January 1 1951

Visitors!

Jan 1st 1951

Dearest Mummy,

Happy, Happy New Year!  Cec and I send our love and all our good wishes for a beautiful 1951, and hope that you have a lovely time.

We have had the laziest New Year’s Day! In fact, since our guests left on Sat. we have been in a state of collapse and exhaustion, and have done very little except sleep and rest! That sounds bad, doesn’t it, but the fact is that we were really tired when Christmas came, and visitors are a bit of a strain anyway, so it’s nice to relax and have this weekend to ourselves. 

I’ll begin at the beginning though, and tell you all about Connie & Leonard’s visit and what sort of a Christmas we all had. Actually, the week before Christmas was hectic – we were busy at work, and each evening at home I had jobs to do- scrubbing the kitchen floor!- icing the cake – ironing- finishing Christmas shopping- making cookies etc. so when we got a letter from C&L saying that they would spend Fri. night in Detroit & come to us on Sat. I was very pleased. We scurried around & were more or less set when they arrived at about 11:30 on Sat. – the friend they’d stayed with brought them in his car. Connie & Leonard looked just the same as ever – their shoes beautifully polished!! The friend, Howard, is an ex-Englishman from Plymouth (knows L’s uncle) who married a US exchange teacher before the war & came over here with her. He is naturalized now, but his wife died recently & he is very nervy & strung up, poor man. He was going on to spend Christmas with his in-laws, so only stayed for a cup of coffee. We gave C&L our bedroom, so they unpacked & we had lunch & in the afternoon the Simpsons, Joan & Oliver & their little boy Christopher, came to tea. They knew the Boveys of course, so we all had quite a gossipy time, & Christopher was very cute & very intrigued with a gum-drop tree which we gave him! They finally went, & we had dinner & by then were all a bit tired, so just chatted till bedtime. Cec & I slept on the sitting room sofa which pulls out into a double bed & wasn’t bad at all.

On Sunday we had the Sutherlands coming to tea, so after our morning breakfast & chores we were all buzzing around when Connie had a nosebleed & eventually fainted. Apparently, she has these nosebleeds sometimes but this one was very violent & she just passed out & scared us to bits. Fortunately, we had some brandy (for the Christmas cake!!) & she came around quite quickly, but looked poorly. However, she was up when the S’s came & we had quite a nice tea party & Connie took the rest of the day quietly.

She was going to go to Church with me on Christmas morning but didn’t feel too well, so I went by myself, & when I got back we had breakfast & then opened our presents! I can’t remember what I told you in our funny Christmas day letter so I’ll tell you the presents again anyway. Cec & I thought C&L so queer as they didn’t give each other anything! Connie had a pair of new shoes with her that she said were from Len, but there was no word of what she given him, & she told us at great length one day of how they took very little notice of Christmas at home etc.! Anyway, Cec & I gave her a pair of nylons, & some plastic bowl covers for the fridge, & Len a pair of gaudy nylon socks & an Esquire calendar of 1/2 clad girls(!!), & a box of sweets to both. They gave us a book of pictures of Oxford & Cambridge & gave us another book of pictures of England when they left, the photos are lovely.

Cec gave me a dress! It is pretty pale blue, & a lovely brown cord boxy handbag. I gave him a pr. of slacks(!) – they are a nice gray–blue, & finally finished that gray- blue sweater!! & a new belt & an ashtray & a diary! We had a nice time anyway. We also got the Book Club from Dottie, & a sub. to Reader’s Digest from Merle & Dixon, & some pretty little square mats with flowers on from Amy & I got a book from Mrs. Allan & a hankie puff from Nan & a little diary from Miss Lefroy.  The S’s gave us a bottle of sherry (fair exchange- we gave them one!) & Gunborg gave me a cake, & Mrs. Kaufman made me a lovely sponge cake. Irene sent me a box of bath cubes & Bill sent Cec a book of cartoons, so we really had a lot. Your parcel hasn’t come yet, but it is lovely to have it to look forward to.

Connie & I stuffed the turkey & put it in, & then Mr. & Mrs. K. came up for a glass of sherry during the afternoon. We finally had our dinner & the turkey was grand, but we ate so much we couldn’t eat any pudding! It was one Mrs. Atkinson gave me ages ago, so I don’t know what it would have been like anyway, but when I went out later, I had forgotten it & it had boiled dry & was like a hard stone! we threw it out!

Next day we took C&L to town & they shopped a bit, but it was very cold (snow on the ground all the time) so we didn’t stay too long. In the evening we went to the S’s “English” party- us & the Simpsons & Dockerills & had a lovely time. We had a buffet style meal, & then looked at colour photos & had Swedish “glögg” (a kind of hot punch) before we went home. We all got presents from under the tree – mine was “foam baths “& Cec got a cigar! Little Mary got Santa’s Candy Store & was thrilled to bits!

Next day we went for our first long drive in the car – to Toledo! We set off at about 10:30 in the morning & Cec drove about 1/2 way, & then I drove the rest. We had a cup of hot chocolate in the middle, but it was a very cold day, with bright sun on the snow, so it wasn’t too good driving, but we managed fine. We arrived in good time for lunch & Til & Lois were pleased to see us, & it was fun showing Connie their pretty house. We had a drink & a nice dinner of roast beef & floating island, & felt very bloated! We took Til a rolling pin & pie plate for her Christmas present! They were very pretty cream oven proof ware, with a wreath of green ivy leaves & she thought they were cute & so did I! We took a Lois a beer stein for her evening beer & she liked that too. They gave us our Christmas & wedding present & so did Ruth, & they were lovely. Ruth’s was towels – gorgeous tomato & lime green ones! Til & Lois’ was a waffle iron and grill combination – yes, I know we have one! And we had to confess we had, (we got it with Marie’s money, remember?) – but this one is twice as big & very nice, so we will have to see if we can sell the other. That reminds me, we got an invitation to Bebe’s wedding, so will have to send something, but haven’t her address – will you send it to me? And of course give her the embroidered tablecloth – I think it is a very good idea & don’t mind a bit. I have one of your table cloths, & at the moment don’t get a chance to use it much, so don’t mind doing without the other. 

Lois & Connie behind Cyn & Til.

Ruth & Mary & the children came to visit while we were there, but we left between 4 & 5 & Cec drove all the way home & was very good. My clever little husband.

Next day I went to work for the morning- Cec drove me – & then met the others for lunch in town. They then went shopping & Cec & I came home & I baked a big mince pie & got dinner ready as the Dockerills were coming. We had cold turkey & ham, stuffed baked potatoes, vegetable casserole, salad, cranberry sauce etc. then the mince pie, & everyone seemed to enjoy it. Instead of a jigsaw puzzle this year, Cec got us a game- at least 4 games in 1- & one is Chinese Checkers & we played that & had quite fun. 

