Thursday, December 1, 2016


Out of the welter of Christmas plans comes this letter and how I wish I were coming to you with it or better still that you were coming home. No use to think of these things, though, and I hope and trust you’ll be with friends and be cheered and happy.
 – Ina to her son Vance, Christmas 1932

How like a mother to worry about her son at Christmas! But Ina's pleas that Vance would come home for Christmas fell on deaf ears. In 1934 she wrote, "I'm expecting a good time. I wish you'd come over. Couldn't you have arranged it?" But, I guess Vance didn't want to "be home for Christmas."

Ina was taking a break from her Thursday afternoon chores. Jack had been out to the mailbox and came back with some early cards. They sat down together at the diningroom table  to read them while enjoying coffee and sour cream sugar cookies. Oh! The nutmeg flavor was delightful. It tasted just like Christmas! KW



Hallie said...

I wonder what the trip from Seattle (or wherever he was) to the farm would have entailed. Expense, time, mode? Given the many hour trip with today's transportation, perhaps it would have been a multi-day ordeal then.

Kathy said...

It was not an easy trip from Raymond, WA (125 miles south of Seattle), to Gilbert, ID. He would have taken the train to Lewiston, perhaps traveling overnight. Then he might have had to wait for the train to Orofino, and then found a ride up the "mountainside" to the homestead. Yes, I think it would have taken several days of tedious travel. If he didn't have much time, it might not have seemed worth the trouble.

And there were other considerations. Once people get used to modern conveniences, returning to life without the amenities is difficult. As a musician, he played with in night clubs, so it's also possible it wasn't a good time to be away.