Anna and Rosie 3
Julius is busy with his work from the post office, and Georgiana is sleeping peacefully, so I finally can take some time to write to you and bring you up to date on what is happening with us. Gertie seems to be enjoying her time staying with us, and she is a big help to me, and also helps Julius with his work by pasting pictures of criminals that he helped to convict into a record book. You know he is now Postal Inspector here in Sioux City, and he is in charge of mail fraud cases and he has to track down evidence. Gertie is such a good little worker, and I know she is pleased to be away from the farm and all that they are made to do there, especially now that the Mrs. has a new baby of her own. And it means I can keep her clothed decently and make sure she has enough to eat.
I know that Gertie has always felt like Cealie, even though she is three years younger, is the favourite. Of courses Cealie is the prettier, there is no denying that – with her mop of unruly curls while Gertie’s hair is straight and coarse. Gertie has to work so hard to get good grades, and Cealie can learn and get good grades without even trying. So I think it is good for it to be Gertie to be
here with us, and get a bit of attention of her own.
So when are you going to get yourself a man? Maybe you should try for one of Ceal’s brothers Ralph or Pete – and then we would have more family connections than ever. I'm kind of pleased my man left that area.
So how is Jack liking being on his own farm? And how is Ceal managing with married life? You must miss having her to run around with. Here it is almost their first anniversary coming up on October 18th.
Alec and Ag have moved north to Drayton you say where he’s running the elevator and also an electrical shop. He always was very handy with fixing electric stuff so I am not surprised at that. I wonder how they are getting on with two kids now. I expect she is complaining fit to burst.
Write soon and tell me what I am missing at home.
September 13, 1922
I stuck out the second term of summer school alright and made three A’s. I don't know how it ever happened. I think I must have had a pull somewhere.
Got home a week ago Sunday and oh boy, they sure did put me right to work too. We had a gang of twenty to cook for most of the time. I guess the Mrs. was kind of disgusted with me too.
Alice gave me a line about how the Mrs. is always bawling the kids out and Pa getting after Cealie etc. and it made me so mad. I couldn't help but act ornery as the dickens because I sure felt it.
Then the Mrs. told me about how they changed things and Gertrude was going back to the Academy and Ceal was going to Sioux City instead.
I didn't know just what to say but I told them that I thought you were counting on Gertrude. Then too I thought changing schools would probably bring up difficulties for both. Then I finished by saying,
“That was what I think about it. I don't care." She said it wouldn't do me much good because Pa had his mind made up and wouldn't change it.
The threshing crew left for Jack's place Sunday morning. They threshed Sunday, and most everyone else did too. Then Dad took us to church and they brought me out here after services.
Gertrude has been back at the Academy a week today. She expected to see me Saturday or Sunday but Pa was in such a rush we never stopped. When I called her up Monday she said her nose was still red from weeping. I don't know whether she was just fooling or whether she
meant it but I felt so sorry for her. I guess she misses the liberty she had when she was with you. I talked to her tonight and she said she liked her subjects and her teachers so that'll help some.
Today Gertrude said Cealie thinks you don't want her to come to stay with you because you haven't written. The poor kid, she sure is snotty as the dickens sometimes but I don't think she will be so much so anywhere else.
It seemed good to get back here to my home with the Thoms - I like them so much but I wish I’d like my school better though.
December, 12, 1922
How are you all? I've had the blamest seige of blues the last couple of days that I don't seem to be able to shake off no how. Guess I'll have to have a little weep, maybe that will relieve me somewhat. Even now there's a kind of a big lump in my throat but I'm afraid I'll have to swallow it because Mr. Thom is sitting right across the table from me – there, that must have been the last straw because I
pelted upstairs and I did bawl. I had some rouge on my cheeks and the tears washed a white streak one on each side of my face. Then I looked in the glass and it looked so sad I had to laugh. I believe I do feel better at that.
Wish I had about $500 saved up and I'd quit. I'm sick of this Country school and my job. Hazel and I are giving a xtmas program and tree together in my school the Thursday before xmas. She isn't going home so I told her to come home with us if she wanted to. They'll only give us one week's vacation so there’s no chance of my coming to Sioux City. I would have liked to and taken Eddie with me. He was telling me the other day he thought it was a pretty good joke that he'd never had a train-ride.
I haven’t heard about Dad financing anything but I do know he's pressed for money - because he had none to pay to the Academy. He’s given Gertrude very little money. She asked him for money for a class ring and he said he didn’t have any so I told her I’d give it to her, as a xtmas present. I'm paying for her music too.
We had a problem with the principal at the school. I made the rounds and asked permission from the school board to give a dance in connection with all the new instruments we got. We have a big gym with a nice floor to dance on. Anyway they granted us the privilege and she wasn't satisfied with my doing the asking. She must have felt I was trying to run things. I suppose she wished to impress on me that she was the principal so she bawled things up in great style and I don't care if the darn thing goes through at all now or not. You can see why I'm so upset.