Friday I went to work 1/2 day again, & then Cec took the Boveys shopping again & I washed! In the evening after dinner we went to the Simpsons for coffee, & then on Sat. morning we drove C&L to Detroit to Howard’s & we all went out to lunch. They were going back by train either yesterday or today. We got back here about 5 & Cec got a cup of tea ready & then I fell asleep on the sofa till 8 o’clock when he woke me for a sandwich! Then at 9 he took over the sofa & slept till 11 when we tottered to bed & slept till 11 next morning!!

We hadn’t made any plans for New Year’s Eve, but Gordon came around & asked us to see it in with them so we did, & Anne and Kirsten sneaked down & joined in too! We called in at Pete & Mary Jo’s on the way home & Gordon came & first-footed us so we had fun. Today we got up late & Cec had a grand time listening to the big football game in the Rose Bowl in California- California v. Michigan & we won!

As you can imagine our visitors weren’t all joy! We decided that one trouble was that they stayed a bit too long for our small flat, & by the end we were all a bit too much on top of each other. They were very good about helping, but Connie was poorly off & on all the time – she didn’t know whether it was the “debility” thing she’s been having or if she was “preggy”! She was only 1 week overdue, so I don’t know if that was much to go by, but she made me laugh by saying that everyone had been trying to make her pregnant for the past 2 years!! Anyway, apart from that Cec & I think she is very spoilt, & gets peevish on the slightest provocation, so she annoyed us a bit. Another thing that annoyed us was that they are absolutely obsessed with money & could talk of very little else. They constantly were comparing prices with Canada, & every other thing they would say we can’t afford that, and actually they are getting just what we were before I was working & what we still live on (as my pay goes for McTavish) so they are not so poverty- stricken as all that! However, the visit is over & we all parted on friendly terms!

Talking of babies & being preggy, I had a letter from Anne written on the day hers was born- the 19th. A little girl Janita Margarita – 8 lbs 1 1/4 ozs- after only 3 hours labour – Anne very thrilled & pleased of course! We also had news that Jean & Graham are having one in May- Joan & Ray in June- & Millie at work in June! Isn’t it amazing? We were also very thrilled to hear from Jennifer – the D.Sc. teacher from London who travelled over on the ship with us last year. We had often wondered & she writes to say that she & Ben (the ex-RAF fellow who was on the ship too) were married in April, & they have bought a holiday camp in Ontario & are having a baby this summer too! I am so happy to have my curiosity gratified!

I forgot to tell you that your letter with the maps & plans of the island came on the 29th (posted 27th N.) & thank you very very, very much honey. I enjoyed them & am keeping them with me for reference in future – it is much more fun to actually have some idea where everything is.

Must stop now & go to bed – work again tomorrow – I feel quite unaccustomed to the thought! My love & good wishes to Aunties Moo & Ettie- got A. Moo’s Christmas card & your card to the Boveys – 

        With lots & lots of love

                    from Cynnie & Cec.

November 13 1950

First page had typewritten second page on the back- rest hand written- hard to read!

Monday. 13th November.

Dearest Mummy,

Was so glad to get your letter last week & to know that you had got the letter with the typed forms & coloured pictures & so on- also my Air Mail letter. I saw our Mailman on Sat. (your letter came on Thurs.) & he was begging for some St Vincent stamps, so your letters keep me very popular with the postmen!

The last time I wrote I was going to go with Dawn and Edie to the pictures & it was raining – the buses here are once an hour in the evenings, so I set out to walk, all bundled up in raincoat & hood & boots, but by the time I got there I was dripping all over! However, the picture was quite good – it was called “All About Eve” & got very good criticisms & the other girls thought it was wonderful, but I didn’t rave! The dialogue was good, & Bette Davis was amusing with her wisecracks, but looked awful! I took a taxi home as it was still raining, so I told Cec I’d had a very expensive evening out of my pocket money – he usually pays for pictures out of his pocket money!

Cec’s Seminar finally came off on Thursday afternoon (after staying up till 5 a.m. on Wed. night) & he came home very pleased as it had gone so well. Dr. Sutherland was very pleased with it & some of the other Profs had too & they had all been interested & asked questions & discussed things afterwards, so after all his hard work it was nice to feel rewarded. Since then he has been relaxing a bit, but he’s starting in to toil again today he says.

On Friday evening we went & shopped for our groceries, and I made my Christmas shopping list and we planned out a great day of action for Saturday! We got the Laundry ready to take to the Laundrymat- wrote checks for the Electric Co. & Laundry that we owed- Cec took out the typewriter to take down to get it cleaned & I took my Christmas shopping list. Our first stop at the Laundrymat was a little disheartening, as it was crowded and we had to wait for half an hour or more, however, we finally got it in and walked the rest of the distance into town. There, we headed for the Bank – and what do you think? It was closed for November 11. It is a legal holiday here, and of course we didn’t know. We were so frustrated! I couldn’t buy any presents of course, and it means that I won’t be able to get any till next Saturday, so my presents will be late in getting off, but I can’t do anything else. Also to add to our troubles, the places where we were going to pay our bills were closed too, and the man who was to do the typewriter was out! Anyway, we left the typewriter, and had a cup of coffee to weep into, and then went home for lunch. I was ever so annoyed.

In the afternoon I cleaned the flat, and Dr. S. & Anne called to leave their bicycles on the way to the Football Game. Gunborg is away till tonight so we had asked Gordon if he would like to come and have a game of bridge with us on the Sat. evening, as he plays and Gunborg isn’t keen, and he said that he would like to very much. So another thing that frustrated us all day Sat. was that we spent the day ringing up Al MacNamara to ask him to come and make a fourth and we never managed to get him yet! After the football game Anne and Gordon came in and had tea and hot scones, and Gordon said that he had some shopping to do, and would call for us in the car when he’d gone home on his bicycle, as we were getting ready to go up and get our laundry, so we waited and he was quite a little while – and guess what? It was just after six when we got there, and the place was closed, and we didn’t get our laundry either! Wasn’t that a day? However, Gordon came in the evening anyway, and we played cut-throat bridge, and all had a good time, so it ended all right!

