September 25 1969

This is the letter Cyn promised the day before, when she answered the questions in Linda’s letters, (some of which were the ones I had thought when I read her previous letters) about the Nursery School children’s behaviour!

49 Cedar Road,
Ottawa 9, Ont.

25th Aug. [although she meant Sept!] Thurs.

Darling Lindy,

I talked to Pat on the phone last night and she said that Joey had had a nice long letter from you yesterday, but had gone down to S. C. to work so she hadn’t heard any news. She said that J. liked her course but was having trouble with the transport. Apparently Janet has some classes of 300 and they all sit in front of a TV set, so she isn’t very happy about that. However, you probably have heard from one or other of them and know more than I do about it all.
I had a letter from Grannie this morning and she is still at Long Beach and will be till the middle of Oct. so if you want to write it is c/o Mrs. W. Jaeger, 22 Curley St., Long Beach, New York, N.Y. U.S.A. She encloses a [wedding/engagment?] picture of Donna and Alan [Linda’s 2nd cousin] for me to see and send back – Donna looks pretty in a ballerina sort of style – you know what I mean – dark-haired parted in the middle etc. but you should see Alan – he is bald now and he has a droopy moustache a la Bruno Gerussi and mutton chop whiskers! His mother and Grannie are horrified, but actually in the photo I think he looks kind of amusing – I don’t know if this is his aim though!
I hope that the heat in the residence has calmed down a bit now, I agree that it is horrid, but this time of year they seem to find it difficult to get it warm but not hot in bigger buildings. I hope that the false alarm Fire Alarm hasn’t recurred and that you have managed to catch up on your sleep a bit. It’s a good thing that you don’t have classes at 8 a.m. or some ungodly hour or you really would be worn to a shred. When you get all your classes and tutorials fixed send us a timetable so that we can imagine what you are doing when. I was tickled about all your lecturers having English accents except the one with an Australian accent. They sound as if they might be fun being young and I am glad that the few lectures you’ve had were interesting. Probably you will find the library less awe-inspiring when you get used to it – you might even find some light reading tucked away in a dark corner!

Inside Trent Library- more stairs.

I have been doing very badly at the library lately but Dr. Watkins’ nurse phoned yesterday for Charlie to come in for his check up so I must rush him there and then I can have another go at that fascinating 2nd. hand book shop. I am taking Charlie down to get his 120 day license today – now that Daddy is home I have to drive him in to get the car so I am bustling around and have to go and pick him up of course. Mme Gemuss is here and Saki did her frantic retreat when she realized it this morning!
I shopped this morning and bought your teabags and some of that hot chocolate powder that you don’t have to add milk, and also things to make your cookies with actually, read your roast beef diet, I can think of worse things to have every third day – imagine if it was beans or curry or something equally appetizing. I will try to remember the bra but as long as no one can trace it back to you it should be all right! At least it was a nice new one – like the lady who always put on her best underwear when she went out in case she was run over! I’m glad the washing went well – have you done your ironing yet and where do you do it? [Answer: probably never.]
Now that I have left the Nursery School, I don’t know any more bits of news about the possessive mothers, but when I left Margie had managed to part with her mother and spend a whole morning without her so that was progress. Mabel said that you could sort of see her thinking ‘Come on it’s time to go now, and then I can put on my act and get it over with!’ The kicking and screaming I gather were getting more and more perfunctory! Re: Lynn McSherry in S.S. when I said no inhibitions, I didn’t mean anything terrible! Just a general take over and everyone get out of my way here I come attitude. She comes to N.S. 3 days a week and has a little friend Janet whom she bosses unmercifully! However, the meek ones usually rebel after a few weeks of N.S. atmosphere! I had a phone call this a.m. from a mother who had her child in Manor Park but on our waiting list, and I can now get her in, so she went down to see our school this morning. She told me that she liked it so much and was very impressed with the happy atmosphere and the fact that they were all busy and creative. She added ‘I don’t like to see them just playing around and fooling’ so I wondered what had been going on at Manor Park. Mrs. Kunce is there now you know.
Did I say thank you for the funny picture of Cathy and Terry? Which reminds me that I have to take Daddy’s films this afternoon to the photo shop. On the phone on Monday he told you about how clever he had been to beat the airlines and get back to Ottawa on time even though his flight had been cancelled but Charlie and I thought we were just as clever to walk into the airport just as he got off the plane. We consulted 4 authorities – 2 by phone and 2 at the airport – and were told the flight had been cancelled and that he would arrive at 10:30, 6:30, 9:00 and 4:45 – so we ambled into the big foyer at 5 pm and there he walked through the door. He brought Charlie a boomerang from Australia, and for me a piece of amber on a gold chain and two long dangly amber earrings! The amber is fascinating – it has blobs of darker colour in it and is so light. Also for a souvenir he brought two lovely hand-embroidered pictures of Fujiyama which he saw being embroidered in a silk shop, and a little ‘peasant’ sake set made of grey pottery which he got from a pottery place Dr. Morino took him to.

