Florence Torgeson

1 September 2006


I am making notations or explanations here and there to add a little more meaning to the context of some portions. Also, I am beginning to highlight portions that dealt with her earlier life. At this time, Florence and Walter Hahn were living in their home in Topeka, Kansas. Tom Hahn

Fortunately, I found a few letters from them in 1950 while I was on duty in the Mediterranean on the staff of the Commander of the Sixth Fleet. Unfortunately, I did not keep any of their earlier letters.

Tues Eve May 23 [1950] Handwritten
Dear Tommy  You letter today telling about your dinner with the family in Lisbon, you certainly get around. Hazel [Wilcox, neighbor in back] was over when the mail came and I read it to her.
     Ed [Wilcox] cut his leg on the power mower, above his knee and has had quite a time with it xray showed a piece of bone broken off, but it is healing alright he walks with a cane, he isnt used to being tied down and is hard on him.
     The Lake we went to Sun with Les [Beckman] you would have enjoyed, a good sized one for a private one, took quite a walk to get around it. Gladys caught the first good sized one, then dad caught all but 3 out of 11, so they cleaned a nice little mess. We cleaned them at Less['s] and left them there, think some night we will fix supper together. I sat around while they fished and spotted different kinds of birds, and several didnt know what they were and havent had time to look them up.t
     Sun. morn when we were at breakfast, a scarlet tanager was looking right in at us from the maple tree.

We have just come home from Mt. Hope cemetary, our peonies were so pretty so instead of keeping them in refrigerator until next Tues Decoration Day we went out this eve around 6.30 and it is just beautiful out there has just been mowed, and the birds there were plentiful. So many red wing black birds meadow larks & quail. and a little brown bird that was too far to tell but had such a big voice.
     Ive been taking down wall paper from breakfast room and it is just like looking through a memory book, was so interesting I didnt mind the work. Some of the writings went back to -31 - some 36 but most of them -41. [Our neighbors also came over and signed their names or whatever.]
1936 - By T. F. H.

There was a man named Walt.
He wasnt worth his salt.
He had no money,
But plenty of hone,
This funny old man named Walt

1936 By W. F. H.
There was a little boy and his name was Tom
He was the boy who slept with his Mom
He has a grey kitty which is nice and fat
Now Im telling you boys,
That is some cat.

Then in April 41 tells where you are doing a lot of tearing off paper and said I was just . . . [remainder of letter missing]

1 June 1950 Handwritten.
[First part of letter missing]
. . . The Strawberry crop isnt going to be very good this year, had been rain when they were ripening so they are rotting and water soaked. Dad hadnt planned on picking anyway this year, too many other things to do. I would like to have one shortcake anyway this year. Remember the ones we had last year.
     Yesterday seemed a busy Decoration [Day] in our neighborhood, men mowing yards and women washing. Dad and I rested a while in the afternoon then went out to Gage Park to see what was going on, very few in swimming, some picnickers, people milling around, made us so lo and longing for the old days when the Hahn families got together and had picnics and we had a lot of them when you kids were little, the grandmas and grandpas and all went, we talked about them so much we didnt want to stay longer so we went to town had a light supper and watched people then home to bed. . . . With Much Love Mother