I meant to do so much over the weekend of course in the way of writing letters, but ended up by getting none done. I had the rest of the washing to do, and what with our late rising and the meals and general chores, I wasn’t finished until after dinner in the evening and then in a moment of weakness I picked up “Florence Nightingale” which was our last Book Club from Dottie, which came sometime ago. Cec had read it, and I had read a little at the beginning, so I began to look at it again and ended by reading all evening. It is a biography written by a woman Cecil Woodham-Smith, I think, and it’s very fascinating. I had no idea that Florence was such a weird person, and that she had done such a little actual nursing. In some ways I kept thinking of Miss Lefroy, but she isn’t as peculiar as Florence was. I was very sorry to hear of poor Miss Lefroy’s troubles and the bad time she has been having. I do hope that she is able to get a good couple downstairs, and that she is free of domestic worries for a while. By the way, when I sent her birthday card I had forgotten that Chris’s birthday was so close, and didn’t say anything about her except to send my love – however! I thought that for their Christmas I would send a fruitcake like Barbara Kristin used to send me – even if they don’t like it much themselves, it will do for their tea parties! The only other thing I could think of was a bottle of whiskey for Chris, and that is a bit expensive! Talking of whiskey – on Saturday, after our bank catastrophe, we suddenly thought that we had Gordon coming in the evening, and we had nothing to drink. They always give us something, so we thought we should do our best, so we went home and opened my two piggy banks, and the cigarette box where we keep the money for the newspaper boy, and scratched together enough for a little bottle of whiskey and a bottle of ginger ale! We put in We.O.U.’s and will pay them back!

It is Tuesday now, and I am writing this at lunch time again. Cec got some money yesterday, and bought our bathroom scales with our lunch money, and so I weighed myself and am 125 lbs. and Cec is 201 lbs. Yesterday was the first day of my diet, and I was very good- I am leaving out all sugar and milk out of tea and coffee, and it tastes horrid! Today I had two hard-boiled eggs and a grapefruit for my lunch, and for dinner tonight I have steak, but only a salad with it. I’m not too oppressed with hunger, but my tummy feels very surprised!

Instead of beginning with your oldest letter and answering through till I’m up-to-date, I decided to do it the other way around this time, so I brought your last letter to answer today. It was written on October 30, and you had got my A.M. of 20th. I am so sorry that you were worried about your letters, as I haven’t mentioned them – they come very nicely & regularly & Cec & I love them. They are waiting in the evening when I get home & the first thing Cec always says is “A letter from your Mummy”, so I sit down & read it right then & there, then hand it onto him to read while I go & get dinner!

I was glad that you told me again where the colour photos were of, because I had forgotten exactly where they were taken. I knew the house and garden belonged to some friends you had visited, but didn’t know which ones. Also, I had no idea that that was the beach where you went bathing, so was pleased you told me. I think sometime when you have nothing to do, besides making the Family Tree that Cec talks about, you should make me a pictorial map of the island, & put in where people live & where are you bathe & shop & everything, so that I can follow everything that’s going on! There’s a nice job for you!! That reminds me of my scrapbook – do you know it is just about full? I had quite a session a few weeks back one Sat. evening while Cec was working, & I brought us right from our honeymoom up to living in Ann Arbor. I got as far as this summer & only have 2 pages left – can you imagine that huge book bursting full? We still love to look at it & inflict it on anyone else we can!!

First of many scrapbooks!

To return to your letter, Cec was most amused to hear about all the Hazells about the place & your “niece” in the Bank – also most curious to know the joke about Grafton! I couldn’t remember – unless he was the man who didn’t have 6 inches! Is that him?!!

I was sorry to hear that you had been having such queer weather with so much rain, & I do hope that it improves and that you have a lovely time down by the sea. It is a grand idea of Auntie Ettie’s that you should all have a holiday, and I know that you will all enjoy the bathing. Our weather has been a bit strange too. Our weekend at Til & Lois’ was heavenly & warm & for about 3 or 4 days afterwards it was like summer again, then it suddenly got cold & snowed, & has been alternately cold & wet since.

I didn’t really tell you much about our visit to Til & Lois’ so I will go into more detail now, and answer your questions too. They had a good time in Alabama this summer (the little car was fine) and while there they asked Grandma whether she would mind selling the Berwick Ave. house, as it was partly hers originally. She said no, so when Lois came back (before Til) she began looking around & an agent took her to this darling little house by the river, & she fell for it at once. She telephoned Til, & Til came home, & liked it too, so they decided to buy it & Til sold “Berwick” to her nephew Bud & his wife (one of Etta’s children- big fat Etta who used to come to Til’s when I was there & was so nice) so it is still in the family. We only heard about the new house when Til rang us up one evening, & they had only been in it about 3 weeks when we went. I told you all about it & sent a plan in a sea letter I sent, so won’t repeat it, but it is a yellow bungalow & very cosy, with the most beautiful view I’ve seen for ages (it is only one year old). Talking of bungalows, a slight digression to tell you that I had a letter from Denis this week, & he was telling me that he has at last got a job in N/C, so he is very pleased. They are going to stay with Winnie till they find a house, & are keen on a bungalow, so they were interested when the Hayning’s bungalow was for sale, a few weeks ago- price £2,400- & as Denis says only 4 small rooms & not the smallest piece of ground for a garage. We were wondering how they would like living with Winnie, but maybe they will be able to find some other place before long.

To return to our Toledo weekend, Lois met us at the Bus Station in town & drove us out to the house – it takes about 3/4 of an hour- & Til was waiting there with all the lights on & a big blazing fire & it looked lovely. We saw all over the house & had dinner & spent the evening in front of the fire – I was so enchanted to see a fire again, & be able to poke & put on logs! Does it make you nostalgic too, or are you just glad you don’t have to clean out the darn things anymore!

On Sat. morning Cec & I slept till 10, & then got up to find that Til & Lois had been up since 6 or some unearthly hour, & Til said Lois had been shouting & stamping around the place for hours trying to wake us up! After we had breakfast we went out & really saw the place by daylight, & it looked heavenly with the sun shining & all the autumn colours. We scrambled down the bank to the river & really inspected the property & picked lovely branches of queer little white berries & scarlet & yellow maple leaves & I arranged a copper jug & a grey bowl with them & everyone thought they were very artistic!! Lois showed Cec her leaf-brusher-up & her lawn-mower with a seat to sit on & Til & I inspected the plants & roped in Cec to help us transplant some little pine trees that had been just dumped in one place. Cec then helped Lois who was caulking around the side of the house & Til & I went shopping in Waterville for the groceries & began cooking dinner when we got back. Mr. & Mrs. Pasquier were coming later to see us & for a snack Til said, & we just had all the dinner ready about 2:30 to 3 o’clock, when in they came! After everything had been shown etc.Till was in a great quandary as the dinner was all cooked with only 6 little pork chops, but we dished it all up with lots of veg & applesauce etc. and ice cream & cake (stale, Til said) afterwards, & everyone had a good time!

They had to leave in the early evening as they had another engagement, but it was so nice to see them again & Ethel brought us the loveliest presents from her trip abroad. To me she gave a beautiful hankie from Paris, with a map of England woven into it, & for our wedding present she gave us a lovely little cigarette holder and ashtray made of Royal Copenhagen ware, which she got in Denmark. They are a dull turquoise blue on the outside with grey inside & a gold band around the rim. Weren’t they lovely presents?

