Nov. 17, 1935.
Weather conditions have not improved any since I wrote you last week. In fact it has been going from bad to worse, which is rather discouraging as far as letter writing is concerned. The fact of the matter is that we haven’t had a glimpse of old Sol – not even for five minutes – since I wrote you last week. It has been damp and dreary, sometimes misty, sometimes snowy, but always cloudy, and at present there is not the slightest prospect of a let up. As the poet has expressed it, “The melancholy days have come, the saddest of the year.” And how can you expect me to be happy and gay when the sun has hidden itself so thoroughly away? However, that is no excuse for my not writing to you. And so here I go for all that I am worth, which, to tell the truth, is not much. In fact at this time I would be below nil, if I had not in desperation sold two of my books, with which proceeds I was enabled to meet the Church dues of myself and family this morning and have a few cents leftover for stamps and other things. But as far as finances go, they have never been rosy with me, and long ago I stopped worrying about such things. I remember now, as I am writing to you, that on Thursday, the 21st, you will have another birthday,
the 87th all told, the same age, I think, that your mother attained and 8 years beyond the age of your father. I wish I were in position to send you something as an evidence of my appreciation of the dearest mother that ever lived. But as I cannot do so, I extend to you my hearty congratulations, best wishes, and assurance of my earnest prayers that our good and gracious Lord may see fit to preserve you to us in health of mind and body and in the enjoyment of life for at least a few years longer. You know I wouldn’t know hardly what to do if I didn’t have a mother to write to. I hope that those of your children who are in position to do so, will do everything for you to make your birthday a happy one. Little Frederick is sending you a letter again. He doesn’t know about your birthday, but he thinks the world of his grandmother whom he has never seen; and you will no doubt appreciate his little letters as well as Eileen’s. Carolus and Marge are up here to-day and are all enthusiastic over their new house and future home. The surveyors were up yesterday and laid out the lot and the site for the house, and excavation of the foundation is to begin to-morrow. The house will cost them $5,200, of which Marge is paying the bulk – about $5000. So they will have a home to start out on, if they don’t have anything more. According to the contract the house is to be finished by around the middle of February. They expect to move into it the 1st of March, when they give up their place in the Kingsway Apartments. As they are just up the street a little way from here we will have them as comparatively near neighbours. Bonnie is still having
severe trouble with her eyes. The doctors say her glasses are all right and don’t seem to be able to find the source of the trouble. She is naturally quite despondent, and thinks it is only a question of time when it will “get her”. I try to keep hopeful, but find it quite hard to keep up a cheerful aspect when she is so worried. I was down at the lake this morning for my diurnal dip. Bonnie says she is quite certain it will be “die” some morning, but is doubtful as to whether she would have money enough to buy an “urn” for me, which is something ‘al’ (For fear you may not understand this joke, I will say that ‘al’ is the abbreviation for ‘alind’ , which means ‘else’; if you don’t believe it, ask Prof. Herbert). I find that my swims put “pep” in me – a quality that is sorely needed at my age of life. I received notice from my prospective publishers in New York last week to the effect that though they found my manuscript “very interesting”, they were doubtful as to whether the book would find sufficient sale to justify them in taking the risk of its publication; and that consequently they are returning my manuscript. So I am giving up the matter of further publications as a bad job, as I have had sufficient experience in publishing on my own hook, and “a burnt child dreads the fire.” We received a wonderfully silver-engraved invitation to Leopold and Florence’s Silver Wedding Anniversary. I am going to look up the silver five-cent piece which I sent to Clarence and Florence some years ago and which they returned to me, and send it again on [?] mission. But I see I have reached the end of my rope, so with love and best wishes, Good bye! Sincerely yours,