Dear Mother and Daddy,

It has been rather cold and windy here all day. I washed clothes and hung all the diapers and blankets outside and they froze and all got dry. The sun has been shining all day. It is a good thing that it did get cold as they are having bad floods down in Kent. The race track at Renton is completely under water. We went to Kent last night and across the bridge they just have one way traffic as they have a steam shovel on the bridge vainly trying to keep the logs and stuff from piling up against the middle pillar under the bridge. The valley looks like the ocean.

Are you managing to keep warm? I guess that it is pretty cold back there too. Did the cards get there on your birthday?

Our car isn’t running again. I told you that it wouldn’t start the night that I had my Stanley party. Well, it hasn’t ran since. Dale thinks that it might need a distributor cap or something. He is going to town tonight to get one. I hope that will fix it.

The kids are all in the living room watching T.V., except for Helen Jo, and Mark who are asleep. I just finished feeding Karen, and must soon start supper. We are going to have acorn squash stuffed with hamburger and onions. It is good. I made some oatmeal cookies this afternoon, and yesterday an applesauce cake.

It is only 12 more days until Christmas, and I haven’t done any shopping yet. I don’t know when I will do it. We received a big box from Dales folks last week, and a Christmas card from Matt and Maxine yesterday.

I have been busy in my spare time trying to fix something for Elyce to wear. Everything that she owns except for her jumper is too short for her. I have hems to put in everything Cindy has outgrown and take them in at the shoulders.

Did I tell you that a week ago Saturday all of us went to the Boeing Circus. It was good. We got an early start this time and even had time to get lost. We finally found our way just by following the cars full of children. We got there in time to get a place on the main floor and it wasn’t raining for a change. After the circus they give big stockings full of candy and this year each one had a yo-yo in. We came home with 5 so we are well supplied with candy and yo-yo’s.

Did Velma ever find her treasure? What color did she paint her room?

I went to Church Sunday, did you? I went to the 9:30 one with the kids. Next Sunday is the Christmas program for the kids.

I see by the picture you sent that Ypsi has some new Christmas decorations. They seem awfully high up. I guess that is because of the lack of things hanging down.

Did you have any company on your birthday? I hope so. You certainly had a good dinner on Winnie’s birthday. Did she buy the house or is she just taking care of it for the owners? Marie must be smaller than Betty now, isn’t she?

Loretta pays me 7.50 a week every 2 weeks. I have to buy gas for our car out of that to take Helen home every night. I told Dale that I was going to ask for more because Bruce brings her just any time, and sometimes on Saturdays, but Dale says I shouldn’t because they are friends, and I suppose he is right. Bruce always helps when something goes wrong with our car or something. Right now we are driving Loretta’s car. It eats oil. Or rather, it loses it out the bottom.

Well, I have told you all the news. I must close and get supper started. Helen is awake anyway and she likes to be in the center of things when she is awake. I will have to get her up. Oh, yes, my iron came back that I took in over a month ago to have fixed. It cost 6.50 to have it fixed. I guess that about everything was the matter with it. It looks like new now.

How is Daddy? How is the car running? How are you?

Love, Patricia


Dear Mother and Daddy;

This is such a beautiful day here. I have some clothes out on the line, but I don’t think that they will dry. I here that it is about zero at home. Are you managing to keep warm? How does the car run this kind of weather? Did you have a nice Thanksgiving? We did. Bruce and Loretta were here for dinner. We had Turkey, dressing, creamed onions, tossed salad, baked sweet potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin pie, mince pie, gravy, whipped cream, and coffee.  I fixed it all except the salad and mince pie and whipped cream which Loretta brought. Of course it poured rain. In the evening we played cards, and then Lynne and Dave Strike and their kids came up and played too. She brought a cake up with her, so we had cake and coffee before they left. They went home about 10:30. I almost went to town to call you, but I got to thinking it was about 1:30 back there and you would surely be in bed.

