November 14 1956

As the news of more vaccinations being available in May 2021, we who are older and vulnerable look forward to our second shot as further protection against Covid 19, although we know we will be wearing our masks, handwashing, and distancing for months longer. It is interesting to read about Cyn’s acceptance of the availability of the Polio Vaccine at Linda’s school- free for all children who wanted it, and because of the dire effects of polio, she and all her friends did want it for their children.

As I explained in my first post in this blog, I started reading my mother’s letters because of a conversation with my husband about the polio scares of the 1950s. Although there have been references in Cyn’s letters to friends with children catching it or altering plans because of outbreaks, this letter is the only time she mentions it as it affects her children. The vaccine was available and she made sure her children got it. Please, everyone, when the Covid 19 vaccine becomes available to you, get it! It will protect you, your children, and everyone in your community.

Box 330 R.R.1
Wed. 14th Nov.

Dearest Mummy,
I was all set to begin writing to you on Mon. evening – Cec was back at work & I was all ready & I couldn’t find my pen! I spent a solid hour searching for it & then gave up in disgust & went to bed. Yesterday of course I discovered it under a chair – little Niki had knocked it off the table & thought it was a nice plaything! She is as full of fun & frolic as ever despite her “operation”. We took her to the Vet. 2 weeks ago & had her spayed (don’t know how to spell it) & distemper shots. She was there for 2 days & I told the children she was having an operation & would have a mark, but they were horrified when they saw her as she had quite a big shaved patch on one side & the sewed up scar & to make it look worse all dowsed in yellow iodine! The children wouldn’t go near her for about a day but after that they got used to it! She should have gone back to get the stitches out, but I haven’t had a chance to take her yet as I’ve had both children in bed with bad coughs. They had been coughing a bit for a while but at the beginning of last week Charlie’s really seemed bad and he got a slight temp. & was very watery eyed. His temp. wasn’t much & went down in a couple of days but on Wed. evening Lindy got it & I kept her in bed & on Fri. & Sat. she ran quite a fever & the cough was very troublesome. On Monday her temp was down so she was up yesterday & is beginning to eat a bit although not much interest as yet. She is very sad at missing school but I think I will keep her home this week as she & Charlie both cough still a bit & it is right down in their chests. However tomorrow afternoon at the school they are giving free Polio Shots to the children & you can take pre-school children too, so Fanni is taking her 3 boys & I will take Lindy & Charlie too. Lindy is quite calm about the idea when I told her all the other girls & boys are having it done too, so I think she will be fine with all her friends, & I am very glad to get it done. There are 3 shots all together I hear.
I got a nice long letter from you on Monday for which many, many thanks. It was written on Auntie Muriel’s birthday. I sent her a very belated card, but I hope she has it by now. I was so mad – I wrote a letter & sent a card to Miss Lefroy about a week before her birthday. Sent it Air Mail from Orleans as I was there at the butcher’s. That night the main Ottawa P.O. phoned me that they had the letter & it needed another 15¢. I had asked the woman in Orleans to weigh it & she said it was o.k., so I was annoyed & darn it – they wouldn’t send it back to me to put the extra on but wanted me to come down town to the P.O. with the stamp! I couldn’t as I wouldn’t have the car the next day & to make the trip for 15¢ anyway seemed silly, so in the end they sent it by sea but Special Delivery! Absurd! And it would be ages late.
I hope A. Moo’s side is quite o.k. now. She told me when she was here about it but said not to mention it, but I didn’t realize how much it was hurting her. It was a pity it happened as it must have taken a lot of the pleasure out of the trip & must have been so painful even sitting driving in the car. I was sorry that I couldn’t show them more of Ottawa & felt I hadn’t really taken them to many of the sights, but the one day we had turned cloudy & quite chilly in the afternoon & I thought A. Muriel was feeling the cold. Mill seemed to be in a big hurry to get home but I’m glad they saw more at Kingston.
I’m glad your Bazaar went well despite all the upset, & that you got so much money. I was interested in your young clergymen & his riotous living. The thing that strikes me about all these affairs in St. V. is that the principals – apart from any morals concerned – just seem to lose every scrap of sense & act in the most stupid way imaginable. You would think hearing these tales as I do, that all the people were living in a dream or drugged or something that they go away & leave their children & abandon their marriage vows & make love under the nose of Archdeacons. I am amazed.
Talking of the Archdeacon’s Bishoply paunch makes me think of Cec’s – in reverse! Did I tell you that he has been dieting the last month or so? Not very strenuously but very steadily & he is down to 198 lbs. & is looking very nice. I eat the same as he (mainly no midnight snack!) but I am 122 lbs. – hope to go down a bit though!
You were writing of your hot rainy weather & the belated hurricane, but winter has begun for us. The first weekend in Nov. was lovely – mild & warm & sunny but the middle of last week it turned cold & we had a sprinkle of snow. Last night we had another fall but today the sun was lovely & most of it melted away. I let the children out to play a little & of course they love it. Ugh!
I have decided that either my writing is very bad or your imagination is very vivid! First, transposing Lu’s poor Mother’s amputation to Phyl’s Mother & then in your last you had me puzzled for ages over “Pam’s daughter Joan being a year older than Linda.” I finally solved it PAT Tomlinson’s daughter Joanne! Anyway she is only 3 mths older!
I took the day off on Sat. (felt I needed it after being in the house all week with sick children) & went downtown Christmas shopping. I had debated phoning someone & asking about meeting me for lunch or tea & did mention it to Lu, but with the children sick I didn’t exactly know when I’d get away so I left it. However who should I walk into after about 15 mins. but Margie doing just the same as me! Of course it didn’t help my shopping but we had a nice chat & shopped a bit & had tea!
I have been busy sewing in between whiles & have been making Christmas presents! Lindy’s Halloween sari was a pretty golden silky material, so after she was finished with it I washed it & have cut out & made a little stiff frilled petticoat for Janita (Anne’s little girl),

