Forwarded to Mrs. Jane S. Davidson, c/o B. M. Turnbow, Tabiona, Utah
July 2, 1953
The children are eating breakfast, and I have just been typing a letter for Harold, so thought I could start one to you before I quit. We have been up so late every night lately, and up so early every morning, yet the day in between goes so fast that we just can’t account for them. From last Thursday until now we have been busy on the peas. We have over 50 lbs. frozen in the locker, and have had plenty to eat, but it has been a big job. The children have been good to help, and yet we are all tired out. The heat has been terriffic. This morning however it is cooler, and cloudy. We are all just worn out from the heat. The bedrooms are so hot at night no one wants to go to bed. The baby surely sleeps good tho, and surprising as it is, he keeps a cover on all night. He slept last night from 7 until 6 this morning. He is just as solid as he can be. I am still nursing him but he gets cereal and milk, and sometimes a little vegetable.
Harold’s hand has flaired up again. Last week it seemed completely better, and then we started the peas, and he was home Friday and Satruday helping, and Sunday it started swelling. He has had several ex-rays, but they show nothing. As long as he kept it in a sling the swelling went. Harold said that yesterday the Dr. described it as proud flesh under the skin. And the treatment, soaking in hot water. He is able to go to the medical unit twice a day at work and soak it, and he does it often while he is home. And we are trying to see that he doesn’t use it any more than is necessary. He has had quite a few problems lately that have kept him up till late.
Alice is getting to be quite a stinker. She wants something, and she just screams until the children give it to her to get her to stop screaming. Two days ago I just splashed cold water in her face while she was in one of her screams, and it seems to have toned her down considerably. She was down to one nipple, and it was big and flabby, and last Sat. she bit it in two. I offered her the baby’s nipple, and she would have none of it. So since Sat. she has been going without a bottle. I hope it is the end of it for her, although these past few days has been quite an ordeal, especially giving her every little thing she happens to want. It is primary today at 9:30 so I had better stop and get my own breakfast, and get them off. Alvin is back from camp, and is hard at work on his collections. He only has 2 more days, and he has barely started. He has 3 people who hasn’t paid him for 3 months, and they keep telling him to come back. Harold says if he doesn’t get them this week, that he is going out and get it.
Well, It is afternoon already, and Alice is asleep, the baby is laying in his buggy beside me, Laura is outside playing, and the four oldest have gone swimming. The house is cool and quiet. The heat outside is almost unbearable tho. There are storm clouds in the sky, and the heat just seems to press down on us. This morning while the little ones were at Primary Alvin and I cleaned out the frig, and about half of the kitchen cupboards. We did half of them last week, and now they are all done. I’ve got quite a stiff neck from fixing peas, but a little rest is all I need. I promised my self I would make myself a dress this week, and so I am going to make this letter short, and get started on it again.
Laura had a nice birthday Sunday, and she surely was proud of her card and her dime. She displayed it to everyone. I paid $4.00 for a dress for her. It is an embossed cotton, and won’t need ironing. I also got her pants, sox, and a pair of pajamas. She has been wearing those heavy ones until Sunday, and they are pretty near gone.
I hear Alice waking up, and things are beginning to pop again.
I am feeling much better the last two weeks than I have since the baby was born. It seems as tho it takes me 3 or 4 months to come any where near back to normal. I told you I had a green discharge sometimes even before you left, and I didn’t go see the Dr. until 2 weeks ago, and he found an infection, that was quickly stopped with some sulfa salve. He also gave me some Iron capsules. They cost 7¢ each, and he gave me about 75 of them. I take 3 a day, and it seems to help, also it makes me so that I am not quite so hungry. I have gained weight again like I did after Alice. I weigh 150 again, and I only weighed 154 when Harold was born. I shouldn’t have put off going to the Dr. as long as I did.
I had a letter from Jennette, and she said that most of her garden was froze last week. The weather is so strange. We can have it so hot for a week, then two or 3 days when we almost have to put on a fire.
Bob and Mary Louise Carlson came to see us about 4 weeks ago. We didn’t know they were coming, and we had a lovely 2 days with them. Mary Louise sent me a box of a dozen bottles of baby vitimans yesterday. It will surely help out. Their baby is a fatty, and so cute. Harold and Bob went fishing one day, while we took the children to the part, and museum. The other day, we took them to Colorado Springs, and had a wonderful relaxing day.