Elyce’s jumper arrived last Monday. She is so tickled with it. I am going to get her a nylon blouse to wear with it. The kids are still eating on the candy you sent, so is Dale. Thanks a lot.

Last Wednesday night when I took Helen home, Loretta wanted to go to the store so I took her down to Safeway. We hadn’t had supper yet so I brought her back with me for supper, then she stayed until about 11 when I took her home. Did I tell you that she has a car, a 49 olds, but she doesn’t know how to drive.

Tuesday night was the P.T.A. meeting and I went with Laura Salter. There weren’t many there. There were about 3 men I guess. Monday night I went over to Laura’s for a while. Janet was over there. Her baby is walking now. She has been for about 6 weeks. She certainly look little walking around. She won’t be a year old until the end of January.

A week ago Sunday it was such a nice day that we went for a little ride while dinner was cooking. We went over to see the plane crash. They had the street all blocked off and there was a crowd there. One house was completely burned up, and the corner of another was wrecked, and there garage and brand new jeep completely destroyed. You could see for a block where the plane came in breaking off trees and utility poles. There was just the tail section sitting there and a lot of little scraps, and twisted metal. Afterwards we stopped by Mary Ann’s and George’s. George sold his packard, and something was wrong with the austin and he was working on that. He works odd hours and has different days off, so they don’t get anywhere much.

Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, it was raining and Dave came up to see if Dale would help him haul some lumber from Tacoma. Dale got all wet and caught cold. Saturday, we took the kids up to Seattle to see Santa Claus. Such a crowd. After we got there Elyce decided that she didn’t want to see him, so she stayed in the toy department with Dale and I wandered around looking at all the toys and filling all the empty high chairs with dolls. The whole toy department was serve yourself, and they had those great big super market push carts. We weren’t buying anything so we put Mark and Karen in one and pushed them around. Mark liked the rocking horses, but soon became bored and went to sleep. Karen was interested in everything though. Every one stopped to admire Karen and Mark. Karen sits all alone in the play pen without being propped up at all. She is cute.

Sunday after Church we went out to Harold and Margies. She cooked dinner for us although she didn’t have anything even started when we arrived at about 3. We ate about 7. She said that she had been lazy. She always says that.

What has been going on around there? How much snow do you have? When is Norman going to get married? Is Arletta still in the hospital?

Dale hasn’t had much chance to watch T.V. on Saturdays, but he sure wears it out on evenings and Sundays. This past one was the first Saturday that he hasn’t worked since I don’t know when.

How are you and daddy feeling? Be careful on the icy sidewalks and pavements. That was nice of John to clean off your walks.

Lottie sent me a picture from the Ypsi press of Art and his deer and bear. He is quite a hunter.

Well, I guess that I will close for this time, and get the kids off to school. I started writing this two days ago. Maybe I will get it mailed today.

Lots of love,


Dear Mother and Daddy;

Just thought that I had better get this started before the kids get up and ready for school. First of all, I want to thank you for the pretty jumpers and cards and candy that you sent the kids for their birthdays. They were really tickled. Their jumpers look so nice on them. Cindy wore her jumper to Sunday School last Sunday, but Diane hasn’t had a chance to wear hers yet as we didn’t get there yesterday. I have to turn hers up about the width of the hem anyway. She is bigger around than Cindy, but not as tall. Yes, Elyce will have to have a size 4, for the length.

