I remember standing at the top of the steep stairs at Timbercove and asking, Mom, which one of us do you love the most? She didn’t miss a beat, and answered, I love you all the same. Reading through some letters to Alec from Timbercove in the late 50s. I realize how hard this must have been. Here are some excerpts:
I have had enough of summer in Bayfield – after a week. The N.T.D. club is closing in daily. I don’t know why they can’t sprout a little initiative, for this short period at least…S&D laid out some lines on the badminton court so perhaps that will fill in few moments – between fights that is.
I am thinking of having a heart-to-heart confidential talk with Ruth about the future of Bayfield as far as we are concerned. I find the life of a hypocrite to be very wearing…Some of us went to Goderich this a.m. to the Presby church Philip J?? designed. – Ruth, the girls, Dan, Ken and I. The other 3 flatly refused to go – Steve on the grounds that he was “forced” to go last Sunday (by lots). and so Mark should be forced to go today etc. I was interested in seeing the inside of the church but it didn’t impress me particularly. The service was even more oppressive than the one in Bayfield, and I don’t think I will ask the boys to go again as it was all I could do to sit through it.
Had a catastrophe here this a.m. Steve mashed 2 right-hand fingers in a folding camp stool. One just has a gash but the other an unknown quantity of stitches put in by Dr. Oakes at Clinton Hospital between operations. Ruth and I rushed him over as his hand was dripping blood and I could see stitches were necessary. Steve was getting out to watch some men from Tavistock clean out the septic tank, so we had all kinds of excitement…Steve may go into London with your father and sit in court since he can’t swim.
Tues “rest” hour. Dan departed happily with the Fallisses yesterday, and Johnny seems to be fitting in well here. He and Andrew slept in the tent last night. They were spinning great yarns this morning about how they were awake until 3:30 etc., but when I checked them at 10:30 both were asleep.
We had a birthday cake for Kenny last night and he was surprised with $10 from his grandparents, $1 from Peter, and a tie from Liza and Kate.
Tuesday a.m. [Picked up Andrew at the hospital.] He was not as delighted as I expected because when I told him that Dr. O said he couldn’t go in the water for a week, he burst out crying. He said he didn’t have to be in bed but should get out in the sunshine – but no romping…The first thing he wanted to do when he got home was to play Monopoly, so Steve and Dan complied and he was soon blowing up like his old self. We have him in the Scotch Pine room.
Steve and Dan went to Geo. Findlay’s uncle’s this a.m. for two large buggy wheels which they brought back on their bikes (!) and attached to the buggy. This process involved many tools, oilcans for propping, etc., and they called me out proudly to view the result, which I could hardly enjoy as both had used the grease gun liberally, oblivious to themselves and their clothes. However, they were so exultant about it all you will be happy to know I did not squelch them.
Off to see The King and I at Pioneer Park tonight with all the kids.
While managing the dynamics of five boys, numerous in-laws, and various local characters, she somehow managed to write supportive letters to Alec, who apparently was spending alot of time in the back yard with his typewriter. For example:
Did you work over Moon Attack?
It is interesting to note that she very much included herself in the emerging writing projects. She refers to her ongoing correspondence with CBC, and proposes a new feature for Weekend magazine:
What do you think of writing Weekend immediately to see if they would like an article on camping. We could easily get a series of color camping techniques then and we could certainly write a story using Bonnie’s list of required equipment etc. I think it would be easy, especially now that you have had more experience with color film.
At this point, her letters are still sprinkled with cheerful emoticons. Two examples (happy, sad):