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Letter from Grandma Green: October 1968

Dear Pat and Al,

Now that I’ve gotten that long awaited letter off to Dona (I feel bad that it wasn’t sooner) I’ll answer yours.

You asked me for a list of birthdays and anniversaries. I’ll put that on a separate paper.

Did you get to read the letter we sent Ginny, I know sometimes she lets you. In it I wrote about what we planned to do with the farm. Don’t remember if I mentioned how many trees will be planted — there will be 5,000 white spruce.

Dad and Slim put a pump in the pump house, right now it’s a hand pump. Saturday, when we went there we took a 5 gallon thermos and filled that with. It’s good clear water, as you know we’ve been going to town to get water for making coffee but also for vegetables as it forms a rust color foam that clings to the food.

We’ve been going to several auctions up to Barron to an auction, I knew they had a copper boiler, and I’ve been looking for one. I bid on it and then there was this man, he was bidding too, just he and I. When it was up to $5.00 I asked Walt if I should keep going, he said if you really want it, well I wanted it. So kept on, cost me $7.00, it’s a real good one with a cover. I’m using it as a wood box, it just fits between the stove and sink. I shined it and it looks real nice. About a week later your Dad and Slim came home with another one, someone had a garage sale and three were several, so he bought one for $2.00. Will be using ti for the same thing, right now it is outside, with wood in it.

Last week at a garage sale we bought a carpet sweeper for $1.00, a large picture for $2.00, a sewing cabinet, $1.50, set of dishes (for the farm) for 25¢, a T.V. & stand for $3.00. The swivel stand is worth much more than that. We hooked up the T.V. it worked as far as voice, just could’t seem to bring in a picture. Dad wanted it for the farm. It’s sitting in the garage, really don’t know what he intends to do with it. Just another thing to fill up the garage, although we have taken some things to the trailer & farm for winter storage.

The past couple of weeks, I’ve been busy doing some canning. Slim was bringing those zucchini squash over, some were so huge I would keep a small one for myself and gave the others to Fritz or Blonde Bomber. Then I bought a Family Circle and in it were some pickle recipes. One was for pickling zucchini. I fixed one and they’re real good. Tastes like a bread and butter pickle. So instead of giving up the three I had left to Fritz, I canned them. Canned strawberry jam two days ago, fixed one quart of tomatoes, also made a pot of chili yesterday. Now I have two pumpkins that I should cook and then freeze. This stuff is all given to us. We bought 5 pounds of onions from an elderly man, who has a vegetable stand. He stops in the Spot every day, when open, and with the onions he put in two eggplants, one cabbage, one rutabaga and at least 8 pounds of  tomatoes. And then some people Peoria brought up some tomatoes and gave them to Dad. Oh I also made chili sauce. Still have about 6 or 7 left to eat with our meals.

The neighbors are busy building that extra room on. Mr Lorentz had been working weekends but he took two weeks vacation and the weather has been just terrible. It’s been cold with rain and snow, just a couple of really nice days.

Today is October 16th, it’s raining now. Last night it was a mixture of snow. We stayed in last night, watched T.V. Dad read a while and I crocheted, but first I read the Sunday papers, and Elgin papers.

Your Dad got out a jigsaw puzzle with more than 1,000 pieces. (bought it at a sidewalk sale). You should see this house this morning, not having a card table, he put up the 4 T.V. tables and has sorted the pieces by color on each table and is trying to put it together. Then we have moved the refrigerator in the dining room, have our table up against the room divider. Papers on all the furniture, what a mess.

We moved the refrigerator with the intention of fixing the floor.

Friday, 17. 8:30 a.m.

Didn’t do a darn thing yesterday so this place looks the same. Went to town after the baseball game We had money on the game at 3 places, but didn’t win. Rexall has a 1¢ sale, started yesterday, so we took advantage of it. Did some grocery shopping then stopped at B&B.—– Walked over to Millie’s, it was around 5:30 when we left. Instead of going home we went to the Spot to eat. Naturally we were drinking. On the way home, your Dad turned off 53 and went over to Anchor Inn. So I started on beer and whisky at the Spot, then beer, I sure didn’t feel good. I did put things away and then lay on the bed. I woke up when Dad started getting ready for bowling about 9:00. I felt worse. Had good intentions to finish your letter last night.

Last week from the 6th and until this weekend the 14th the carpenters were on another drunk. Last Wednesday Dorothy had an accident on Main Street. She hit a car in front of Lutz’s drug store, then further up the street, crossed the street and hit a car, tree and broke a telephone pole. She didn’t get hurt.

After all those dreary days we finally have some sunshine. It’s not supposed to get very warm, maybe in the 40’s.

Have a birthday card to send to Geo. His birthday is Sunday. Phyllis’s invited us to surprise party for him. She had that Wednesday. Took all who came out for dinner.

Read in the Moose Events, Al, that you were lucky. Good deal. Also see that Chuck Greenwald joined now. I wonder if Jack will. He and Chuck used to be good friends.

Well, this is it this time. Next time I won’t take so long in writing again. You all take care of yourselves. Miss everyone.

Bye now, and with lots of love to all,
Mom and Dad

P. S. The fall colors are gone up here. Suppose you have them now.

Letter from Grandma Green: Unknown date (after 1973)

This must have been in a card for dad. It was after 1973 because she was alone.

Dear Al and Family,

What should I write first. I’m relaxed and content. Saw so many of our friends at the Spot [1] when Dick and I ate there. Marion asked me to call her, I will in a day or two, don’t want to be too forward. What we’ll do I don’t know. There will be drinking involved. She likes her brandy [2].

