July 14 1953

Tues. July 14, 1953. 

Dearest Mummy, 

Thank you so much for your nice long letter about your holiday in Mustique – I am so glad you had such a lovely time & that the trips there & back weren’t nearly as alarming as you expected. We were all very interested in your description of the island & tell A. Moo that the map is very clear! The letter arrived this afternoon & I am very sorry you were disappointed in getting no mail from me – I know by now you will have, but I have been slipping from one week to two lately I’m afraid. I like Carman very much at & I’m delighted to have him with us, but there is no doubt about it that I am kept busy with 2 babies and 3 men! I get up at 7 as Carman has only one bus he can catch & pack lunches for both him & Cec – he has no canteen where he works & it is ‘way out in the country – isn’t it silly? Of course with him here I cook & bake a bit more- cookies etc. & although I don’t do his personal washing there are extra towels, sheets, etc. & the children seem to wear more & more clothes all the time! Claire has been coming fairly regularly recently thank goodness, so that has been a blessing.

Carman’s present for his brother! I remember him as very good at presents, and am sure they enjoyed it.

Since I wrote last, who do you think we have seen? Your old friend Charlie Barnes & his wife! She is an Ottawa girl & they are here from B.C. visiting her family, so we had them over on Wed. evening. Of course I was very curious about Mrs. B (Phyl) (ex-air-hostess) & she is very nice- slim & dark with short hair- vivacious & slightly gushy!! But Charlie is FAT! Yes, & of all unbecoming things has a chin like a bullfrog!! But still nice! They have a little girl of 9 mths, Nancy. On Sat. evening George had a meeting of the ex- Cambridge Canada Club with Cec & Charlie & one or two others (Jim couldn’t go) so I had June & Margie over & we had a Girls’ Gossip! I knew Margie was curious to meet June, so I am now all ears to hear what she thought of her! But she is so much nicer & more content now. She has got a Fellowship at N.R.C. for next (academic – Oct.) year, so will be doing congenial work again too- is keen to start a family though!! Poor Margie has been having a bother again- she asked Cec & me & Carman & Pete & Lu to dinner last Fri. evening (Lu’s baby due a week today) & on Fri. morning had to cancel it as Danny had ‘flu. She was so fed up as the boys have had coughs & colds on & off & the baby has never really been good, so she has had such a time. However, as we had Donna (the babysitter) all ready & I didn’t want to cook dinner (!) we took Carman & collected Pete and Lu & went out to the Island & ate Chinese food & of course enjoyed it as much as ever!

I can’t remember if I told you in my last letter, but it is so important – your Grandson has 2 teeth! He was fretty for 3 or 4 days after we had him to the Dr. & we thought it was the shot & then Cec suddenly found 2 front bottom teeth! Don’t worry about the overalls being big – he is wearing all the clothes now that Lindy wore at 1 yr. & will soon be out of those! Lindy wears all the dresses she wore last summer- I turned down hems of 3 or 4 & then found they were all too long & the unturned ones looked far better!

I have been thinking of poor little Irene all week & know you will be too – I can hardly believe it yet. I wrote to Bill & Mrs. Scott, but there is nothing to say except that I loved her & miss her already.

xxxxs from your babies & love from us all – Cyn

December 25 1952

Christmas Day 

Dearest Mummy,

Just a short letter on Christmas Day to tell you that Charlie & I are both doing beautifully & feeling so well that we are practically bouncing. I didn’t mind being here for Christmas at all really, & the hospital has certainly try to make everything just as nice as possible. The little student nurses all got up at 5.0 a.m. & came around & sang carols- on our floor they sang “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem” “Away in a Manger” & “Holy Night” & afterwards they told us that the night nurses had fixed up a little nativity scene & got one of the real little babies & put him in the manger & he just lay & slept there quite peacefully while the girls sang. I have such a nice girl in the next bed to me (a room like A.A.- just 4 beds) & she had a radio so this morning while we were washing ourselves in bed & feeding our babes we listened to the “Round the World” broadcast from London & then the Queen. Of course I lay & wept heartily & thoroughly enjoyed myself!

We had our Christmas Dinner at noon & the trays looked so pretty. A little Christmas tree decorated with stars & candy at the bottom on each one, & our names on a fancy card & a little Menu & gay napkin. We had turkey & plum pudding & all the trimmings & this evening for supper we had ham & Christmas cake & even a tangerine & grapes & a cracker.

Cec came in this afternoon & told me all the fun of Lindy opening her presents – I had just 2 here- a pair of nylons from Cec & a lovely dark red long sleeved sweater from Lindy. We are going home tomorrow afternoon, so will open all the rest then – Cec has a tree all ready for us, so it will be another Christmas all over! Thank you for your lovely Christmassy cable – we are all thinking of you & send love & kisses 


Another Baby!

21st Dec. 1952

Dearest Mummy,

By now you will know the little old Algy snuck up on us & arrived early! And if I thought Linda was a funny looking little baby, I should have seen this one first!! He is quite the wierdest little fellow I ever saw!! He was 7 lbs. 6 oz. at birth & unlike Lindy, was like a little boiled lobster & still is very red & angry looking. He has lots of dark hair too, but it is like a bristly crew cut & his little face is all scrunched up! 

Aren’t we clever having a boy? He is to be Charlie as we couldn’t think of anything better! Actually, it was in the car going to the hospital that we decided, so you can see how long the discussing lasted! If it was a girl we thought of Cynthia Clare, but we can store that one up!

On that morning I got up & felt fine, but a bit odd & a sort of pressure on the bottom of my tummy, but there was no show or anything. Cec went off to work & Lindy & I did the usual chores- I had had the cleaning woman & she was marvellous & had cleaned through the whole house, so I felt very pleased. I began to get funny pains & odd feelings during the morning, but couldn’t decide if it was anything or not. However I didn’t go shopping to Joanisse as I had planned & when I put Lindy to bed & had my lunch I began timing the feelings & found that they were coming regularly. So I dashed & had a bath & washed my hair!! Wrote notes for the milkman etc. packed my case, Lindy’s case, & Algy’s case (all ready except for last minute things really) & then phoned Cec. He was in a Seminar & of course everyone knew why he had to get up & leave! All afternoon the pains were irregular & I sat & ironed shirts & Cec & I had a nice chat & cups of tea! I called Dr. S. & the nurse said she tell him but didn’t think there was any hurry. He called about 6 & the pains were regular & he said to go in about an hour. We put Lindy to bed & Cy came over & baby sat & Cec took me to the Hospital.

He had to just leave me there- not allowed to stay- & I got going very quickly. Not as nice as last time – I know lots more about labour pains & nothing about what happened at the birth- was just flat out. They woke me & told me it was a boy & I just looked vaguely at the little bundle & went to sleep again. Cec came (the babe was born at 11.0 p.m.) about 12:30 & saw us both. I am feeling fine – stitches a bit sore, but no tail trouble this time, thank goodness. Was up this morning for a little. Cec says Lindy is having a grand time with Barrie. Lots of love from Cyn & the grandson!

December 9 1952

14 pages- the last long one for a while!

31 Acacia Avenue. Ottawa. Ont. 

Tues. 9th Dec. 

Dearest Mummy,

Your parcels arrived yesterday- no duty to pay – all safe & sound & causing much excitement! I put away the one addressed to me, but of course as soon as Cec came home, we had to investigate the other one & make sure that it was all right & that the contents hadn’t gone bad or anything! Actually we waited until later in the evening to have a “taster”, & I had some lime juice & we mixed up a drink & ask Dan down to share it & we all thought it was wonderful & slept like tops! Cec is just delighted at the 2 great big bottles & we are so tickled at getting it all “for nothing”, as it were- thank you very, very much, Mummy – you can just imagine what fun we will have with it. Auntie Muriel’s calendar came too, but I didn’t open it – I have quite an assortment of parcels put away already & have decided to wait to open them – it is so much more fun than just opening them as they come & even if it is a little before or after Christmas, I’d rather sit around the Christmas tree & do it in style!

You will be glad to hear that we are all organized for the event- at last! Actually, we have been waiting to make final arrangements with Lee & Jim, as they had asked Linda & Cec earlier you remember, but we hadn’t seen them for a while & didn’t know if their plans had maybe changed. Lu & Pete also said they would be very pleased to have them, but Lindy is so happy with Lee & Barry that I thought it would be best if she went there, but actually if Jim’s mother comes from Toronto for Christmas (which is doubtful) Cec can go and sleep at Lu & Pete’s as it is just across the way- 100 yds or so. When I go into hospital, Cec will take Lindy over there & her cot & as it is very near the hospital it will be very convenient- much more so than here. We have broken the news to Dan that he is to be abandoned, but I will leave food in the fridge & he is agreeable to looking after himself. Cec will come in every day & fix the furnace etc. When we all come back home after the event, we had thought of having a “housekeeper” – they are women you can get through the Nursing Registry, who will come every day & look after the house, cooking, “light housework” etc. while you look after the baby. I had even phoned & made arrangements about it, then Cec & I began talking & considering that he still has a lot of leave to take- also that he will get from Wed. till Mon. on both Christmas & New Year & what a lot of other help we could get for much less than the $4.50 a day we’d have to pay this woman – & we’d only be able to have her for a week or so. So we are not having her after all. Cec is going to take time off work; we are having diaper service- $2.00 a week- beginning for Lindy when she is at Lee’s; I’ll send Cec’s shirts to the laundry; & last but not least, I think Phyl Douglas is going to let me have her cleaning woman for a day every 2 weeks ($5.00 the day). Phyl & I just talked about the latter yesterday – I hadn’t intended to have anyone regularly, but thought it would be nice to have someone for an odd day before I went to hospital & once or twice when I came back & asked Phyl if she knew of anyone, & Phyl said well she was just deciding she couldn’t afford her woman every week & how about sharing – so of course I said it would be wonderful for a while anyway, although I hadn’t intended to have anyone permanently, but Cec says we can see how we manage anyway & at least have her for a month or so. Phyl is to talk to her & let me know, so hasn’t that all arranged itself nicely for me? I feel very happy about the whole thing because I think Lindy will be more contented at Lee’s than anywhere & Cec will be there too if it is over Christmas, & when we get home I think having Cec here & no stranger in the house will be much more fun & will help Lindy to get used to the baby more quickly too. Did I tell you that she pats my tummy & says “Algee- Algee”!! One morning I went into her just in my nightie & she was patting the bulge & I said “That’s Algy” & she immediately repeated “Algee” & has remembered it ever since!

