August 1, 1913
I never had a chance to write more yesterday. It was quite a storm we had I barely got the clothes off the line and the cow locked in the barn before the sky let loose with a down pour. I had been hoping for a gentle rain to cool the air off instead I got sheets and sheets of rain, it just kept on going. Poor Deep Creek almost turned into a river. Fortunately, Daniel and Papa were working on high ground yesterday, both came back drenched to the bone. Mama and I spent the rest of the day indoors baking for a dance tomorrow night at the Phillips barn. I’m getting to be a pretty good cook, but I can’t seem to get the knack Mama has with piecrust.
August 5, 1913
The Raleigh’s man dropped by yesterday with his wagon. Mama had him come in and offered him some coffee and biscuits left over from breakfast. It’s always nice to hear of the news he carries. He talked Mama into buying a new elixir guaranteed to help with her headaches. I hope it does because the other remedies sure don’t work.
August 10, 1913
Last night after we finished helping Mama do the dishes, Hazel and I set off to climb the hill behind us in search of choke cherries. The berries weren’t quite ripe, but we went ahead and climbed to the top of one of the higher hills anyway. And oh my, the sight nearly took my breath away. The sun was just setting over the Devils Tower and against the deep blue of the darkening sky it looked afire. How I wish I could’ve shared the moment with Roy for Hazel was not in the least bit impressed.
Someday I am going to go see it up close. I hear some folks even like to climb it. Oh, wouldn’t that make Mama and Papa sputter if I said I wanted to give that a try.
We saw several antelope and deer out munching on the prairie grass as we scampered back down the hill arriving home just as darkness was setting in.
August 12, 1913
The choke cherries are dangling nice and plump, a dark red, almost black from the trees now. Hazel and I have been picking like crazy. It’s been so hot lately that they are ripe a bit earlier than usual.
The tooth that has been bothering me some off and on for a while now seems to be getting worse. Don’t know when I will be able to see a dentist, so I hope the ache goes away for it is annoying.
August 14, 1913
Right now, I am sitting out in the yard hoping to catch a breath of fresh air. It’s so hot.
Mama and I have been making jelly out of all the chokeberries Hazel and I picked and oh my what a hot job it is. First, we must rinse them in cold water. Then the cherries need to be boiled in our big kettle, stirring over the hot stove all the while to be sure they don’t scorch. Then it must all be strained through cheese cloth and then put the juices back into the kettle and boiled again with sugar added and stirring again all the while. Only when you can lift a spoon a foot over the kettle and 2 big drops slide together to form a sheet that hangs from the edge of a spoon can you take it off the heat. Then you must quickly skim the foam and pour the jelly immediately into hot jars and pack them almost to the top and seal with lids. Then the jars need to be boiled again for 6 minutes. All that boiling and steaming sure makes one extra hot, but it will be worth it this winter for sure.
My tooth still aches some.
August 15, 1913
Mama took one of our fresh made jars of jelly and set it out with our breakfast this morning. Oh my, it sure tasted good on our griddle cakes. Today I need to work on my garden and chop the weeds out. I don’t see why they are so determined to grow when nothing else wants to in this hot dry weather. If we don’t get rain soon, I am going to have to haul water for my thirsty plants. It hasn’t rained since the 1st and that was too much, too fast, it all ran away.
August 16, 1913
Our new neighbors the Durretts came over to introduce themselves. They live about 1/2 mile from us. And my I was so happy to meet them for they have a daughter close to my age. Her name is Vera and I do believe we will be good friends. I aim to go over to their place as soon as Mama and I aren’t so busy with the canning. Seems like this time of year there is always more to do than hours in the day.
My, our grains of oats, hay and rye looks so nice blowing in the wind. Mama and I are even busier for threshing has begun. There is lots of cooking, baking and preparing to do for our turn with the crew. Wish my tooth didn’t still ache so.
Aug 17, 1913
Well Roy I received your letter last mail day and was very glad to hear from you. I am pretty well except the toothach I have most of the time. I have it so bad I can hardly write and I don’t sopose you can read this at all, but if you can’t bring it back and I’ll tell you all and then some, ha, ha.
Well every thing is pretty dry here. We have don’t have much rain any more and it is so awful warm too. All the way from 96 to 107. My garden looks pretty dry but I have had quite a lot of tomatoes and corn, cabbage and nice potatoes. I carry quite a lot of water or it would not mounted to very much. That is quite a job too.
Papa has cut his wheat but his oats are not quite ripe enough yet. I don’t know if we will thrash any or not. Not much anyway.
I got a letter from Lillian and Justin too. the first time since in May sometime. If it wasn’t for you I don’t think I would hear very much from there. I can’t see why they are so mean about writing but I can always depend on your letters. So I always know when I will get a letter and you don’t disappoint me either.
Hazel and Daniel have gone to our nearest neighbors and papa is milking and mama has an awful headache. Do you see your folks very often.
I am sorry your berries were not as good as you thot, but that was pretty good.
Aunt Sadie is staying home for a few days. I saw her Friday. I have a very nice chum tho now her name is Vera Durett. She is a nice girl, only lives a half mile from here. If it wasn’t for her I don’t think I could stand it at all. I expect tho she will so like all the rest of my chums done get married the first thing I know.
We have quite a few pretty flowers here in this front yard. There are quite a few rattlesnakes this year.
Where in Montana are you going?
It would be fine, but it is a long time until Christmas don’t you think? I do.
Well Roy I will close as it is so dark and I am writing on the porch so hoping to hear from you very soon.
I am as ever,
August 23, 1913
My sunflowers are blooming now and my if they don’t look cheerful out in my garden. I wonder what Roy would say if he could see me out there with my sunbonnet atop my head. Would he think me beautiful as he did out in his berry patch?
We had to get rid of several rattlesnakes hanging out in our yard this week. Even I chopped the head of one hanging out in my garden patch. I am getting to be the brave one, aren’t I. I must remember to wear my boots though when I am outdoors for now.
August 30, 1913
Roy mentioned moving to Montana again in his last letter, maybe taking up a homestead there. So, I finally got up the nerve to ask Mama and Papa if it would be all right to invite him to come for a visit over the holidays. Then he could check on the land in Montana on his way home.
I am delighted to say they said yes. I thought maybe they were getting use to the idea of us being a couple. Later though I heard Papa say maybe if he was around a bit more, I’d get over my infatuation and start letting the young men around here court me. I can assure you it won’t work, there is no one around here I am the least bit interested in. I am going to write a letter right now inviting him. I am sure he will say yes. I am so excited, if only December wasn’t such a long way off.
I love reading these! The portion about Devil’s Tower is especially exciting. Imagine having that almost in your backyard!
Kathy Carter Stoltz
Thanks Kathy, Even though that tower isn’t that far away it is only visible from high points and it is far enough away that it doesn’t seem that big. But remember I have Mt. Rainer in my backyard. Ha, ha.