Opal Ring

He has a little gift for you here which you can get at Thanksgiving but your main one is the one from Australia which is coming by mail to you.

I am enclosing a picture from a magazine of a jump suit. It is a Simplicity pattern and I got it this morning at S.C. I also got some material- pattern enclosed- which I thought would look nice and match your winter coat, but if you don’t like it let me know.

I think the suit is cute, and if you did like it I could also make it up in a gay material for lounging pyjama type of thing. Anyway, I won’t do anything till I hear from you and if you like the pattern but not the material we can perhaps get something for Thanksgiving. Do you realize that it is 2 weeks tomorrow that you would be coming home?

And she made me 2 jumpsuits as promised- without extraneous purple skirt- so clever!

This is Charlie. Will write to you on Saturday.

Monday morning.
This letter has been sitting in the typewriter all weekend waiting to be finished, but I had N.S. pay cheques and money to do yesterday and it took me all afternoon and evening. You will notice that Charlie didn’t get written either. His team got beaten by Jim’s yesterday again but he didn’t seem too downhearted – perhaps he is getting used to it now. Then there was a football game on TV and then homework and that’s the way it goes.
I drove Daddy into work this morning to get the car and then took pay cheques into the N.S. to be greeted with big hugs by Mary Anne and various others. Even Margie came up and didn’t actually hug me but grinned and chatted and my what a difference – she looked happy and cheerful and apparently her mother just says goodbye and pops off – aren’t Nursery Schools wonderful. The new teacher, Margaret Moffett was there – being very formal and polite with me – the Big Money Bags! They have a little white hamster with a little brown baby now, courtesy of Mrs. Greenwell, and in Noli’s old cage. How the poor little things will survive I don’t know as the children were all around and they were poking into the shavings trying to sleep.
I am meeting Phil for lunch today – we are going downtown but haven’t decided where yet. I am to get tickets for Charlie for the Ottawa- Hamilton game next Sat. – he is taking Crystal – apparently Papa doesn’t object now. This is my week for lunches. Pat is back at work so I have invited her and Edna Renault to lunch on Wednesday in her lunch hour and then on Thursday Margaret has invited me to lunch at her house as her mother is staying with her. I forgot to tell you that Margaret Savic came to coffee on Friday and so far Michael is still going to Algonquin, but Peter drives him every morning and takes him home every afternoon! Then in the evening he is rehearsing a play out at Britannia and Peter does the same thing again – picking him up at 11:30 sometimes. How’s that for babysitting! And Margaret says he is very serious about the girl friend and they are even talking of getting married next year! We always thought he was immature, but he’s going to have to grow up with an awful bump if he gets married on the sort of job he will be able to get it after one year at Algonquin – if he lasts the year of course.
I must fly and have a shower or I will be late for Phyl. It was lovely hearing from hearing you last night, love, and I’m glad that you finally got the parcel and that everything was OK.
Will write again soon – lots of love from us all,
Mummy.

September 24 1969

The bus from Traill in town out to the Trent Campus.

49 Cedar Road,
Ottawa 9, Ont.

24th Sept. Wed.

Darling Lindy,

I thought that I had lots of time to shorten my new bedroom curtains and then write to you, but it has taken me ages to shorten one so I have stopped and will write a short letter to mail this afternoon and then write more and mail tomorrow. I don’t know if letters I mail on Thurs. will get to you before the weekend, so you must let me know.

Minute groundhog in our back garden!