It seems ages since I told you of our activities & giddy social whirl!! It has now ceased, as I decided about a week ago that going out etc. really wasn’t worth it now, as I was uncomfy nearly all the time & felt tired out next day, so we have refused invitations from the Ramseys, June & George & Margie & Cy, & I am just sitting at home & enjoying it- with lots to do, too! What with appointments with Dr. Smith every other week (I go again tomorrow) & Dr. Flora about every week, we have been kept pretty busy anyway, but thank goodness I am through with Dr. F. for a while – I now have my falsies!! Since my bad “do” I have been to him 3 times- once to get the impression taken & I was sick all over him! He’ll be glad to get rid of me too! Actually that is a great exaggeration – I was sick into the little dish, not all over him, but you know when they are taking the impression all that gloggy stuff oozes into your mouth & down your throat & he keeps sticking his fingers down & pulling it out – well – I just neatly sicked up my lunch! However, the impression was o.k. & I felt fine (!) & the next ap’tment was just a minute while he stuck the bar affair in to see if it fit it. On Sat. Dr. F. said for Cec to bring me- taking no chances! – & he just whoopsed out the 2 front teeth & stuck the others in. The extractions were both easy- the abscess came right out on the root of one- & the other teeth just sort of clipped in. There is no palate part- only a thin metal bar across the roof of my mouth & the teeth have two little metal clips at the side to hold them in place. Of course it felt wierd to begin with – particularly all stiff lipped with injections – but it was really amazing how they fit in perfectly at once & I have worn them all the time since with no real discomfort. I know it will take a while to get used to the sensation of always having something in my mouth, but already I don’t find eating too difficult, although I have to concentrate on it! They look pretty good I think too, & Cec says he wouldn’t know the difference. I mustn’t forget- Dr. Flora asked to be remembered to you & also Mrs. Richer when I went over to get a letter the other day!

Now back to our social activities! About a month ago I think we had Pete & Lu over & I don’t believe I told you about it. We had asked them when they 1st arrived in Ottawa but at the beginning they were busy, then we were tied up with the party & so it got postponed. Well, we finally arranged this weekend & as they live so far away & have no car & didn’t have a babysitter for Leslie either, we said for them to come & spend the night. Cec brought them over about 4.0 or soon after & then when Lindy was in bed we had dinner – I had got a lovely big roasting chicken- a capon- about 7 lbs.- & stuffed it etc. & we had roast potatoes & green beans & carrots & cranberry sauce & gravy & then coconut cream pie to fall out. Everyone was ravenous, because of course my entertaining & conversations made dinner later & later & so everyone really enjoyed it & tucked in – only enough left for Cec & I to scratch one other meal, but we had nice soup! Cec & Pete washed up & then Margie & Cy came over about 8:30- 9 & we had drinks & a grand time. It was the first time the 5 of them had all been together since the old days in Saskatoon, so they all thoroughly enjoyed it & so did I – it was a really successful evening. Next morning we all got up anyhow & put the children to rest about 12, & then they left about 3 or so after we all had a coffee & sandwich lunch – very informal! It was very nice though & they were grand visitors – the kind who do all the washing up & keep telling the hostess to go & sit down! Just after they’d gone, there was a ring at the bell & this was Mr. & Mrs. Burrough – but not to come in – just to give me a little parcel! Which turned out to be a dear little blue jacket she had knitted for Algy! They really are overwhelmingly kind – in some ways she reminds me a bit of Bella, but without Bella’s deliberate way,- she chatters more & is a bit sillier too, I think!! She’s very self-depreciating & doesn’t think anything she does is any good, but everything Betty & “Father” do is wonderful! He is a nice little man – very intelligent & most interesting to talk to- has lots of hobbies like wood carving, leather work etc. & is interested in Chinese lacquer work & so on, but usually with Lindy there & Mrs. B. & I chattering, he doesn’t get much chance! The blue jacket was Algy’s first present, but Amy is sending me 3, & yours & Jeanie’s will be wonderful. I have knitted nothing, but some of Lindy’s are still fine & I have bought some Viyella & cut out 2 jackets from A. Trixie’s, so he’s not going to do too badly, poor little fella – it would really be rather a shame if he had all hand- me-downs!! By the way, I had a card from Jeanie & Al Stern in Ann Arbour & they have a son- Bradford Allen. It is a cute card – a very pleased looking stork on the front saying “I did it & I’m glad”!

The week after Pete & Lu’s visit I had a horrible cold & did nothing except slept in the afternoons & get all behind with the work. However, I blessed it in one way- on Mon. Mrs. Hughes rang up & invited me to tea next day, so I accepted & she said bring Linda & come about 3 or 3:30, so that was fine. On Tues. I was feeling lousy though so I called her & told her I’d  better put it off I was so sneezy etc. but she kept protesting she didn’t mind until it turned out that it was a real pukka tea party with about 6 or 8 ladies coming! At that, I really said no firmly- imagine me – in my condition! Nothing decent to wear as I really bulge now! – a sniffly cold in my head – & trying to look after Lindy amongst all those strange women – all probably very elegant! I was so glad to get out of it!!

The following Friday Pete & Lu had asked us & the Garretts to a late (7:30) dinner, so that all the children would be in bed, so we set out in good time (Dan stayed in for us) – & about halfway there stopped for Cec & Cy to get cigarettes & MacTavish wouldn’t start again! It was a damp rainy night, & although we were right opposite a Service Station they just sold petrol & couldn’t help at all. It ended by Cec having to phone a garage & they came & towed us there & then found it was more than just a flat battery & we’d have to leave it, so we had to phone then for a taxi. Of course Pete & Lu have no phone yet, so we couldn’t let them know & we arrived at 10 to 9!! Lu had gone out & phoned our house at about 8:30 & Dan had said we’d left soon after 7, so she just about fell on our necks, she was so glad to see us! Fortunately her dinner was one that didn’t spoil & was delicious. We had cocktails first, then served ourselves buffet style to casseroled meat balls cooked in a sort of Mexican way with green peppers & beans, & hot garlic bread & tossed salad, then afterwards meringues with ice cream & then coffee – not to mention white wine with dinner & cherry brandy afterwards – I was popping! We had a taxi home & Cec got the car the next day- we were just thankful it hadn’t happened at a more awkward time- going to the hospital, for instance!!

On a Sunday we had Mr. & Mrs. Burroughs to tea- she, sure it was too much for me! Apparently, she had a son after Betty who only lived a few hours, so she is very jittery, but she had to have Caesareans in both cases & the 2nd one was at 8 months & after it they sterilized her, so she mustn’t have been made the right way!

The following Sat. I left Linda with Cec & did a little Christmas shopping- mostly little books & bibs etc. for all the children. I thought after sending the girls stockings (in McCall’s magazines) I would have no parcels but of course ended with quite a few. I sent Ruth her “dish” & a white organdie apron & my father a mixed food parcel & a tin of sweet biscuits. In the evening we went over to Angie & Paul Routly’s, & they had another couple who had had to bring their little 4 mths baby son with them. He was the funniest looking little fellow- wouldn’t settle very well, so spent most of the evening with us!

Next morning Cec got up to Linda as the Sunday usual, & then suddenly felt awful- was violently sick & had diarrhoea & felt wretched. It continued practically all day & we decided that it must be stomach flu which is going around because he had nothing to eat or drink that I hadn’t had & other people have had this sudden flu bug too. He stayed at home on Mon. & that felt very tired & washed out & looked pretty wretched, & on Tues. morning he got up at & looked after Linda & let me sleep as I felt rather worn too after a late Sat. night and no extra sleep on Sunday! However he went to work in the afternoon & although he felt very tired for a while & nothing tasted good to him, he is fine again now & fortunately Lindy & I didn’t show any signs of catching the germ.

On Wed. evening Jim & Lee came over & we had a hand of bridge- the first for ages! They brought Barry as they had no sitter & he slept quite happily in our bed. Their car broke down on the way, this time, but they were able to let us know & Cec took them home. Lee brought the machine & I am longing to get on with making the curtains, but so many things keep cropping up. Last week I at last managed to make up & get off all the parcels to England- when they’ll get there, goodness knows! – & – don’t collapse – your old clothes parcel too! I put in gelatine; 2 dish cloths; 1 sponge which I find is grand to use instead of a dish cloth- for washing up, wiping up etc.; my old junk jewelry, & a present for you from Lindy in the toe of one shoe!! I couldn’t get the white shoe cleaner at Joanisse & was in a hurry then, so left it. On Sunday Cec helped me measure & cut all the curtains & linings, so I am all ready to tack & sew now, but tonight I just have to send Christmas cards or they’ll never get there, so the poor curtains must wait. Each weekend I feel I’ll get so much done, but most of my visits to Dr. F. have been on the Sat. a.m. & afterwards I have been finished for the day & not much up to much on Sunday either. I have been resting a lot when Linda does too in the p.m. as I felt tired & uncomfy last week, but I had a good rest on Sunday & feel fine this week. I cleaned well yesterday & washed the kitchen floor & ironed in the evening, then washed this morning, so feel I’ve really got on- it gets me down a bit when I see it piling up! Last time I went to Dr. S. my feet were swelling a bit & he told me to try & keep off salt, but they have been much better lately- less than 2 weeks now- my-my! As you can imagine, we are still wrangling about names!!

We got your letter of 1st Dec. on Friday & thank you so much- I am hoping to have a really good do answering them all in a hospital – am I optimistic?! I didn’t write properly last week, but sent a sea mail with odds & ends of material patterns and Ruth’s letter etc. that I had been meaning to send you.

I have already posted the material samples as she wrote about them, but this was in the sea mail too.

By the way Cec got official word of his promotion- due on 1st Jan. & a raise of $500.00 a year – isn’t that lovely? We have really been so hard up lately- paying off the extra furniture (all done now) & $100.00 for winter fuel & insurances coming up, as well as the fact that Dan’s room didn’t begin to pay off for a while, but now we feel we are getting ahead & should do fine. I said to Cec little while ago “Well honey, we’re getting around the corner” & he said “Yes & what did we find there? Another little baby”!!

I wonder if Peggy has had her “little” baby yet- if so I hope all is well & that she is fine – & rejoicing in a flat tummy. Dr.S. seems to think I’ll be up-to-date & says Christmas in hospital for me, so I’ve got used to the idea – & I really would hate to hang on & on & not know when I was going or if to get a Christmas dinner ready or not. I am so glad that you are all going to Jeanie’s & hope you will all have a grand time. You sound very Christmassy decorating the store windows etc. – I haven’t a vestige of the Christmas spirit yet – my mind on other things I guess!! But we have decided we must have a tree, & we are taking Lindy shopping one morning. She fell in love with a horrible stuffed doll with purple hair in Dube’s the other day & I could hardly drag her away!

I was so shattered & sorry to hear from you about Oliver’s sudden death – it is terrible & must have been such a shock as he was such a big strong looking man. Marjorie will be coming home I suppose & will live in N/C eventually, but what a tragic lot of things has happened in that family. I owe Dottie – & just about everyone – letters, so that is another thing to do.

I must stop now – it is 4:15 & I have the kitchen door shut, so haven’t heard a squeak from Lindy, but I am sure she must be awake. She sends a great big Christmas hug & a wet kiss & lick to Granny- we will all be thinking of you & let you know the news as soon as possible-

Lots & lots of love from Cec & me & a happy, happy Christmas –                                                                                                                                                       Cyn                                                                              

Love to the family


From Linda

November 23 1952

31 Acacia Ave., Ottawa 

Sunday 23rd Nov.  

