LETTERS FROM MONA – part 26 – June 2 – June 17, 1914

June 2, 1914

Tonight, I hiked across the road and up a little hill to my favorite spot to go on summer evenings when I can spare the time. It’s a big old rock I started calling my pet rock when I was a little girl and Mama and I would go there. It’s the perfect shape to sit and enjoy the view. The prairie isn’t all flat like a lot of folks think at least not here in the Bear Lodge Mountains. Here the land slopes and rolls gentle-like until it bumps into the tree covered Black hills.

Last night’s sunset was spectacular. As the sun set behind the mountains the sky filled with yellow, reds and purples. Grazing on the nearby hills I must have counted 40 antelope and deer. So many rabbits were hopping around too. I’d sure like to catch the ones responsible for eating some of my garden.

I got up to scurry back down the hill as the sky began to darken and the meadow larks sang their last sweet song. Once back in view of the house I saw Hazel sitting alone on the porch hugging her knees.  I joined her and together we watched the moon rise and the sky fill with twinkling stars. It was so beautiful it moved us to start singing a bad rendition of, “Home On The Range.”

It’s evenings like last night that make me glad I’m a Wyoming girl if only my logger was beside me. And yes, I do mean logger, not a cowboy.   


June 4, 1914

Dear Diary,

Today is Daniel’s 11th birthday. Mama had me make his favorite sour cream chocolate cake. The heavenly smell of chocolate baking drifting out the door to where I sit writing, is enough to drive me wild. When it cools I will make a rich vanilla cream frosting to go on top. My mouth is watering now as I think of tasting it. Can you tell it’s one of my favorites, too?

Mama is out in the yard plucking a chicken. Yes, another favorite of mine, we will have chicken and dumplings for our supper. After supper a few of the neighbors promised to come over and help us celebrate. And on our last visit to Aladdin we got some lemons so we will have lemonade to go with the cake.  

Hazel and I pooled our money together and bought Daniel a new baseball as his old one got lost. Mama and Papa got him a baseball mitt and we already have a bat. He won’t get to open them until after supper. I guess we all spoil him a bit but he is the baby of the family. Right now, he and Hazel are still at school.


June 5, 1914

Dear Diary,

We had a nice little crowd at the house last night and it was nearly 11 before everyone left. The folks exclaimed about how good my cake was and one of the neighbors brought warm cinnamon buns and a batch of her famous oatmeal cookies so there were plenty of goodies to go around.

Most of the menfolk went out in the yard for a game of baseball so Daniel could break in his new mitt. You should have seen him when they finished, his red hair sticking up every which way and smiling from ear to ear. I guess you could say his new mitt was a homerun.

I was up early as usual this morning so I am kind of tired but must get to work on my garden. It’s a real chore to keep it weeded but I’ll have a nice crop if I succeed in keeping those pesky rabbits out. I’ve had to reseed a few things because of them and I do hope we have enough rain to keep it all growing, too. I tell you being a farmer is not an easy business.

Papa is still so busy with farming both here and in Donald. There are no hired hands to be found anywhere around here. When Mama can spare me, I try to go out and help him the best I can which means I have very little spare time. I guess it’s just as well as it keeps me from thinking of you know who quite so much. Except, it also keeps me from studying and that’s not so good.


June 10, 1914

Dear Diary,

I just got a letter from Roy and I’m some worried. He was writing because he had the day off due to a sore arm but he didn’t say what was wrong with it. He just got over that bad infection in his arm so I’m afraid it might have come back. Logging is such dangerous business almost anything could have happened. Hopefully it’s just a pulled muscle or something simple like that and he’s already back to normal as I write these words. Still I’m going to fret over it until I hear he is well.

Lida sent me a box of the loveliest rose petals. The sweet scent was intoxicating as I opened the box. Vera called me a bit ago she said she could come over and we could talk while I work on making some more beads.

June 14, 1914

Dear Diary,

Well today was the day Miss Kendall and I held our first young people’s meeting. Let me tell you I was some nervous about it but I guess it turned out all right. Yesterday we carried buckets of water and a broom over to the Mona schoolhouse and mopped and dusted everything good. We even washed the windows, cleaned the blackboard and polished the stove, so everything looked very nice. We made lemonade with the lemons Miss Kendall ordered up from Belle Fourche. We also took up plates and glasses for around 20.

Both of us made cakes. I put some pink coloring Mama bought from the Watkins man in mine and it turned the batter a lovely pink color. But when we cut into the cake we found the color has sunk to the bottom. So instead of being pink it was red on the bottom and white on top. I felt my cheeks turn red as the bottom of that cake, I was so aghast, but it tasted fine and everyone loved it and thought I’d done it on purpose.

We had a pretty good crowd. I think everyone enjoyed themselves but many said they were too busy to commit to coming to regular meetings. On top of that Miss Kendall and Clay Massie announced they are getting married soon. I doubt she will be able to help me with meetings much longer so wonder if we will ever have many.


June 17, 1914

After I did my morning chores for Mama I went out to the fields to help Papa. The hot sun beating down on my poor head made it hurt and now my head aches so bad especially over my left eye. I do hope this isn’t one of those nasty ones that last for days. It hurts so now; I can write no more.    


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