I am enclosing the pictures which came yesterday and you can send on the ones for A. Merle and U. Dix and then send the others back to us. Your little groundhog came out very well and the wedding pictures aren’t bad, but the ones taken at the Whitwell’s are a disappointment. I sent the film to that Mail Photo Place where I got them 2 dollars cheaper or something – anyway Daddy says that I got a cheap printing job too, but Charlie and I think that it was pretty poor light under the trees that day and that is why they are so sad. Anyway, here they are. Daddy brought back one roll developed and 3 more to do, but we haven’t had a picture show yet.

Cec at the airport on the way home.

Already it seems quite proper and natural to have Daddy back. And boy! – lots more dishes to wash! You can imagine how Charlie and I have been doing lately! It seems incredible that you will have been gone 2 weeks tomorrow. It seems years in some ways and hardly any in others. I went to tea with Mrs. Craven yesterday afternoon – she had Marjorie, Betty, Ruth L. and Mrs. Martin, Mrs. James and Mrs. McNally all to meet Mrs. Craven Sr. so we had a really good talky time. Mrs. C. and Betty D. and I all compared notes about our Girls of course and we all seem to think that you were doing all right. Mrs. C says they will be leaving on Sat. a.m. to go down to Peterborough, so I will take her a box of cookies for you on Friday and she says that she would be glad to deliver it. Maybe they would like to see your room too – you said something about Jean’s not being very nice – have you seen it yet? I think that I will pack up Grannie’s tea pot and put it in the parcel as you have so many guests and the little brown one is so tiny, and I won’t forget to put in the teabags – girls at Traill likeTetley’s Tea! Lipton’s is just the same!

I met Marie Tweedle in Shoppers C. on Monday afternoon and had a great long chat with her – couldn’t get away! Heard all about dear David and how he just LOVES Teacher’s College and it was just his cup of tea. They were doing Gr. 1 Arithmetic or something – ‘You are having a party and you have 5 little friends. How many boys and girls are at your party?’ ‘Yes, that’s right –6 children. Now, how many paper cups will we need’ and they put out paper cups and then plates and napkins and sit down and have a party. Marie says ‘Arithmetic is not his strong point, so I told him he’d better watch that the problems don’t get too difficult!’ Anyway, who else do you think is going to Teacher’s College? Nancy Douglas. She had a wonderful time in Europe, and got back and started right in and is apparently in the same ‘shift’. as David –, so I told Phil to ask her if she knew him! I met Sandy Cooper in S.C. also on Sat. and asked how he was doing and he has changed from Algonquin to Carleton, so I don’t know how Joey will be doing for a ride. Dr. Savic drives Michael every morning because Margaret says it takes an hour and a half – dear Michael! Sandy said that he found the course at Algonquin wasn’t what he wanted and something about having to get an 80% average to carry on at Carleton, but I didn’t quite take it in. I have phoned Pat and got no answer and then Edna Renaud told me she has already gone back to work, so I have no news of Joanne to tell you. Have you heard from her or Janet yet? I guess that was a letter from Sandra which I forwarded to you yesterday. Your brother is going to write and tell you all about a glorious Gloucester football game – I shall tell you that 2 girls came in a car last night and asked if Charlie was in, but unfortunately he was still out at the football practice. When I described them to him he decided they must be Maureen and Lois – they were cute anyway so I don’t think he should discourage them! There is a dance this Friday – GAA etc. and Charlie is now on the BAA as the Officials Rep. so he is going to have to help decorate the gym and is actually going – STAG!

I must stop or I won’t get this mailed today, but I’ll continue and answer your letters and tell you what Daddy brought home. We all love your letters – very interesting and amusing. I must say life in Residence has changed since Daddy L.L. days – bring your own booze parties weren’t known then! By the way, thinking of Daddy L.L. and some of the funny illustrations playing basketball in bloomers, do you have to take any athletics? And if so, what? Also, did you ever meet your Amiga and what is she like?
Much love from us all,
Mummy

[handwritten] P.S. It is raining – very Nobel of me to go out and mail this. Love.

The references to other letters that I was sent were spot on- all my friends were very kind about sending me the news, at least in the month of September- I have no other letters from this school year, but obviously valued the connection and hung on to the first month’s correspondence, although they have no place in this collection.
When it comes to Jean Webster’s Daddy Long Legs, I’m sure Cyn did not expect any similarities between an American girl’s college before WW1 and Traill, but if I had been expected to take part in any athletic activity, she certainly would have heard my outrage! The nicest thing about Trent was that they did not insist on any courses- no demand for a science to make me well rounded or anything- and I was allowed, after warnings that the essay load would be heavy, to take the 2 English and 2 History courses I wanted (as well as a basic Psychology course which I thought I might need as a future teacher and which resulted in the only D I ever got) so in the next 3 years I focussed on my double major to the exclusion of every other subject and enjoyed all my courses!

