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Dear Granddaughter Alma

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Dear Alma

Dear Alma

My grandmother sent me a framed picture of her father that had stood on her dresser forever. Years later, I found this letter behind the photo; a hidden treasure! It’s the saddest letter in the treasure box.
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On the last page he begs my grandmother to reply and gives a New York address.  He mentions a photo he enclosed of my grandmother and her grandfather together, a photo I’ve never seen. It’s sad that my great-great-grandfather had lost touch with his son and grandchildren. I wonder why?  I wonder if my grandmother replied?  The letter must have been special to her, to have tucked it away behind a photo.  She may have forgotten it was there.
I wonder too, who wrote the letter? The penmanship doesn’t look like that of a 72 year old fruit peddler; it looks like a feminine hand to me.

Maybe my great-great-grandmother wrote the letter for him.   She looks like a woman with nice penmanship.  She’s about the grandest lady in the old photo album.  I wonder what happened between Grand Lady and fruit peddler
I wish I knew more of their story, but there’s no one left to ask.

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Letters.

The Chick Report

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The Chick Report

Here’s my brooder made from a recycled recycling bin with an oven rack for a screen.
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I had it in the garage at first, but it’s easier to regulate the temperature indoors. Besides, I like the sound of their peeps. I’ll miss that when they move outside.
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The  coop is ready. I’ll plant some flowers and make it look girly. It’s a small coop. It might get bigger someday. The chickens can run loose in the yard when they’re old enough.

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The chicks have grown a lot in the 10 days I’ve had them. Their wings feathers and tails are coming along nicely.

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Today I gave them a log to play with; something to jump off of and sleep on. They like it.

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Don’t you do it! 
This one is Kitty.  No, Betty.  Bunny.  No.   Names haven’t stuck yet.

I sit in the afternoon sun with the chicks on my lap in a little flannel blanket nest.  They look out the window until they fall asleep.

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I’m enjoying my little chicks. Mr. Raven likes them too. I haven’t seen him hold one though. Probably, when I’m not looking…

Ring of Fire.

Love Letter From Ft. Logan

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Love Letter From Ft. Logan

This is the only love letter in the treasure box; potentially the only love letter in the history of my family!

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My mother’s mother’s mother was 14 years old when she received this letter from my great-grandfather.  She was 14 when they married; he was 10 years her senior. They had 23 years together before he died.

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The letter is falling apart. It’s hard to read so, to save you eyestrain, here’s the text.

Dear Girl,  I received your Loving Letter a few days ago, was more than glad to hear from you;  Dear I am alwish glad to get a Letter from you, as I get very lonesome in Ft. Logan. 

Well Dear it is snowing here today.  I think it will get through snowing in July some time.  I hope so anyway.  Tell Miss Dorthy that Joe is on guard today and I go on Saturday and come off Sunday and I cannot come to see you when Joe comes out this next time, so if you come to Denver anytime next week let me know and I will meet you in Englewood, for I cannot go 2 weeks without seeing you, Dear as I love you to much. 

Well Dear I hope we will have better luck the next time we go hunting, I think it was our fault for we were Loving to much, and it scared all the Rabbits away.  Well I caught #@ when I landed home, for I was 2 hours late in (?) but a scolding does not hurt. 

Well Dear I am loosing several hours Sleep, every night. I think of my Dear so far away.  Well Dear I wish you could of sent those Cards, for I never look at the writing for I cannot write myself. 

Well Dear I have to stop writing every once and awhile and look out the East Window but I cannot see anything for the snowing and I am wondering if you Love me as much as I do you Dear for every Day seems like a week when I am alone. 

Well Dear I will Close for this time.  Best regards to your Father, Mother and Sisters 

A Little Verse

Roses are red, Violets are Blue  I love some one; and that is You. 

Good Bye Dear, Write Soon 

Good Afternoon

All you had to do at a family gathering was say “rabbit hunting” and the snickers ensued among those of us who knew about the letter.

Not in front of Great-grandma Mary though.

 

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Letters.

Old Letters

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Letters
For this week’s challenge, share a photo with letters.