On Sunday we slept late (Cec & me!! ) then Cec & Lois did more chores & I began cutting suckers off the apple tree with a lovely long handled sort of guillotine! In the afternoon two old aunties of Lois’ arrived (just as we were finishing dinner!) with 2 other ladies & a gentleman & they stayed for ages! Cec & Lois sneaked away & began a great project to enable them to tow the leaf-sweeper-up behind the motor mower & toiled away at it until dark & just got it done, much to their delight!! When the Aunties etc. finally left, Ruth & Ernie & the children & Lois’s other sister, Mary, came as we were just beginning to think of going for our 6:15 bus, so Til called up & found there was another bus at 10:15, so we were persuaded into staying. After a while Ernie took the children home & Ruth & Mary drove us in for the bus, & it was very foggy a lot of the way. The bus was late & we didn’t get home till 1 a.m. feeling fair wore out, but we had a lovely time, & think their house is sweet & just suits them. They are both thrilled with it – particularly Lois, who is as tickled as if she had hatched it!! Til has a grand-daughter – baby born in Panama!

I was most interested to hear about Monie’s impressions of Wales & sympathise with her over the cold feet and nose – particularly as I have a cold sore on my lip at the moment! Pah! -never had them before I got engaged!! I told Cec you were making cracks about his Mama writing letters & he laughed! You won’t be hearing from her for a long time now anyway, as we had a letter last week full of news – they have sold their house & land in Sutherland & have bought a smaller house with a smaller garden actually in Saskatoon. It will be less work & more convenient & they seem very pleased. Also, Russell, the 2nd boy (21) is engaged & getting married at Christmas! He is the one who works on the Govt. Telephones you know & is away from home, but when he was home for the weekend when we were there, there was a little talk of his girl, but not much & we are so sorry we didn’t meet her.

It is now Wednesday, so I have decided to finish & post this letter tomorrow, as I think it is just about the proper weight. I will continue with the rest of the gossip & post the next installment later! Cec is busy marking tests – he is taking 2 classes  (6 hours) a week- the same as he did before, but on Tues. & Thurs. his classes begin at 8 o’clock so that is a change for him!! He is sitting there, muttering “Silly buggers” as he marks things wrong!

My love to Auntie Muriel & Auntie Ettie – I hope that you are all having the loveliest time by the sea.  

        With lots & lots of love for you

          from Cynnie & Cec XXXX

P.S. Cec has given me full marks!

By Sea- Oddments

This is basically a collection of pictures and notes, illustrating the back-and-forth between Cyn and her mother, Carol.  

Pictures from Carol: These are very sturdy, matt, and have her comments on the back. The big one was posted earlier, when the pictures were mentioned in a letter. (Nov 1 1950) It is stuck in the scrapbook, so anything written on the back is unavailable.

Carol Alone. Grannie’s writing: “Another of me with Moo cut off- I look rather soft – It’s my hanky I have in my hand and not my teeth as PWV suggested!”
Moo & Carol seated. “This was about the best of Muriel – and it’s not good- he made her take off her glasses which was a pity.”
Moo & Carol standing- in the shoes Cyn had never seen! “Muriel & self by the variegated hybiscus tree – its leaves are more white than green & the flowers bright red. Moo has her arm around me, & I am looking at a hen going to roost in a tree near by–”
“ ‘Noyack’-he couldn’t get in the front steps unfortunately – they are just at the side-” [see pencil marks meant to be steps] “I am sitting at Muriel’s window – my bedroom window is at the right- X”. 

Then there is the collection of oddments Cyn mentioned in her letter of November 7th, on three different types and sizes of paper, that she sent by sea, but referring to events she had already mentioned to her mother.  (Just in case anyone else needs educating, Cyn was used to having fun from childhood on November 5th, when the English celebrate the failure of Guy Fawkes to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605, with fireworks and bonfires that burn a stuffed effigy, ‘the Guy’.) She never mentions Hallowe’en on Oct. 31, which I would have thought would have been an equivalent event in Ann Arbor.

Dearest Mummy,

This isn’t a letter- it is just a collection of funny things to amoose you!

I thought that you would like to know a bit how Til & Lois’s & the Sutherland’s houses look, and you know what fun I get out of drawing plans! They are both lovely houses in their own ways, but Til and Lois’ is in such a beautiful place it is hard to describe it. The prices – wow!- S’s is $25,000 & T & L $23,000 – millionaires needed!

The other funny little things are the place cards & menu I am going to make for dinner on Sat. night! We are having my pal Edie from work & Cec’s Canadian pal Al MacNamara from the Physics Dept. (he is from Sask – very shy – he came to dinner once before) to dinner & to play bridge. I have decided to make it a Guy Fawkes dinner, & altho’ Cec says they won’t know who he is, I’ll educate them! The place card is supposed to be a rocket exploding, & the menu is a gibbet done on my typewriter! I’m going to try and make a tiny “guy” for a centrepiece – wish you were here to help me!

Dinner will be a bit fattening I fear, but we have been wanting an excuse to get a duck!!

Lots & lots of love from 

                                     Cyn

This is to give you some idea of what Til & Lois’ house (1 year old) looks like. It is only one story- no attics or cellar – & is made of wood & painted pale yellow outside. The living room is lovely with two huge windows- the front & back- it is panelled in pine & has a natural carpet & oyster-y curtains. The bookshelves are built in & have a green patterned paper at the back & the new furniture is to be in greens & reds. The kitchen is lovely too with the same reddish pine used for counters & cupboards above & the walls are a beige glass tile & so are the bathroom walls. The kitchen curtains are blue check, the bathroom curtains, mat, shower curtain etc. are grey & yellow, & the linoleum yellow. The bedrooms are nice too, but I’m blessed if I can remember the colours! The little study is sweet, with a green carpet, & they are going to get new curtains. The outside is beautiful of course – all the orchard in front, & at the back the most wonderful view of the river– wooded banks- & it forks just opposite them & goes around a big island. Their bank is still full of bushes and scrub, & has to be all cleared, but afterwards I have persuaded Lois to plant daffodils there, & I think it will be heavenly.

This now, is a plan of the Sutherland’s new house. As you can see, it is much bigger, older & more formal. It is white painted wood outside with green tiles, has big basement, & attics. The sitting room is a lovely big room which they need as they entertain so much – the study is the Doc’s & is painted grey (Gunborg did it). The whole kitchen has been remodelled & is elegant! The walls are a pretty soft yellow-the cupboards around the walls are natural wood, well the tops of the counters are a soft pinky red formica (hard linoleum-y stuff) & inside the cupboards are red painted to match. It sounds a bit odd, but it looks very nice indeed. Upstairs there are 4 bedrooms – the girls have one each- & a bathroom- then the main bedroom (over the front 1/2 of the sitting room) has a little bathroom with shower only, of its own. All the bedrooms have little balconies (on study roof, porch etc.) – very romantic! Apart from the kitchen which they had done, Gunborg is doing all decorating herself – study, downstairs cloakroom, 2 bathrooms etc. & some is old & needs plastering cracks etc.- a big job.