I must stop now, I have stopped a dozen times in the last half hour to do something or other. I am inclosing a check. It was just forgetfulness that I haven’t done it before. We are planning on a picnic with the Runyans and Bohn’s up Boulder canyon for the 4th. We are going to have breakfast, and lunch and come home early in the afternoon. That way we will miss the worst of the crowd. Take care of yourself Mother, and be careful in this heat.
From: 18153 Lermay St., Reseda, Calif
Forwarded to: Mrs. Jane Davidson, c/o B. M. Turnbow, Tabiona, Utah
July 5, 1953
We are out of ink
My Darling Mother
Sorry I have been so slow. I didn’t realize it has been so long since I wrote last. Royce has painted our house so that it will be clean to sell. We called Bishop Heninger to come & look at it so it can be listed.
Royce & I decided nearly a month ago to write Lois and tell her not to send the girls but I’ve put off writing to her too. I’ve finally written now. It would just mean 2 more for Royce to tend. We have plenty of help here anyway.
Sis Mordue, our Relief Society Pres. told me not to worry that they will help me and we have done it for other girls in the Ward.
Royce plans to take vacation time then too.
Royce’s Aunt Mit has asked me to come to her house from the hospital until I am back on my feet. She said she’d take the girls too so we have all sorts of offers of help so you musn’t worry over us.
We had really wanted one of Lois girls to come so someone would be with our girls & had hoped to make a vacation for them but now that we are moving & will have to sell our place I am afraid we will have to stay pretty close to home. Someone should be here all the time. So Royce decided on taking some vacation time regardless. We would like to have you come but we are wondering if you can take the trip. I would worry over you traveling alone. It would be different if you had someone to bring you.
Also It will be our hottest time of the year and as you know we are not too well shaded. In fact hardly at all. I wouldn’t want you to come and make yourself sick. I’d like you to enjoy it. I don’t think there will be too much to do. The children are pretty good workers if someone is supervising them all the time. And as I say we’ve just painted & cleaned and I think things stay cleaner here.
You’ll have to let us know if you can stand it.
Don’t feel you have to come because we can get along. We’ve a lot of wonderful friends but if you think it won’t be too hard on you, we would like to have you.
I’ve nearly everything ready except a bed and chest of drawers. We’ve been trying to pick them up second hand but haven’t succeeded yet.
The Relief Society Sisters gave me a shower and gave me a high chair. It’s one of those that fold down into a table & chair. Also gave me a satin quilt. Have to stop God bless you
[Added to the envelope with Pearl’s letter of July 5, 1953 so probably around July 7, 1953]
I’ll just add a note to Pearls letter before sending it on.
We arrived home o.k. without any trouble and were all ready to drop into bed. We did go out for a little while to see the fireworks. Went to the Dr. yesterday and John’s head healed beautifully. He said to watch Janet. Her head is still swollen there and she complained of it hurting yesterday so I had him look at it. He said if she continues to complain to bring her in.
Willard said he would come for you this week end. He intended to go fishing around there sometime during the summer so I guess he will do it then and bring you home at the same time.
Helen isn’t well and has been sick since the fourth upset stomach and headache like she always gets. She will see the Dr. this week. Pat & Jesse are fine also the children, they came over Sunday.
Tell Jennette if she’s serious about going to work to come ahead and bring the three little ones. Helen says she could stay in the apartment. I could take care of Richard for her. I don’t know what she would work at unless it’s at the telephone Co. while others have their vacations. Don’t know whether it would pay or not she would lose her garden. Anyway that would be something to consider.
Hope all is well with you and that you’re enjoying your visit. Tell Burnell & Jennette hello and the children, wish we were rich and could help out. Hope the puddle jumper is running again so they’ll have some transportation.
Love from us all.
P.S. It’s awfully hot here. Bishop’s meeting is here tonight so will have to get busy.
