March 19, 1913
I am exhausted this afternoon. We had a surprise party for Mama’s birthday last night. Oh my, so many people came, so much storytelling and laughing. Papa teased Mama about he used to wheel her around in her baby carriage and vowed he’d marry her one day. Mama swatted him and said he was lucky she ever agreed to be his wife. And of course, there were the many stories everyone in these parts have about the hardships they faced when they first got here to Crook county. It was the wee hours of the morning before folks left.
I think Mama wishes I would be more social; I have gotten rather quiet since our return from Washington. I know the other young people are going to dances and parties, but I just can’t bring myself to join them right now.
The days pass so slowly. And I worry about Roy. His last letter said he’d soon be returning to the logging camps and I know how dangerous those places can be.
March 22, 1913
At last spring has arrived. How wonderful it is to be able to roam again in the warm sunshine. At dawn I went out to fetch a pail of water. The sun was rising and what a glory of nature was before me. Meadowlarks were flying from dewdrops to dewdrops while jack rabbits loped beside the path. Everywhere there are hints of green popping out and before long everything will be in bloom.
I intend to plant a garden this spring. Not only will it give me something of my own to do but I am hoping I will have enough to sell to the miners in Aladdin and show Mama and Papa how mature I have become.
March 23, 1913
I had a letter from Amber Henry this week. She says all is well in Puyallup and asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding this summer. Seems she and Ode are planning on tying the knot. Oh, how I’d love to go. I read the letter aloud to Mama and Papa and suggested I see if one of the aunts might accompany me out. We’d have plenty of places to stay there.
Hazel said please, please let us both go. But Mama and Papa said it was out of the question as Mama would be needing our help with the canning and garden then.
I guess Roy would be up logging in the mountains anyway but maybe he would make it home for the wedding if he knew I was going to be there.
March 24, 1913
There is a dance at McDonalds. I suppose we will go but I don’t care a great deal about it. I wish you would go too.
No I haven’t heard from Justin or Lillian for a long time. I don’t see why they don’t write. I hear they are not going to Canada. It would be nice if they moved up there to Nagram for you.
I am sorry your Mother and father are going away. My it will be hard for you. Maybe they won’t stay so long as they think for I don’t think I would like it there as well as Wash. But maybe they will. I hear Amber and Ode will be married in Aug. sometime I don’t know just when. Hazel got your card and seems pleased to get it. I wish you were here to go to church tomorrow I have kept my lessons up in the Bible and I think quite a bit a head. Well I must close and get busy again now. Write if I don’t.
Best regards, as ever,
March 25, 1913
I just finished by morning chores and there is nothing that needs doing until the bread dough rises. I am so tired as we didn’t get home from the dance at MacDonald’s barn until 5:00 A.M.
Mama is napping, perhaps I’ll find time for one this afternoon. It was a fun crowd except I’d really rather not have gone. Not that I had a choice wherever the family goes, I go.
It was nice to catch up with all the family and friends though. We haven’t seen much of some of them since we returned from Washington. I was relieved to hear my Uncle say cousin Justin isn’t going to Canada after all. I don’t have to tell you why; I want to keep all my Puyallup connections.
I am a little worried though, I didn’t get a letter from Roy this week but Hazel got a card. I try to tell myself it’s just that he is trying to show he is interested in friendship with our whole family so gradually they may come to accept our relationship but still I worry that maybe he is losing interest in me. Hopefully I’ll get a letter next week.
I really enjoyed reading this. Mae’s voice carries through from the letters to the diary entries as does the story. Looking forward to next installment.
This is so exciting and wonderful! Diaries and letters are our best history.