We are having real winter weather here. It has been down to 8 and 9 above ever since Friday, and that is cold out here. It snowed Thursday, and the ground is still covered. Friday we had a storm and trees blowed down. When I came home from Loretta’s Stanley Party Friday night, just before you come into the community of Lake Fenwick, a truck with a red blinker stopped me and said that i would have to turn around and back down Reith road and up Military to Star Lake, and then down the road to our house. It was so cold and windy then, but the wind was at my back until I had to turn around. Before I got to the top of the winding hill on Reith road, the car was steaming like a steam engine. I kept right on coming, though. I wasn’t going to walk 3 or four miles if I could help it. When I got up on Military road, I looked through the rear view mirror, and every once in a while you could see bright flashes of light where trees would be falling across power lines. That is what happened on Lake Fenwick road. I just pulled into the yard and up to the garage and the car stalled. It wouldn’t start again. Dale had it going Saturday evening after he got home from work, but it didn’t run long enough to thaw out, and it hasn’t run since. I was real mad and still am, because I asked him to put some alcohol or something in when he went to town for bread Friday night as the weather report said that it was going down to 20, but of course he knows more than the weather man.

The boxes both arrived the day before the kids birthdays. They were all out of bubble gum. I looked at all the pictures in the Ypsilanti paper. Some of them I knew. If Ford puts his new plant on Textile road, I suppose that it will all be built up soon. Thanks for the catalogues.

How are you both? How are you standing the cold weather? Did I tell you that Bruce got Loretta a 49 Oldsmobile. She doesn’t know how to drive though, so it just sits there unless he drives it. That Stanley party was something. She was supposed to have it last week, and she got mixed up on the days, and a week ago she answered the door and there was the woman to put on the party and she hadn’t even invited anyone. She told the woman that she would have it last Friday night. Friday after she got home from work, she ran around to some of her neighbors and invited them, but they couldn’t come at the last minute like that, so I and she were the only ones there.

We got a T.V. last week. Dale finally wangled it. It is a 21 inch Magnavox, a floor model. We just got rabbit ears. The kids and Dale certainly enjoy it. I don’t care about it myself.

What did you do over the week-end? Did you have any company? A fellow that Dale works with and his family were out yesterday afternoon for a little while. They have 4 children. The woman down in back had her baby early Tuesday morning. It was a girl, and wasn’t to have been born until January. It weighed 5 lbs. 3 oz. She is coming home today. She is going to Tacoma to stay with her in-laws though for a while. The pump froze up Saturday when they turned off the electricity to get that tree off the lines. It was off from 6:30 until afternoon. Of course our furnace went off as we have it on thermostat now. Boy was it cold. I finally went out and located some wood and chopped it up and by the time I got the fireplace going the electricity came on. It took a long time for the house to warm up after it got so cold.

Dale fixed the window in the bedroom a couple months ago. The liquid solder probably wouldn’t hurt it though. I think that I will get some.

Well, I guess that I will close for this time. I can’t think of any more news. We have been enjoying the canned stuff that Harold and Margie gave us. It is mostly fruit, a few cans of vegetables and some jam. Harold’s mother canned a whole lot for them for Harold Jr., and he wouldn’t eat it. Funny people. Next week is Thanksgiving again. What are you going to do? I don’t know if we will have a turkey or not. The kids like to have one. It depends on the price.

The sun is shining so brightly now. The man on the radio said that the temperature is 11 above now, and is supposed to go up to 20. That is in Seattle of course. A real heat wave. The kids have gone off to school, and Mark wants to get up, so I must get busy.

Lots of love,


Dear Mother and Daddy,

Your letter came Monday. We were glad to here that Daddy is better and home again. It was nice talking to you Friday night too. Were you in bed? I figured that daddy would be after you said he just came home that day. I could hear you so clearly.

Make sure that daddy goes back for his checkup in a couple weeks. I am so glad that his sugar is under control.

Loretta is working at Boeings in Seattle. She works in the deductions office. I don’t know about Bruce though. He didn’t work Friday and yesterday he didn’t bring the baby up so we stopped up there to see if she was sick as she wasn’t feeling well Monday when she was here, and Bruce was home, again. He hasn’t worked since last Thursday and didn’t say if he was taking his vacation or what. I don’t know how much she will pay me. She hasn’t paid me yet.