July 14, 1953
Just a note, because I am so tired I can hardly push the keys. I guess Harold & I got about 2 hours sleep last night. We had a very sick baby. In fact I've never seen one so sick. He is much better tonight tho, and has gone to sleep. Sunday morning he was asleep, but as we started to eat lunch he woke up, and we brought him down stairs & put him in the buggy. He sat there watching us, but he looked like he was going back to sleep. Harold picked him up, and after a few minutes he realized he had a fever. I gave him a quarter of an aspirin, and in an hour he looked ok again. Then toward evening the fever came back, and Bro. Jones and Harold administered to him after church. He woke up once Sun. night, a thing he hasn't done for at least 2 months. Monday he seemed ok, but I could tell he was a little warm. We broke our thermometer, so I borrowed one from Delores, and it was about 100 degrees. I wasn't worried, but yet he had no sign of a cold, and acted like he might have had a stomach ache. We took him in to see Dr. Jackson after Harold came from work, and he felt so good I felt rather foolish taking him in. But the Dr. was rather worried. He all of a sudden seemed very sick, and yet the only thing he could find was a slight inflamation of the right ear, and a swelling in the gland in the neck. He gave him some pennicilin, and insisted we bring him back today. After bed time last night he started getting hotter and hotter. He would sleep for a few minutes then be awake again. By midnight he was so hot I could hardly stand to hold him. It was almost as tho his ittle neck burned my arm. It was 105 degrees, and stayed that way for 4 or 5 hours. I called the Dr. after 12, and he told me to increase the asperin, and to bath him. But even using luke warm water it felt so cold against his skin we had to stop. He would just scream when we put it near him. The fever seemed to wear itself out by 6:30 this morning, and it hasn't come back altho he has been very restless, and has slept but little today. But he is sleeping now, and I am just waiting to put Alice and Laura to bed so I can go to bed myself. Yesterday was our Ward conference. I mean Sunday. I seem to have lost a day. Harold was kept busy the whole day. Sister Carwin was put in as Relief Society President. She had a baby in January. I don’t know whether you know her or not. Sister Cunningham is her first counslor, and Amanda Willits her second counslor.
The baby is awake again, and I will stop. I must get all of them in to bed. Take care of yourself, and write soon.
We went up the canyon on the 4th, and Ken and Joyce and family came in on us on the 5th and Monday the 6th we went up to Estes Park, and over trail ridge and back to Granby and home. Maybe the baby caught cold then I don’t know.
[Harold concludes the letter in pen]
Laura didn’t even take time to sign her letter. We are all well again. Little Harold was a pretty sick boy. Doc. Jackson was afraid for a while that it was meningitis but it didn’t develop and now the little fellow is as well as ever. My hand too finally cleared up so that puts us all on the feeling fine list.
Church is still a busy job, but it is enjoyable too. At work we are still undecided as to what the Republican administration is going to do with the Bureau of Reclamation. We had planned on getting a new home but have decided to wait until we know whats up. I’m not worried but do feel that I would want to move back to Utah (Maybe not Salt Lake) if we had to start again - We must quit for now. Good Luck and may the Lord bless you.
July 21, 1953
The baby is better. By Thursday of last week he was well again, but he gave us quite a scare. When we went up over Trail Ridge on the 6th of July with Ken and Joyce & family I had just a pair of nylon rompers on him, altho I had a blanket handy. It was so hot in the vally, and when we went up high it still wasn’t cold until we got right up on top. After he had been sweating all the time, and then taking him up there, I guess I wasn’t careful enough to see that he didn't take cold. The nylon rompers don’t absorb any of the persperation, and he undoubtedly was cold. Then when we got over to Granby Ken and Joyce left us to go back to Salt Lake, and Harold said he wanted to fish for an hour. That was at 5:P.M. None of us had had anything to eat since 11:A.M. But Harold went fishing. He fished until 7:30 P.M. and by the time we got into Grandby from the river it was near 8 or maybe after. He stopped to buy us a hamburger, and while he was gone Alice got her finger pinched in the window, and started screaming, and that made little Harold scream. It was half an hour before we got him stopped. The children all finally dropped off to sleep, and we got home about 10:30 P.M. The baby didn't get sick until the following Sunday, but the infection must have started then. Did I tell you that it was an infection in his ear, and a gland in his neck. On Monday night his fever was 105 for hours, but wore itself out by 6:30 A.M. He was cross for a day or two, but is his own sweet self again. He has been such a good baby. I have been completely worn out since he was sick. I just can’t seem to get feeling good no matter now much rest I get.