Thurs June 15 [1950] Handwritten. s
Dear Tommy have been over to the big house for two nights and 1 day. [Florence babysat for the Clevenger's in Topeka for several years. Mr. Clevenger was a banker there. I later years the youngest [?], Bill Clevenger. would pick her up in his convertible. At that time she acted more like a housekeeper than a baby sitter.] So much activity going on, six young fellows working on the yard getting it all smoothed down for sod. This yard is a good half block long big and maybe more. these boys are around 20 years old working on it and they have so much fun. some work with their shirts off and have a deep tan as last few days the sun has been bearing down. Then a man was here all day scrubbing and waxing the large brick screened in porch  and the laundress was here all day. The cook had her day off that was why I was here. I fixed the 3 boys a tray and they ate out on the porch, a dining table and chairs out there, but somehow they are as appreciative of things like that as you were, just take it for granted.
     Had Grandma T[orgeson] over Wed all day, so asked Minnie and her mother for lunch.
     The Corbys had a little trouble the other day she always calls me and tells me such things, this way, David and a little neighbor girl ran off in the evening and went in a back yard, had Davids dog with them, they opened a chicken pen and the dog killed four, the people werent home. Dave ran home and told his folks and they went to see what it was all about, left a note on the pen and told them their address would try to do what was right in way of payment. Corby told Becky he wouldnt be surprised if it didnt cost them $4 or $5, and imagine their surprise when the lady called up the next morning and said were prize (blue ribbon stock) and worth $55, havent heard how it came out as I came over here and she wont call until I get home, however Dave got a very hard spanking from his Dad which upset Becky terribly as she is so gentle, and had me all teary too,, but now it seems that if folks woudnt get so upset over things they would work out alright, makes a difference whether one is a looker or a culprits parent.
Friday Afternoon. Back to our little house  and it looks good to me, and can see the neighbors around, the big house has a high brick wall around it. Was a year ago we all came home from our Texas trip.
Sat eve. Had to quit yesterday, on this letter I mean as  a car honked in our drive way and it was the Marshalls. (Bill, his wife, Colleen, and daughter Mary Jo had lived in the house to the south of Florence and Walter before they moved to Frankfort, Kansas.] Bills sister told me last week they were coming so I wasnt surprised, they had just gotten in the night before so it was 4 oclock and I asked if they would stay for supper and they said would like that so Bill went down town and Colleen and Mary Jo went around to see the neighbors and gave me time to collect my senses about what to fix. Dad came home and he and I worked fast taking a bath, getting things out in yard for supper outdoors, asked Ed & Hazel over too. [The Wilcox's were their neighbors in back, on Wayne Street.]

Walt Hahn and Doll Susie and May Jo Marshall, daughter of next-door Neighbor's, Bill and Colleen Marshall in June 1950. This photo was probably taken at the time of the Marshall's visit. (Hahn Collection)

     We had chicken on hand and I fried a platter of it, cooked potatoes & gravy. a big tossed salad. ice tea and pineapple & bananas cut up together. all ate so hearty, fried chicken was a treat to the Marshalls, also the bananas, said they got the small ones there and they had no flavor, they ate bread and jam heartily also. After supper we carried the dishes in and all went over to Smiths [former neighbors and friends] as they are leaving today for Minn. on vacation. We all sat on porch steps and Colleen laughs just as loud and hearty as ever in fact seemed lie it was last week they left as they hadnt changed one but except Mary Jo, she is 10 yrs and looks like a 12 yr old, has very nice manners and sometimes seems older but when she got with the Smith boys she romped like a little girl.
     Bob [Smith] sent the kids aroud the corner where the church was having an icecream social and they brought back ice cream on paper plates for us all, it got a little soupy but we laughed and had so much fun we didn't mind it.
     The Smiths borrowed Eds little trailer you remember the one that folds down and hey intend to sleep in it . . .[The remainder of the letter is missing.]