Dearest Mummy,

Thank you so much for your nice long letter which came on Friday, postmarked the 17th. Also for your last week’s letter – of which I have only received 1/2 as yet! If you remember, you must have written 2 Air M. forms- anyway one arrived on the Sat. I think, postmarked the 8th & with “No. 2” written on, so with great self-restraint I kept it till Mon. being sure the 1st half would arrive then, but it never has- not even on Fri. with this week’s mail, so it is most annoying! Needless to say, I broke down & opened the one I did get long ago, but there was the unsatisfactory feeling of just reading the end of a book!

Last week I was so busy telling you of Dr. Flora’s cruelty & Cec’s promotion that I hadn’t room to tell you much else. Anyway, I sent off the batteries about 10 days or 2 weeks ago- 2 large & 12 small- & I sent them by letter mail & wrote on “Gift” so hope that you won’t have to pay too much duty if any. I am sorry that I was so long in sending them, but at first I didn’t realize you needed them so urgently & then at the moment time just doesn’t seem to mean a thing to me – it just flies by so quickly. For me to get to Bank St. nowadays is quite a journey, so I rang up the Zenith people, & at first found both Mr. Pridhams away, but when they came back they were most obliging & chatty. They have no means of delivery, so they had to mail them to me & I just re-addressed the package & sent it onto you. I also mailed a couple of newspapers or so & will send more & will also promise most faithfully to send the parcel this week. I hung onto it recently thinking I would put your Christmas present in, but Cec & I were talking about it & we have decided to send you a subscription to the Canadian magazine “Maclean’s” instead of a regular present. We intended to send Sat. Evening Post but the mail charges on that are as much as the cost of the magazine so we have chosen the Canadian magazine which is the same type- it comes every 2 weeks & we hope you will like it. Christmas shopping for me this year is just about out I think- to begin with, Lindy is too small to trail around stores – to take her downtown & buy one thing & then come home is all right, but she gets tired very quickly & even if Cec were to keep her on Sat. & let me go down town alone, I really don’t feel much like coping with Christmas crowds. I have decided to send all the girls nylons which I can order over the phone from a store, & I have already got a pair of little red velvet overalls for Irene’s Stephen, 

& when I send Dottie the cheque for the curtain material I sent her one for Peter & her to buy something for their birthdays & she insisted it would do for Christmas too, so that only really leaves Sandy & Ruth & the latter will get her “porridge dish”! When the famous curtain material comes (Dottie wrote that she sent it around the beginning of this month) Lee says I may borrow her machine again & I would like to make Linda a little dressing gown for Christmas, but I will have to see how much time I have. We will have to buy her more slippers- you would laugh if you saw the little dirty scuffed up fellows which are the smart red slippers you left her for her birthday! She can still get them on – just – but by Christmas she will certainly need more. The Sheedy’s white boots were a little smaller than the red ones we got her here – I don’t know if the English sizes are different for children shoes or not- anyway she wore them for a while & as they had rubber soles they were fine for not slipping when she was still unsteady, but now I have put them away as I was afraid they may be stubbing her toes & she wears her “Jumping Jacks” all the time & is as firm as a little rock on her feet.

Before I tell you of our activities I must answer your B.P.Xs & also ask you to say thank you so much to Jeannie for the little jacket pattern – maybe I’ll get one made in hospital – I certainly don’t seem to have 1/2 a minute here now! Anyway, despite all the chores & busyness etc. I feel fine & so does Algy! I am sure that it is a good thing to be busy & occupied instead of sitting around thinking of your symptoms like Peggy, because I truly don’t have time to worry or bother – even if I were the worrying kind!!- & the time has really gone so quickly that it hasn’t been a trial at all. Of course I am uncomfortable at times & my tum feels like a cannon ball! – also I get heartburn & cramp in my leg etc. once in a while, but after all you expect those things!

I went to the Dr. last week & was so pleased – I lost 2 pounds after my bad tooth do, so it was worth something. Dr. Smith says I am doing fine – he says he thinks Algy will be about 8 pounds & I certainly feel as if I were bigger than I was with Linda & my clothes feel more stretched!! He says he thinks Algy will be a boy & when I asked “Why” he laughed & said “Well, I must admit for no very good reason!” My feet don’t swell as much as they did in the hot weather – only when I have been on them a lot, but at the moment I am feeling the heat!! The weather has been grey, dull, wet & comparatively mild & I just swelter– poor Cec gets the house nice & comfortably warm & I think I am roasting! I am sorry Peggy is having such an uncomfortable time – I know just how she feels because particularly if I am out at someone’s house or we have people in & I get stuck in one chair, I get so cramped & stiff, & if she has had to have the baby moved so much maybe he hasn’t settled in a nice relaxed position! I hope all goes well with her & that she gets it over with soon – a month from now we should know if we have Algy or Algina!! We haven’t decided on any names yet & have no inspiration. The other morning I went into Linda just in my nightie & she leaned out of her crib & patted my tummy so I said “That is Algy“ so now she says Algy & pats my tummy & seems to quite understand that Algy is a baby – such a clever girl!

Thank you very much for all your hard work over the linen bedspread for me – I would very much like to have it made into sheets for Linda’s bed – the flannel that ones are all wearing & she sticks her little finger in any little slit & says “Hole”!  So far she hasn’t managed to make any of the holes bigger, but she will I expect! The mattress size is exactly                              so there should be at least         allowed for tucking in, so you can decide how to divide the b’spread up. In the New Year I will have to get some more sheets anyway I think- a double & a single pair as I am just using week & week about now, so I think it is best to use yours for Lindy’s bed.

I forgot to tell you- Lindy is getting her big teeth at the back. The first one came through with no trouble – we knew nothing about it till the day I first went to the dentist, I came home & Cec told me she had yelled & he had seen it – so I was losing them & she was getting them! Now she is getting the left lower one- (the other was right lower) & it looks very swollen & sore (just one point through) & she is a bit fretty, poor little lamb. Also I had a horrid cold this week & now I am better she is a bit snuffly, so that may be making her a bit miserable too, but she is really a good little girl compared to what you hear with some children & their teeth. She still only has 2 lower front ones, but has a bite like a little crocodile! She is very dribbling & chewy-fisty at the moment, so it is obvious they are bothering her, but I hope it will be over soon. Last week it rained for about 3 days solid & she couldn’t go out, so you can imagine how much Mama got done around the house! – also having a cold & now I do try & sleep each afternoon when she sleeps, so the ironing is piling up again – darn it! Today was lovely though, so hope it continues. Must stop now & will tell you our doings in my next- also plan to write by sea one day & answer all your letters again. Hugs & kisses from Lindy & lots of love from Cec & Me.

November 3 1952

3rd. Nov. 1952

Dearest Mummy,

All last week I kept thinking “I must write an A.M. to Mummy,” but we were literally busy every minute with party preparations, and being the first week for our lodger & the last week for having Lee’s sewing machine just completed the busy-ness!

Well, the party is over & was a great success! Everyone said what a wonderful time they had & raved about the food & complimented me till my head was practically the size of my waist-line!! It was a lot of work & I’m glad it is over because on top of housework & looking after Linda it was plenty, but I’m glad that we were able to do it because Phyl & Alec have been very kind to us & the whole Spectroscopy group is so nice. It was a huge surprise to Phyl & Alec & they were quite overwhelmed – they gave them an electric kettle & Phyl a corsage of baby white chrysanthemums & I got a corsage too! I would tell you more about it but these forms are so small that I had better stop & maybe give you more details in a sea letter sometime.

The weekend before the party, on the Sat. Cec & Linda & I went down & bought Hallowe’en decorations & candy etc. in town & had quite a good time, then on Sunday we had been invited to Mr. and Mrs. Burrough’s to dinner. Dan also moved in that Sunday morning, so it was a busy day! We went to the B’s about 4 & had a very nice dinner of roast chicken. They are terribly kind & just falling over themselves to amuse Lindy etc.. I dressed her in the little red tartan dress that Gunborg sent for her birthday as all her little summer dresses are too short now, & she was so pleased & proud of herself & looked so grown up. She walks all the time now- hardly crawls at all – & has began to say “Mummee” & “Daddee”- it is so sweet to hear her. Mrs. B. had borrowed a high chair for her, so I fed her her supper as we had ours & then she chewed a piece of chicken! She was very good & just began to get tired about 7.0, so we said goodbye & left.

Mon. I did my week’s wash & Tues. all the ironing & got that out of the way & then the rest of the week I washed china, cleaned silver, cooked, etc. etc.! I made the cover for the daybed & we had that down for the party to give more seating space, & it looks quite nice.

On Sat.- the morning after the party I had a dentist appointment at 9:30! Wasn’t that awful?! However, Lindy had me up of course, & after the party was over, when I was sound asleep Cec had stacked & tidied everything & washed the silver & glass, so when I came down in the morning all the chaos was gone! Wasn’t he wonderful? Dr. Flora took out 2 teeth (upper side) & will take out the front ones next, but will give me a plate at once, so that I don’t have to go toothless! He didn’t hurt & they have healed well. We washed up all day Sat.-  bit by bit! –  & on Sun. returned all borrowed goods – including the machine. Today I have felt more tired, but reaction I expect & Cec is chasing me to bed now. Thanks lots for A.M. of 27th- will really answer letters next. Lots of love & a big wet kiss from Lindy- 

                                   from Cyn.

N.B. Hallowe’en decorations are mine- no photos from their party!

October 21 1952

31 Acacia Avenue.

Oct. 21st 1952

Dearest Mummy,

Cec is back at the Lab. this evening & left strict instructions for me to go to bed early, & as I was late last night I will be good & do as he says! However, I thought if I began a letter to you it would be a step in the right direction & I would be encouraged to get on & finish it tomorrow!

