Saturday, November 01, 2008

1947, January 12 - HMK to Miss Betty Harvey & Miss Lilian Harvey

PO Box 112                                                                                    Tel. Duxbury 51

Herman Smith
Duxbury, Massachusetts

Jan. 12th. [19]47.

My dear Miss Harvey- I am sure it was something of a mental telepathy which caused both you and your sister to send me these charming little Christmas cards- for I wanted your addresses so badly- having somehow mislaid both them and that of your mother's whose lovely letter from Maine last summer is still to my embarrassment - unanswered.  As for your visit to Duxbury- last summer- if it gave you anything at all as near the pleasure it gave us- our reward is greater than we deserve.  This letter must do for all of you so I hope you will pass it on Miss Betty- first to your mother and then to Miss Lilian to whom I now give my thanks for the bread recipe which I am trying this very morning.  Only when is the dough springy from kneading and how long does it take?  I have an old fashioned bread-mixer which belonged to Dick's mother which does away with the conventional kneading so I am not sure if I knead this lot too much or not enough.  Some of the old cook books say to knead for 30 minutes which is too much for this old boy.  Well we shall see how it comes out- I will knead a bit more when I prepare the loaves - Miss Parloa 1880 circa Stina says knead with the palm only- for 30 min and let rise 8 or 9 hrs.  Heavens.  

We had a quiet sweet Christmas- with a tree and wreaths and the little [nativity] shrine and Dick's candles in all the windows.  Gunther came down and made the most beautiful wreath I ever saw for Dick and decorated the house with lovely greens from our own trees.  I did part of my pageant- the Miracle of the Roses- in the old church in Kingston on the 22nd.  On Christmas Eve went to the service at the little Episcopal church here where we had a copy of the little Christmas Eve prayer of which I enclose you some copies for all the congregation.  On New Years Eve the old quartet there had set the prayer to the music of an old hymn and it touched me deeply.

It touches me deeply too to know that your mother still listens and reports our goings on to you- it lifts my heart above pain and braces-- the pain does not come so often and does not last so long so I am better- but it is hard for me to get about and I don't know what I should do so without Charlie.

We have a new Cocker Spaniel, Suzy, red haired and a hussy if there ever was one but darling- and of course there are Bunny and Buck the black bob-tailed cat and if you could but see our base-burner-stove.  If you have a copy of the Dec? Better Homes and Gardens there is a picture of one almost exactly like ours- on page 15- and we have the chair and the album- and even the slippers.

I'm looking already for signs of spring- hoping that I will see some courageous green tip in my white garden- Gunther came down in the fall and planted a lot of white flowering bulbs and it will not be long before they will replace the snow.
But I must stop- I had nearly a thousand cards so many with messages so personal I must try to answer them so my time is full.

Thanks again for the cards- the recipe and my fond love to your mother- I hope the card does not come too late- and that you will keep the little prayer till next Christmas Eve.


NOTE:  This letter was recently found in a library book by a gentleman who graciously mailed it to me upon finding this blog online.  SW 12/4/2011

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