Harold’s vacation started last Saturday, and yet he hasn’t been home since except for meals, and sometimes not for meals. This morning he did stay home tho because the toilet was broken, and he had to fix it. Yesterday morning he spent at the office, and the afternoon at the stake farm, and the evening at the Stake House in meeting with Pres. Drury. Tonight at 6:P.M. he left to go to Grand Junction to go fishing with Bob, He expects to be back Friday afternoon. He has to be home then because he promised Mary Norris he would put in a strip of cement for her Friday evening. I don’t know what he has planned for the rest of his vacation. I know he needs to get away and have a rest. But what he doesn’t seem to understand is that I too need a rest. For the past two months I have felt that I have been on the verge of loosing my mind. I can hear you say “Laura don’t talk that way.” and I am not writing this to cause you to worry, but rather to loosen the pent up feelings and emotions within me. I must find release from the nightmarish feelings within me by putting them on paper and trying to annalyse them. Whenever Harold has any time off he uses it to go fishing. There is no other means of recreation or relaxation for him. Anything else just does not exist for him. He knows too that he doesn’t want any of the children around when he is fishing. If they are, he has to watch them, and can’t concentrate on this fishing. (By the way the day we went to Granby Alvin and Louis followed him up the river, and came back with him wet up to their necks. They had to take off their clothes and put a jacket on with another one around their legs.) In Estes Park he fished 3 or 4 times a week, and still wasn’t content. Sometimes I wonder why he ever got married at all. If he had a fishing pole and a stream that is all he would need. Since he won’t have any of the children around when he is fishing, some years ago I made such a fuss about holidays, and the family spending them together, that he has been very good in spending them with us at the park, or riding or picnicing in the mountains, but every minute of it I feel he is doing it because he feels it his duty to do so rather than for any love of association with me and the children. Every stream he passes he lets us know whether it would be good fishing or bad. I don’t believe he ever sees the beauty of nature around him except in a stream. I don’t believe he has ever notice the beauty of a sunset unless the children or I pointed it out to him. In Denver each summer the post puts on a summer operetta like Sat Lake used to at Nibly Park. He took me once, because it was my birthday, and he asked me where I would like to go. Every summer there is a concert series at the Red Rocks theatre, which included a variety of things, Music, and ballet. Every summer there is an Opera at Central City. It doesn’t enter his head that I might like to go to some of these. There is a colored light demonstration nightly from the middle of the lake in City Park, and it wasn’t until last summer that we ever saw them, and then because the children insisted that we stay. I know I am being petty, but I also know that my soul is starving for some of the cultural things of this life.
My body is worn out from the continual round of cleaning, washing, meals, babies etc. I don’t believe I would care, or be so tired if I had a diversion occasionally. What a pity that the stream and a fishing pole don’t hold the enchantment for me that it does for Harold. He will be home Friday, and then the week-end will as always be so busy we won’t see him, and I haven’t complained when I know that he is doing the job that has been given him. Monday is always a big day for me with washing etc. But I have decided that Tuesday Morning I will take Betty and Jane and go on a vacation for 3 days. I have always wanted to see the Mount Rushmore Memorial in South Dakota, and the Black Hills., and the wonderful caves over there. It is about a 6 hour drive. And tho I have never driven that far alone before I am going. I’ve got to get away for a few days or loose my sanity. This past week when I have been so completely tired Harold has insisted that I wean the baby. However I don’t know yet whether I will wean him, or take him with me. Jane & Betty and I could easily take care of him, altho we wouldn’t be able to leave the car very much because he is so heavy. He weighs 18 lbs. and is quite a load even to hold while we go to church. I know he would be better off at home, and I believe Harold will take good care of him and the others. I haven’t told Harold yet of my plans, and he withdrew the last of the money in the bank today so that he could go to Grand Junction, and leave me with some food in the house, so I had to send a letter to the Bank in Salt Lake. I have $30.00 in our account there, and I am going to use it to go on. Goodness knows I shouldn’t. There are so many other places it should go, but that has always been my way of thinking. I shouldn’t spend anything foolishly, yet Harold can pay 17 dollars for a fishing pole, and another $8.00 this week for a reel. And goodness knows how much for hooks and line and bate etc. Plus boots, & jacket etc.