Lindy & I had ourselves such a time today! We went to town on the streetcar!! It was the first time she’d been on one of course, & the first time I’d had her in town by myself, so it was quite an adventure, but we both enjoyed it & now I have done it once I won’t be scared of doing it again. Actually, now that she will stand up & walk a little it isn’t as much effort as when she had to be carried all the time. I was glad it was a success as I had such a frustrating time on Sat. I left Linda with Cec & drove down to Frieman’s & parked the car there – I wanted to get 1. leggings for Lindy 2. cheap cotton material for a cover for the daybed we got when we got the sofa & chair & 3. meat from Alberts & tomatoes from the Market. I thought I would be able to do the whole lot in an hour easily & be back home, but I couldn’t get a thing! Lindy is wearing the white corduroy coat from her Granny C. most of the time now- I have moved the buttons over & shortened it & she looks a pet in it with her pink bonnet, but of course her little legs are bare, so I saw other babies wearing white fleece lined leggings, with straps under the shoes & thought I would get her some. Well, I tried Frieman’s, Caplan’s, Laroque’s & another shop I don’t know the name of, & either they had none or they were the wrong size. I was so disgusted, as it has become really cold & I wanted to get something warm for the little thing, but I had to leave it. The material was the other thing I wanted to get while I still have Lee’s machine – the daybed is a funny affair – just a metal frame with springs – normally it just looks so-

Actually, end on it is like this-  these two things are kind of flaps which will raise up and make it a double bed size if you want. There is no mattress proper- just a kapok pad which folded in two makes the seat part or opened right out will cover the whole bed when it is extended. Not very comfy for 2, but reasonable for 1, & could be used in an emergency. Anyway, the thing is covered with a grubby, torn black patterned cotton not worth keeping, so I wanted something gay, but cheap to take its place. Could I get it? Not a thing under 79¢ yd. mostly & a few I saw at 65¢ yd. were either pale colours or something unsuitable. I ended up by getting home at 2:45 with only meat and tomatoes, having had no lunch, to find Cec trying to cope with Linda who had refused both her bottle & bed! In addition he was supposed to pick up Pete & Lu & Leslie at 3.0 to take them to Pete’s new Lab.’s Open Day, so he was in a tizzy too!

Today went much better. Lindy & I went down Green St. & got the tram at the bottom after a short wait – she just stood beside me as good as gold & watched the “cars” & “doggies”! She was very quiet & wide-eyed & amazed in the tram to begin with & gazed at everyone, but by the end of the ride was chanting “car-car-car” & having a good time. Quite a lot of the people were smiling at her etc. so of course I was a very proud Mama! We got off on Sparks Street & just crossed the road to Zellers & with no trouble at all I got her white leggings to fit & the girl helped me put them on her right away. They have a zipper on the side of each leg & come up to her armpits so should last her till it gets really cold anyway & then we will get her a little snowsuit. Then we went across the road again to Bryson Graham’s & I went up to their material department to the furnishings. Their cheapest cotton was 65¢ yd. & very gaudy colours so I said no & was coming away when I saw in the dress materials, print cotton reduced to 50¢ yd. & such pretty colours & patterns. I chose a nice gay little red & blue pattern & felt v. pleased with myself, so Lindy & I thought we had done pretty well & came home v. satisfied! We both slept all afternoon to recover!!

It is now Friday, 24th & my how the time flies! I got your 2 A.M.’s (No.s 1 & 2) yesterday – thank you so much for them & I was so glad to know that you had at last got some mail from me. When you were worried & kept writing & writing that no letters had come, I knew I had written quite a few & that they must turn up eventually. That reminds me, a letter arrived for you from your dumb bank in St. V. the other day (statement I suppose) so I will enclose it in one I am going to send via sea with Ruth’s letter & also patterns of my various purchases of materials, so that you can see what they are like. Also, a pattern for our sitting room curtains! Yes, I had a fat letter from Dottie last week with various patterns & we chose one & I wrote back at once & asked her to get it. We are a little bit disappointed because we asked for a gay floral-type material with a cream ground & Dottie tells us that the good heavy materials are mostly plain or self-patterned or at most 2 colours, so we have had to end in getting a cheaper material (7/11 yd.) and will have to line them. Dottie sent 4 patterns- 1. Heavy thick linen, (we liked the material) but it was a dull muddy background & it had a pattern of herbaceous border type flowers, but also dull & muddy looking- the whole very conventional & rather country Vicarage-ish!!  2. A pinky-puce flowered material with green leaves, on a gray & white background – Dottie was  keen on this, but not us – we wanted cream not white & don’t care for the pucey-pink 3. kind of conventional squared pattern on cream with bright pinks, blues, greens, browns – neither of us liked it & 4. the one we chose- a cream ground with bricky red flowers, (chrysanthemums?) green leaves & a few blue flowers – As far as we can tell from the pattern it looks nice – the red & blue go with the Indian rug & the green with the end wall, which I think is pretty good & later on we plan to get the puce sofa & arm chair covered – they definitely aren’t in our colour scheme & we only bought them because they were a bargain in spite of the colour! They are good & solid & v. comfy too. 

 So now I am longing for the material to come & to get the curtains made & up! Lee has been in Toronto for 2 weeks so I have been having a fine time with her machine. Lindy’s curtains are made & up and she highly approves – I have made the valance affair (partly pleated) for “your” bed & a daytime cushion cover for the pillow – turned 2 of Cec’s shirt collars & mended a couple & I hope to get the other coverlet made this weekend before I have to give the machine back.

We are onto another project too, which I know you will have a fit about!! We are having a Hallowe’en Party here! It isn’t our party – it is Cec’s Lab. & this is how it happened. We had talked vaguely of a party for ages you know, but decided we couldn’t afford it, so a little while ago at the Lab. they were discussing how good the Douglases (Phyl & Alec) were about entertaining for the Lab.- the party before Keith & Ruth’s wedding etc.- & the suggestion was made that it would be nice to give them a party. Where to have it was the next thing & Cec offered our house & we decided to make it a Hallowe’en party on the lines of the one we had in Cambridge, with apples on strings & digging up the body etc. Everyone was most enthusiastic and there will be 22 I think! They are collecting so much from each person (except Alec & Phyl) & will provide liquor to make the punch & will give me money for food etc. & buy Alec & Phyl a little present. I have decided to feed them buffet style:- boned stuffed chicken, cold ham, scalloped potatoes, mushroom & cheese slices, stuffed tomatoes (for salad) & orange creams – practically all things I can do ahead of time & all the girls are offering to help both before & after with clearing up, so it shouldn’t be too much! Boris & Paul came to dinner the day after Thanksgiving & we made ourselves a committee & planned it & I think it should be fun.

I went down to see Phyl & the baby last week & she is looking fine & he is a dear little fellow – lots of dark hair & sleeping when I saw him – very good Phyl says. Nothing like the personality that tiny Linda was though!! 

On Friday we went to Dr. & Mrs. Herzberg’s for the evening to meet a Swiss Prof. who was visiting. It was v. pleasant & I was tickled to bits as Mrs. H. asked me to “pour” at coffee time! My matronly figure probably got me the honour!! Dr. & Mrs. H. are coming to the He’en Party- Dr. H. wrote & put off a lecture he was to give at a Univ. in Montreal!!

On Mon. evening our “lodger” Dan came in & we discussed breakfasts etc.- he will have what Cec has (not 2 eggs – we have changed & he has flakes & one egg or bacon!) (Lindy has an egg now too, of course) He is to pay $10 a month for breakfast & “icebox privileges” – the latter being the right to have an apple, or sandwich or a cup of tea etc. before he goes to bed if he wants to! He will pay for any weekend meals as he has them, & I’ve told him he can use the washing machine – he’ll iron his own things he says! He is a nice boy – but very young- (he’s 26 but seems less)- he talks of his fiancé, Arabella!, like a schoolboy & makes me laugh. He seems quite lonely & very anxious to please & says he will help around the house etc. so that is nice. Altogether he will pay $45 a month, so that will be a big help- we have to get coke & winter oil etc. for the car with his first cheque! He stayed till after 2 a.m. talking- needless to say I was in bed long before he left! He will probably be moving in tomorrow, as the room is ready (his bed all made!) & he is so fed up with his other place.

On Wed. I had Linda to Dr. Whillans for her check up & she is fine. You asked sometime ago about diphtheria inoculations – don’t you remember she had them long ago? There were 3 in 1, diphtheria, typhoid & I think wh. cough and she went & had 2 shots when she was about 5 or 6 mths. old. She is now both a little taller & heavier than average- 22 lbs. & 29 5/8 inches & he was very pleased with her, but golly she was not pleased with him. We went at 5 o’clock & he was so nice this time- we were the last ones & he just sat & chatted & answered my questions (no more sterilizing or boiling milk!) & I like him v. much, but Linda got herself in an absolute frenzy. Just being laid down to get measured, she sobbed & cried & got herself in such a state that she choked & sicked up a bit. We had to just hold her down to be sounded & even when she sat on my knee & he & I talked, she howled & clung to me- also drenched a pretty turquoise maternity dress Phyl has lent me! By the time I got her dressed & out to the car I was exhausted & she perked up & was as cheery as a lark! When we got home she laughed & romped with Cec & was so happy & I lay back & collapsed!! Yesterday she slept from 1- 4:30 though, so she must have tired herself a bit! In the evening (Wed.) Cec & I wrote the invitations to the party & put great red seals on & made them look very chic, & yesterday Lindy & I took Margie & Danny shopping to the Dominion (Tommy is at school in the morning). In the evening June & George came to dinner – June has a full-time job at the Dept. of Mines now & says it is far better to be too busy than not have enough to do! Also she thinks a lot of the English people you meet over here are queer & that it must be v. annoying for Canadians to hear them criticizing, so we feel that she is improving and getting quite mellow! Cec & George went to a lecture, so she & I washed up & had a good gossip, so I quite enjoyed it!

This is all about our doings, but it has brought you up-to-date with us, so next week I will try & catch up on answering your letters. Lindy sends a big, big hug & kiss- love to A. Muriel & thank her for her letter – I’m glad she liked the bag. 

Going to have tea now – nothing to eat though! Go to the Dr. on Monday! I feel fine & don’t think I have gained much.

                       Lots & lots of love from Cyn.

P.S. Lovely weather again after a really cold spell- no leaves left on the trees & it looks so strange & bare at the back.

June 19 1951

18 pages!

803 Granger Ave., Ann Arbor, Mich.

Tuesday 19th June

Dearest Mummy,

Ever since Sunday I have been saying to myself “I must begin a letter to Mummy”, but we have had such hot weather the last few days that I have felt quite limp & very unambitious. This evening it has to begun to rain & is better than it was yesterday, but it still feels quite close & humid, although that is probably partly because the apartment has not had time to cool down yet. I just have one more week of work after this one, and although it isn’t really bad & I feel quite all right, Cec and I were just saying we were glad that I was finishing soon & won’t have the really hottest weather to go through at work.

Now first of all, your lovely parcel arrived on Friday, and I am just thrilled with all the darling little things! We didn’t have to pay any duty & it arrived in perfect condition – not even opened I don’t think – and I had a wonderful time opening it up & looking at everything. Cec was there too, of course, & kept laughing at me squeaking & squealing over everything, but it is all so fascinating – just like playing at dolls again on a much more intriguing scale!! All the little nighties are beautiful – they look so much prettier than the pictures on the pattern I sent you, & the little lace edging & the embroidery make them look so sweet. The two little pink cotton ones are very pretty, but it is the little white ones which I think are so cute – I think the Costain baby is going to be the best dressed baby in the neighbourhood- thanks to its Granny’s beautiful sewing! You really have put a tremendous amount of work into them honey, & I do appreciate it – I think they are all lovely, & that you must have worked very hard not only to make them, but to do all the little extra touches which make them look so sweet. The little jacket from Auntie Trix is very cute too, & I can just imagine the little thing looking really elegant and its nighties & bed jacket! I will write & thank her this week and also Auntie Moo for all the perfectly sweet little booties, but in the meanwhile please say thank you to her for me. I think it was such a good idea to make different sizes, & I feel that the baby will be well-stocked for a long time & will have nice warm tootsies! Cec made me laugh because he kept worrying that everything looked so big, that our tiny baby would be swamped- little does he know how quickly the little horror will probably grow, & begin popping out of all its clothes!