Diane is such a stinker. Sometimes I think I could gladly wring her neck. The other night when I took Helen Jo home, I left Diane and Cindy here doing the dishes. When I came home they had finished the dishes and were all ready for bed. I decided that they must have hurried with the dishes for a change. The next morning Mark pulled the curtain back to watch Harold drive out, and I noticed that a pane of the window was broken and cracked all to pieces. When they got home from school I asked both Diane and Cindy who did it. Both said that they didn’t know, but Diane looked too innocent as usual. I finally found out that Diane had thrown the yard stick through it while playing Indian. Margie gave me a bib holder she had bought for Karen. I wanted to use it this morning so when I picked it up I noticed that one end of it was all apart. She had broken the thing and pulled the spring out and lost it. Of course she said that she didn’t know anything about it. Then after a [word missing] she says “but I didn’t do it yesterday” as though it made any difference which day she did it.

Last Saturday Dale had to work. It was a pretty week-end and didn’t rain. Sunday I went to Church. Margie and Loretta neither one got up in time. After Church we went out to Margies place that burned down. They had some canned stuff out there in the pump house they said that we could have. They had a nice location out there and the cutest little creek. They sold the creek with the part of the property they sold though. Now they have a rented place in Bellevue until they can get their project house moved which might be sometime as they have to have a building permit, and before the county will issue one they have to pass a drainage test for the septic tank. Last week though they failed the test. Of course the rain didn’t help the water to drain off.

Monday, October 31, 1955

Well, I didn’t get this finished last week. George came over and borrowed the typewriter and said that he would bring it back on Sunday, but he didn’t so last night I went over and got it.

Margie moved Saturday. Of course it rained all day. The other people moved in Sunday. They seem to be nice. I think they are from the South though. By the way, I went to Kent Saturday evening after Dale and Loretta got home from work. Loretta went with me, and I was talking to that Mr. Murray in the dime store. He used to live here you know. He said that there is a pool out in front. Just a little pool. I told Dale that so yesterday he went out and found it. I didn’t let him uncover it though. Maybe next Spring I will. Mr. Murray said that it isn’t very deep. He also told me who owns the lot over here next to Blooms, you know the empty one next to 5h3 garage. It is someone he knows who now lives in Walnut Creek, California. He said that he would look up his address for me. He says that the lot goes clear down to the lake. I certainly hope that we can get hold of it. He said that he had had it up for sale at one time, but didn’t know how much the fellow wanted.

Yesterday I went to Church. We had Cindy’s birthday dinner. She received cards from Lottie and Art, and one from Lottie’s kids last week. dales mother sent her a Punch and Judy pop-up book and a pin, and we got her a skirt without straps and a stripped sweater that matches it. Of course she had to wear that to school today. I will have to get them some hats for Sundays. They had some pretty ones at Murrays. They have either velveteen or angora knit and both are embroidered with pearls. They are 2.98 though. Did I tell you that Elyce goes to Sunday school. I shortened that plaid taffeta dress that I made for Diane about 5 years ago and she is wearing that to Sunday school.

Karen stands alone in the teeter-babe, and jumps up and down. She certainly is active.

How is daddy feeling? Did you go to Simons reception? How was it? What size shirt does daddy wear? Has he mentioned anything that he would like that maybe you don’t think is necessary, but that he would like to have? Does he still want that branch saw? If so let me know and I will send you the money and you can get it for him from us for Christmas. Margie had the Montgomery Christmas catalog and I looked at it. It certainly had some nice things in it. Did you get one?

Well, there isn’t any news, so I guess that I will close. I went to the P.T.A. Meeting last Thursday night with Mrs. Salter. She said Diane is having trouble with her arithmetic, and Cynthia with her spelling. Neither will bring any home to study. They always say that they forget. How are you feeling mother. I’ll bet that the house looks nice all painted. What color are you going to paint the bedroom? Did you have any company over the week-end? Loretta had a letter from Mary, and she said that she guessed that she would come out here againjust so that she could have the trip back home, that was so nice.