Tuesday Eve [About 28 August 1950] Handwritten. s
Dearest Tommy. You have been on our minds constantly the past few days and the thought of you such a comfort as Grandma Hahn has left , she has been unconscious since the [her] fall. I wrote you about and now they think it must have been a stroke before she fell out of bed as she never never her bed after she got home fro hospital. We found a good practical nurse for her for daytime and she was no care at night. Dad and I were over Sun. afternoon and we knew she wouldn't be here much longer, but didnt know the end was so close. We came home and about an hour later she was gone. No hard struggle at all.
     So yesterday morn (Mon) Ed [Hahn] & Marie (Jenkins) Hahn] went over early. Sent Marie Ed & Marg[aret] [(Hahn) Walter) to the mortuary to take care of things there, then they came home we made calls to the K.C. folks and then we fixed some lunch and then tore into the work and there was plenty to do. The garage hadnt been cleaned out since Grandpa H left [1934]. We dug out there and whenever anyone didnt want anything they threw it in there. Then we had to burn practically everything in Grandmas room mattress, pillows, clothing as they were full of sickness so we carried baskets all afternoon out to burn. She had very little of anything of value but I think I have something for you which you will appreciate (you dont have to take it if you dont want to) but is an old bible a large one such a nice heavy cover, I believe its 1885 or 95, a Holman bible.
     I picked out a tureen that is a large china vegetable dish with a lid on it, so pretty, Margaret had junked it out in the garage when she moved in, and they yesterday dumped it in with other stuff in a basket and when I saw it, was excited about it so I set it against the garage, and later on one of the fellows piled some lumber against the garage and a board fell against the dish and broke it in a hundred pieces, after all the rough care it had then when I was so tender with it something had to happen so.
     We came home around six weary and blue and there was a box full of mail from you 3 letters Aug. 15-19-22 and a newspaper, were our spirits lifted. We didn't read them at once but took a bath as were so very dirty and dressed and went to town to eat to get away from phone etc., so we took your letters, sat in a booth at the Kansas [Hotel] and read them aloud, they were so very interesting. I could hardly sleep thinking about things you wrote. The Damascus trip so interesting have just finished reading aloud Acts 9, had forgotten the part about Paul being lowered in a basket. and we marveled at the way you remember so many things like the tapestry of Granma T's. So that is a typical scene now isnt it?
     We took your letters over today for Uncle Paul [the brother of Christian Hahn, Walt Hahn's father] to read he is quite a reader and enjoys travel, he enjoyed them very much, he also thought it odd about about the head of John the Baptist encrypted in the Moslem Mosque. Uncle Paul, Uncle Gus Aunt Nellie [Christian Hahn's brother and wife] and Aunt Louise (she is Dad Hahn's sister has lived in Calif. and is now living with Edith in KC). They all came with Ray [Hahn, Gus Hahn's son. This Aunt Louise was here when you were a little by around 1 1/2 or 2 yrs. You still had your thumbs tied up, she felt so sorry for you. My mother tried to follow the "current" theories of raising a child. If you see me sucking my thumb, I am just playing catch-up. Tom] So it has been 22 yrs since she was here. She is a frail little old lady. She was born in 1866, so she would have been about 84.] We took your large frame picture over to show her, and we had it setting up on the colonnade all afternoon so you were there.
     We fixed a light buffet meal of sliced cooked ham, cheese, potato chips, pickles, white grapes, coffee, ice tea. Hazel [Wilcox and her husband, Ed Wilcox, neighbor back of Florence and Walter] brot 2 luscious pies to take over, so the K.C. folks didnt come like we thought for noon meal, but all our family were there the Corbys [Harry, Becky, Dave, Rick], Dorothy [(McCollister) Miller]. all of Ed's [Ed Hahn, Marie, Patty] (Barbara & Sammy were in Jamestown [New York, Myrtle (Hahn) McCollister, Mattie Hahn's daughter,  came back [from where?], Marty [(Beckman) Kilkenny) came up [from Ponca City, Oklahoma. They were panning to come this weekend so she came on train ahead of time, After the funeral they all came back to house (grandmas) and we had coffee, and the same from noon whoever was hungry, the DeFrieses from the farm where you went one time were here [but I don't remember having done that. They were from Mattie (DeFries) Hahn's family.], one of the Kirby sisters where we used to have the reunion [Grinter House in Kansas City, Kansas] was here and she told us about the time you were on the porch railing on upstairs porch and they were afraid you would fall (werent those reunions fun?)
     The neighbors on High Street sent a gorgeous bouquet, very large, all white gladiolus and red roses, then the Bone Head Club sent a very lovely container of yellow mums, asters, and pink glads, Jo & Gladys [Florence's sister and husband, Joe White, of Topeka] a nice bouquet, the Wilcoxs, Palmers and Smiths [neighbors and former neighbors] a bouquet, there were other lovely flowers from friends of the other folks also. The service very simple and plain, a small crowd as grandma had been out of touch for so long with folks. Some of our neighbors, the boneheads and folks from Trinity [Methodist Episcopal Church] was the crowd. Dad & I feel so grateful to our good friends and neighbors. I brought some flowers home and took them to Mrs. Diehls [neighbor fourth house to the north]. . . . [Portion of letter missing.]  Obituary enclosed:

Mrs C. F. Hahn Mrs. Mattie F. Hahn 83, of 629 West 17th died at her home Sunday. She has lived in Topeka the past 30 years [having moved from White City, Morris County, Kansas]. Her husband, C. F. Hahn, died 16 years ago She was a member of Trinity Methodist Church.

Survivors include, two daughters, Mrs. G. T. McCollister of Topeka, and Mrs. Margaret Walter of the home; and two sons, Walter F. Hahn and Ed O. Hahn, both of Topeka.