I have left the little silk dress to the last thank you for, because I think it is quite the pièce de la résistance of the whole parcel – and I am just enchanted with it! I keep bringing it out to have another look and another gloat over it, and I think it is absolutely the darlingest little dress I ever saw. I can see what a job you must have had making it out of those small pieces, but your faggotting [This is an embroidery stitch used to attach one piece of material to another- to lengthen a hem, for example] is lovely and no one would ever know that it was done with any ulterior motive- Cec said “My— open-work seams!” when he saw them. The silk is really lovely, isn’t it, and it is amazing to think that it has lasted so long and is still so perfect, and I think that soft creamy colour is very pretty for a baby, don’t you? Altogether, it was a simply wonderful parcel, Mummy, & thank you very very much for everything – I am getting quite thrilled at the “layette” now – there seems to be quite a lot of different things, even though I haven’t got the nappies etc. I intend to buy here. I got 2 little cotton vests, but they are 2nd size & at the time they had none of the smaller size, so I decided to wait & get them when they came in. Another present which I just got on Monday was a big surprise. When I came into my office, here it was a dear little parcel all wrapped in baby paper on my desk, & inside was another sweet little pair of white booties. They were from a girl, Janet Jackson, who worked here, but although she gave me a lift sometimes before we had MacTavish I didn’t know her very well. Her husband graduated this month & got a job in Illinois, so she left about a fortnight ago & I gave 25¢ towards a present for her as we usually do, but never thought about her giving me anything, so it was a real surprise. She had been in A.A. over the weekend collecting the last of their things & had got one of the other girls to put the little parcel on my desk – I thought it was so sweet of her, and as they are bigger than Auntie Moo’s, they will just fit in nicely.

This little letter has lasted from Tuesday till today which is Thursday, but it is so much cooler & pleasanter that I feel a new woman! I didn’t get much written on Tuesday evening as I was tired, but brought the letter to work yesterday & got a little more done until Cec rang me up at 5:15 & said “Let’s go home now- my feets hurt!” so I picked up the letter & left, only to find later in the evening when I settled down to write that I had left both my pens behind, & Cec had left his at the Lab. too! I am writing this at work now – the place is very quiet, & as I only have a week more to go I am not killing myself!! Charlie has had to go to New Hampshire to see his father who is very ill; Shirley & Lyons are both on holiday; Sylvia has left as there was no work for her, & she has got a job in another university department (we wonder how she’ll get on!); so that leaves Bob Peebles & Jeanie & me to hold up the Field Office, so we aren’t straining any muscles! Jeanie had 3 wisdom teeth out yesterday so was away for the day (one pen ran dry!) [The ink colour switched from blue to black] but is back today with a slightly “mumpy” face but says she feels O.K. However, Bob & I were alone in our glory yesterday & as he says he’s leaving early today, Jeanie & I will be on the loose!

I got your lovely long letter dated June 10th on Sat. (16th) and just loved hearing about your weekend in the country. I am so glad that you had such a good time & enjoyed yourself so much – it sounds very beautiful and you certainly had a great time with all the people visiting & going out to tea with 8 children! I am glad that you are getting into practice singing babies to sleep – you’ll probably need to make great use of that accomplishment! I was very interested in hearing all about the peculiar, but beautiful Eileen, but curious to know if she is fair or dark or what. I was wondering if Jeanie is still as pretty as she used to be – of course I know all those girls will still be attractive when they are 100, because they have such charm, but Jeanie was so nice looking too. I was also wondering about Peggy- she was such a little podge when we knew her, then she got thin and we saw some snaps of her before she was married in which she looked very pretty, so how is she looking too! After all these enquiries about everyone’s looks, I might say that I think my face looks pretty (?!) much the same as when you last saw me! The last month or so, I think it has gotten thinner, but it may be that my hair is getting a little longer, & is due for another cutting off.

I was amused at your remarks re. Mrs. Young’s home being full of Doulton figures, and that she was rather Bella-ish!! It definitely doesn’t sound much in my line – with all my ideas and criticism of other people’s decorations, it’s going to be rather intriguing to see what kind of a place we have, isn’t it!! Cec & I agree very well on furnishings etc., so we shouldn’t find it too difficult – the only thing we disagree over is pictures! When we look in art shops we squabble over which pictures we think are nice, but doubtless we will be able to compromise when it comes to the point! Pictures will be about the last thing we’ll be worrying to get!

I hope that the patchwork is progressing satisfactorily, & that you’re not finding it too fiddly! I was delighted to know that Mrs. Johnny’s shawl had arrived safely, but I was so sorry that you had to pay duty on it, because probably if she had sent it straight to me I wouldn’t have had anything to pay as they seem to be very big-hearted over baby’s things. Talking of Customs & so on, reminds me that we wrote to the Canadian Consul in Detroit about what formalities etc. I would have to go through to enter Canada (remember all the x-rays etc. before) & we were so glad to get a letter back this week saying that there would be none as I had been in the U.S. for over a year. We were very pleased as that is one less thing to do. Will you have to have inoculations etc.?

You end up your letter with various queries etc. about our health, so I’ll answer those before going onto our doings. We are all fine really – the baby is getting more active all the time & pushes me like mad! I am quite O.K. & being a good girl & keeping my weight under control! I go to the Clinic on Monday & think that I have gained less than they said I could, so I am pleased. I had a letter from Anne , telling me all the Cambridge news- so much & poured out so breathlessly, that I’ll have to send you the letter – I can’t possibly repeat it. Anyway – she tells about 2 babies being born- one nearly 9lbs and one 9lbs 10ozs, so I think it is a good thing the Drs. are being strict with me- none of the babies I’ve heard of here haven’t been more than about 8lbs, at the most, & it must be so much easier than having a whopper! Her baby is doing fine, by the way, but she doesn’t mention Tadek getting a job or anything.

Cec has been keeping very well, I’m glad to say. He doesn’t get enough sleep of course, but he is looking well in spite of that & is cheerful & just as sweet as ever! He works all the time & things have been very discouraging in some ways, but he just goes on. He is still doing his experimental work as well as writing the thesis, & he will just keep plugging away at it. He takes great care of me all the time & helps me all he can, & we have decided that we will have our “good” things- china, glass & silver packed for us. We thought at first we might pack it all ourselves & hire a trailer & take it all with us, as we thought it would be so expensive to get it done for us, but we find that it is not so much after all, & as I couldn’t do too much, & Cec has plenty to do otherwise, it will be a saving in the end to have it done for us, so we are going to see about it this weekend. The time is coming so close, & we both have the kind of shivers about it, as we have such a lot to do! I expect you get the shivers too!!

Last week we seem to have such a lot of things happening – there really wasn’t much, but we lead such quiet lives now that it seemed extraordinary!! I told you that Milly’s baby was born on the Monday (11th), well – on Wednesday I went over to the hospital to see her. It is quite close to the Institute, & the visiting time is 3:30 – 4.0 so I just popped over. One of the other girls came with me, but they would only allow the husband & one other visitor & although Jerry wasn’t there, they still would only let one in, so Gilly was nice & let me go. Milly is in a room with another girl – it has a little bathroom, with shower etc. & right next door is a little nursery with the babies in. Milly was up the very day after the baby was born, (they get mamas up as soon as poss now) & can go in & see her baby anytime, & change its nappie herself etc. She was just up when I arrived & looking very well – pale, but not unduly so- & she took me at once to see the baby. She went in the nursery & wheeled him to the door & I looked through the glass & made comments!  He was so cute, with masses of black hair about 1 1/2 to 2” long! (Jerry is very dark). He wasn’t at all red, quite creamy coloured & quite a distinct tiny Jewish nose! He was asleep & had his little face all screwed up & looked so sweet. He isn’t a fat baby, but looks strong & healthy. I laughed at Milly because here she was, combing away at his hair & trying to put a parting in it & the little thing only 2 days old! Like a little chicken, his hair looked still dampish, & stuck out in tufts, & the combing had no effect, but Milly was just so thrilled & proud. We went into a sitting room then, (Milly was in her dressing gown) & sat & talked & she told me all! She had had this codol (don’t know how to spell it – spinal injection anyway) – & she said it was wonderful. She had a small cut about 1” long with stitches, but they do that to everyone now practically to prevent tearing, & she said it was a bit uncomfortable but not bad. She walked awkwardly of course, but I was surprised at how well she got around & how well she said she felt. She said it was nice to be up, because if you lay for long you got stiff & sore. She is just thrilled with the whole process of having a baby! Each moment is more wonderful than the next- seeing the baby – holding the baby – feeding the baby etc. – it’s all incredible & wonderful to Milly – it’s really sweet to hear her. She is probably going home today, so I’ll be going over to see her again.

Last week was a big Physics Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, & nearly all the Profs etc.went. Cec couldn’t go as he was too busy, but Gordon read a paper of Cec’s, so at least some of his work went. Leonard wrote that he was coming down with another fellow from Ottawa, so I sent him a note saying to call & see us, or stay with us if he had time, & sure enough, on Thursday evening when we came back from our week’s shopping, there was a little car in front of the house & here was Leonard & another English fellow we didn’t know called Peter. They had left the meeting early, so were sooner than we expected, but it didn’t matter. They came in & we had cool drinks & talked (physics, mostly!) & at about 10 or 10:30 I cooked them bacon & eggs & then I left them all the sheets, pillows etc. & went to bed about 12 leaving them still talking! They made up the sofa bed in the sitting room & shared it & found it quite comfortable. Next morning I got up and had breakfast, then woke Cec, & left everything ready for them to get their own breakfast & I trotted off to work! I met them all at noon, & we had lunch at a nice place, & the two fellows paid for Cec & me! Then Peter left to go & see friends in Detroit & Leonard stayed with us till the next day, when he went back to Ottawa by bus. He wanted to shop, so Cec went back to work, & as I was a bit tired (& anyway I still had 2 days of sick leave left!) I called up & told them I wasn’t coming into work that afternoon. I had a bit of a rest, then tidied up & prepared dinner & had myself a cup of tea! The next day was Cec’s birthday & we were having a few people in to a buffet supper you know, so I wanted to get a few things ready if I could, & so I boned my chicken!! All in one piece, & then stuffed it with sausage & stuffing, rolled it up in a cloth & boiled it gently for about 1 1/2 hours then I took it out, put it in a clean cloth & pressed it between two plates. [Chicken Galantine] I was glad to get that done & out of the way, as it was the biggest thing to do.

