I have a box of old letters that I occasionally look through when working on mixed media art. I found this one, written by my eight-year-old Great Aunt about my Grandpa Donald (then 4) and my Great Grandmother. It’s just a simple day-in-the-life of a rural family, 3 generations ago (when I compare them to my own children). It was written exactly 88 years ago. This letter, never sent, was probably just an assignment by my Great Grandma to keep her daughter busy.
july 3, 1924
Dear Mrs. Clark,
How are you? I am fine. I am just going to write a few lines. What are you doing? Mother and me and Donald went up to Laura’s and made a dress when I was up to Windsor and I had a good time. At noon Mother made Dad take the shutters off. Uncle Harry and Leta and Billy came. Donald is just outside. We have a duck and a chicken in the house and this morning Mother found a duck and a chicken dead. Mother just went outside to see what he was doing. Mrs. Bob Tailor is not at home. I think she went away this morning. I guess I will close. Good by from Helene Duck.
I find this all very fascinating – the family who visited was the family who lived in “The Old House” on our property that we scavenged through as children looking for lost treasures. We salvaged many old photographs of that family (or more accurately, their pets and horses and barns). Four-year-old Grandpa Donald in this letter reminds me of my own son Caleb (though he is 2), I imagine my Grandpa being like him, just a kid.
I wonder if Mrs. Tailor is the same Mrs. Tailor we visited as children of the same age? It seems entirely possible. It was a very old lady who lived between my great aunt’s house and our own. I remember she had an outhouse in the yard, and always gave us a cookie out of the freezer.
My Great Aunt still lived in the house she and my grandpa were raised in, and my sisters and I would walk across the fields every Saturday to play games with her like Bunco and Greed. We have many great memories of time spent with her.