P.S. Little Mary was writing a letter to her Auntie in England the other day & told her they had a chipmunk in the garden – then wrote “He is a doorable”!! Sweet.

By Sea to the West Indies- posted the first week of November, back is postmarked November 23 0r 28…

November 1 1950

INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH 

Nov. 1, 1950

Dearest Mommy,

I took this letter to Til and Lois’ at the weekend to write & tell you what their new house was like, and then we were so busy all the time I never got done.

Now I am at work as you can see & I am rushing this off so that you won’t scold me too much about being late in writing! With being away for the weekend I have been all behind hand with the housework & have been puttering around the last two evenings, & tonight Gunborg & I are going to see Charles Laughton give a One Man Show! He reads bits out of books & does acts etc. & is supposed to be very good.

Well – about our weekend! I took a half-day on Friday, so had a chance to pack & tidy a bit before meeting Cec for the 3:45 bus. We arrived in Toledo at about 6, & Lois was there to meet us in her tiny car & drove us 22 miles out along the river to their new house. It was dark of course, but it is a lovely drive all along the river in the country. Their lot is 200 ft. x 800 ft., so is big, as you can imagine and is right by the river – they even have a little dock! Between the house & the road is an orchard (14 apple trees) & between the house & the river is lawn then bushes etc. on a fairly steep river bank. The house is new (1 year old) & very sweet & small – I’ll tell you more about it in a longer letter- & Til had a great fire to welcome us & it was lovely. We were thrilled with it & so are they, & it was a heavenly warm sunny weekend- has been up to 80° then & since & today (Nov!) is the same. We spent all weekend helping in the garden & having such fun- also Mr. & Mrs. Pasquier came on Sat. & Lois’s relatives on Sunday. We ended by not getting home till 1 a.m. on Sunday & were we tired!!

We got your pictures which Mr. Verrell took & think they are lovely pictures, but that they don’t do you justice! The big one is the nicest we think, but he has taken it from below a bit, so you look as if you had a double chin- you haven’t I’m sure! You have a pretty dress on & shoes which I’ve never seen- I am quite surprised to realize that you have dresses I don’t know about!!

Tell Auntie Ettie I had a card from Mona in Wales- nice! My love to her & Auntie Moo. Must stop now & will write more tomorrow. 

    With lots & lots of love

            from Cynnie.

Carol Ewing in St. Vincent.

May 19 1950

Til!

I was puzzled by the difficulty Cyn was having getting a job, since I would have thought she was, even with only English credentials, capable of being a supply teacher and she would have had glowing  references from the administration in Toledo, where they had offered her a job in 1947!  However, my husband reminded me that she was now married- possibly in Ann Arbor women teachers had to be single? It seems very strange to me now, and my teachers in elementary school a mere 6 years later were married women, but that was Canada. (Mind you, the Catholic school board that my husband started his career at in the early 70s fired their married women teachers if they got pregnant, although that changed in his second year teaching.) However, it could be that Cyn just did not want to get involved with the uncertainties of supply teaching.

The pictures that Cyn refers to in this letter, from the Toledo visit Cyn and Cec had made, were perhaps the product of the camera that printed out the photos immediately, most of them already published with the letter describing that visit- except for the funny one included to make Carol laugh. They are printed on solid stock, and did not stick in the scrapbook like the other photos!

[This letter is typed on onionskin paper in red, very hard to read.]

May 19, 1950.

Dearest Mummy,

I am practising my typing, so thought I would see how many mistakes I could make for you! Actually, Mary Dockerill told me last week that she had got a form from the University to apply for a job, so as I was in town I trotted in and asked for one too. Not only did they give me one but invited me to fill it in there and then, so I did, and handed it over, and was politely informed that if I cared to wait a few minutes their interviewer would see me. I was quite overcome at this speed, but waited and was interviewed by a nice woman who told me that they had some clerical jobs and that if I cared to work at my typing and then come in and take their test, I had a chance of getting one. So Cec got me a typing book, and every evening I have practised for an hour. This is extra as I have just finished my hour, but thought that it would help my speed and also get lots onto a few sheets so that I can send the pictures as well. I am cross about my speed because one evening I got as fast as 50 words a minute, and since then I haven’t been able to get quicker than 45. Very annoying!

The pictures I am sending are the ones I told you about when we were in Toledo last. On Wed. evening Mr. K. called me for a telephone call, and it was Til. I hadn’t heard from them since we were there last, but she was ringing to say they had been busy, but that she was coming to Ann Arbour with a friend Cecile the next evening and would call in to see us. I remember that I have the days all mixed up now- it was Mon. that Til called, and Tuesday at about 6 o’clock she arrived and stayed for about an hour while Cecile was busy in town. We had coffee as she wouldn’t have dinner, and she told us that both she and Lois have been so busy, she giving as many as seven concerts a week. She was looking very tired, and also Bill has left for Panama now and I think she would probably be upset with that. Jan is to follow him later. They finish school on June 9, and are going down to Alabama straight away, so we are going down next weekend to see them, as they will be away all summer. Cec has been very busy as I told you, but on Wed. he gave his paper to the Group and seemed to feel quite pleased with the way things went. Anyway, it is over now, so he has a little breathing space and we thought we would go to Toledo while we had the chance. The Atkinsons you know, have been asking and asking us when we can come for a party they want to give us – a sort of welcome back for me, I gather, and of course we have been putting off and making excuses! However, I felt we couldn’t do that forever, so I wrote and said how busy Cec had been and that he was still so busy that we felt we couldn’t get away for a whole weekend, but would love to come through for a day, and suggested two Saturdays, whichever suited them. So far I haven’t heard, but I told Til to keep it dark that we were coming to stay with them! Oh dear, isn’t it difficult!

With Cec being so busy, and my typing activities we have done very little since I last wrote. At the weekend I went and babysat with the Sutherland girls on Sat. evening, and then when Dr. and Mrs. S. came back they insisted on collecting Cec and bringing him over for a cup of tea, and we had quite a gossip and a lot of fun.

[Switch to typing in black ink.] deRe Mom, just a few lines too show you that I can tipe as good as your dotter, but it is harder two spell. lots of LOVE cEc. [Back to red ink, with reference to O. Douglas, ‘The Setons’] Fish lawffed! And me too!  My chubby hubby had a lot of fun doing that! On Sunday we celebrated by going to the Drug Store and having a chocolate milk shake, which is practically my favourite amusement! No wonder I am still spreading. I tried on my summer dresses this week and I am now a sad woman – I have proof of what I suspected! My pink and black is too tight to do more than bust over my bust, and my tussore is tight over the ‘ips. The latter I am going to try and let out but the other one is beyond hope. I asked Mrs. S. whether she thought Anne could wear my things and so she is going to try them and see, because the pale turquoise one with the buttons is very short now and also my blue corduroy suit is short and tight, so if she can wear my things she might as well have them. Really, I have had all those things three and four years now so it isn’t too bad. Cec is mad because the trousers he got in France last year and also the ones he got the year before are not only tight around the waist but have shrunk at the cleaners so we are making up a parcel and sending them all to his young brother!

