Sunday, March 30, 2008

More letters

This is a letter from my Grandmother to my Grandfather. I kept the original spelling and punctuation. She just turned 19 and he was 30. I have a packet of correspondence between the two of them for about a year. The correspondence ends abruptly and I understood from my Dad that there was a disagreement of some sort. O.D. went to Alaska with the gold rush for a while. When he came back, they patched things up and were married 20 Jan. 1904.

Envelope addressed to: Mr. O.D. Robertson York, Montana
Millegan, Montana

February 2, 1902

Mr. O.D. Robertson.

My Dear Duncan:-

Your loving letter came to hand last mail was so very, very glad to get it. I suppose you have been looking for one form me. The mail did not get in for over a week and I was so disappointed when they came back and said there was no mail.

It seems like a year since you left. I do wish time would pass more quickly. I am always thinking of you and thinking of the time when I can always be with you. Then I will be happy.

You seem to doubt my word but I will again say That, "I love you" and no other."

I would of liked to be with you to the ball. "Poor Boy" you must have been tiered after playing all night. [Grandpa played the violin at dances]
Lucy [ Maude's next oldest sister who married Fred Draker in 1899] is just teasing me and wanting to read what I am writing but I won't let her just the same. This is the first time they have been up since you left.

Who told you there was a dance at Harve's the 24th? There hasn't been a thing going on since you left. I have had an invitation to a dance in the Falls the fourteenth But do not think I will go as it is so cold and far and I am afraid there will be a Valentine for me. It will be at one of my sisters neighbors.

I will bet you have not been to see any of the Young Ladies up there. Ha! Ha! If I will believe anything you say....

Mittie [Maude's little sister who would have been 4] is all smiles now for she thinks she knows who I am writing to.

I hope you don't freeze this cold weather. I have been blessed with the tooth Ache this cold weather. Am awake every night for two or three hours with them.

I can tell you it is no welcome visitor here.

Mrs. H. Ellis was here all day and now Hattie's [Maude's younger sister who was 13 at this time. Hattie died in 1905 of diphteria, according to Dad] Ernest is here. We tease her so much about him she will hardly speak to him anymore.

I have been no place since you left but to Mrs. Kitchen's.
I would rather stay at home and build air castles of the future. You will not believe me but it is so.

To pass away the time I am piecing quilt blocks and sofa pillows. Here Lucy is again. She is as bad as ever.

I will close with lots of love and a big kiss from your loving little girl.

Goodbye and ans. soon

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Builder

Above is a picture of a house Dad is working on. This job was so big he would have been tied up for two or three months working on it. So he and his friend who is also a contractor are working on it together. The past two weeks they've really got the work done.

The last picture is a view from the house. You can see Lake Helena. It is very hard for me to see all the land that used to be open turning into houses. My grandfather struggled with this feeling of being taken over by people too. Maybe it's hereditary.

Rickety Barbed Wire

Since we've lived here, there has been a rickety old barbed wire fence that decayed steadily. Finally, it rotted to the point that our neighbor's cows could easily crawl through it. It's not unusual for there to be one or two fence crawlers in a herd of cows, but when twenty or more cows are out everyday, the situation gets tiresome. When the bull got out, the situation was worrisome.

The cows stepped on our sprinkler system which flooded our garden, diverting all the water out of the house. We spent most of one summer herding cows down pasture with our four-wheelers. Soon, they would be trotting back. I guess they were bothering our neighbors the Wheelocks who returned them to us every time we pushed them Wheelock's direction.

We explained the livestock situation to the owner. After reporting cows at large two or three times, he got hostile. I was ready to say, "Fine. Next time your cows get out, I'm not putting them back in. They can wander down to the highway for all I care." But patient Wilbur kept putting the herd back in and talking to the owner who accused us of "harassment" and stretching the barbed wire so the the 80 year old fence was no good. I know the cattle owner's family had a death in the family that summer. Maybe he was stressed out and that was why he ignored the rotten fence posts and brittle, rusted barbed wire in favor of an, "it must be all YOUR fault" approach.

So when the guy FINALLY did put a new fence in last spring, I resolved not to so much as breath on the new barbed wire. I did not even consider lifting the wire to get through the fence for my walk around the loop with Max the dog. This meant I had to lay flat on my back and scoot under the fence so as not to touch the barbed wire. This method is cold in the winter and muddy in the spring. It also led to corner tears in my helium jacket and dirt and grass in my hair. Max, the ungrateful hound had no appreciation for my sacrifice.

Never fear, help was just a few nails away. The problem solving Wilbur built some stairs that go over the fence. No stretched barbed wire, no snow up my back, no torn helium jacket. Hurray!


The week was good here on the homefront. On Saturday we went to Billings to see Eglantine and Boris and our little grandson Peanut. We hoped some off Peanut's left over dust from heaven would rub off on us. I think some did.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ten Things Out of a Million That I Love About Wilbur

1) He doesn't feel abused if he has to make his own lunch for a day at work.

2) He helps with the dishes, so I'm not stuck in the kitchen for an hour cleaning up.

3) He has beautiful blue eyes and a handsome, aqualine nose.

4) He is a balanced person. He doesn't get too fanatical about anything except making sure my garden rows are straight. (It's a bricklayer thing.)

5) He enjoys a good laugh. When a person is a stuffed shirt, he will say something to shock the person just for a laugh. He gets entertainment at a good reaction.

6) He is a superb problem solver. He goes to Garage-mahal and creates a solution to any problem.

7) What you see is what you get. If you can't handle that, fine. If you want a show, produce your own.

8) He has a natural goodwill toward men. He's kind.

9) If he does it, he will do a great job.

10) He's fair. He will listen to both sides of the story.