These three letters seemed to go together.
643 Cedar Street
San Antonio, Texas
June 2, 1942
Today is Harolds day off, and he has just taken Alvin off to the store, so with the house quiet for a few minutes I want to write to you. I've wanted to send a letter off to you for the past week, but it has been so hot I haven’t had the ambition to write. Sometimes I wish we could send you a little of our sunshine.
Well Dad, since we wrote to you last we hear that you have another son. Jean’s lovely letter came yesterday just about the time they must have been getting married. I’m sure Dave will prove to be a worthy son to you.
We were a little worried about you when Jean said she didn't know whether you would be able to see her married. It leaves us at loose ends as to know how you are. We want to know how you are every day, because we feel that our faith and prayers added to all yours at home will make you well again. We’re not worried about you Dad, because we know that our Father in heaven is watching over you, and will continue to watch over you as long as we put our trust and faith in him. But always let us know how you are. The other night I dreamed that you wrote a short note to us every day, and at the end of a week sent them all in the same envelope.
We've heard something mighty interesting down here, and I've meant to tell you long before. They say that people with heart trouble & high blood pressure should eat a piece of garlic every day. Everyone proclaims it to be the best thing in the world. They seem to use a lot of garlic in their food here. People would never think of cooking a roast without putting five or six small pieces (slivers) of garlic down in the meat like this [a diagram of an oval shape labeled “roast” with six marks labeled “garlic”]. They poke the slivers of garlic about an inch down in the meat. They also use a tiny bit in most of their salads. It might be well worth trying for you as long as the rest of the family has some too. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m going too. [Note from Jane 11/18/99 - I remember my mother, Laura, putting slivers of garlic into a roast throughout my life 1944 to 1999].
Harold and Alvin are back, and it is dinner time, and my two men are always as hungry as I am, and I’m always hungry.
We are all well, and not complaining of the heat quite as much as we did, altho Harold scrubbed my floor this morning, and every stitch of clothes he had on was soaking wet. You should have seen him. He looked like he had been under a shower.
I’ll not write more now, but will try to write more often.
You know Dad; it has been a long time since I had a Dad, and since I have had you for one, I've learned to appreciate you, and love you as my own.
Your loving daughter,
P.S. Hope Jeans package arrived safely and on time.
[Alvin Emanuel Carlson died 12 June 1942 in Salt Lake City, Utah]
Box 12 Burns, Oregon June 2nd 42
My Dear Children in Texas
How are you all. I didn't forget you although it looks that way. Really Laura I have been so busy that I couldn't take time, and when I had time I was too tired. I just got here on the 19th May and three hours after I got here the baby was born, a nice baby they are going to name her Lois Ann. She weighed ab 8 lbs. The Dr. was just here 20 minutes before the baby was born. He sent his nurse and we got everything all ready, but I was tired from the trip as I hadn't slept on the Bus, only I was glad I was here. A lady came and took all the children to her place and kept them till after supper. The baby was born at 4:20. I got your letters all right but write more often even though I don’t write. How is Harold and Dear little Alvin. I do hope you are all well, and that your feet don’t swell any more. We have had it cold and wet here with a sprinkling of sunshine now and again. Did Pearl write and tell you about the wedding. I have not heard f from Daniel since about the 12 of May. I don’t know what is up and I am so anxious about them I could cry. I didn't think that Daniel would neglect writing to me. I do hope all is well with them. I have only had one letter from Helen. I guess they wait for me to write but I just can’t. It is so different from home. Helen said Jennette was sick after I left and couldn't go home, and when she was ready Mr. White went without her so I do hope she got home all right. They said they thought she had the flu. Have you heard how Bro. Carlson is. Helen said he was feeling better. She went to get some Temple clothes and asked about him.
Dear Laura did you ever say anything unkind about Lillieth Van Dam to any one. Sister Van Dam seems to think that you were a detriment to Lillieth all her life since you knew her, even in school that the teacher even had to get after you at onetime in school, that you took advantage of Lillieth because of her lame shoulder. She told all that to Mother Carlson. Now my dear Laura, don’t get excited over it. I want you to think over it carefully and if you have nothing against Lillieth or Sister Van Dam just forget about it. She was sore because I told her I had to hear of Lillieth’s marriage from Texas. So she lit in on Sister Carlson for telling you. Lillieth was still over there when I left. She is married all right. I believe her name is Mayer now but am not sure. I did not tell Pearl about it as I just heard of it when we were preparing for the wedding. She must have been upset over something. Pearl invited her to the wedding and she came after saying all that. Norman’s wife is there now so Helen told me. Now my Dear ones do all the good that you can. Be careful and Prayerful. Acknowledge the Lord in all your ways and he will direct and Bless you. I wait anxiously for a letter from you. Lovingly, Mother.
How is the weather, is it still hot.