I just hope I wont think of all the reasons why I shouldn't take such a trip, and then back out on it. Betty & Jane and I all need new shoes, and I am going to get them if I have to charge them before we go. That is just another reason why I should forget the whole thing and stay home, but this time I can’t. We’ll go even if we have to wear our old shoes.
Well, to finish off with something more pleasant. I did have a happy birthday. Louis gave me a pair of ear rings with pink stones in them. He bought them with money he had saved. The other 3 children had saved $19.00 and wanted to buy me some dishes. When Harold saw what they wanted to do he put in another $17.00 and got me a 63 piece set of china. It is really lovely. It is something I don’t want to use unless we have company. We were down to just enough plates to go around, and I guess I will have to buy some every day plates, because these are too lovely to use for every day. Harold had asked me for a date on my birthday 2 weeks before, but the night before he was up till 1:A.M. so we went to bed early. We are both pretty well worn out. I started this letter at 9:P.M. and it is now 10 minutes to 11: P.M. so I guess I had better get to bed. Maybe you can write and tell me if I am a little off the beam on this vacation business. Maybe I am looking at it all wrong.
Your loving daughter,
[Pencil margin note:] If you want to show this letter to Mother Carlson, you can. I haven’t written to her since the baby was born.
[Mailed with Laura’s letter of July 21, 1953, postmarked July 22, 1953]
June 5, 1953
How are you I am fine and so are the rest of us
We got out of school the 4th I got 3 A on my
report card my next teachers name will be
Mrs Remley and we get new desks and
chairs Alvin made me a purse it is green
with tan laceing and it has a red snap
Betty made a clay doll in school and we
are all fine I hope you can read my over
letter something was wrong with the
[note from Laura] I found this letter in this stamped envelope. It surely got way-laid
July 23rd 53
My Dear Laura,
I just got your letter and am glad Baby Harold is better, but sorry that you are feeling so bad and down hearted. Maybe Harold was feeling the same way as you are and glad to take off, feeling that the children are secure with you, but you just can’t leave them as he has done. They are your care and his, but he doesn’t see things as you do, and at times it takes all your strength and courage to endure. You have been upset with the Baby being sick and maybe other things not going the way you want. Things will straighten out but you will have to pull yourself together and let things go slow for our bodies can’t stand all the strain that sometimes we are called on to endure. But we must call upon the Lord and He will give us strength. There is always an evil power trying to upset us, and will if we let it, like David of old Testament times when he said, ( Why art thou cast down O My Soul, and why art thou disquited within me. I shall praise the Lord who is the Health of my countenance and my God.) So you see we have always got to be on the look out for the evil one and put ourselves in our Heavenly Father’s care. I know you are thankful that the little fellow is well again. Don’t leave him Laura. Why don’t you come home, in the bus, I know it would be hard in this hot weather. Jennette just came in while I am writing this. She would just love for you to come and stay with her. I hope ;you will be feeling better before you get this. Merrill came with Jennette. He is in the Tabiona Band and they play in the Parade tomorrow. They go back tomorrow, after the Parade. May the Lord Bless you and Harold so that you will Love and Sympathize with one another, and help one another all you can to live lives of respect and helpfulness one towards another. Don’t do anything rash, just try to keep your mind calm and Thankful for Blessings. It will be too bad if Harold’s Fishing trips will be a curse to you all, instead of pleasure for him. He ought to take some of the children with him when he goes and give you a little relief from some of the cares of being with them all the time. May the Lord strengthen you Laura
Lots of Love, Mother.
I won’t let Mother Carlson read the letter. She gets upset too easily
Aug. 10, 1953
Your letter came today, and I’m sorry you had to worry about me. But I have been worried for a long time, but I am sure the worst is over. After you called last Friday night Harold gave me a blessing. I guess I had kind of lost faith in myself. The blessing he gave me set me back on the right track. The medicine the Dr. gave me has helped too. I’ve been taking it since last Tuesday, nearly a week.
The headaches I get are not real headaches, but I get so tense I bite my teeth & my jaws get sore & cause my head to ache. It is just a tightening of the muscles & nerves. It seems as tho when I did take time to sit down to read or rest I was accusing myself for not doing something that should be done, which of course is poor thinking, because there is always something to be done. And like Helen told me over the phone I've got to learn to sit down and relax & forget the work sometimes.
