I love this letter! It gives a glimpse of what it was like in the church in 1959 and what it was like to be the church secretary, it talks about the warm weather at the time and reminds me that just 10 years or so later they were talking about global cooling! It also gives some very sage advice from my grandmother to my mother, but very good advice for me to pass to my own daughters. As always the farm and farm life are a big part of my grandma's correspondence.
Dec 11, 1959
Dearest Maryrose, Elena and Pete,
My goodness how fast time does fly. It is almost Christmas. For some it will be a very sad one. Francis Trofas was killed last afternoon. He left 2 babies. You remember he married a non-Catholic. The poor guy had tried three times to get his marriage validated. Twice at Holy Redeemer and once at St. Johns. I don't know what held up the proceedings. Mary Ellen and his wife(Mrs. Trofas) came to Father Donohue to have the burial. Of course he couldn't remember when Francis came to see him and he asked me about him. I reminded him, then he called one of the monsignors and they instigated search and found Frances had been going to mass. In fact he had gone to 5 a.m. mass at Holy Redeemer the day he died. He was so badly mangled they had to advance the day of burial one day. It was a blessing his face wasn't marred. Only one of his hands was exposed, the other was covered by the lining of the casket. It's too bad he didn't get his marriage fixed up but Father D. said because Francis had the desire in fact had tried, he could be buried by the church.
Honestly we've had so many deaths in the parish, Dad said the other day, "Guess I'll go back to being a Protestant." When I asked him how come he said, "Too many Catholics are dying!."
Oh yes, the weather we haven't had below zero weather yet. The coldest was 10 degrees above and that was early in November. Even then it gets down to 20 degrees at night and as high as 52 at noon. In fact Calvin is so disgusted he can't get the rest of his corn. he has a couple acres at Zdenskis and 12 acres here at home.
I just doctored some of my cats. We have 2 tiger Toms, Max who is 2 years and Charlie 1 year. Max hates any other male and he beats Charlie up every chance he gets. Charlie is a third larger than Max. I suppose Charlie respects Max's age. He could, I suppose, some day make mincemeat of Max.
Say about the money, we don't know what you are talking about We haven't loaned you any money. What sort of parents do you think you have anyway? So rest your minds. You have enough to worry about. When we can't send you anything we'll let you know.
The sling you asked about is called a "Cuddle Seat." I think I'll be able to find one for you. Today is such a gloomy day. Looks like rain. Calvin says, "I suppose it won't know how to stop. You should have eaten your Fruit Cake because we had another ordered for your Christmas. i am going to mail your gifts out on Monday the 14th. I hope and pray you get them before Christmas. Did you get the music? I hope so because I sent it out before I sent Pete's Birthday gift. As I told you, I paid for it so don't send any money to Anderson's.
Too bad you are losing your students, but it is always that way. As for teaching, you might have had more money but those precious hours you spend with your baby are worth much more than any amount of money. Babies are babies such a short time. Every day they are growing, changing and learning and after such a short time, they grow so independent.
You don't have a baby buggy do you? Has Elena got a high chair or one of those tables that the baby can use as a dining table and play table? Let us know will you.
Well one of Calvin's cows had a big bull calf early this morning. Last week we got a heifer calf. Dad has been taking cold shots. He had been catching cold so easily. I'm glad he agreed to take the series of shots, 2 a week for 2 weeks then 1 a week for 2 weeks the one a month during the winter. Gotta get read for work, Friday. I'm about ready to quit.
Lots of Love, Mother.