Lots of love,


Dear Mother and Daddy,

Well, how are you this misty foggy day? We are all fine. Mark was real sick last Tuesday. We rushed him to the Dr. Tuesday night after Dale got home from work, and the Dr. said that we got him there just in time as he was coming down with pneumonia. He had had a slight cold since the previous Saturday, but I didn’t pay much attention to it outside of greasing him at night. He didn’t even have that terrible croupy cough that he usually gets when he has a cold. Just his nose ran a little, and he was a little cross Sunday and Monday. Oh, I guess that it was Wednesday that he got so sick. The Dr. wasn’t opened, but I saw his car parked in the back so I had Dale go to the back door and get him. We took Mark in and he was breathing so funny, so shallow, and he was just burning up with fever. I had worked all afternoon trying to get it down, and aspirin didn’t even phase it. The Dr. gave him a shot, and said to sponge him for a half hour at a time every 15 minutes, for 4 hours. By 9 o’clock his fever was gone and he was sleeping peacefully. I had to take him back to the Dr. for shots Thursday and Friday. Thursday he was 100 percent better. Friday the Dr. said that he was well on the road to recovery and said he wouldn’t need to see him again. He gave him another shot though. Our insurance took care of it, wasn’t that lucky?

Last week-end was supposed to have been Dale’s big week-end. He and Bruce were going across the mountains hunting all week-end. Dale was so thrilled. He borrowed some guys binoculars and took the stove and Bruce had a lot of food and stuff and about 10 o’clock Friday night, away they went. Saturday was bright and sunny and warm and about noon, I went up to Loretta’s. Mary wanted to go to Kent so they got ready and we started out. We got down to the bridge just before you get to Kent and who should be coming over it but Dale and Bruce. They said it was too warm over there to hunt. That was what Bruce said, but what really happened was that Bruce had bought a new shot gun, paid $170.00 for it and just like last year he couldn’t stay still long enough to hunt deer, he wanted to hunt birds. They invited us up to dinner, so I came home and frosted my cake and we went. We had dinner and then played cards. Dale and Bruce watched TV and slept. We came home about midnight, and Bruce says he would pick up Dale early in the morning and they would go over to Enumclaw hunting. Dale got up by himself about 6 and fixed some breakfast for himself and waited and waited and no Bruce. About 9 he went up there, and they were all still in bed. Bruce got up and had breakfast and came by about 10 and off they went. I got the kids breakfast and combed their hair and was going up to Loretta’s when Dale and Bruce drove in. Dale was so mad. Bruce had taken the dog with him and the other side of Kent he had stopped the car and he and the dog got out to hunt birds. While he was gone he got his feet wet and so did the dog so he decided to quit hunting for the day. Dale couldn’t hunt birds as his gun is broken. The bolt on it or something. Dale came in and says do you want to go hunting? I said sure so off we all went. We went over the other side of Sumner. He parked in an open field and the kids and I stayed at the car and he went into the woods. It was about 1 then. He didn’t even see anything though and about 3:30 he came back and wanted to come home. I think that he kind of lost heart in hunting for that day. He says that he saw where they bed down, and thinks that he will go over next Saturday.

What have you been doing? You said that Norman was thinking of getting married. Who is he going to marry? That school teacher up in Canada? Did Arletta ever see about Norman’s house? Maybe they will have a double wedding.

Joe is doing all right, isn’t he? That is some job.

Mary left for home last night. I was going into Seattle to get the kids some new shoes, and she rode in with me. When we got there we found that her bus didn’t leave until 10, so she and Loretta went to the Bon with me. Marjorie went too. We looked all over the basement, but never got to the other floors. We tried on hats. I didn’t have time to decide on one though, so I didn’t get any. I just hate my black [word missing -ed.] If I ever lose weight, I don’t think that I will ever wear black again. It depresses me.

What size shirt does daddy wear? Does he like those flannel shirts? I bought Dale two for work. They are pretty.