a petticoat for Leona, & a wide flounced one for Dottie.
I also have cut out one for Lindy, but not made it yet. I have also cut out at & am 1/2 finished some luncheon mats for Nan in a gay white & red material. They are oblong & I have stiffened them & put a backing on & trimmed them with red rick-rack & they look very bright & cheery. I also made little Barbara a little tablecloth, napkins & dolly’s bibs when I made Lindy hers for her birthday, so that is done. I also made myself a skirt from one of the pieces of wool I got at the mills – it is just to wear around the house but looks quite nice. Do you remember the grey & yellow taffeta party dress I got in my trousseau? I have worn it so little but the material is very pretty I think so I have ripped it all up & have a piece of 4 yds out of the skirt. I am going to make a plainer slim fitting dress I think & that is my next job – hope it turns out nicely. I am going to try & do this carefully & well – I am too inclined to be slapdash!
Lindy has just got a new snowsuit and wore it for the first time today. It has brown trousers & a pink jacket with a hood attached & the hood is lined with brown orlon “fur”! She looks very cute & thinks it’s lovely!
I have no idea when Christmas parcels should go but I have your things all ready so I think I’ll get them off this week if I can & try to be in good time this year. I am sending my Father the Reader’s Digest again & will send a small parcel. By the way you asked about it for Cec, but don’t bother – sometimes Merle sends a subscription but he isn’t too keen anyway.
I have heard nothing more from Uncle Fred since he wrote the weekend he spent with A. Moo & the girls – from what he said he expected to be going back about the end of this week, so I expect he found he didn’t have time for a Canadian jaunt, but we were sorry not to see him. I hope the medical check up was o.k.
I am enclosing Dottie’s wedding picture & one or two of the children from the summer. Must stop – I’m getting sleepier & sleepier & more & more incoherent!
Big hugs to you & A. Moo from Lindy & Charlie & lots of love from us all –

One thought on “November 14 1956”

  1. Dear Linda

    We are 3/4 of the way through our jabs. Just my second one to go

    Just lovely to hear about Cyn making those nice things for us for Christmas. We used the table mats for years and I think I might still have them

    I know I’ve still got the dolls’ tablecloth – a treasure!

    If my retro kitchen is ever installed, the little tablecloth will have a place in it somewhere

    Barbara xx

    On Wednesday, 5 May 2021, A Family History in Letters wrote:

    > lindacostain posted: ” As the news of more vaccinations being available in > May 2021, we who are older and vulnerable look forward to our second shot > as further protection against Covid 19, although we know we will be wearing > our masks, handwashing, and distancing for months lo” >


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