What do you think? Yesterday morning we had a card and check from Marie and Sam Dorman! The card was “A little late for your wedding” and Marie wrote on the back that she had waited till we came over here and had just got our address, and as she didn’t know what we would like she was sending us a cheque. It is for $15 which seems a huge sum to us at the moment and we are so excited about spending it! We are going to town tomorrow to see what we can get and we are rather hankering after a waffle iron if we could get one!

I had a note from Auntie Ettie asking us what we would like and we thought of asking her for a fan as it would be a blessing here in the summer. Another thing we could do with is a clock as the only one we have is my little travelling clock which isn’t very good – Cec’s alarm clock we left beside the bed in Cambridge and Joan has it. I had a letter from Joan not long ago and she is getting quite het up about the wedding now. She was describing her dress to me – it is white lace with a stiff organdie petticoat to make the skirt stand out and sounds very pretty, but Joan says she thinks she’ll look like a tea cozy! She is getting married at Chesterton too, but isn’t having any bridesmaids. They have a nice little cottage in Royston, and are trying to get the one next door so that they can knock the two into one and so make it bigger.

Last night we went to the pictures for the first time for ages. I met Cec after work in town and we had a cup of coffee at a drug store and a hamburger, and then went to see Olivia de Havilland and Ralph Richardson in “The Heiress”. It was very well acted but kind of miserable, but there was another silly picture with Robert Young which was funny. We then walked home and had a huge supper of eggs and bacon and chips!

Looking back I see that I began to tell you about the pictures and then forgot to go any further. Well, Til brought them and now that we see them in the cold light of day we don’t think they are very good, but they are funny anyway. We are sending you the best ones and hope they’ll make you laugh – the Piano Virtuoso will I know!

Remember Pam Holbrow who is now out in Bermuda? I had a letter from her the other day, very tickled to know I’m married and in the U.S. again. She is staying in Bermuda for another year and hopes to take a trip down to Jamaica this summer – she had wanted to make a trip to St. V. etc. on the Lady boats but it was too expensive. Have we any relatives or anyone she could see in Jamaica? I told her we had relatives everywhere but can’t think of a soul in Jamaica!

Must stop now before I go onto another page – hope you and Auntie Moo are having fun! I’m looking forward to hearing from you next week, then will answer both your letters. 

Love to Auntie Moo and lots and lots for you 

    from your

Cynnie & Cece.

April 2 1950

Cec and Cyn visiting Toledo.

2nd April. 1950.

Dearest Little Mummy,

When Til and Lois brought us back last Sunday evening, there was your lovely long letter written on the boat, waiting for us, having arrived on Sat. when we were away. Then on Monday arrived your two A.M. letters from Trinidad, so I was well up to date with all your news and just delighted to know how you were getting on. Thank you so much for all of them, Mummy – I am so glad to know that you are safely with A. Trixie & Janie & Bill & that everyone is being nice to you – & so they should be! I liked hearing about your trip & was pleased that you had two girls to look after – neither of them were so wicked as to stay up all night, were they?!! Cec and I were so glad to know that you were a good sailor despite the rough weather & I giggled at your staying in your cabin one evening but being able to eat turkey & ice cream – when I remember how the only thing I could bear to look at was a glass of ginger ale! Trinidad sounds really lovely and I hope that Billo or someone is taking snaps of you and all the lovely surroundings & of all the peoples too, so that you can send them to me.

Carol in Trinidad with Muriel and Ettie.

We had the very best time with Tilda & Lois last weekend, & enjoyed every minute of it. Cec had to take a supervision class on Fri. afternoon, so we went down to Toledo by bus & Lois & Til & her friend Marena were at the Bus Station to meet us. We all went to Smith’s (a big restaurant) & met Ruth there & had a very nice dinner, then went to DeVilbiss to see the “DeViltries”.

Actually, the the show was pretty lousy we all thought- not nearly so good as the one I saw the year I was there, but it was so funny seeing all the teachers gaze at me in amazement & then break into beaming smiles! We saw Mr. and Mrs. Pasquier & dear Mildred as well as lots of others. The only student I recognized in the show was a great big sturdy fellow taking the part of an orchestra conductor, who used to be a little round faced shrimp in one of my study classes!

On the Sat. we had a lovely lazy day, & sat in the house & gossiped & had a wonderful time. Cec & Lois took apart 2 radios & mended them, which they both enjoyed immensely, & Til & I talked & I stencilled some colours onto a piece of cloth Til gave me, as she had just got a fabric painting set! In the evening we all went to Ruth & Ernie’s & had a grand time. Lois had borrowed a recording machine, & we all made a record to send down south to C’Zelma & Em & Grandma. Til talked first, then Lois introduced a Mr. & Mrs. Melvin who were there, then me & Cec, & we all said a few words, then Ruth spoke & introduced the children who each played their pieces- David on the piano & Mary L. on her cello & then on the piano. Then Ernie spoke & Til said goodbye & we all sang loudly “We’re Strong for Toledo”! It was fun. Mr. Melvin had a camera which took pictures & developed them straight away & it was marvellous. He took lots & we’re getting some to send you.

At the Schatz’s. Front: Ruth?, Cyn, Lois. Back: Ernie?, Til, and Cec.

Sunday was another lazy day but as it was very rainy we drove back to A.A. in the afternoon, so that Til & Lois could get back by daylight. Must stop now. Will write again soon. Love to all, but lots and lots for you 

      from

            Cyn

March 23 1950

Cyn’s letters seem to reach Trinidad quite quickly- this one was written on the 23rd, posted on the 24th, and stamped in various parts of Trinidad on the 27th and 28th, having been redirected by Auntie Trix to her son’s house where Carol must have moved to visit, but nothing from her is getting to Cyn and Cec in Ann Arbor!  It is interesting, though, to hear about the visit to Toledo they had been reluctantly forced into, and to get Cyn’s take on Til’s son Bill’s second wife whom she had heard about, but not met, at the end of her year teaching there.

803 Granger

Thursday.

Dearest Mummy, 

We have been dashing to the post all week to see if there was a letter from you, but so far it hasn’t arrived. We are panting to know how your trip was and how you’re getting on and all about everything, so it will be fun when it arrives – I’ll be interested to know too, how long letters take to get to the W. Indies.