After dinner (I fed Leonard stuffed heart, baked potatoes, mixed veg, then strawberries & cream) Cec was going back to the Lab. & the idea was that he would leave Len & me at Gunborg’s & pick us up on his way home. However, when I heard that he wouldn’t be ready to come home till about 11 o’clock I said I’d stay at home & go to bed early & Cec thought it was a good idea, so he took Len to Gunborg’s alone. I had asked Len about Connie of course, & from what he said I think she has been pretty much like me & has had an easy enough time- but being Connie probably grouched a bit! She wasn’t sick at all – just had nausea at Christmas (as we both did!) & didn’t seem to have the tiredness I did, but of course she probably had more opportunity to rest. She gets a bit of backache now, but what can you expect! Most of her baby things have been sent from England from parents, so she is all set.

On Sat. we were up quite early & had breakfast & took Len to his bus at 9:20. Then Cec & I went to the Farmer’s Market as we were in town & then came home & Cec got his birthday presents!! I gave him a compass for the car, which he had been wanting badly; a tie clip to keep his tie from hanging in his soup; a duster for MacTavish!; some plastic ice cube holders- very cunning- we have been wanting some; & some swizzle stick things we have been wanting too!! And a funny card of course!! He had fun with them all & put his compass on MacTavish, & then went to the Lab. while I cleaned the apartment. After lunch, Cec went to work again & I fixed the buffet supper. We had the boned chicken which I glazed & decorated – stuffed eggs- tomatoes cut in waterlily shapes on lettuce & watercress- my hors d’oeuvres dish with radishes, Sp. onions, sweet pickles, cucumber, pickled beets & olives- hot rolls – then strawberry tartlets with whipped cream & coffee. We made a bowl of punch with burgundy & fruit juices & ice & served it before & during supper & it was very cool & nice. Oh, I forgot- we had potatoes au gratin too- it was the one hot dish besides the rolls.

The guests were to come at 7, but I was delighted when they were late! Mary Jo & Pete came & Cec went & collected Jacqueline & Bill Baker- the latter are a very nice couple- we liked them both. We gave them punch & then they all helped themselves to the food which I had set out on the table on the landing, & they ate in the sitting room on their knees or on the card table etc. Everyone seemed to enjoy it all very much & had 2nd helpings etc. & Cec & Mary Jo raved about the chicken particularly, so I was pleased! We cleared & stacked the dishes & I rinsed them off, so it was all nice & tidy, then we just sat & chatted & later on Gunborg & Gordon came in after the theatre & had a drink & then they all left about 12 o’clock. We all enjoyed it, I think & Cec & I felt that it was the nearest we’d come to having a party in Ann Arbor, but believe me- 6 people eating in our sitting room & it was full!!

At home now.[different coloured ink!]

Next day- Sunday – of course we slept late, and I, at any rate, had a lazy day! It was Father’s Day, so I had a funny card for Cec & a little present of a propelling pencil & he didn’t have to do any chores all day!! He went to the Lab. & worked, & as I say, I didn’t do much as we ate party leftovers! We took a trip to the Sutherlands in the afternoon just for a minute, as they have got a puppy! Grunberg took the children to see the new County Humane Society Animal Shelter which has just been built & is apparently the last word, & they came back with this little puppy! It is black- 1/2 Cocker & 1/2 dachshund, but at the moment he just looks roly-poly puppy & so sweet! He staggers about & his little fat tum weighs him down & he slithers to one side! He is very cuddly & affectionate, & of course the girls are crazy about him – & Gunborg is just as bad!

When Cec brought me back home, Mrs. Kaufman called me in to meet her sister & a friend who were there.  Sat. was Commencement Day for the University & Mrs. K.’s younger daughter & her husband were both graduating – Fay got her M.A. & Morris his M.D.- so the K.’s had had lots of excitement & quite a big party, & the sister etc. were the remains! Fay & Morris are going to live in Detroit now, as Morris is doing his internship at one of the hospitals there, so Mrs. K is quite sad as both her daughters will have left A.A. She had the other daughter’s 2 little boys to look after when I was there on the Sunday – they are about 1 yr. & 2 yrs. old, I think – & the sister (unmarried!) I thought was such a silly woman! Every single thing the kids did she had to interrupt & correct or tell Mrs. K. to see what they were doing, so that she wore out herself, Mrs. K, the boys & even the other lady & myself! We never got a chance to talk as she was rushing around after them all the time, & of course they were just the centre of attention, & really it wasn’t their fault as they were good little boys.

It was hot on Sunday & apart from visiting I didn’t do anything, but had a good rest. I don’t remember if I told you that our apartment is let to a fellow in the Physics Dept. called Lewison. Cec doesn’t know him well, but he seems a nice chap & when he heard we were leaving he asked Cec about the flat as he is getting married in Aug. Cec told him to come over one evening, which he did, & he saw Mr. K. & made arrangements. His fiancé was away at college, so he asked if he could bring his Mama-in-law-to-be to see it, so of course we said yes, & then last week the girl came home & he brought her over on Monday evening, so we have had a thorough inspection & everyone seemed pleased! He is a nice jolly young man & obviously very much in love with the girl, whereas she took it all quite calmly & cooly, as if it were all her due in a very American-wife-ish way! Cec says he hopes they’ll enjoy our squeaky bed!! Poor newly-weds!

I must stop now, as Cec is at the Lab. & I promised him I’d be in bed at 10:30- good, aren’t I?!! I have done some typing for him too, so I have done my duty!!

Hope you got your passage fixed up O.K. without any bother – will write again soon, although don’t see that I’ll have any news!! Love to A. Moo & thank you all again for my lovely parcel.

                A big hug & lots of love from us all to our Grandmummy-


P. S. What do you know? The latest person to come to the West Indies is a great friend of yours! Anne tells me Jessie Fisher has a job in Jamaica & sails in Aug.!! I wonder if she’ll find that a happy hunting ground! Rosemary & Sheila are both married. 

P.P.S. Forgot to say that we laughed at the cutting from “Tell me Doctor” about the girl feeling as if she had quintuplets inside. I feel as if I had hundreds sometimes – all squirming! Also I feel that I look immense! Cec looks at me now & shakes his head & says “Yes, I really think you’re going to have a baby, Cynnie!”

May 21 1951

803, Granger Ave. 

Ann Arbor, Mich. 

21st May. 1951.

Dearest Little Mama,

I have no letter to thank you for this week, which is most unusual, but probably just as well as I have been promising to answer your other letters for weeks past! I fully intended to get going last week and begin writing so that I would be able to continue for a few nights and write a screed, but it has begun to get hot now, and you know how un-energetic that makes me! We didn’t have the screens up last week– still the storm windows, so we couldn’t open up much & the flat was so hot after dinner that 2 or 3 evenings we just went out for a little ride in MacTavish to cool off & it was so nice. I also did the ironing & the washing of socks etc. – and I must confess there was plenty of ironing- 2 lots – 2 weeks each! We hadn’t a hankie to our names!! So it dragged on, & then on Friday evening after my session at the Dental Clinic for another scale & clean, I just lay down & went to sleep all evening, so that wasn’t very productive, either!

On Saturday however, Cec & I made up for all our laziness & had such a busy day. We got up at the usual time, & and after breakfast Cec began & took down all the storm windows & put them up in the attic. They lift off & can be done from the inside, so it’s not too bad, except they are awkward things. Then he got out all the screens & the hose & hosed them all clean, & while he was busy with a hose we shut all the windows & he hosed the outside of those! After they were all dry, he put the screens on & it has made such a difference & although it is hot & humid tonight, it doesn’t feel half so oven-ish as it did before. While Cec was doing all this I gave the sitting room & bedroom a good clean, gave the bathroom and landing a fairly good clean, gave the kitchen a lick & a promise & gave up before I got to the stairs! Anyway, Cec was coming in & out with screens etc. so I couldn’t really do them & I’d had enough by then!

After lunch we drove downtown & shopped! We finally sold our second electric grill-waffle iron to Dawn & Bert for $10, so the money was burning a hole in our pockets & we decided to take $5 each & spend it on what we needed most. Cec got 3 prs. of underpants & a grey cotton, short sleeved sports shirt & I got another preggy dress. You will probably think I am getting hundreds of maternity clothes, but I just have the 4 things now; the grey short sleeved suit, which is a bit hot now; the pinky red unicorn dress; a green & white cotton dress, which is nice, but has to be washed & ironed practically each time I wear it & now my new one! I put $4 of my pocket money with it (the $5) & got a silky (rayon!) material like the red one, because it is cool & doesn’t crease & crumple like cotton. It is navy blue with a white pattern on- the white pattern is not all over, but just here & there & it is very plain with cap sleeves & an open neck & collar & gathers over my tum! I said to Cec that if you looked at me straight on I looked fine & slim, – but sideways of course, I’m like the side of 2 houses!! I also got a cute little yellow sun suit at Woollies & put it in a parcel of tins, pkts. of mixes etc. that I’m sending Anne. It is supposed to be her birthday parcel, but as she wrote about parcels she was going to send me at both Christmas & birthday & neither have materialized yet, I’m not worried because I’m late!!

After we came home from town, our exertions weren’t over yet! Cec took McTavish to S’s & borrowed Gunborg’s vacuum cleaner & did his inside thoroughly, then brought him back, washed, dried, waxed & polished him till he looked beautiful! I cooked the dinner – a little roast of pork- & while the oven was on & because it is so hot, I also made a meat loaf, stuffed & roasted a chicken, boiled a small piece of Canadian bacon (very like ham) & stewed some rhubarb! So most of my cooking for the week is done! Weren’t we good kids? We felt so virtuous that we practically glowed! Gordon & Gunborg came in, after being to the theatre, for Gunborg to borrow some books. She went to the Dr. last week & he thinks she has got either diabetes or a thyroid deficiency, so this week she has to go up to the hospital & have all sorts of tests made, and will be there for hours at a time probably so wanted some nice, light reading! She is quite cheerful about it all, & she & Gordon both think it is probably thyroid & not diabetes, as she has had trouble that way before.

Yesterday we went to Toledo for the day! We were supposed to be going for a weekend since before Easter, but we couldn’t make any definite arrangements, then at Easter Til & Lois took Lois’s old aunties (2 of them) down south & they visited C’Zelma & Em, & then brought Grandma back with them. She is living with them now, & as they only have one spare room, we couldn’t go for a weekend, but planned to go for a nice, long day. Til is taking Grandma back to Alabama when the holidays begin in 3 weeks time, & will probably stay down for 3 or 4 weeks. We meant to start at 9, but actually set out at 9:50, which we thought was pretty good! It was a bit grey & hazy to begin with, but turned into a lovely hot sunny day & the countryside looked so green & young & beautiful – the first time we’ve really driven anywhere in the spring, & we did enjoy it. It took us 2 hours to get there, & we arrived just in nice time & got a welcome from all 3. Til & Lois are looking so well & tanned & Grandma looks just the same as in 1947 – she is 86 now, but as sturdy & independent & bright as ever. We looked around the estate & saw everything – the apple blossom was over which was a shame, but the whole place looked so lovely you couldn’t mind for long. We then had a gorgeous dinner, full of things I shouldn’t have eaten, but did!! Fried chicken & gravy & mashed potatoes & peas & salad, then strawberries all sugared & coconut cake!! I missed out the cream on my strawberries, but otherwise made a pig of myself & it was lovely!!

