September 21 1960

In this letter, the whole Costain family is represented: me, sixty years later, setting the scene; Cec writing to Carol about a loan- which apparently enabled them to buy their new car ‘Rosie’; Cyn continuing the letter with family news; and Charlie reporting on his suffering sister and his own activities. Carol is still in New York, staying with another niece, Mona and Owen Banner’s house in Long Beach, now that the summer at the Pembleton’s ‘camp’ is over. Margs, the third sister and family, lives right next door and it appears that Carol will be coming back to Ottawa in November. Some of the names Cyn mentions in 1960 and on are the same, but over the 3 years of missing letters of course the N.R.C. Fellows have changed, since their Fellowship is only for 2 years; Lila Howe, who was so kind to the children, is moving to a new job in Toronto; and Cyn’s friendships in the community have expanded as the church activities did, and Mrs. Craven, Mrs. Graham, and Mrs. Haynes will join Mrs. Tomlinson in future letters as friend and allies, as their daughters were with Linda!

Sept 21, 1960.

Dear Mom,
I was going to write this a few days ago, and send it separately, but I never got around to it. It probably would have been too much of a shock to you anyway.
The money order is for $100.00 Canadian for Aug. & Sept. I can send you $50 Oct. 15, or if you don’t want to squander it, give you $100 in November when you are here. Just to remind you, and us, we borrowed $750.00 Canadian.
I hope to get at your shelves & closet next month, this month I am transforming the outside. We got three truckloads of topsoil and now have a new lawn seeded. The flower bed in the lawn has been eliminated, making the lawn twice as big, and from 3” to 12” of new soil added to the beds on the other side of the driveway, I hope they won’t dry out quite so fast next year. I got a whole set of new muscles from shifting 5 tons of stones and 20 tons of dirt. I hope there will be some evidence of grass by the time you come back.
Cyn will give you the rest of the news. Glad to hear you are feeling better & having such interesting hurricanes. Love to all the cousins, & you,


Dearest Mummy,
Cec has been meaning to write since the weekend, but he really did a mammoth job with the garden & toiled from morning to night getting the lawn in last weekend. He has got it looking very nice & smooth & we are hoping it will rain gently & frequently & get a little beginning anyway, before the snow comes. The other three side beds are half done, as Cec has built them up & put the soil in, but we still have to smooth them & transplant the perennials & all the bulbs. The weather has been quite cooperative – pleasant & not too warm, but is quite fall-ish now with all the trees turning colour & the furnace on most mornings, but no frosts yet, thank goodness.

Well, Lindy has no tonsils now! On Monday afternoon Dr. McKercher’s nurse phoned up & said there had been a cancellation & if Lindy was well would we like to take her to the Civic at 7a.m. next day. It was a bit of a shock coming so suddenly poor little thing, but after the initial storm she was very good & didn’t seem too upset. On the Tuesday we all got up at 5:45a.m. (no b’fast for Lindy – we just had a drink) & were off at 6:30 & got her admitted. Then it turned out that she was to wait in the waiting room till a bed was ready, so I stayed with her & Cec & Charlie left. We waited there (L. had 2 new books) until 8:45 with other mothers & children & then she was put to bed & I left. I got home around 10 & had breakfast & her operation was at 11, so about 12 the doctor phoned & told me it was all over & that she was fine. He gave me all the instructions – 1 night in hospital – 2 in bed at home – 1 week in the house & 10 days away from school. Some children come out of hospital the same day, but with L. being done later they said they’d keep her over night & when Cec & I went to see her in the evening we were glad, as she was still very dopey and drowsy & would wake & look at us & then drop off to sleep again & not at all ready to be moved. Charlie stayed at the Savic’s, so had a good time. Next morning he went off to school & Cec & I went & got Lindy at 9:30 & brought her home. She was a bit wider awake, but was quite miserable all day, poor sweetie & not only was her throat sore, but the sides of her face & even has earache which Dr. McK. warned me she might have. He said to give her a 222, but you know she’d rather lie & suffer than take a pill! She slept in the afternoon & had a good night’s sleep & is a little happier today, although her throat is more swollen she says. She is drinking lots of liquids & has had some soup & bread & butter. I think it has been quite an emotional shock for her, you know – she is very quiet & subdued & of course finds it hard to talk. However, it is all over & will soon be feeling fine again – I am reading ‘Daddy-Long-Legs’ to her and she is enjoying that!
Apart from the tonsils & the gardening we haven’t done much – I went to a Scientist Wives Meeting on Mon. evening & heard an Indonesian girl give a talk & show a film about her country. Then last week we had Lila to dinner to say goodbye – she left last Friday – & on Thursday we were having Miet & Michael Hollis (an English Fellow) to dinner & Miet didn’t come. We were mad at him!
Lindy is calling so I had better stop – I say “calling”, but I have given her a little bell to ring instead & it goes tinkle – tinkle all day long! Thank you so much for your 2 letters – we were so relieved the hurricane was no worse – we wondered how you would do with the canal so close. Enjoyed hearing about the weekend at Marie’s- glad you had a nice time – your bridge will be elegant by now! I haven’t rung Dr. Kastner’s office yet – I thought I would talk to his nurse & I always forget until the middle of his office hours & then I know she is busy. I will call & talk to her & let you know though.
Have fun with your returned hundred dollars! Now, a little bit of Rosie belongs to us!
The whole family send love to Monie & Owen & the Jaegers if they are back – Much love & big hugs to you from us all –

Dear Grannie:
Lindy is feeling much better.
I hope you are having a nice time with Monie and uncle Owen, I’m sure having a nice time here especially when it’s Sunday. I’ve been going to Mike Savic’s house, and playing football, I can kick a ball quite far, and my throwing is even better.
Well, have to go to bed now, good night.
Love from Charles.

I have no memory of this time- although I have loved Jean Webster ever since- except for having joined the members of the family who had been in the hospital! Mummy had been in the hospital lots of times, Charlie had been in the hospital as a baby and 2 years before, and now Linda had had her tonsils out- but Daddy had never been in hospital- he had apparently had his tonsils removed as a child on the kitchen table in rural Saskatchewan!

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