I was so mad last week because I finished the great long A.M. I was writing to you, & on Sat. morning took it, and 4 bundles of magazines and 1 parcel all downtown in the bus to the Post Office. My arms were about breaking by the time I got there & I staggered in at 12:03, to find that P.O.s in America close at 12.0 on Saturday! I could have bitten someone, as I had quite a bit of shopping to do, & instead I just had to turn around & get the bus home again. Actually, I had to get a present for Mrs. Atkinson’s birthday, as they were coming up that afternoon, so I bought a pot of blue hyacinths, & really did totter under the weight of that as well! Anyway, it all meant that I had to keep your letter over the weekend and take it to the P.O. again as I knew it was overweight.

The Atkinson’s finally arrived on Sat. at about 3:15 p.m. and we sat & talked a while and then I got tea. They both kept up a constant stream of talk- Mrs. at me, & Mr. at poor Cec, who was ready to scream by about 4 o’clock! Our tea wasn’t very elegant with a makeshift tea pot etc., but I used Mrs. Chaple’s tea cosy which enlivened the proceedings! During the afternoon I gave Mrs. A. the flowers which she liked & Mr. A. suddenly suggested we come down with them & stay overnight, as if it were a sudden bright thought, and after a few hesitations Cec & I agreed, so we slung a few things in a bag & were off, arriving in Toledo about 8:15. Mrs A. went to the door first- the whole house in darkness – opened it, and just stepped in, when suddenly out of the darkness came the sound of voices singing “Happy Birthday”. Mrs. A. got quite a shock & it was a real surprise as she had no idea anything was going on. There were about 8 people there & they all gave Mrs. A silver salt & pepper shakers & Mr. A. gave her a corsage of red roses. We sat & had a drink & then split up & played cards- Cec & I played bridge & did quite well. Then we had sandwiches (brought by the visitors) & tea & coffee & birthday cake, made by Mrs. A’s sister-in-law. Everyone stayed till after 12 & it was quite late by the time we got to bed. We were exhausted! But we had been by the time we left A. Arbor, & the party was really much better than I expected & we liked the people. Next day we slept till 12, – nice way of passing time on an uncongenial visit! – & then got up & had a breakfast-lunch. Mr. A. took Cec a drive while Mrs. A. & I washed up, then I phoned Til & had a chat & found that Bill & Jan were there for the day. As I was longing to meet Jan, I asked Mr. A. & he took us over for a little visit & I had my curiosity satisfied!! I liked her – although I told Cec she reminded me very slightly of Jessie Fisher! Not her colouring- she’s dark & square kind of face & glasses that turn up at the corner, but just her mouth or something. However she seemed nice & Cec liked Bill. They are having a baby & are off to Panama for 2 years sometime next month- Bill is in the Army you know. I asked Til another time if she thought they were happy & had found the right person this time & Til said “Oh no- there’s been talk of separating & so on, but I hope it works out all right”.  Bill seems to like the Army though, & Jan likes the life so I hope it is all right.

When we got back, Mrs. A. gave us tea & then drove us back home, and we were so glad to be in our own little place again! They are kind & mean so well, but they just get on our nerves until we practically pop! Poor Cec is nearly driven crazy by Mr. Atkinson’s pomposity & know-all cockiness, & Mrs. A. talks worse than Amy & has a loud shrill laugh! Aren’t I rude? But we had a good grumble together & got it out of our systems, & hope we won’t see them for quite a while!

Cec has been working hard this week, & I have done nothing unusual except help Mrs. Sutherland with her tea party. I made some little cookies at home, like so

with a recipe out of her Swedish cookery book. Then yesterday afternoon I went along & helped polish silver & get out tea cups etc. and also made about 40 little choux pastry cases. Then this morning I went & made sandwiches (egg & chives: tomato: date & orange juice) & put cream in the puffs & coffee icing on top. The tea was for 3:30, so I went at 2:30 & everything looked lovely – the sandwiches, cream puffs, lots of different cookies & slices of fruit cake- & the table decorated with pale green & yellow candles & napkins & a bowl of daffodils, irises & white snapdragons. Twenty-eight ladies arrived, & they all said they had a lovely time & thoroughly enjoyed the tea. I stayed & helped Mrs. S. (Gunborg to me now – but I daren’t pronounce it!) clear up & wash dishes & while we were busy Dr.S. arrived having just dropped Cec, so he went along and brought Cec back with him & we all had dinner together. Since then we have been writing letters & both feel very virtuous!

Cec is chasing me to bed as it is 12 o’clock, so I must go. 

My love to Auntie Trix-

    With lots and lots for my Mummy, 

          from 

        Cyn

Carol has moved from Trix’s house to visit her nephew Bill and Jane Otway.

June 15 1947

15th June. 1947.

Dearest little Momma,

Don’t you like my cunning little cards? I got them in Toronto, & think they are sweet as well as being nice to write to people to whom I don’t have much to say! They all have different pictures on, but I thought you would like this one!

Thank you very much for your nice letter I got last week. I am glad that you think Nan’s presents are nice & I do hope everything arrives safely. I got the last of the parcels off this week & thought I was all done & then I got a $10 bill from Pam asking me to get some other things, so I’ll have to begin again! But I’m waiting till I come back to Toledo. I went to the bank on Wed. & paid my passage & took out all my money- some in Traveller’s cheques. I have about $200- $300 left so I should be all right. It’s a good job I have nice relatives & friends to go to tho’ & don’t have to pay hotel bills!

I was very amused at your adventures with the Derby & the blue horse – I don’t think your dreams are very prophetic somehow! Maybe when I get back to Cambridge I will go & visit Mary & Bill & see one of the big races is one day – it would be fun, but I’m just no good at betting or gambling – I’m always sure I’ll lose & I do!

I forgot to tell you that on Wed. after visiting the bank I went & bought a pair of white shoes, a pink & black cotton dress & a black straw hat! So that should end my shopping spree – I certainly seem to have been having one lately!

We are quite crowded at 4229 Berwick this weekend- Til, Lois & me & Bill & Grandma. Grandma is in my room, I am in Lois’, Lois is with Til in hers, & Bill is on the sofa in Lois’ study! Grandma thinks I am nice! She is nice too I think! Grandma made us laugh though, because she says I’ve made a different girl of Lois – she is so much brighter since I came! Til says that it’s because usually her relatives overwhelm Lois & this time she has my support! Lois & Bill are getting on fine this time though & I am so pleased- it is such a shame she has to work at the airport – it doesn’t seem right to be going away & leaving her behind. Til is driving of course & maybe I will help her a little- I drove Lois’ beautiful convertible last week & felt very proud of myself!

Did I tell you that I went to Church last Sunday? I read that the King said it was to be a National Day of Prayer in England, so I thought I would do my little bit too & I got up early & went to Early Service. You don’t mention anything about it so perhaps I got the wrong day, but anyway the intention was right!

