The Letters

Dear Mable,

Dear Mable,

We walk to church today, with some of our neighbors and friends. It was such a lovely day, a day that could only last forever if the Lord wished it to be. It’s a whole affair every Sunday when the church bells ring for its attendance. Neal and I are wide awake getting ready for church as the sun breaks over the land. I wish we could sleep in, but I get excited to waking up early, for me, it’s like Christmas in a summer day in June. We start our walk and along the way we meet up with the other flock of our congregation. We talk very little, and though the walk is solemn, we are preparing our minds and humbling ourselves our Lord.

Our Father gives great sermons, as Neal says they are short and sweet. When church ends, the silence is broken and we rejoice with one another, as Jesus would say, be of good cheer. We prattle with those we encounter in our walk, making Sunday such wonderful day to be alive.

On Sunday nights, Neal and I have popcorn by the fireplace. Neal has this funny way of eating it. He likes to examine one of the popped kernel, amazed by how each popcorn is different, no two are alike, and then he slowly enjoys it. As farmers, we are familiar with things never being alike. Each seed we ever planted was distinctive, and when a plant came forth, it became its own unique self. It reminds me how unique we are all, no two of us are alike. We are all individuals, different, yes, yet, we are all God’s people.

Ida, probably learned the hard way, that people are not replaceable, especially the ones you love. She loved Patricia, the girl with the red, curly hair. Ida use to call her Big Red that was her pet name. She was a beautiful girl, very tall, and slender. She did some modeling here and there, nothing serious. They were inseparable, those two, they did everything together, lived together, traveled together, they were the best of friends… you can fully understand how close they were. Patricia was everything to Ida, even helped raise Nate when he was born.

I can’t say much about the father only that he wasn’t a good husband. He was a Professor, I believe. The whole relationship was complex, he didn’t cherish Patricia and became more distant when Nate was born. They lived with Ida for some time, but he must have taken them back, because there was a time Patricia left Ida. From what I know, they stopped speaking to each other. Ida, must have been heart broken, and from there began to travel more frequently, going to new and old places she use to transit with her mother. She met up with old friends and even visited her father, a man she rarely saw. She also started having other companionship, but she replaced them often, getting interested less and less in them, and as the new friends came and went, Ida didn’t want to admit she missed Patricia. Ida didn’t know how to live by herself, she couldn’t, she didn’t know how.
She always had someone taking care of her affairs. Her father, at one point took care of her, but, he was a wanderlust and as soon it got too comfortable for him, he was gone. Her father disliked the family life. Her mother, was the one she always leaned on.

I am sure, as I write this, you will think Ida was spoiled, but on the contrary she and her mother had very little money. They moved around quite often when the mother wasn’t taken ill and her father was barely present. He sent money, but only when Ida asks for help. She kept him away, it was her way of protecting her mother. Her father would give a less than pleasant suggestion that he would send the mother away if she didn’t get better. Ida’s mother was always sick, but not of the body or spirit, but of the
mind. Ida took care of her mother until the very end when she became impossible to manage.

Ida didn’t know how to be by her self, that was probably why she was always clung to someone. Anyway, Patricia came back with the children and never left, until she passed away from the cancer. It was an unhappy affair when she got sick. Nate was only six, Lawrence was three, and the twins were barely six months. As for Rose, she was two, but she didn’t live with them. Patricia sent her away the minute she was born. She was raised by one of Patricia’s aunts. One of those mysteries, Ida never spoke about. All who do know, have since passed on. After Patricia was laid to rest, Ida took back Rose and raised her as her own. To the day Ida left this earth, the children forever called her mum.

I know you have been curious how Ida came to raise Nate, Lawrence, Rose, Charles and Theodore, well there it is, of course not the full story, but what I know.

Grace’s sisters were visiting her and Nate. You remember them, Carrie, Laura and Mary. They all had a lovely time, they were invited by Linda to spend a few days with her at the estate. That big fancy place her family has with that nice century old gate, I believe it was once a Palace, passed down from on generation to another. You must remind me to tell you the story how Ida came into possession of such a magnificent place, most interesting too. They had such fun, Grace can’t stop writing about it. It was such an enormous place she got lost a few times, she felt like a child in a labyrinth. I wish I could have gone, so many memories in that place, Grace tells me.

Ida and Tia, raised the younger children in that palace, the older children were still living with the Abbotts’. Ida had turned that place into some sort of resort, some time ago. I was surprise to hear Linda kept the place open. She meets all kinds of travelers. It must be exciting to meet that many faces new and old. Neal and I, are planning to visit Grace and her husband. It would be wonderful to get away, I know Neal would enjoy it. We might get to visit Linda’s extensive family. I would like that very much.

I hope to hear from you soon.

With love, Lottie

June 1939

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