weeks or more before he was clear. His eczema has flared up to, so we have got a new prescription to put on & have borrowed a sun ray lamp from Ken & are trying that. Cec was so disgusted over his cold as he had arranged to take the last week in Sept. holiday (before Jerry began) so that we could do some painting but he felt so lousy he said it should have been sick leave! He was in bed most of the weekend, but we began painting the spare room (was the children’s room when you were here) on the Monday. We painted the wall opposite the door rather a nice blue – not a pale blue, more like a larkspur or the darker shade of delphinium- and the other walls what is called sand beige, which is quite a nice neutral colour. The ceiling was cream, so we left it & I have hung those pinky–grey damask type curtains which you & I bought for the dining room in Acacia – remember? – & they go quite well. We then moved the children in there & painted all the other room pale yellow – dark blue ceiling, orange wall & everything! You can imagine it looks 10 times as light now, but it took 4 coats to cover the other- Cec cursed that ceiling! It is a rubber base, washable paint & looks very nice, but wasn’t too easy to put on over the shiny enamel. We then began to do the bathroom (a sickly green) the same yellow, but with having to do so many coats we ran out of paint half away & had to order more. We reached that stage on Thurs. evening & on Friday Cec had to go into the Lab. to see about another paper he’s publishing, & with one thing & another that’s where we still are! We must finish the bathroom & then there is the kitchen to do pale blue.
On the Friday evening I went around and had a nice gossip with Fanni & on the Sat. evening we were invited to Margie & Cy’s & had a good chat with them, so we got all caught up with the news! Saturday was a lovely sunny autumn day so we decided to take advantage of it and drive out to a small town Almonte about 12 miles past Carp (actually 40 from here) where there is a woollen mill & Lu had been telling us about the wonderful bargains you could get. We called on Lea & family & had a mid-morning cup of coffee & everyone there was well, except Daryl who was in bed with a cold. The baby, Patty Lu is getting a big girl now & is full of smiles. Lea has just got a new sewing machine – the very latest Singer model of course with every new gadget under the sun! Hundreds of fancy stitches etc. etc. & at least $300 to add to their debts on the TV set & car! We went to Almonte & had lunch there & went to the Mill Store which was lots of fun. A big room filled with bolts of every kind of woollen cloth & tweed – they had blankets too & a few made things – men’s trousers jackets & coats mostly. We got Cec 2 pairs of slacks (1 grey-blue & 1 brown) & I got 3 lots of material- one remnant of 1 yd. (all the material was 58” wide) $1.95 of a nice soft dark & light blue material with a little orange fleck in to make a skirt; another brown $2.50 with red, yellow, orange flecks in for another skirt; & 2 1/2 yds $4.05 of a fine wool & rayon jersey to make a dress. It is a pretty soft aquamarine colour with a little fine grey thread in & is very nice & thin for a woolen material. So we were very pleased with our purchases & the ride was lovely. The trees were just at their best with most of the vivid colours of scarlet & gold. I got some branches & put them in glycerine & water hoping to keep them, but they all dried up as usual.
Sunday School is going on apace & I have so many small children I am having fits! I had 20 & 21 two Sundays, but I am beginning to sort them out & move up the 4 yr. olds etc. & last week I got it down to about 15 & the crying ones had stayed away so I had a nice time! Fortunately I have some help as a teenage girl is coming to give a hand & another lady so we should do all right. Charlie is still leech-like but I hope will improve!
After the painting I began washing the floor in the children’s room etc. getting paint marks off & so on & was hanging curtains & we rearranged the furniture so now it is like this & looks very nice.
I washed on Tuesday & ironed on Wednesday, so didn’t get around to the spare room & on Wednesday evening at 10 o’clock the telephone rang & this was Mom & Dad Costain down at the station!! You can imagine! We knew they were coming sometime of course & that they had left Saskatoon, but Mom wrote from Merle’s at Port Arthur that they planned to go to Prince Edward Island & they didn’t want to run into bad weather there so they might go straight on. Apparently they decided against it & wrote to me again from Toronto telling us when they were coming & train etc. but the letter has just never arrived! Cec dashed down to the station of course & I just flew at that room! By the time they arrived I had it swept & dusted, curtains up, beds made, towels out, but still that brick bookcase of ours sitting in the middle of the floor – I couldn’t budge it! However, Cec heaved it into place in a minute & all was ready!
They stayed with us till Sunday morning when Cec drove them to Carp in time for church – Cec didn’t attend & apparently neither did Lea! They are coming back here on Friday & will stay till Monday evening when they set out for P.E.I. I was quite glad of this little break in the middle of their visit as being taken unaware I seemed to be running to catch up with myself all the time, you know. We didn’t do much – Lea & family came through on Thurs. evening & Fri. Cec took them into the Council & around the Parliament Buildings etc. & on Sat. Cec & his Dad went to the Football Game. On Friday the Atchisons will drive Mom & Dad in & I’ll have them all to a Buffet Dinner – cold turkey as last Mon. was Thanksgiving Day. Doesn’t it seem an age since last year when you were with us? We had Leila & Santiago again & had a nice quiet day.
Before I finish I must tell you one or two of Charlie’s funny sayings – he is growing up but still talks in his own funny little way & says some amusing things. One day when the leaves were just beginning to turn he pointed to a lovely yellow tree & said “Look Mummy, that tree is getting ripe!” & he tells me that Pussy is “slapping her lips”! He is very observant about pretty clouds & sunsets & stars & so on which I think is nice, but one day he was talking about some pretty little white fluffy clouds & he said it would be nice to be up in the sky playing with them. Lindy then said that she knew the clouds had rain in them, so Charlie said he would just go “squish” & the rain would come spurting out & then he would go “pouff” & the cloud would go popping up & bang God on the nose! I couldn’t help laughing!
I have just had the two of them here in bed with me – Lindy had a bad dream & came in for a minute & then Charlie woke & had to come too! We were all at Andy Douglas’s birthday party this afternoon – they moved into their new house last Wed. so this was our first official visit although I popped over with a cake the day they moved. The house is very nice, but of course they are still quite “camping” as it were & things are still not all done.
I must stop now as it is nearly midnight. The children both send big hugs & kisses. Linda just loves school & brings home pictures she’s painted & sings little songs & tells me stories she’s heard- she really seems to get an immense satisfaction out of it all & I think she is more peppy & stimulated now. I only hope she isn’t catching another cold as she was a bit sniffly just now.
Must stop – just sent Mrs. Allan a “Get Well” card & have a birthday card for Miss Lefroy, so must get it off too.
Lots of love & hugs from