Oct. 11, ‘50
Dear Cousin Jesse,
It is sweet and dear of you, in the midst of your busy life to take time to keep me a bit in touch with your interesting life and family. You cannot know how much it means to me, in my very quiet life, and of course my children are interested also. You wrote something of your plans for the summer and I thought to write you in Aug. when you were pretty sure to be on L.I. but the week skipped by. I sit in an easy chair in the bay window and watch the birds and squirrels and bunnies, and just now the brilliant foliage. (I wish you could see our sugar maple, it lights up the whole hill) and I write long letters to my friends in my mind, and then doze off. Very rarely anything gets on paper. Perhaps my eighty ninth birthday last month has some connection.
A handsome young Irishman named Gratton came to Southold when I was a girl, married one of our nicest Irish girls, and raised twelve children who all made good citizens so far as I remember. Mary happened to eat supper at their house one evening while she and Mother lived alone so long—and it was an interesting experience. I did not know them personally.
Our neighbor considered the barn a menace to his property, so we reluctantly had it torn down. I feel wicked to own a vacant house, but the farm is well rented, and we are still hoping to remodel into a two apartment house, furnish one for our summers and rent the other. The disastrous year soon after my husband’s death went hard with us, but we are still hoping. Frank and Caroline are both only children, each with an aging Mother to watch over, and they have their hands full I guess. Mrs. Taylor is younger than I, but with more ailments, so can not go to a home of her own, to her great disappointment. I am thoughtful to be comfortable and contented. Though not much account. Sleeping to much is better than waking too much. “The hours o’er which we have least cause to weep, Are those we spend in childhood and in sleep.”
How pleasant all around that you could all be together more or less in the summer! I do not believe East Enders ever get really moved from L.I.
It is encouraging to have your school crowded. This world certainly needs preachers.
Usually I listen to a long, weather report every morning—and am interested to learn what variety of weather Chicago is getting. The radio is a very good companion, so easily turned on and off.
This scrawl awaited the arrival of the map you mentioned, and for which I am really grateful. It is afar cry from the big black Atlas of L.I. that was published when I was a child. How proud I was then to find a black dot labeled “E. Hunting” on the Southold page! Southampton is opposite, and I looked today for H. Halsey and was surprised to find how many other Halseys there were. No wonder you found a “remote cousin” to go riding with. (O.O. split infinitive) Time I said good night. And thanks again. I am grateful for the days when you used to come to that mission school in Tennessee. Good night. Love to cousin Helen as well as your kind self.
Helen [Hunting Bly]