Karen started standing up in the teeter-babe today. She sits up real good too. She sits in the high chair to be fed now. She is cute.

Margie got your letter Friday. She was up here washing clothes when it came. She was so tickled with it. They will be moving in 2 weeks.

The Bon Marche opened 2 new floors yesterday. It is now 6 story’s, “The largest department store West of the Missippi.”

Bruce just brought the baby up. He works afternoons and Loretta days, so I am taking care of Helen until she gets home, and then I will take her home. I hope that it will be steady. Maybe I can save up enough to buy me a dryer by next Spring.

This afternoon I baked cookies While the first pan was in the oven I was putting clothes away and had the dough all rolled out for the next pan full. Elyce had been watching me. I came back into the dining room to get some clothes and Elyce came in all smiles and says “I put everything away for you” and I was only half listening to what she was saying so I said absently “That’s nice honey”. Well, I went out and took the cookies out of the oven and took them off the sheet and turned around to cut out some more and the bread board was shoved under the counter in its place. There wasn’t any sign of my cookie cutters, or the paper that I had been rolling them on. Then it dawned on me what Elyce had said about putting things away. I asked her where the cookies were, she says “I’ll get them, I’ll get them,” and started rummaging in the waste paper basket. Fortunately she had left the cookie dough on the waxed paper that I had it on and had just wadded it up so it was still usable. Then she got the dirty cookie cutters and spatula out of the drawers. Never a dull moment.

Yes, Mark brought the shoe out one day. By the time he did, though, she had outgrown it.

Thanks for the little book. I got one from Church. The pictures came last week. Thanks for sending them. I want to get a scrap book to put them in.

Harold and Marjorie are moving back to their property. They had 2 acres and sold one, and are moving a project house onto it. Yes, they knew it was for sale. Harold’s sister owns it, or did own it before it was sold.

How is daddy feeling now? Is he going to take the little dog out hunting? I am glad that you went down to Velma’s for dinner. She must be pretty busy with the baby and then her studying too.

Yes, I had a nice time at the guild meeting. I plan to go again the first Thursday in November. That is the night that I am invited to Loretta’s Stanley Party too.

Well, I must close now. I have to get some ironing done and Helen Jo fed and Karen too. The kids will be home from school in a few minutes and then the confusion will start.

Lots of love,


Overdue Update

Two weekends ago, I finally made it back to Spokane to visit my family. While there, we met with Rory Vinson and his wife, Victoria. Rory grew up in the house that once belonged to my great grandmother, and had previously sent photos of some of the items he had found in the house while growing up.

103_0352The house on Miles St.

During the visit, Rory brought quite a few items from the house, including a collection of old postcards, a couple of textbooks, an 1856 penny, a pocket Farmer’s Almanac, and a little coal oil lamp once used to light someone’s way to bed at night. Below is a gallery of a few of those items. Click any picture for a larger view.


Dear Lillian & Ben,

Have been wanting to write before now but I have been pretty busy working. I guess it has turned quite cool up there by now. We have had a good bit of rain since I got back and the nights are chilly but the days real warm. I don’t see much of Shirley and family since Shirley’s husband wrecked their new car and I really miss the children. George is about the same don’t feel too good at times but works all the time. Guess you have been busy since school started giving music lessons.

I was telling Shirley about Patricia and her children and she was surprised when I told her Pat had 5 youngsters to take care of. Don’t suppose Steve and Pearl have been over lately? I called George’s brother a couple weeks ago to see how they were doing because I haven’t been able to get George to visit them. Had my mother to send 2 of the cutest toy cars for Shirley’s children for Christmas thought I’d start early. Well I guess Ben has been taking it easy now since the weather is cooler there isn’t so much work to be done outside. When you write Patricia again tell her to send me a picture of the 5 children together if she has one so I can show it to Shirley. Sure enjoyed my visit with you folks and will try and see you the next trip up there. Take care of yourself and don’t forget to write and let us know how you are getting along.

Your Friend