February 19, 1908

Happy Sunday Night!  Or Monday Morning!  Or Monday Afternoon depending on where you are in the world.  I looked back at my previous posts and realized we got a bit out of order.  We are now officially in 1908 with this letter.   Hope everyone enjoys!

February 19, 1908

Dear Graffins,

It is only half past seven and I am ready for school. Since I never start until half past eight, I have time to write a little.

We have had sleighing for nearly a week but last Saturday the rain spoiled it. From Sunday until yesterday the days were as beautiful as an ideal spring day but this morning imagine my surprise to find the earth covered with snow and “Mother Goose is still shaking her feather bed.”

Our Missionary Society meets at a home which is near a big hill and I know we shall have a chance to come down on the hill on a sled. You do not know how much I enjoy sledding.  The more often I get a chance to go the better I like it.

Last Tuesday we had a “Valentine Social” and we cleared over fifty dollars. We have five hundred of the eight hundred we want to fresco our church. We got that in a year at Millersville.  A Charles Groff died July 17th of consumption. I saw it in the November Journal which I just received. Was that your friend? I am so sorry. But it seems there is no cure for that dreadful disease.

I am glad your school work is going smoothly. I should like to take a review of some branches but I must manufacture some time first. By the time I teach, read a little, sew a lot, there is not very much time left for anything else.

I have a camera. I got it in my senior year at Millersville. I love to work with it. I never developed my film but always printed and developed my pictures. It did give me so much pleasure. But I broke the spool holder and never had it repaired. I have some good and some very funny pictures. Sometimes I did not unwind enough of the film after taking a picture and I would then have two pictures in one.

I kept them all.  If you have an opportunity to study the science, you ought to do so. You say you have not found any person “altogether congenial” since you left Pennsylvania. Perhaps you found some person there. I heard about some good times you all had there. I do not think two people ever meet who are altogether congenial at first. In most cases they have led entirely different lives and after living together a short time the “corners” of both are worn away gradually and they soon are exactly suited to each other. I heard a very dear friend of mine say (she married a minister and very good man) “you must expect differences probably each day but you ought never let that day come to an end without having made it up.”

I feel the secret of harmony in a family lies right there. We allow too many slight injuries pass without making an effort to be forgiven. In our own home life my mother always made me feel that I ought to do so and I could never sleep if I tried to ignore what she had taught me about the matter. To this very day I always do it.

One thing that I feel to be absolutely necessary is that there must be ideals in common. I know a very prominent family here. the mother is the leader and hardest worker. The father does all he can to uphold and get as many saloons as possible. You know what the result is – worse discord could not be imagined.

I am glad Bertha received my note. I should have written long before I did. It is nice to know she did not say unpleasant things about me – but people do not say nice things to me. It always seems as if there were a mistake when I am told “some person said something nice about you.”

Saturday is Mother’s birthday and I am quite excited about it. I am planning a little surprise for her. Last Saturday I baked my first raised potato biscuits. They were very good and I did everything myself. This week I am going to set sponge for cinnamon buns (Friday evening).  Last Monday evening I heard a phonograph with a horn. It looks like a big music cabinet  and the music is much sweeter and songs more distinct than from the other.

Have you read the account in Jan. “Success” of Thomas Edison’s plan for building an entire house of concrete in about thirty-six hours? If his plans work out alright it certainly will be a wonderful invention.

I wish I had just a little of that man’s inventive power or rather ability to work out little things. I am supposed to teach the children to illustrate stories by cutting out of the paper the principal things in the story in such a way that the cuttings tell the whole story.  Today we did cut a tree, cherries and hatchet to represent the Cherry Tree story and a Lincoln cabin – but such cuttings!

Out of my thirty plants I have three left. Last week the weather was so cold they all froze over night.

I wish I could find out more about Washington’s early life. If you have won’t you please tell me where you found the material? I do not think the American people love Washington as much as they do Lincoln simply because we do not teach, or rather present, his life in the right way.

Isn’t this a rich, full month? So many great people have been given to this world this month. Longfellow, Lincoln, Lowell, Washington, Frances Willard, St. Valentine, Mendlessoln, etc.

I must stop now.  With best wishes,


Daisy Holzwarth

P.S. Answer when you have time, please. Hope it will not be three weeks until you find some.

Blogger Note:  Jealous of Thomas Edison? Opinions on Washington and Lincoln? A bit of life wisdom on flawed people and relationships?  This letter was a rich one!  Anyone you know “altogether congenial?”  Happy reading! 

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