September 23 1969

September 23, 1969

Dear Miss Costain,

This is to let you know that I have transferred you to a group doing periods I and either II or III in History 10. This group holds its first meeting on Wednesday, October 1 in period 6 (2:00 P.M.) in President Symons’ office at Rubidge Hall. I trust this arrangement will be satisfactory; if not, perhaps you could call me as soon as possible at 748–1567.

Yours sincerely,

Douglas McCalla
Department of History

Yes, my first year History 10 seminars were with the President of Trent University, T.H.B. Symons himself, and 14 other students. We sometimes had tea around the conference table as we discussed Canadian History. He was a lovely man.

September 22 1969

49 Cedar Road,
Ottawa. 9.

22nd Sept 1969

Darling Lindy,
Such a foggy morning, but supposed to be sunny later so I hope it won’t do anything to delay Daddy’s flight from Vancouver. It will seem very queer to be meeting him this afternoon at the airport without you. I am picking up Charlie from school at 3:45 & we are going out to meet the plane.
Daddy phoned from Vancouver last night about 10 (Charlie was out at a hockey game with Alan) and was fine but sleepy. It was about 7 pm in Vancouver on 21st & he had left Tokyo at 6 pm on 21st & had already been 6 hours in Vancouver, so the 21st had gone on an awful long time.
As you can imagine Charlie & I had a busy time getting everything ready. Charlie cut the grass & finished painting our bedroom, so I washed & waxed the floor & we have everything looking elegant. I don’t know if you keep up with the football games now that you are away from your brother, but maybe some of the other students are fans – if so you will have heard all about Ottawa’s big victory over Toronto on Sat. evening. You can imagine the rejoicing in this house!
I am looking forward so much to hearing how your first week of lectures went & how you are getting on. I hope there will be a letter in the mail today and anyway we will be talking to you on the phone tonight which will be nice. I am listening to Max Ferguson & feeling quite luxurious as this is the first weekday morning I haven’t had to dash out to Nursery School. I shall miss the poppets, but it’s lovely to stay home. One thing I meant to tell you is about funny little fat Douglas MacMartin painting a picture. To begin with, he is so little that the paint pots are about at chest level on him, so the wooden handles make a kind of fence which he peers through. He took a big brush full of orange paint & began painting, around & around on one place (head level) – he didn’t take more paint, just scrubbing around & around, so I said “Douglas, wouldn’t you like to try another colour?” & he very carefully put the orange brush back & took up the blue & proceeded to scrubble on top of the orange & then the red on top of the blue! The resultant picture was like this: top out of reach, bottom very thin and wet!

This makes him sound rather unintelligent but he is the whiz kid with the jigsaws & has the same static penguin charm as Robbie!
Laura asked for your address yesterday, but I really didn’t see anyone else to talk to as I didn’t get a helper for S.S. after all & by the time I had cleared away nearly everyone had left.

Later.
My pen has passed out – hence this. What do you think? 3 letters came from you in the mail! Isn’t that lovely? I hope mine to you aren’t doing the same. I will answer all the questions when I write tomorrow. Thank you so much darling – we follow your doings with enormous interest & it was fun getting the picture of Cathy & Terry so that we see what some of your friends look like. We’ll get busy with cookies later this week.
Lots of love
Mummy
P.S. Will remember the bra. Very funny!
P.P.S. Thank you for the Youth Allowance card- have sent it off.

Traill

September 19 1969

From Cec to his daughter.

Fairmont Hotel
Sept.19, 1969

Dear Linda,
My time in Japan is down to 1 1/2 days, and while I’ve been too busy to be lonely I’ll be glad to be off.


My hotel is just outside the moat of the Imperial Palace, and on the grounds opposite is a Buda – kan, -sports gym for judo events etc. Looking out of the window I could see the roof outlined against the sky, and realized what I must have heard and known – that the traditional roof of Japanese architecture and pagodas, is in the exact line of Mount Fuji.