Lois is fine she has been up since last Thursday. This was Dorothy’s birthday and Lois made a cake with Happy Birthday on it and you ought to see her eyes and hear her laugh. She blew out the candles and the rest of the children sang Happy birthday. They have all dark eyes too. Rowena said, Mama do you like dark eyes, because even the cow and the dog has dark eyes. She is only 3 ½ yrs. Old, but they are all as cute as can be, and Dorothy can talk as well as the rest. They still have the same dog as came to Burns with them. The same old Prince, and I tell you he guards those Children. They sleep in the font house but Prince sleeps right by them at the door and no one can get near the house. Lorna Jane & Kathryn are a great help, washing the dishes and taking care of Rowena and Dorothy. It is very hard to get help here. Roland has tried all over. One lady came and did the ironing and was to have come back to help but she never came and didn't send word that she couldn't, but we get along. Now dear Laura take care of yourself.
Love to you all from Mother.We were surely glad to hear from you even tho we didn’t expect to too much. Tell everyone in Burns hello for us.
San Antonio, Texas
643 Cedar Street
June 8, 1942
It is not yet 9:30 in the morning, and I have just returned from a half hour of good brisk walking. Harold & Reed start today working from 3:00 P.M. to 11:30 P.M. So while Harold is home in the morning I am going to take advantage of it, and leave Alvin with him for a half hr. or so each morning. I’m still going to let them get their own breakfast and I can cook a hot meal for them at noon, then in the eve. When the house is so warm I won’t have to bother about cooking.
I started writing, and then discovered that the mailman left a letter from you. I’m just waiting for Harold to come in so we can read it together. He & Alvin have been cleaning out the garage, and went up the street half a block with a load of junk, but I can hear them coming now.
We just read your letter, and I’m so glad that everyone in Burns is feeling so well. I hope I can get along as well when my baby comes as Lois does, altho I don’t believe I would want it to come quite that fast. I wish we could send some of our warm weather up to you, altho for the last 3 days we've had a good rain everyday, and it has been so cool and nice. Down here 15 mins after it rains you can go out just as if it hadn't rained at all. It really pours too, and all our cardboard boxes in the garage were soaked, and just offered a breeding place for roaches and other bugs. Harold is getting rid of all of them. The washer case is the only one that is any good.
Well Mother, about Sister Van Dam and Lillieth: I wouldn’t worry about it for one minute. I was more surprised than I can say to know that Sister Van Dam even had such thoughts. The only place that Lillieth and I ever associated to any great extent other than as kids playing in the neighborhood was at church, Sunday School & Mutual. If you remember Lillieth was always a year behind me in school, and so we were not together very much especially in high school. As for her having a lame shoulder, I didn't know, or rather realize she had anything wrong with her carriage until after we were out of school, or it may have been in my last year at school, and someone called my attention to it. As far as saying anything unkind about Lillieth, I've never had anything against her, and I can’t remember the time when I have tried to hurt anyone by something I've said to anyone else. I honestly believe that Sister Van Dam has no grounds for her assumptions. I know she must worry about Lillieth a great deal, and is probably trying to find some answer to Lillieth’s actions. But I shall just forget about it, and I hope you do too. When you get back home you can talk to Sister Carlson about it if you think it wise, if not, just let it pass.
We had a letter from Mother Carlson Sat, and she is very worried about Dad. She says he has been in bed now for 6 weeks, and that he is much worse than the children realize. They have had him administered to 2 or 3 times in the last 2 weeks, but he doesn't seem to have any faith that he is going to get well. She said that after 2 of Jean’s parties they came home to find him fighting for his breath. Altho the night they went to the temple he slept well. Harold is very worried about him, and we try to write once or even twice a week, hoping we can cheer him up. With Father’s Day coming soon we have tried to think of something to send him that he can use and appreciate, but as we talk I sometimes wonder if Harold doesn't think too that his Dad will never be up and around again. As for me, I have no doubt but that he would get well if they would all exercise their faith in his behalf. I believe financial worry is the biggest problem for the whole bunch of them.
I haven’t heard from Pearl about her wedding but I don’t suppose she has had much time. I did get a lovely long letter from Helen tho telling us all about the wedding, and parties, & quilting and everything. It must have all been very nice. I haven’t heard from Daniel either, but then I owe him a letter. I’ll try to write tonight after Alvin is in bed. I wrote to Jennette yesterday, and Helen said in her letter that she has a card from Jennette saying they got home ok.
Reed Clinger has a lot of brothers & sisters and they are all scattered too. About once every 2 weeks he gets a package of letters from his Mother some from Bro & sis to Mother, & some from bro to sis. & so on together with the Sat. night church section. I believe we’ll have to start something like that, so the news from each will get around to all of us. When Reed has read them he sends them on to someone else.
Well, I’m getting tired, and I do want to spend a little time with Harold & Alvin this morn. Take care of yourself, and God bless you.
With Love, Laura.