Blogger Note: Hello! Hope everyone had a great Halloween! I have some exciting news that has made me giddy all day. First, let me apologize. I pulled out what I thought was the next letter and realized I misfiled. I thought it said July 4, 1908 and instead it belongs in July 4, 1906. I do not want to miss a letter, so this one will seem out of context, but I wanted to post it first. However, as I opened up the letter after (August 6, 1908), I finally saw the words that people (including myself) had been waiting for…..the letter started “My dear John.” Something happened. Love happened. First I’ll post this bonus 1906 letter and then back on our journey we go. Happy reading!
July 3, 1906
Dear Mr. Henderson,
School has been over for nearly two weeks and since I have been home I have been having a very quiet and restful time with just enough house-work without tiring myself.
Last week I unpacked my trunk and go my room in living order. Mother had several rooms repapered and recarpeted so I helped to fix them. I wish you could see our library, it is so pretty and cozy since it was refurnished. My room too looks very fresh and inviting. At last I succeeded in getting my “old maid chest.” It was ordered two years ago but I did not get it until two weeks ago. I shall soon have it filled with nice things.
Mother and Father went away the beginning of the week. They left the house and three rebellious boys in my charge.
July 4 – I let Joe go visit some friends in Marrietta today. The other boys are home. I have my hands full. I certainly am interested in everything that concerns my friends and especially my friends in the West. I was more than delighted with the good news you sent me. I know how glad and happy you will all be to be settled in a house of your own and I know your mother and the girls will make it just as cozy, pretty and homelike as any person could. I shall never forget the free and restful and happy time I had last summer. The girls are now so far away I am afraid I shall never be able to do anything worth mentioning in return. I have not heard from them for so long a time that I fear they have forgotten all about me.
I did not go to commencement at Millersville this year. So many things have happened since last year that I am afraid I should never go near the place if it were not for Ethel. Ethel and I went to a a musical at school Monday a week ago but I really did not enjoy it.
Yes, school is over for another year and I am nearly free to do as I please. Of course I have some duties which I must perform. There are not many things that I like better than teaching but it wears one more than anything else.
I had a small school last year and they were all nice boys, but I felt when the end of the school term came that several years like that one would make me fit for nothing but a sanitarium. I really do not know what caused the drain on my strength. If I teach next year, it will be in Lancaster.
Do you remember how it rained the morning Mr. Chesney and I went for the milk? But we did have a good time that afternoon at the picnic. I shall never forget the walk home and the way Bertha sang that night. I really am very glad she is going to study in Chicago. The quality of her voice is too fine and rich to be neglected.
Mother does not want me to have any photographs taken until later. When I do have them taken you may have one if you really want it. I should like to have one of yours.
I hope you get along at school alright and I wish you success. If you get as far East as Lancaster I shall be glad to see you. I think you will be like the majority of people who live in the West. They think the East too tame and go back to the West.
One of my dear friends Miss Van Deusen is going to California in about six weeks. I think she will stay there. So many of my friends are going West eventually. Do not work too hard and do not get discouraged; soon you will go home to visit. Christmas will soon be here.
Be of good cheer and with best wishes I remain.
Blogger Note: Anyone else a little jealous and want a home with a library in it? No wonder she is a reader. 🙂 I’ve also tried to get some more information regarding what an “old maid chest” was used for but perhaps it was a Hope Chest? Next letter will be back on track!