Well, dear heart, I don't know how interesting this stuff is to you but it relieves me just to tell someone and although I could write on and on, it’s getting late. I'm tired and seven o'clock seems to
come so darn early in the morning so guess I d best say goodnite.
Love to you all
October 13. 1923
St John’s Academy
Dearest Sister Rosie,
I just received your letter today but I'm answering so soon just to prove that there are some who appreciate your letters.
Ceal and I are just as much in the dark concerning what we're going to do as you are. It isn’t very comfortable suspense either because Ceal doesn't want to ask you to send her skirt that she left with you, for she is still planning on going back to stay with you and so between the two of us we have just one skirt and no warm dresses at all. Neither of us has a coat and it is getting mighty cold. I wrote to Dad five weeks ago and I mentioned the fact that we were freezing but I guess my letter didn't make any more impression than yours did. I've neither seen nor heard from any of them since school started although I’ve written three times. And yet you think we're not giving them a fair shake. Maybe I am being selfish but I think we're giving as much as we are getting.
But I guess you really didn't realize the condition things were in. I don't think you can imagine anyplace less comfortable and homelike than home was last summer. However this isn't going to help matters unless we discuss it with the parties concerned and that would require more courage than I’ve got.
I hope you can get Ceal to come to stay with you when you move to Wisconsin. I know I'm going to miss her like everything but I know how much you need her and I know she won't be happy here when she would be with you.
I know there's no one else that cares what we do or don't do so we might as well arrange things to suit ourselves. Don't you think? I want very much to see you and the babies but if it was left to a
choice between us, I'd rather have Ceal go because I think you'd rather have her, and I don't blame you because everyone does like her better. I’d rather not change schools in my last year. What's more, I really like to study here and I'm quite sure that's more than she can say.
Ceal told me that you told her once that you wouldn't be very much surprised if I became a nun. I can't imagine what made you think that but I'm rather glad because I wouldn't want to give you a too sudden surprise and you see that’s about what I’ve decided to do.
I don’t 'know when I’m going but it that is where I belong and I think I know I’ll get there. Now I’d better give you time to get your breath. I haven’t told anyone else, even Ann. I was going to
tell Dad but I was waiting until I'd see him or heard from him.
Ann has promised to see that I can go to a business school here in town and 1 guess I really ought to take it because when I asked her to pay for my music, I promised to pay it back and $25 a month and clothes and spending money for two of us this year is going to cost more than a little bit. Of course I know she won’t exact it but I feel that a promise is a promise. If it wasn’t that I would go to
the novitiate as soon as school closes. I don't know what Ann and Dad will think about it.
Would you mind telling me just your opinion. It has never occurred to you I suppose but a lot of people have been expecting this. I think I am making the offering of everything I do to God and I haven’t made a mistake. I won’t have to be anything but me.
Gertie (Your Georgiana is the only one who calls me Trudy)
October 29, 1923
Was surely glad to hear from you again – Had meant to answer more promply but I wanted to let you know definitely about Cecile and the only way to get any satisfaction out of Dad is to talk to him. I had planned strongly on going home a week ago Friday just especially for that purpose.
Talked to Dad with regard to Cecile yesterday. I am sorry for the kid because she’s been trying to keep a good record at the Academy, just living in hopes that she might get away and now she can't. Dad said, you hurt his “little feelings” when you told him of sharing your dress allowance with the girls. He said he felt as thought they were able to do enough to earn their own money.
I don’t know exactly what board at the Academy will come to but about $25 a month. I was going to pay down that amount and Mother Superior said to wait until I could pay down $100 because she didn’t want to handle such “small amounts.” She may be out altogether because I’m not sure I can save such large amounts.
You know Cealie is a selfish little wart. I was in Jamestown all of last week to Teachers’ Institute. The kids both needed coats. Badly. The last few Sunday have been real cold and they had to go to
church so I didn’t know what to do. The folks at home didn’t seem to care much. The Mrs. reminded Dad of the fact they needed coats but he said he had no money. I hardly felt I could stand the expense of their coats myself. I hardly knew how much I dare pay for them but I decided we’d get one anyway. They both were with me and Ceal happened to be the one to start trying them on. One coat was marked $47.50 she wanted badly but I felt that was too much so we decided on
one for $42 marked down to $38. It’s quite a good looking coat with a fur collar but Ceal wasn’t quite pleased so Gertrude said, “Well if you don’t like it and Dad gets a better one I’ll be glad enough to have it.” And that’s the way Gertrude is about everything. Anyway, Ceal claimed the coat so I hope Dad does get Gertrude a better looking one. I paid $18 down on her coat and I think I’ll be out just that much too.
An old schoolmate of Hazel’s is assistant manager at the Gladstone Hotel now. He’s a mighty nice kid and I like him very much Anyway, he took me out. Pretty swell! Stepping out to a £2 show. I enjoyed it very much.
I tore my old choppy coat again so bought a new one. That other darn thing did look tacky. My new one is black Bolivia with a black fur collar.. It’s quite long, pretty good coat. I paid $55 for it.
That’s where my money’s gone.
Give your girls kisses from me.
Loving you, I’m Ann.