After dinner I was so tickled- Grandma & I were sent to rest! Grandma because of her age and & me because of my condition!! I felt very pampered, & was actually so full I could hardly move anyway! Both Til & Lois thought I looked very well, but Til thought I was big for 6 months- also said that it was going to be a boy because of the way I’m carrying it!! We have all been hashing over boys’ names, but are no further yet- everyone who tries to help us gets disgusted, because whatever they suggest, one or other of us turns up our nose!!

I forgot to tell you that at dinner time I got a birthday present! Wasn’t that a lovely surprise? And what do you think it is? A pretty, pretty cotton housecoat – grey & white with yellow roses, & a zip right down the front. I just live in the brunch coat Cec gave me for my birthday – I change into it every evening & it’s so comfy & cool around the house – so although I can get the house coat on, as it has elastic at the waist, it is a tight fit, & it will be nice to have it pretty & new for the hospital. I think it is lovely though, & I can easily do with it as well as my brunch coat – ain’t I a lucky gal?

It got very oppressively hot during the afternoon & then a Mr. & Mrs. Gottschel arrived to visit (their daughter Elsie was a friend of Til & Lois’ & died while I was in Toledo- remember?) & while they were there, a most terrific thunderstorm began. It actually started about 3:30 & was still going on at 7 o’clock when we left, but of course it rumbled all around, & at one time it was directly on us, & the lightning was so close it actually seemed to be in the kitchen. I don’t ever remember being scared at a storm before but I was at this one, & so were we all I think, because the thunder was so loud, & the flashes right on top of us. All the electricity went off, so we couldn’t boil a kettle or have a cup of tea or anything, but there was a lull after a while & the Gottschels left, & we had cold chicken & tomatoes & cottage cheese & homemade bread (made by Grandma) & had a nice time. Half way through the electricity came on again, but we were all drinking milk by then, but finished off with tea or coffee.

Wed. 23rd May.

Hello – here I am again- two days later. I had promised Cec on Monday evening that I would be a good girl & go to bed at 10 o’clock (he was at the Lab.) as I was quite tired, so when I got to that point in the latter I suddenly looked at the clock & it was 10:10, so I dashed & jumped into bed & had a great long sleep! I felt fine yesterday but it was a miserable wet cold rainy day after all our fine weather & on our way home from work we saw that Somerset Maugham’s new film “Trio” was on, so we decided to be devils & go! We had our dinner quickly & went to the 7 o’clock show & thoroughly enjoyed it – in fact, I liked it better than “Quartet”, perhaps because I hadn’t heard so much about it. There were 3 stories, “The Verger”, “Mr. Know-all” & “The Sanatorium” – the first two very amusing & the last one amusing as well as tragic in parts- Jean Simmons was in one & lots of actors I know by sight- I do hope it will come to Ottawa sometime & you can see it too, because both Cec & I thought it was grand.

Anyway, that was why I didn’t get anything finished last night, so I’ll continue with the letter now & telling you what happened on Sunday. We finally left Til & Lois’ at about 7- having waited a while to see if it would clear up, but it was still rumbling & raining away, so off we set, & got back quite safely at 10 o’clock. It was a wretched drive for poor Cec though, because we seemed to follow the storm all the way & there was lightning & torrential rain at times, & of course in the darkness, difficult to see road signs & so on. Twice there were State Troopers directing traffic on the road, once because the traffic signal had gone out & once because the road was flooded & traffic had to detour over a country road, so it was quite an eventful journey, but our chauffeur was fine, and as we stopped for a cup of coffee in a little town which took some time, we weren’t so very much longer on the road coming back. Next day we read in the papers it had been a dreadful storm all over the state.

By the way, my new dress was much admired both by Til & Lois & the girls at work (I wore it yesterday.) I had to do quite a dressmaking job on it, because with my waist just below my bosom, nowadays, I had to take the skirt off & shorten the bodice as well as shorten the hem, but with wanting to wear it on Sunday I had no time to procrastinate but began & did it right away! Do you remember that little lime green “coolie” summer jacket I got at Mitcham’s a while ago? Well, I had it dyed navy blue last year & it looks very nice & makes a good “preggy” jacket as well as the colour fitting in quite well too.

Today when we came home at lunchtime we had 3 nice letters by now & we were so pleased as we hadn’t had any letters for about 3 or 4 days & we felt quite ignored! One was from you, written on 13th & we were so glad to get it; the second was from the US Treasury with our Income Tax refund of $50.00!! Wasn’t that lovely? It is baby money we have decided, to buy a crib & pram etc. so the poor little thing now has the promise of more than a dresser drawer to sleep in!! The third letter was from Chris Cooper – such a nice letter, telling all about Edgar being in the RAF now and making us laugh so much because he said how funny it was that both Edgar & I should become MAs this year!! I always enjoyed Chris’ jokes! He said he was writing to you that same evening, so probably you have his letter by now- poor Chris, he said it was a lonely kind of life, & I can imagine how it must be very solitary for him.

Your letter and card were greatly enjoyed by both Mama & Papa- the latter pretending to be greatly offended over the “lying in bed” card! He was also greatly tickled at your blue pencil, which is still associated in his mind with censoring- & in mine, particularly with censoring low jokes!! Never mind, honey, I think it is a great scheme & I will begin right now & answer it, so that you can see the blue pencil has made a deep impression on me!

We were so glad that you got your Mother’s Day card in time & liked the funny little angels! We sent one to Cec’s Mother too & we have been really up to the minute & sent birthday cards to Russell & Carmen & Dad Costain & Lea all in the last 2 months- Cec thinks they will all be shattered at the shock, but I have my reputation to keep up! I was glad to hear that Auntie Ettie would be home for Mother’s Day & can imagine what a welcome she would get from the girls. I hope they would think she was looking well and strong, and that they would see a great improvement in her health. I will try to get around to writing as soon as I can to A. Ettie, but can’t promise to it’s being very soon!

I wonder how you are getting on with your talkative border, Miss Mann! It is nice that A. Moo will have company while you are away, but from what you said Miss Mann is not the most restful of personalities, so I hope that she won’t be too trying, but will settle down nicely with you and A. Moo. I am glad that you like your new bedroom & hope that the stiff neck has quite gone.

Now to answer the first of your B. P. X’s!! About the money – I can certainly send you a cheque for £50 – or £100 if you need it – but Cec & I had been wondering if you had ever found out how much you would be allowed to bring with you. From what Peter says it looks as if £50 might be the limit, & I am sure there must be a limit, as it is really just the same as taking it from England to Canada & they were so strict about that. Anyway, Peter will probably know definitely, & help you fix things, & just write as soon as you know how much money you need & I will send you the cheque.

I hope Jenny & Peter had a nice time on their holiday & that Bren doesn’t have too bad of time with her teeth at the dentist in Barbados. Poor Bren must be worried about Arthur’s job hunting & I can imagine how she must be longing for him to get settled somewhere, so that they can all be together again & have a proper home. I am just longing to have a home, & we’ve just been married for 2 years, so I can imagine how much she is panting for one. In her letter to me, she asked about what I would like her to knit, but as I am so behind with writing letters just now, perhaps you wouldn’t mind explaining my slowness in writing to her, & telling her that I think the little pull-ups & jacket would be lovely, as the little jackets I have are definitely light & the suit sounds as if it would be nice & warm. You must also apologize to Jeanie for me & tell her that I still intend to write to her sometime, so not to give up hope! He looks a honey & from what you say, must be a lovely big boy.

I loved hearing about all our little garments & they sound to me to be a most impressive array! I am longing to see them of course, and I am all for your sending them off to me here, so that I can see them as soon as possible. Cec thinks we may have to pay duty on the parcel, but you may have to pay duty if you bring the things with you anyway, & too you will want to travel light on the plane & not have any extras if you can help it. I think it would be a good idea to send the parcel early too, because once we leave Ann Arbor, we won’t have an address in Ottawa for a little while, so we should make sure of getting them here. That reminds me, I haven’t written to Amy yet about the prospect of getting her rug, which I had better do, or she will be hurt! Isn’t little Mrs. Johnny a pet about the shawl? I am so intrigued with all these things – can’t really believe there for me & mine!!

Darn it- bedtime again, Cec says, so will close for tonight & get all done tomorrow. Night night- I go to have my lovely glass of scum milk!

Thursday evening.

Hiya – honey! Isn’t this a long drawn out effort?! Anyway I am determined to get it finished tonight & mailed tomorrow, or you will wonder what on earth has happened to us. Cec is back at the Lab. again this evening- departed with the little pyrex gravy boat to pour acid into something or the other of his equipment!! He wanted something glass with a handle, so I produced that & he has promised to bring it back cleaner than it’s ever been before!

We were amused in your letter where you were surprised at the girl taking 1 1/2 hours to scale & clean my teeth & wonder what you will be when you hear that I go for my 5th 1 1/2 hours tomorrow! It certainly is a thorough job (I’m still running on my original dollar!) but apparently it’s a common thing for preggy women to get gum trouble – & all this cleaning is doing mine good & clearing away the infection. Apparently I have no cavities that the girl can see, so that is nice as I don’t want to have to go to a dentist before we get to Ottawa.

I was tickled at all your holidays this week & hope everyone enjoyed them! It looks as if St. V. was certainly my natural home as I have been grouching all the time here about not getting any public holidays! However next week we do get one- 30th May is Decoration Day so I can stay at home- goody, goody!! Should really celebrate by scrubbing the kitchen floor!

About Connie – I had been meaning to tell you in this letter that we heard from them last week- letter from Leonard as usual! A while ago- after I had written & told them about our news- Cec got a paper (article on his work) from Leonard & on the top was scribbled “Congratulations from one father to another” so we presumed that their’s was a fact, but waited for a letter with more information. Anyway, this letter is quite cheery – the best we’ve had from them – no money talk or groans or moans! – & Connie is expecting at the end of August & is better now than she was, but has been having back ache etc. & so is now sleeping on a board! I can’t imagine Connie suffering in silence through any aches & pains, but maybe she isn’t so bad!! There are so many of us preggy gals at the Centre that it really is quite a help for us – each one takes it so cheerfully & matter-of-factly that you would feel a sissy to grumble or a grouch, & no matter how far on you are, there is someone a bit farther, & if she can come to work and be cheery, you feel, heck! so can you! One girl, Joan, was at work a week past Friday & had her baby (a 7lb. boy) on the Sat.- 10 days early. Millie is the next- she is due on June 7th, but is leaving work at the end of this month – not working quite to the last minute! But both those lasses have been very uncomplaining & there’s no doubt it must be very tiring & trying for them right at the end.