Fujiyama


My visit to Mt. Fuji, (or Fujiyamma,) (yamma is Mt.) was a great success – clear except for a cloud cap on the top 2000 ft. It was very clear for this time of year, but disappeared completely two hours later.


Thurs. was spent at the Kabuki theatre 11am to 4pm – lunch 20 minutes. The staging, acting costumes etc. were wonderful. The program was parts of 4 different plays, but each complete in itself. It is much like Shakespeare – a mixture of tragedy & comedy. I found it difficult to identify with the tragic scenes without the language – some like opera where the hero takes 15 min. to die after six sword thrusts, but the comedy was wonderful – more in mime. I’d never have known the actors were all male if I hadn’t been told.


My abject apologies for not noticing your birthday – I knew it was due & told the Mercers & Egans etc., but I’m afraid dates & days lose all meaning except for appointments, meetings, talks, planes, etc. I heard you were safely installed and have a nice private room. I do hope you are enjoying your new life – I expect the first while will be hectic & by the time that’s over you will be used to it. Don’t forget to do some work – like 12 hours a day.
Good luck & lots of love
Daddy

September 18 1969

Just a little note.

Wednesday [Although I believe this was actually written on Thursday the 18th of September, a week since Cyn and Charlie had taken Linda to university.]

Darling Lindy,

Thank you so much for both your nice letters – Charlie and I really enjoyed them. I will write properly when I get back from N.S. this afternoon, but I went down town yesterday afternoon & got your panty-hose changed at Morgan’s so thought I would post them straight away in case you need them. Also went to the Market & bought pickle-y things & made chutney last night – dill pickles today.

Today is horrid & rainy – better take popcorn for the little kiddos.

Lots of love –
Mummy

P.S. Re: washing – it’s OK to wash white & colours together except for dark things like jeans etc.

P.P.S. How about phoning home on Monday evening to say hello to Daddy? Phone collect after 10 like you did last time & then you can ask him about phoning perhaps once a week or every other week or something.
Love
M.

September 5 1969

These letters on the occasion of the first Costain bird leaving the nest were already complicated by the fact that one parent was travelling and the other parent was handling the departure and all the attendant details. These included almost daily letters not always dated properly! This note from Cyn to her daughter should have been the first posted- it was written the day after Cyn and Charlie drove Linda to her university and installed her, Friday September 5. The errands Cyn plans to run that day are reported on in the subsequent letters. My apologies for the mis-filing that messed up the chronology.

49 Cedar Road
Ottawa 9
Friday

Darling Lindy,
Here I am back from Nursery School and writing a note with the extra cheque for $40 which I promised you. See how things go and if you find you have enough to cover the initial expenses, we’ll wait and send the next $40 in October, but if you are running short, let us know.
It was lovely to have your phone call last night and to know all was going well. I hope that you got to sleep all right as you must have been really tired. Charlie and I haven’t been in bed so early for months, but it was quite a long drive back and so we toddled off to bed. We stopped once on the way home & I had tea & a piece of lemon pie while Charlie had a hamburger, and my pie was homemade & delicious so Charlie had apple pie which was just as good. It was only a small place & seem to be run by a family & the lady did the baking. We felt very lucky. We had tea when we got home & I had bacon & eggs & Charlie had bacon & toast. I guess you weren’t able to make a cup of tea last night, but maybe you will find a kettle etc. nearer your room. If you have to get your own kettle, you could either see if you can get one in Peterborough or wait & get one here at Thanksgiving. Which reminds me, I re-addressed the Traill Booklet & mailed it by the 9:15 post this morning so you will get it on Monday when you get this I expect.
The phone keeps ringing – Mrs Martin for me to pick her up at the Hospital this afternoon & a Sunday School mother registering her children over the phone! Nursery School was quite quiet this morning except for Lynn McSherry who has no inhibitions & made the place her own! One very clinging mother who appeared each time we got Mark interested in something, & so brought on new tears & prolonged the agony!
I am going down town to the Bank now & will take back Library Books. Then at 4 I pick up Charlie for a haircut at St Laurent. We’ll have an ice cream cone & think of you. Saki is sleeping soundly on her chair but would send a little nibble for you.
Much love Mummy.

Speaking of libraries, this is Trent Library in pre-computer days.