Bill is flying back to Florida on Mon. or Tues. & Lois is staying here alone. She will come in the train to Conn. about the 20th July & will drive Til & me back again. I haven’t heard anything from Margs or any of them, but I am sure it will be all right. I’m not bothering to give you C’Zelma’s address because I’ll be only there a week & I expect you will write straight to Curly St. Well, I think that I have covered all the available space in my little letter – my love to the ladies at the Bee & all my friends, – and a kiss for you like the little bunnies! 

      Lots of love from 

                      Cyn

June 14 1947

P. S. Thank you for your letter, Mummy.

14th June. 1947.

Dearest Mummy and Daddy,

My school days in America are over! It hardly seems possible that it can have gone so quickly, but while in some ways I’m pleased the teaching is finished, in others I’m sorry because I have grown fond of the students and like most of the teachers very much, so I was very sorry to say goodbye to them.

On Monday and Tuesday we had exams, and of course they turned out to be the two hottest days we’ve had, so everyone just sweltered. The students didn’t come to school after those days, so on Tuesday I said goodbye to them over the broadcasting system in the morning, and during the day I had a constant stream popping in to say goodbye & promise to write to me! I think I told you about getting a very pretty pin from one of my classes, and another one gave me a lovely white corsage on Monday, and a third one gave me a string of pink beads and a hankie. I also had a bottle of cologne from one little girl and a hankie from another, so I was quite overwhelmed.

On Tuesday I went home with Mary Bargman after school and had dinner with her & one of Marie Stoll’s friends’ Olive, who is going to meet her when she arrives in New York, and maybe will arrange for me to meet her. By the way, I had a letter from Anne this week saying that she will meet me in Southampton when I arrive – isn’t that nice of her?

The rest of the week we had for marking exams, clearing up, making upgrade cards etc. and so I had a busy time leaving everything Beautiful for Miss Stoll! I left her a little Union Jack hanging up in her room to remember me by! On Wed. the staff had a luncheon in my honour at school, and it was a lovely luncheon, but I was so overcome that I couldn’t eat a thing! Mr. Nauts made a speech and they gave me two beautiful presents – they had planned to give me a scent spray from the DeVilbiss Company in Toledo (it’s the founder that the school’s named after) because of the association, but when they went there the Co. wouldn’t sell them one, but insisted on giving them the best one they had for me! It is a kind of gold, crackle glass & very fascinating – and so after that they went and bought me a very pretty silver & diamanté brooch, so I did very well. I made a little speech & thanked everyone & told them I was sorry to go & ended up by using all the English expressions they’d teased me about & making them laugh- & afterwards so many people said I’d made them weep they were so sorry I was going. Mr. Nauts also said in his speech that anytime I wanted to come back & teach at DeV. they would be delighted to have me. Wasn’t it sweet of them?

On Thursday I didn’t do anything much, but on Friday I went to the Graduation of the Senior Class. The Auditorium isn’t big enough for all the students & their parents, so it is held in a neighbouring cinema. There were about 600 students graduating- the girls in white dresses & shoes, & all of them looking very pretty and sweet. It was a nice bright day, & after all the parents, teachers etc. were in, they filed in & sat down. Then we all sang the Nat. Anthem & a clergyman began with a prayer, & then there was more music, & a man gave a marvellous speech, then there were announcements of special awards & then the diplomas given to the students. It was very nice & I was very pleased to have seen it. Afterwards I went to a luncheon given by the Home Ec teachers of the City for me & they gave me a lovely silk nightie so everyone was more than kind to me.

On Friday evening Till’s mother came from her sister’s in Munro & is staying until Monday when Til & she & I drive to Connecticut. We will arrive on Tuesday & I’ll be there a week before going to Long Island for about a month. The weather has been awful today- cold as can be & yesterday evening we had a terrific rain storm which flooded the streets- we drove with the water up to the lights of the car! It went down quickly though.

Hope you are both well- 

      Lots of love from Cynthia.

June 9 1947

Monday. 9th June. 1947.

Dearest Mummy & Daddy,

I am writing this in school during exams. The end of term seems so strange here because we don’t have one good “breaking up”, but everyone just drifts away. The school doesn’t finish officially until Friday, but today & tomorrow the students have exams (only 4 or 5 each, because they only take that number of subjects each year) then they just don’t come anymore. The rest of the week the staff marks exam papers and puts grades (marks) on report cards which are posted to the students and on Friday the seniors who are leaving & have passed come to their “graduation exercises” and get their diplomas. It all seems very peculiar to me – we don’t have a mass meeting & bid the students a happy holiday at all!

Summer seems to have come to Toledo at last, but still in no very pleasant way, because it has suddenly become hot and humid with terrific thunderstorms and very heavy rain showers. The sun shines in between, but it is so wet that it makes everything steamy and there are terrible floods in parts of the country, and tornadoes too. I hope that your nice weather has been continuing and that it is nice and warm and sunny for you – certainly you deserve it after the awful winter. With the floods & so on here, Til is wondering if it is going to be all right driving to her sister’s in Connecticut, but it is a week yet, so things may improve by then. She is leaving a week today (16th) and I am going with her, and will stay with her at her sister’s for about a week before going to Long Island. I am not going to pack up my trunks etc. & take them to New York now, because there is really no room for them at any of the cousins, & it is awkward taking them across N. York & on the L. Island Railway etc. so I am leaving most of my stuff here, & then returning to Toledo with Til in the car at the beginning of Aug. & will pack & send my luggage to the Q. Elizabeth from here & then probably leave here just a few days before I sail.

I had tried to keep myself free of engagements in June, but last week I still managed to have one or two engagements. On Wed. I went into town with 2 of the teachers from here & had tea & on Thursday I went to a meeting of the Daughters of the British Empire! It was held at Vida McCartney’s house – do you remember – she is a British bride I met when I first came to Toledo- and Mrs. Atkinson & Ruby & the baby as well as a lot of other people were there. We had tea, & then I was invited to stay to supper with 8 others & it was very hot & I practically fell asleep before the evening was over!

On Friday evening, the school had a Banquet for the Seniors who are leaving & afterwards the Junior Senior Farewell Dance. As I have a Junior Homeroom & teach some Seniors I was invited & went with Mr. and Mrs. Pasquier. It was very elegant all in evening dress & the girls looked very sweet- I, of course was a “chaperone” & didn’t dance a step, & my black dress nearly killed me, it is so tight now! On Sat. I was supposed to go boating on the lake & a picnic & it poured so I didn’t go. Yesterday we had Lois’ 2 sisters, Ruth & Mary, & Frances Kaya to dinner (roast beef & Y. pudding!) so it was quite a busy day!

I hope that you are both keeping well and taking care of yourselves – 

    With lots of love from Cynthia 

P.S. Thank you for your letter, Mummy – am writing.