The Letters

Dear Mable,

I tended my gardening this morning. I really didn’t have the energy, but like anything I took one small step outside, then walked over to the greenhouse, sat at my bench and stared at my plants. I was slow about getting started, snipped here and there, re-plotted one plant, watered another, before you know I had manged too tend to all my flowers and vegetables. All in a days work, in the end it was calming, indeed. It gave me that moment of peace when I felt connected to the earth and God above.

I hope you can forgive me for my delay. Neal, hasn’t been feeling good lately. After lunch we took a stroll, and he seemed in better spirits than he has been. I read him some of the letters that arrived yesterday from family and friends, and yours of course. I see, you are still interested in Linda’s family.

Grace wrote to me, also, and says Linda still visits her, but is very protective of her family. I can’t say I don’t blame her, one looking on the outside will judge, criticize, and condemn what we don’t understand. As I wrote you before, Linda was not raised with her older siblings. You might be surprised to know that Linda came from a large family. Ida loved children, but out of all the ones she had only four were naturally born to her.

I will do my best to name them all. There is the eldest and first born Nate, then Sadie, Lawrence, Rose, the twins, Charley and Theodore, in that order. Sadie was Ida’s flesh and blood, she adopted the others when their mother died. I, myself, don’t know the whole story, but I do know the other children were born to Patricia, a friend of Ida’s that came to live with her. Grace would know more about that.

Now, the older children were living with Ida, but when Linda turned six they moved in with their grandparents, the Abbott’s. Ida had suffered a few calamities; the first when the roof came down on her on the house she was remodeling with Tia. Then a few months later on the same property she was driving out of the estate when Ida suffered a car crash. What was strange of the incident was that she wasn’t driving the car. The car was Ida’s, but she was on the passenger seat, the custodian was on the driver’s seat. Somehow the car had toppled over when they found them. The custodian, who was hired to keep trespasser, stragglers, and squatters from entering the property, died instantly. There was a dog he took with him, the poor creature was beheaded. Unfortunately, Ida’s injuries left her in a coma for nine months. No one knows why she was in the passenger seat or why he was driving the car. There was a whole investigation. When Ida came to everything had changed.

From then on, Linda was raised along side Tia’s children, James, Henry, Alice, and the twins, Jack and Peter. There was also Ida’s youngest, Noah, born a year after the incident. Linda does keep in contact with the older children; Lawrence, Rose, Charley and Theodore, can’t say about the other two; Nate, was already married and living abroad, while Sadie moved out to live with the Abbots’. Nobody knows for certain why Sadie left. Sadie and Nate rarely visited the family home.

I must unhappily add, that Sadie died in car crash some years back and Nate hasn’t been seen by the family. I don’t think anybody has contact with him. Last they heard he had become a drifter. I don’t think anybody in the family stays in contact with him. He did come to Ida’s funeral, but by what Grace wrote me, he seemed changed, like an empty ghost. A few of the older children spoke to him, but the younger ones didn’t know who he was.

I hope that answers your questions. By the way, Grace is doing all right. Her health isn’t the best, but she and Nate are getting by. When Grace can she tends to her sowing. Linda helps her at times. I have never been good with the needle work. Tomorrow, a few friends will be visiting us. We will have a nice dinner, then sit by the fireplace and eat some popcorn, telling stories. I wish I could write more, but, I have to start dinner soon. Neal and I, will probably talk a walk afterwards.

Sincerely, Lottie

March, 1938

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