It is hard to look back and remember how money worked in pre-plastic times. I opened a bank account in Peterborough, but I hadn’t really had a summer job that year after high school, so had no earnings of my own to fall back on. I gather from this note that the initial expenses settling me in that Thursday had been a bit more than expected, and Cyn was making sure that I would have enough cash for anything else that might turn up. (Such as a tea kettle. I expect I ventured down town in Peterborough, cashed the $40 cheque and immediately bought an electric kettle. My grandmother had sent me an early morning tea set all the way from St Vincent and fortunately the teapot, milk, and hot water jug, and a plate had survived the journey, and were carefully included in my moving-to-Trent box of essentials. Because tea is essential.)

A decade later when I was teaching high school, there were scams focusing on getting new college students to take out credit cards and go into debt without realizing it, and teachers were asked to enlighten future victims- but in the year 69/70, no one wasted time targeting students like me!

September 17 1969: Linda’s Letter

The Library.

49 Cedar Road,
Ottawa 9, Ont.
17th Sept.

Darling Lindy,
I have just finished writing to Grannie as I haven’t written for weeks and got a letter today asking all about you and when you went to College. I gave her your address and told her about us driving you down and what we did that day, but she would love to hear from you if you have time. Her address at the moment is: – c/o Mrs. W. Jaeger, 22 Curley St.. Long Beach, New York, N.Y. U.S.A. but I don’t know how long she will be there as she doesn’t say when she is leaving. I also had 2 (continuous) letters from Daddy today, written from Japan, and he asks about you and says he will write to you so perhaps you have got a letter too, by now. It will be lovely to see him on Monday and I’m only sorry that you won’t be here too, but you must telephone anyway. Today has been a very newsy day, as I also had a phone call from Maureen asking for your address and saying she had written you a long letter – she sounded as if she had a cold, but we didn’t talk long. Then Mrs. Craven called and asked me to tea next week to meet Jean’s Grandmother, so we had a nice gossip about our Girls and Trent etc. Oh, while I am on the subject of your friends and acquaintances, Mrs Haynes phoned on Monday (about the computer course Charlie was interested in) and I asked how Janet was, but apparently being her first real day, she still didn’t know what was really going on. She had gone to one or two discussion groups last week, but found them not very entertaining, I gathered. I was in the Rideau Library yesterday and Mrs. McNeely was there so I asked her how Tom was getting on and he likes Carleton so far and says there are lots of kids he knows. Who else? Oh, yes – I was telling Fanni about your room to yourself, and she was telling me that Janek had to share a room and the Univ. wrote and asked him if he had any preferences about a room-mate, so Janek, thinking of his French said, oh, he would quite like someone from overseas, so what has he got but an Egyptian!
A break for tea and blueberry pie! I went to the Market yesterday afternoon and bought all sorts of fruit and vegetables. Last night I made Peach Chutney (had a long chat with Mrs. Pierce on the phone and the chutney caught on the bottom, so it is a bit Strong, but otherwise OK) and tomorrow I will make the Famous Dill Pickles. Today I made Charlie a blueberry pie, so I had to taste a piece to see if it was all right.

My window is hidden by the car.