Did I tell you Dawn had a Baby Shower for Milly? It was the week I was sick & I was so mad I couldn’t go, but I gave my 25¢ subscription. Dawn asked all the other girls at the Centre & collected a quarter from each one & bought one big present, & then each girl brought with her a cute little 10¢ present from the dime store just for fun. It was a complete surprise to Millie as she had just gone to Dawn’s to do some sewing, & then in marched all the girls & it was a party! Dawn had ice cream & cake & they apparently all had a grand time. The present Dawn got with the money was a big bag with a shoulder strap (sort of handbag looking) & inside places for dry nappies & a waterproof place for wet ones, & an insulated part for keeping bottles hot & all sorts of cunning things. There was a little money left over, so she got a little jacket too, & Millie was thrilled with both. They are leaving Ann Arbour at the end of the summer (Jerry (the husband) is going to teach) so she is just borrowing a crib etc. to save moving stuff. I was to make her a little baby dress, but haven’t begun yet – I am ashamed!

I think that is the end of your blue pencilled questions so I had better end too as this letter seems long enough already! The only other thing was the St. V. stamps & I won’t forget them, but will send them in another (lighter!) letter! I hope all the ferns are doing well, & that the garden is looking spic & span after all the influx of helpers! We have lilac & lily-of-the-valley out just now & they smell so pretty – I have a little vase of the lilies here on the bookcase & another on my desk at work & it’s so nice to have flowers again. Cec & I were so excited the other morning- we saw a pair of hummingbirds on the lilac bush – the first I’d ever seen! They were so tiny & sweet we were fascinated!

Must stop now- love to Auntie Moo & the cousins – with lots & lots of love for Grandmummy from us all- 

                                       Hugs from Cynnie

                                                                   (the Tub!) 

Bed time again!                                  Friday 25th– just got your letter written on the 20th- glad you got your parcel.

May 10 1951

Thursday 10th May 1951.

Dearest Mummy,

It is a pouring wet, horrid night and has been raining all day too, but my poor little hubby has gone back to the Lab. to work, regardless of the weather. I am so glad that he has nice MacTavish to take him there & back on these night sessions because it makes it so much easier & on a night like this it would be just miserable, & he would get soaked. I have been writing Dottie quite a screed & I am now settling down to a real do with you! I have been having a nice time at home yesterday & today because I have had an upset tummy. I don’t know if I caught a cold on my tum, or if it is a gastric flu bug that is going around (as quite a few people seem to have it) or what, but on Tuesday I didn’t feel quite right & by the evening it began & I felt quite sorry for myself yesterday. Today it is a bit better although I’m still not eating much, but I feel very cheery in myself & and am thoroughly enjoying myself at home! I get one day a month sick leave you know, & I had four accumulated, so I was longing to take them on the slightest excuse, & now I have it I am delighted! I will stay at home tomorrow, as I have yet another appointment at the Dental Clinic to finish having my teeth cleaned, so I would be there most of the afternoon anyway.

Do you remember I told you last week that I had to go to the Fat Girls Class because of the 8 lbs I’d gained? Well, I went last Thursday morning, & there were about 5 or 6 other preggies in the same state as me! A dietician gave us a talk & we were given a diet to follow, & asked questions & had quite a chat. The diet is not too bad- 1 quart of milk a day (skim): 2 helpings of veg.- 1 green leafy & one raw- as much raw as you like: 3 helpings of fruit- some of these are funny- 1 helping of prunes or dates is two– grapes, 12 etc.!: 1 egg: 5 slices of bread or bread substitute i.e.- potatoes, cereal etc.: 6 ozs meat, fish or poultry. No sugar at all!! And no sweet things of any sort of course, but the thing I miss most is sugar in my tea – I have got some saccharine, but it’s just as horrid as it always was! Oh, I forgot, I get 3 teaspns. of butter a day, but no soups or fried foods or cheese – the bread astonished me, as I usually don’t eat nearly so much, but I suppose you have to have more to make up for the lack of other things. I did pretty well on the diet from the time I got it until I began to feel sick-ish- & lost weight too, but of course since then I lost weight anyway & now I have gone down about 6 lbs. in the week! I feel quite pleased, & feel that with that reduction I can surely have sugar in my tea again!! Actually, the last few days I’ve paid no attention to it, but have had nice cups of tea & bread & butter & scrambled eggs & bread & milk! Gunborg was making us laugh at the weekend when I told her about the diet etc. because she felt very strongly that it was all wrong – how could we be happy contented mothers if we were frustrated in all our little desires & get enough to eat? But actually, although it is partly so that you won’t be to tub-like after the baby is born, it is also so that the baby will be small so that you will have a better time, so it is all to the good in the long run!

Talking about having a nice time at home, we certainly didn’t begin the day very well today, although it could’ve been a lot worse. I got up about 8:30, & was coming back from the bathroom when I heard something dripping in the kitchen, & went in & found the sink just full & overflowing with water! It is silly really as it has a fancy gadget – one way you turn it, it is open – the other way closed, & it is very easy to touch it with a pan or something & close it without realizing. Anyway, that is what had happened & the tap having been left dripping by accident too, we had a minor flood. I pulled out the plug & was just deciding that it wasn’t bad as there wasn’t much water on the floor when there was a ring at the bell & this was Mrs. Kaufman to ask what had happened as the water was trickling down her walls – was I mortified! Anyway, I explained & said I had stopped it, & then I mopped up the floor, & then looked in the cupboard under the sink & of course found it all wet too- I keep all the cleaning things, soap, paper towels, paper napkins cloths etc. in there, & they were just sodden, but had fortunately absorbed a lot of water too!! However, we got that dried up, & set out all the things to dry & got breakfast, only to discover that the coffee tin was just about empty & we had forgotten to get any more! So poor Cec had thin straw coloured, coffee-flavoured hot water for breakfast to add to his troubles!!

Anyway, it wasn’t really bad & Cec was down in the K’s this evening & it hadn’t marked the wall, so we weren’t too conscience stricken! Also I got my cupboard clean & tidied, & spurred on by the sight of all the cleaning things out, I even got rash & cleaned the silver, so it did some good!

Yesterday, when I was feeling a little bit poorly, I had a nice treat when your letter mailed on April 30th arrive – thank you lots & lots. I enjoyed myself just sitting back with my feet up on the sofa, reading it, & was glad that you had got my A.M. and also the sea one with “enclosures”. I thought you would be amused at Edie’s letter – she certainly writes newsy letters, doesn’t she? Even more rambly than you & me! I have another one from her, but haven’t answered it yet, so will wait & send it when I have. I will also send the St. V. stamps you asked for, as I have given some around, but still have quite a bunch.

Before I begin answering your letter, I’ll tell you the week’s news, which isn’t much or very exciting! On Thursday evening Cec & I went & did our week’s shopping at a beautiful new Super- Market which has opened near here. It is very deluxe, & has electric-eye doors, which open as you walk up to them! We had lots of fun & and bought all sorts of bargains & each got a free loaf of bread!! At the weekend Cec worked hard all the time – our only excitement was that we got involved in Gordon trying to sell his car! His form of spring-fever is apparently car buying, & he had seen a lovely 2ndhand Buick convertible (i.e. a car that has a top that goes up and down- Gordon loves them!) so he was trying to sell his old Ford. It so happened that Shirley in my office was thinking of buying a 2ndhand car & talked about looking at them, & without thinking I mention Gordon’s. She was all wildly excited & called him up & arranged to go & see it that evening & so forth- then went round talking to everyone at work about it etc. However, by the end of the afternoon she began to get cold feet & wonder if she wanted it, until I wished I’d kept my big mouth shut & never told her! However, as she had no way of getting to the S’s & it is rather awkward, we took her over & she saw the car, but of course she didn’t buy it! We have since heard that all this is quite typical of Shirley- sudden enthusiasm which comes to nothing! Remember, she was the one who got all excited about coming to visit you all in St.V. & then let it drop!! Good job, says you! Anyway, the car story has a happy ending, as Gordon sold his car to a young fellow & has bought the lovely Buick which is a good bargain, & looks beautiful. It is a sort of blue-green – very pretty & extremely well-kept as well as being bigger than the old car, so they are all happy! 

It was Gunborg’s birthday on Monday & we went over & took her a card & a box of chocolates. She was looking much better & had enjoyed her birthday, so seems to be quite well again.

It is now Sunday and I am finishing this off. You will wonder what on earth happened to me since Thursday when I began this, but on Friday as I told you, I went to the Clinic (Dental) & the girl scaled & scaled at my teeth again till my nerves were all shattered! They are just young girls – college freshmen – who do it, & the girl who is doing mine is quite cute, but goes on & on- this was my 3rd visit, and it is 2 hours each time, & you know how annoying & nagging all that scraping & digging can be! Anyway on Friday, my nerves can’t have been very strong, & when the inspector woman told the girl to go ahead and do some more, I just couldn’t stood it & said so! I have to go back again next week, but it left me feeling exhausted & all wore out for the rest of the day & Cec sent me to bed early! On Saturday, poor Cec woke up with another bad cold. Isn’t it a wretched shame after he has just got rid of one!? It is all this hard work & not enough sleep which lowers his resistance I know, but he just has to go on, for a bit more anyway. We went to the store, & he slept most of the afternoon & I did chores, & then in the evening as we were both feeling rather miserable Cec said to hell with his cold & we went to the pictures to see “Miranda”! Cec had never seen it, & it was so long since I had that I didn’t mind a bit & we both thoroughly enjoyed it. We were only sorry that the very last shot of Miranda with the sweet little mer-baby was cut out in accordance with American morals!!

Today was a lovely sunny pretty day, so at about 2 we went out for a little drive & called at the S’s to see their new chariot. We ended by going for a drive in it to see a street in A.A. lined with very pretty flowering trees, & then stayed to dinner – I protested, but it was lovely as I didn’t have to do any cooking at home!!

I intended to answer all your letters in this, but as it has got so late now I am going to send it off, & promise that I will answer all the letters & questions & queries this week. I got your nice letter written on the 6th, yesterday & it helped to cheer our gloom- also all the funny, little cuttings & the sweet picture of the little Andrew which I am returning- isn’t he a pet? He looks a bit like Pam I think, but can’t see a likeness to Nicky just in the photo. Will write more about your letter in my next- thank you heaps for it. 

Today is Mother’s Day- hope you got your card – I got a lovely funny little one from my hubby. He is snuffly today, but still luffly & feeling more cheery – I am fine once more & go back to work tomorrow. 

                        Lots & lots of love 


                                                Cynnie & Cec


Returned for Additional Postage: Cyn usually put 20¢ or even 30¢ on these airmail letters- obviously 12¢ didn’t cut it!