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Mary à sa mère, 26 mars 1944.
Mary à sa mère, 26 mars 1944.
Yukon Archives: 91/112 f. 6, MSS 365
Instabilité et incertitude

Easter Greetings to “840”

and a Thousand Good Wishes

Sunday Afternoon

March 26, 1944

Dearest Mamma

This is a nice bright day and my first waking thought was about writing this letter which I have owed you for so long. It is now nearly 4 P.M. – but with luck I should be able to get it finished.

The house has been fairly quiet today – the “men folks” have been out since mid-morning – all except the Thorpes. They are the young married couple who have been living here for the past two months. They usually are late in on a Saturday night – so they are around on Sunday from about 11 o'clock on. It always makes me rather nervous – as Sunday is the only day Claude has “off” – and it would be so nice if we could have our quarters to ourselves on that day for the relaxation we both need.

However – I went to Church and walked home with Gordon Lee (an old Mayo friend) – who dropped in to chat with Claude on his way home.

Then we had a cup of tea – Claude went out for a walk across the river – and I was just washing up the tea things when Mrs. Wise (the housekeeper) arrived with her child. After they left I was already to start again with this – when the Thorpes came in again. We've been sitting talking – for the past half hour or so and I suppose Claude will be back now – hungry for a big dinner after his outing. So there really isn't very much free time – even on a quiet day.

Yesterday Mrs. Thorpe's (Evelyn) husband was out to a stag dinner, so we had her here – and then she and I went to the early evening show. On our return I had cake and sandwiches for the “family” and enjoyed it – but there are no conversations [?] here much – we have to sit around in the kitchen – and it is always so late by the time everything is put away. I don't like to stack dishes here – ever – as is sometimes common in a private home.

Speaking of private homes – I certainly had a “jolt” – a week or so ago – on that subject.

You know – when we were first offered quarters here in this house – the “boss” here in Whitehorse said that it was the only thing available at that time – but that we would be in line for the first opening for a White Pass house of our own – So even though things here weren't as I expected – yet, we couldn't reasonably make an fuss about it – so long as there was no opening for a change.

But a couple of weeks ago – Claude came home with the news that the White Pass were building a couple of new homes for employees. One was for some important foreman, who is bringing his wife in – and the other was a question mark. Naturally, my hopes began to go up – definitely – after what we'd been told – though the prospect seemed too good to be true – that the place would be for us.

A few days after this news – I met one of the White Pass “wives” who greeted me with “Oh, I hear you a getting a house !!”

Of course I was in the “seventh heaven” – and asked her how she knew. She said her husband was in the Commissary – and knew all about it – that he'd seen the plans and everything.

Well, a few more days passed – and I was “itching” to hear something official about it – but there was a strange silence – and I began to feel that if that had been the original plan – something must have happened to change it – or we should have been told.

During this time (just after I'd heard that we were to have a place) – Mr. Rogers – the very top boss – (above Mr. Gordon – the chap who is in charge here – and the one who promised us the first chance) – flew in from his home in Vancouver – and was there at the office for a few days on business.

So I told Claude I thought he'd better make some inquiries – that if the White Pass were doing some building for employees coming in after us – that he'd better say something – while the big “boss” was here, or we might get squeezed out.

So he did and came home with the (to me) disappointing and upsetting news that the Thorpes (our couple here) – had pounced on Mr. Rogers, at the moment of his arrival – and kept after him about the new house until he finally extracted a promise from him, that they could have it. All this went on, unknown to us – it never occurred to us to go begging after what we'd been promised – and they still (the Thorpes) – haven't said a word to us about it – nor have we told them what we know.

It doesn't make for a very happy feeling with me – even though I like the Thorpes personally. Their presence here has certainly made a world of difference for our privacy and comfort – and they simply shoved themselves in – and we still go on trying to accommodate ourselves to them – and since I feel that it is so definitely unfair – I can't quite have the feeling toward them which I would normally or naturally.

So there you are – I guess that's about all the troubles I shall enumerate at present. Maybe some day, it will be my turn to write some really cheerful news – I hope so.

I've had two such wonderful letters from home, since I last wrote – one from you, dear, and one from Anna. They were so sympathetic and understanding – that I shall never be able to thank you as you deserve. They helped me so much – and I do really think I am feeling a bit calmer and better.

Tell Anna that I'll write her next – and wish it could have been sooner – to both of you. I've owed you a letter for a very long time, Mama dear.

Tell Anna that I am looking eagerly forward to the book she was so dear as to send – but that it has not arrived yet. Her suggestions were all good – but I do not think the medical care, which would be helpful I know, is available here. Neither do I think that Claude and I shall ever be able to see our present situation in quite the same light. To me – that is most upsetting of all – and it has happened all too often – through the years, I am afraid. However – maybe it is better in the final analysis – if we don't always see things the same way – but in matters of personal importance – I should think it would be such a help to have some one who really understands.