Charlie and I really enjoyed hearing all about all your doings in your letters. I hope that you got the handbook I sent back to you but I don’t know if you would find it much use by the time it arrived. I’m glad that even if you miss breakfast you can make out on apples and toast and tea and don’t starve! I do feel very pleased that the brownies were so much appreciated- did you want me to send you more cookies? I don’t know how fresh they would be by the time you got them but we can always try. Let me know. And by the way, about typing your essays – Charlie came up with the idea, that if you got them done in time you could always send them home and I could do that! Actually, if you wanted them typed somewhere in town you would have to get them done in good time and it would be quite expensive I imagine, so it’s a thought. I wouldn’t mind it if you gave me time to get them done! [As it turned out, the idea of me ever getting an essay done before the due date was laughable and my professors had to make do with my handwriting.]
Can you believe that tomorrow will be one week since you’ve left home? As you say, it seems months already and this week with me at the Nursery School each morning seems to have gone on for ages. Nothing very exciting has happened there – yesterday it rained and we couldn’t take the children out to play which was rather trying, but everything is going quite well and all the children have now begun. The mother who kept coming back to wave to dear little Mark, brought him the next day and then halfway through the morning phoned to see if he was all right and of course he hadn’t turned a hair and this morning he dressed up in all the dress up clothes and roared through the rooms like a tornado! We now have a mother even worse than that though. She belongs to a little girl called Margie and apparently took her to Betty Hyde’s N. S. last year and sat with her every day for 3 months and then took her out. Well, Tues. she came with her and the 2 of them sat together all morning – Margie dragging her mother from paint to dough to jigsaws and mother tagging along. Then came circle time, and when I gave Mother a chair Margie wanted to stay with Mummy, so Mummy sat on the floor in the circle with Margie on her knee, so you can imagine how delighted I was! Today Mother and Margie arrived late with Margie dressed in old corduroy jeans and an old flannelette pyjama top fastened with 1 button! Nothing underneath – Margie hadn’t wanted to get dressed. GRR-r-r! This time Mother had been invited out to coffee so come circle time she told Margie she was going and you should have heard the screams and heard the tantrums! All the kids stood around and watched as she rolled and kicked on the floor and Mary Anne said to me “Why is the little girl doing that?” She didn’t go into circle, but in the end took a cookie and eventually went out to play and was perfectly all right. It will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow! The Saga of Margie.
I hope that you have got your gown by now – you really seemed to have trouble finding out about it and finding the place open. How does it feel wearing it? I am so glad that everyone is kind and helpful and that you have got to know so many of the girls and are feeling more at home. The picnic sounded fun, even if the dance was a bit of a bore, but after all the first one everyone must have been feeling strange, and they will be more fun as you get to know more people. Saki and I are very sorry that Gary has put you off Puss in Boots Cat Food, because it is the only one she will eat. In fact they have just brought out a new KIDNEY cat food which is deeelicious! I can’t imagine anything less appetizing than a cat food factory – how can he bear to eat anything now? How nice of Cathy to promise to lend you her hairdryer – you’ll have to see what Santa can do about it I guess. From that Traill booklet I gather that record players are quite acceptable, so have you had yours on much? Also don’t forget that pink card to be signed for your 20 dollar Youth Allowance – it would go nicely towards a hairdryer! I am enclosing your Library Card which came today – I thought you might as well keep it in your wallet as it might get mislaid if it just lay around at home.
I had a good little chuckle over the dry sherry and Andrew Aitkins bottle of sauterne. Did Andrew know you or say hello or anything or are you too low and meek for him to notice? I’ll be interested to hear if you see anyone else you know when the other students return.
This afternoon I had a Mrs. Johnson to tea– the person who is taking over my job in Scientist’s Wives, poor dear! She’s very nice and I like her – apparently she worked at NRC for 18 years and has only been married for 4– knows people like Kim and Beulah. I must ask people about her and find out what her romance was like! The first Scientist Wives notice came today and the Sept. meeting is up at Kingsmere and the Oct. meeting is a lunch out at the Seignory Club at Montebello – I’m not very interested in either and it is lovely to think that I needn’t go if I don’t want to.
I must stop now as I have to draft a letter to the N. S. parents from the committee – gently reminding them to pay their fees among other words of wisdom!
Saki sends lots of purrs and bites and scratches! She really misses you because she is demanding lots of attention from Charlie and me and at the weekend she was wandering around looking for something or someone to play with.
Hug from Charlie and lots of love from
Mummy

I was interested in the tone of this letter – Cyn has written the same news on the same day [Carol’s letter already posted] to her mother and her daughter, but this letter is more intimate somehow, with small details included that add to the sense of home. The comments from the parents of other people going to Trent are amusing- I can’t remember ever interacting with Linda Dowell or Andrew Aitkin who lived in our Ottawa neighbourhood but were a bit older, and although Jean Craven had been in the same classes as I for 13 years, I really never saw her until our 4th year when we rented rooms in the same house. The college system and the different disciplines really separated students so the friends I made at Trent were the ones with whom I lived.