I am going to try to go to Relief Society work meeting tomorrow. They are having a social in the afternoon for Mary Haslam & the out going officers. They asked me to take the Theology lesson again, but I’m not going to. It would mean 2 Sunday afternoons a month besides the lesson, and those 2 Sundays Harold is gone too, and the children are left to themselves.
I am conciously trying to do everything to get feeling completely well again. No Mother, you don’t need to come. But you don’t know how thankful I am that you were praying for me. And it was so good to hear your voice. You just sounded so much like yourself. I know that I must not loose faith, and I know too that I can’t do all that I want to do, or that is apparent to be done. I guess there come a time in everyone’s life when they find out that they can’t do everything. I've got to remember that if a thing can’t get done today it can wait till tomorrow.
This evening Delores asked me to come over & watch television for half an hour, so after the children were in bed I went over, but a good part of the time I kept thinking I should be home writing to you, or fixing a dress to wear to Relief Society tomorrow. You see, I’ve got to teach myself all over again to relax. I have steadily gained weight again like I did after Alice was born, & weigh as much now as when Harold Danny was born. I’m not going to try to loose any tho till I get feeling better, except stop eating sweets.
Harold is at Bishop’s meeting tonight but they have been getting thru about 10:30 lately.
Harold knew I wasn't feeling well, & when he came in at night he wouldn't talk to me for fear of disturbing me, & he would let me lay in bed in the morning getting up himself without letting me know he was up, and we would go for days without even talking except at supper, & there is no chance to talk then. But the past few days he has been trying to spend more time at home. Sat. we all went to a drive in & left the 3 little ones home. Yesterday I was very tired, & didn't want to go to church, but went in the evening. It was Alice’s birthday. We got a load of Sand for her Sat. & the children bought her some little trinkets, & balloons. She was surely happy. Yes I made birthday cakes for all 3 & decorated them.
Betty got a Bicycle. Harold found a used one for $11 & he painted it.
Louis got a croquet set. For their birthday we went to the park & had supper. The first time this year.
It is 10:30 & I must get to bed. I had no intention of staying up so late. Thank you Mother for your letters, and now good night.
Harold came home last night after bishop meeting & said he had to take another week off because of a ceiling on annual leave built up & he wants to take me & the baby & Alice to Salt Lake in Sept.
P.S. I did not tell Laura I was writing.
It was good to talk with you the other night on the phone. And your call back was just what Laura needed. We had a long talk after you called and Laura felt 100% better. Since then things have been fine. Laura does become extremely tired by night time but she has held up her spirits and that is 90% of the battle.
It’s hard to figure out just what the trouble has been. It seemed that
was getting more tired every day. Then
when my vacation came up and I took two days to go fishing it must have been
the straw that broke the camels back. My
staying home with the children while she and the two older girls drove up to
South Dakota didn't help very much at all.
She returned home as depressed as ever.
I talked her into going to see the Doctor and later called him and
talked over the problem with him. He
said Laura was not at all in a bad way physically but that her nerves were shot
and we were going to have to snap her out of it. That gave me the idea of calling you and
having you visit us. It would have been
fine if you could come. But when you couldn't your calling was the next best thing.
I also promised the Doctor I would spend more time with my family even
if I had to let some of the Church work go for a while. Then when I talked to Laura and promised her
that we would take the rest of our recreation together it made all the
difference in the world in her. She has
been tired buy happy from that moment.
I am sure we can work things out if I do my part and I promise to do my part with all my heart. My wife and children mean everything to me so it won’t be difficult for me to show it. I will try to do as you suggested and not criticize Laura on the way she handles the children. She has a tremendous job with seven of them and so little to do it with but if I help all I can with the help of the Lord we will make it.
The children are all well and I am sure that within a week Laura will be tops again too. I will send you the money for your phone call on payday Thursday. Love Harold
[Postcard 236-B - Double Spirals on Iron Mountain Highway to Mt. Rushmore Memorial, Black Hills, So. Dak. There are several Pig Tail Bridges in the Black Hills. They are constructed for the purpose of reaching higher or lower elevation in a mountainous area.]
To: Jane S. Davidson, 3112 So 7th East, Salt Lake City, UTAH [Postmarked Aug 12, 1953]
Betty, Jane & mother
went to the Black
Hills on vacation.
they bought, the
rest of us children
a souvenier from
there. Sure hope
your feeling good