Old Letters

Old letters from my treasure chest, written by my grandmother when she was a little girl.
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My favorite one is the circus letter, written in 1908 when Grandma was ten.  She would be embarrassed about the spelling errors and penmanship, but I think she did very well. It’s hard to sound out English words when everyone you know has a Norwegian accent. (I added some punctuation because I couldn’t stand not to.)

I saw a lot at the circus.  I saw four lions and two tigers and two apes with four little ones.  They were funny when they were going to eat nuts and we saw three camels, one rain deer, one lama, one bear and four elephence and the elefence roust around the rings and they had two rings and plat forme or what ever your call it and they had two girls that danced .  One was dressed pink, she had a grey hores and the other one had a white hores and a light blue dress and she leaps on the horses.  I saw some clowns that jumped over the elefence.  I can not tell you every thing we saw.

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I’m so grateful to Emma for saving these letters and to her daughter who gave them to me.  Reading them takes me back in time to the place I’d most like to visit: the old farmhouse on the prairie that the old folks spoke of so fondly, a dreamy look in their eyes.

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Daffodils

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Daily Prompt: Lookin’ Out My Back Door.
Look out your back window or door — describe what you see, as if you were trying to convey the scene to someone from another country or planet.

Daffodils

There’s not much color here in early spring; not like back home where yards are gaudy and lush by now. The backyard here is all brown fence and grey rock with just a bit of green beginning to show in the lawn. Three raised beds are barren, but for the stickery raspberry canes and their supports. Firewood is stacked neatly along the fence and the fire pit holds two large logs, ready to light on a starlit night. Dad’s battered old wheelbarrow and our new one stand idle together, propped up against the shed where the canoe hangs, waiting. You might see a flash of bluebird or a red breasted robin splashing in the birdbath, but nothing’s blooming yet. Nothing. So I bought daffodils.

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Daffodils

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

by William Wordsworth

 


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Thank Goodness for Pee-Chee

Daily Prompt: Land of Confusion.
Which subject in school did you find impossible to master? Did math give you hives? Did English make you scream? Do tell!

Thank Goodness for Pee-Chee!

I hated math. It stressed me out. I just wasn’t good at it. I think that’s why I have an aversion to Sudoku. It’s not fun, like math.

We didn’t have calculators in my day.  We had to do it the hard way: sneaking a peek at the multiplication table inside our Pee-Chees.
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(image: Rain Jokinen)

Here’s a method of multiplying so interesting, I actually found myself doing multiplication problems for fun!
What?! I know, crazy, right?

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/the-pee-chee-folder-illustrated-by-the-most-interesting-man-in-the-world-43192770/#WrJyUcXC8qQCggiZ.99

Puff, The Magic Dragon

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Daily Prompt: Always Something There to Remind Me.

A song comes on the radio and instantly, you’re transported to a different time and place. Which song(s) bring back memories for you and why? Be sure to mention the song, and describe the memory it evokes.  Photographers, artists, poets: show us PAST.

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Puff the Magic Dragon

I spent the night next door, at Melody’s house whenever she babysat me.  We usually slept in her mom’s double bed, since her mom worked nights.

We were looking at Mad magazines, hanging our heads off the foot of the bed when Puff came on the radio.  As soon as we heard the first notes we  squealed simultaneously and threw ourselves back up to the head of the bed, closer to the radio which Melody turned up loud.   Puff the Magic Dragon was our favorite song.

After we’d fallen asleep Melody’s older brother Richard came in and scooped me up out of bed.  “Do you want to sleep in my room now, in the bunk beds?”  Well, you bet I did!  I’d never slept in bunk beds.

I wanted the top bunk, but Richard said we had to share the bottom bunk because I might fall off the top.  He turned off the light and we spooned in the bottom bunk.

It was cozy, cuddling like that, but I was uncomfortable, unused to this kind of attention from Richard who usually shooed me away.

I laid still and tried to fall to sleep, but I couldn’t figure out what I was feeling, pressed up against my backside, between me and Richard.   Was it a toy?    I couldn’t imagine what kind of toy would feel like that.

Then I felt something wet and  I wondered if he’d wet the bed, just a little.

He sent me away after that, back to sleep with Melody in her mom’s bed.