September 14 1969

49 Cedar Road
Ottawa 9, Ont.

Sunday 14th Sept. 1969

Darling Lindy,
Charlie is down at Gloucester with the football game, hoping that his little boys will win today and get encouraged! (They didn’t!) I wonder if you managed to find a church this morning – ours was full with loads of kidlums for the S.S. registration – I had 12 and Debbie Christie had something like 15. She & Sue are going to change rooms & Sue will go into the little h’keeping room & Debbie into the big one. Alan & Mrs. Smart’s class are going down to the school. I liked being in the Block room, but it was chaotic – Bradfield & Lynn McSherry very much at home & being very vociferous & the others overawed. Little Stevie Graham began to cry which made a few others tearful, so I got Dick [Stevie’s grandfather] from the choir & as he refused to be comforted, Dick took him out & I suggested Jocelyn [his mother] stay with him next week. All went well for a while & then in the middle of the story, little Karen Reynolds dissolved & wanted Mummy. So I sat her on my knee & read above the sobs! I have demanded an assistant by next week!
The choir looked very lonely with 4 girls & 2 men – the 2 extra girls were the ones from that family that had the cottage – remember? Maureen & Sue asked about you & I gave Sue back her Hair Style Booklet. Have you met Linda Dowell yet? I was talking to Mr. Dowell & he was very impressed with Lady Eaton, but they were apparently not so well organized as C.P.T. because they told Linda (who arrived early. No Lamb?) to go & unpack & when she came down there were mile-long queues for Registration etc. She is sharing a room with another girl, but it is partitioned.
On Friday after I wrote to you I was very efficient. I went to down town to the Bank (met Jim Gander for a minute) & took back the Library books, then popped into Mr. Olmstead. He gave me the enclosed case for your glasses & wouldn’t let me pay. It’s not like your old one but I hope it will be O.K. just to keep them from getting scratched. Then I went to the Post Office (mailed the film) & the St. Laurent Library with our renewal cards – the girl says it’s OK about yours. I got out “On Sunday the Rabbi Stayed Home” & I am reading it now & wish you were here to read it too. It takes place at Passover & it’s not nearly so much fun not having you to discuss it with.
Yesterday Charlie & I decided that if he was to get our bedroom painted this was the time, so I moved into the bed in the family room & we chased around & got everything organized & Charlie got most of it done. There is some of the woodwork still to finish but it looks very nice. I bought some new curtains at S. City as I thought lighter coloured ones might make the room look bigger – they are thin sort of sheer material, but with a lining in shades of blue & green. Pretty, I think. I am toying with the idea of trying to recover the lampshades – they are such a dreary yellow-y colour now.
I spent all Friday evening doing N.S. accounts & must still have another session with them, but think I will leave it till tomorrow. I am so infuriated – the 2 things I wanted to watch on TV – the Royal Family. & the Disaster of the Riol, instead of being on tonight and tomorrow evening are BOTH on tonight at 9 PM- Grrrr!
It is a lovely sunny day, so I think I had better go out & do some gardening – maybe if I tidy up the front, Daddy won’t get too big a shock!

Lots of love from
Charlie and Saki and
Mummy

P.S. Joey had on her new skirt & coat today. It looked very nice but she must have been hot.

P.PS. Monday Noon – Just got your letter written on Sat. Hope classes went well today. Going to S.C. for a big envelope for this & will mail.

There really was 2=way communication!

September 10 1969

Kohaku- maru
On the inland sea
Sept.10, 1969.

Dear Linda,

Believe it or not, I’m at sea.

In Sydney I received a letter from Professor Morino suggesting a long itinerary for my trip to Japan. Part of it was to go from Fukuoka (University of Kyushu) my first stop to Beppu by train. Hirota- who was in Ottawa last summer and at the big party in our garden – was to come with me and yesterday he showed me all around Beppu. It has hundreds of hot springs & geysers – the whole side of the mountain has rising jets of steam.

Dr. Morino and Cec

Today I am on a large liner, going to Takamatsu. We started at 8:10 am, and I land at 5:30. The tickets – first class deluxe, were a present from Professor Morino. I am writing this letter in my private cabin. Professor Morino is meeting me and we go by boat and car to Kurashiki. He has my next ten days planned – and I suspect – paid for. He told Hirota that he can never repay our kindness when he & his wife were in Ottawa 5 years ago – and he had the operation in Ann Arbor. But the hospitality is almost embarrassing.

My trip to the Great Barrier Reef was a bit disappointing because the weather was too rough to land on the reef. We had one short trip with a glass bottomed boat. The coral was 3-10 ft down, and it was like looking in a continuously changing aquarium early millions of fish of all sizes & colours swimming in & out of the coral branches. Wish we’d seen more & been able to snorkel.

I hope you are finding your new life exciting & not too lonely. I expect they will keep you busy. I know I’m busy, but often wish I was home.

Linda’s courses: 2 English, 2 History, and Psychology.

Lots of love
Daddy