Millie and I (she came down) [3]  went over to check the Wackers’ [4] cottage last Wednesday. She asked if I’d like to go to the Legion, said I didn’t bring any money. That’s O.K., you can buy me a drink next time. This I did last Friday when the Wackers came to town. Later we four went to the Legion and had dinner. Very good and reasonable too. Sunday about 10:30 am I started walking to the Wackers, but didn’t get very far, as they were coming down the road. It was Les’ birthday Sunday, I had a card for him and a half a loaf of Russian rye. Bought it Friday evening, at bakery, there so large told Verna I’d give her half. I got in the car and dropped Les off at Brass Rail, then we went to Snug Harbor to see Myrtle. Went back to Brass Rail, place was crowded with old friends. Had two beers, again I left my money at home. They’ll be back in April, so they’ll get paid back.

Sure is good to see the squirrels and birds again [5]. Instead of the willow tree, I now have piles of wood, but Jim and Lorentz will move that when the snow is gone. Jim cut one tree trunk that looks like a chair, for me when I fish. Hope all that saw dust doesn’t kill my wildflowers at that spot.

Looks like another nice day. Have to go to town today and put money in the bank and drop off my tax junk, hope I’ve done it right. Rita will let me know.

Have a good birthday, best of health to all. I’m fine.

Much love,
Ma Green

Notes:
  1. After retiring to Wisconsin, my grandfather worked at The Spot which was a supper club []
  2. so did Grandma Green []
  3. Grandma didn’t drive so she had to rely on friends to take he places after Grandpa died []
  4. the Wackers were Elgin friends who had a cottage in Chetek too []
  5. Grandma loved her birds and squirrels []

Letter from Grandma Green: September 1973

Dear one and all,

Please don’t think I forgot your anniversary [1]. I tried looking for some cards that I had bought sometime ago, but just couldn’t find them, but will soon as I’m doing a bit of cleaning every day. This card will have to do. Hope you had a perfect day. Imagine you all went out to eat some place, and made a big thing of it.

Boy it was chilly this morning, down to 49°. I turned the heater on and then burned a bit of wood.

Sure miss that Dona [2]. Haven’t anyone to plan meals for, although I did eat good last night, steak, salad and the whole bit. Dog wants in.

Miss her and so does Chubby [3]. Chubby wouldn’t eat a thing until Tuesday.

Chubby January of the year this letter was written
Chubby the year before this letter was written

Must hurry this along so I can get it up to the mail box. Miss Dona there too [4].

I’m O.K. miss Dad [5], but things will get better, just have to keep an open mind and remember everything good about him.

Fished last evening, caught one small bass, one bluegill, and bullhead and a dog fish. Yes Dona, I took a hammer and killed the bullhead, this time I made sure it was dead [6].

I’m so glad that the kids are coming up for a week.

I’m going to Jim Lorentz’s wedding the 22nd. Reception at Lehman’s. He’s getting married and no job.

Write again soon, you two,

Love,

Mom

Notes:
  1. Mom and Dad’s anniversary was September 4th so this was probably written shortly after that []
  2. After Grandpa Green died I spent several weeks with Grandma. We bonded more than ever that summer []
  3. Chubby was Grandma’s beagle mix []
  4. Until reading this, I didn’t realize I was helpful to her []
  5. Grandpa died of complications from a leg amputation in July of 1973. He was a good man []
  6. there must have been an incident where one of us was stung by the bullhead’s stinger []

Letter from Grandma Green: May 13, 1974

Dear Pat, El [1] and Dona and Kevin;

Nice to know you were thinking of me yesterday. It was rather lonesome hoping someone would have called, but no one did. The boys sent me cards, but a note in his [2], letting me know their dog had her puppies, six in all. He called me a couple of weeks ago, wishing me happy Mother’s Day as he thought the others would maybe call yesterday. He and the children are coming up over Memorial Day. maybe his neighbor’s two children would come along.

I sent Dona a package, did she ever get it? You didn’t mention it in your letter. The only thing Chris said about Vilma [3] was that she was leaving that Saturday, also she was kinda  funny girl.

We  have had nothing but cold and rainy weather since Thursday of last week. A couple of days we had frost, like this morning.

Rained very hard this morning, and who should pay me a visit, but Slim [4]. Asked him to use the garage door as I didn’t want mud on the rug, then he said he didn’t know I had rugs. Really he wasn’t drunk, because when I let him in, I asked, also I could tell. After he was here about 1 hour told him he’d have to leave as I had to get dressed and had things to do. He asked if I had any whisky to sell, said no, but would sell him two beers, he gave me $1.00 and I gave him no change. Twice he came over under the weather and I told him in no uncertain terms not to do it again.

Yes, Verna and Les were up, went out with them Saturday, enjoyed myself. They told me that Jack [5] was up, I didn’t see him, so I didn’t’ get your kiss.

I’ve finished my bedroom, also the hall, put up plaid wallpaper, it made it lighter, looks nice. Have some paper left, and thought I’d use it in the bathroom, but here wasn’t enough. So if I ever get to Rice Lake I’ll buy some there. Should have thought of that when Chris and I were up there.

No garden for me, I will plant the tomatoes that are started in the garage. I’ll go down to Slim’s and help myself. Also maybe Jim Lorentz will share his.

Bye now, love too all. I’m fine, hope you are too.

Mom

Notes:
  1. Most people called Dad Al, but his name was Elvin, so Grandma called him El for a joke []
  2. I’m thinking this was Uncle Dick []
  3. Vilma was an exchange student who decided not to stay with us after a couple weeks []
  4. Slim was a hermit who lived in the woods. He picked mushrooms that my grandparent’s ate. He was Swedish. Apparently he was also a drinker []
  5. Jack was a friend of my parent’s. Chris, mentioned earlier is his daughter []