Mrs. Thorpe had some daffodils sent from Victoria this week – and they came through very well. She got me some of them and I've been simply feasting on the sight of them – ever since. The first “daffys” are such a thrill up here. Some one in Vancouver wrote me a few days ago – and I was amazed to hear how far advanced the spring season is, out there – even at this early date.

We haven't even started any seeds yet – let alone have flowering bulbs and shrubs! By the way – Mama – I wonder is you could please send me a few pansy seeds? I know it is nerve to ask – but they just don't have any here – and I should so like to try to few a few. Just a few (¼ teas.) – would be enough. You'd better not send them air mail – with the price of postage! I really think you should cut out some of the air mail stamps to us, now, dear – even though it hurts to say so – because I think the new price is too much !

Claude has just returned from his walk. He says it is quite chilly – but he saw his first snow birds , anyway – which is a thrilling sign of spring.

Claude has bought himself a mimeograph machine. It is an enormous thing – and quite expensive, I believe. He thinks he will have an opportunity to do some work on it here, for the office – which may enable him to make what he spent on it, anyway. I hope he can – for otherwise it would be a horrendous “white elephant” for us to pack around. I'm so sick of having junky things which are so hard to pack when we move. However – I'm glad to see him take an interest in something. There is so little of that kind of thing for him here – even when he does have a bit of spare time. I guess I shall soon have to get him to mimeograph me a form letter to send around to all our friends – just to let them know that we are still alive – though I don't know if that would help or hinder my correspondence situation. It might prove “the last straw” to those I have so badly failed.

Helen Herr wrote me the exciting news about their new little girl. I am so glad to learn that she has arrived, and that both are fine and well. It was dear of her to write me. She said you had written her Mother, and I gather, by the way she spoke, that you tried to explain why I can't seem to write, as I should. Thanks a lot, Mumsie. That helped – and maybe I shall be able to do better on my own account, soon.

Flossie K.'s engagement was a surprise – I thought she had decided to join up in one of the Services – but I guess if she couldn't manage it – this event will go a long way to helping her over any disappointment she may have had. Please tell her I was happy to hear the news and wish her the best of luck and happiness. I do so hope Aunt Ida Kruder is improving. They are such a grand family – I don't like to think of them having so many worries.

Your letter was just full of interesting news. So, Ruth and Rus[s?] have a boy ! I think that is just lovely ! I can scarcely believe that little Susan is four yrs. old – and to think that I have never seen her – or any of Kitty's children – I certainly shall have lots of new acquaintances to make, next time I hit old Lancaster !

I think you have done very well to have made three of those beautiful Mallard chair [?] sets, Mama. When I only knew of mine – I thought it a great accomplishment – but three ! I don't see how you do it all. I am not using mine now – but they certainly were admired in Vancouver and I loved them. I hope it won't be so long before I shall be able to get them out again – for it seems more like home with your things around. Your sampler is on the bed-room wall though – and your rugs (two of them) on the floor – both happy reminders of you.

Yes – I remember that old name-take [name-tag?] of mine. It seems ages ago. I think I got it when I went to Irons [?] – or in training. Mary Hackman wrote me a sweet Easter card. She says she is taking a Volunteer course at the Hospital. Good for her! I think she is liking it, too. It would have been better, I guess – if I could have started in again, with a course like that, rather than to take the stiff plunge I did in Philadelphia . I have never really regretted that – but I know it was pretty hard on my nerves.

I wrote Mark and Myra on Walter's wedding day – or the day after – and thought about them a lot. It sounded very grand – the preparation, I mean – and I shall be interested to have a description of it. Family weddings are pretty big events, aren't they? Aside from my own – Anna's was the only one I ever attended (excepting J. Kruder's) – and I can remember it all as tho it were yesterday.

I know you are looking forward to Hon's Easter vacation – and I'm sure she is too. I hope you will have a grand time together. Does Anna have ten days off at Easter, too? I hope so.

We are having our Red Cross drive here, now. I have been doing a little canvassing. The returns, I understand , have been quite generous.

Mary Maddocks is on the job selling ice-pool tickets once again – another sure sign of spring.

Thanks for Kate's message – bless her heart! Tell her I send my love back – as well as loads of it to all of you.

We've now had our dinner – Claude is busy with his new “Fizzer”[?] – and just told me to send his best love too.

It isn't very late, so I hope to get another letter written this evening.

So, good bye for now, Mama dear. Many thanks again for your lovely, lovely letter. We both enjoyed it so much.

Best love and Happy Easter to you all – though I shall be writing again – long before that.

The seal on your envelope was so cute!

Love and love

From Mary
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