Note Six Cent Airmail Rate in 1950 (Hahn Collection)

[Probably Fall 1960s] Friday Morning. Typewritten.
     My Dear [Sister] Bernice   Tis a cloudy morn and chilly, guess will have to start wearing a winter coat, hear on radio on that you have a snow, we had a light drizzle last night and the walks a little wet this morn and the leaves are all over, trees almost bare.
     Had my Book Club yesterday and eleven came, one couldn't come but one brot her mother, the most we have ever had out and my house is small and they all came but I like to have all come. The mother had broken her hip and was using a walker so we had to help her some, had never met her, she was so enthused that I had pie, most old folks like pie. My table was very attractive, had on a yellow table cloth and the center piece was a cornopia filled with vegetables and artificial fruit and setting on pressed leaves. the big sycamore kind and my big turkey by it and kaffir stalks around it and the vegetable boy and a little pheasant, then used paper napkins with fall leaves, and used turkey coasters between the coffee cup and the saucer, had to have a card table for three. We didnt have much of a Book review but just exchanged Christmas ideas etc. My pie turned out so well, made the shells the day before and set in the refrigerator, I think that makes them better and then used the Cherry instant pie filling with the crumb top, bake the pie and filing altogether in a 425 [oven] 30 minutes and then put a small dipper of  vanilla ice cream on top, really doesnt need anything but I  didnt have any candy or nuts so made the dessert extra good for that and coffee is all I had as is a dessert affair. I so enjoy getting ready for something like that and using my head and what have on hand and come up with something nice, all I bought was the coasters as had the paper napkins left over4 from last fall. Here is the topping recipe I used. I have never used this one before but Mrs Shuarts puts out such good things with it so here it is. [I have not included the recipe.]
     Walt is or rather has fixed a loose wire in the well this morn and turned off the electricity on the stove and while at it cleaned out back there. We cant do that often as the stove is too heavy to move so he just now asked if I would like to pay him now or send a bill. [My father had a light, gentle sense of humor.]
     Walt bought a dark winter hat and has anew shirt and new suit and he says he is going to impress them tonight he sure looks nice in his outfit. [May dad always had nice clothes even though he had a small income.]
     Hazel Wilcox [neighbor in back on Wayne Avenue] is so busy getting ready for Florida. She will have all the family home for Thanksgiving and after that Sun will take off, she has her Christmas shopping all done and will leave the gives all wrapped for the families . . .[The remainder of the letter is missing.

Saturday Afternoon [20 September 1965] Handwritten at 67 years old. At this time, Tom lived in at San Miguel. Zambales Province, the Republic of the Philippines. s/mh
     Two letters from you this morn which brightened up the day so much. This is our 45th wedding anniversary, and since this is the night of the neighborhood picnic will not do anything else. I was awake so early and heard the trains and planes and thought
of last year today that was the day we arrived at your place. [Tom and his family at that time lived at Kawailoa Beach, Oahu, Hawaii when Tom was assigned to duty at the Naval Communications Station at Wahiawa.] Was all so exciting and and and our first anniversary are the two [wedding anniversaries] that stand out in my mind.
     The day we were married Louise [Hahn] and Margaret [Hahn]. Both Walter's sister's] went with us to the preachers house in Topeka for the ceremony and when we came home to Grandma [Mattie] Hahn's house I don't remember how we went but do remember coming thru Central Park and I was so thrilled that was going to live in a city with Parks and plumbing. Was a beautiful Sept day but I can't see how I could wear a heavy suit this early. Grandma Hahn had a wedding dinner for us and then the next day we all went to Baldwin [Douglas County, Kansas] and Eds [Walter's brother] and Marie's [Jenkins] wedding. Whenever we mention their wedding all Dad can think of is the salty ham they had for dinner, while I think of the romantic side.

     Think this article [not included] is such a good one and makes me wonder if I didn't goof many times in raising a child. We al think when he grows up then I can live and do things but that isn't so. When you have your family around you is the best time. Here was a 72 yr old negro on a TV program. He had raised 10 children and all went to college and have good positions, and  he has just graduated from High school and now going to college this fall. He was given a check by the sponsor. He never had a good job, just anything he could find to do. but that couple had what it takes to do all that and makes me feel so little.
     That was a nice birthday you had for the Chris [Hahn, Tom's son]. The boys will not forget that experience [whatever it was].
     Will send you some other seed in another letter. The grocery stores were out and got these at the hardware [store]. They had put them away but got out their box. I suppose there are stores -- the seed stores or nurseries that have them all year long. Like to do things for you and now if you need something or want something that would be suitable for a Christmas box let me know. While Christmas is 3 1/2 mo away. You take 5 weeks for getting there and so it isn't so long but keep in mind. Does Chris need the summer variety of PJs and if so, long or short legs and Size 14 now? [Tom and his family lived at San Miguel, Zambales Province, Republic of the Philippines while Tom was stationed at the Naval Communications Station, in charge of Naval Security Group activities in Southeast Asia. He often went to Vietnam on duty. Little did he, or his parents, that his father would soon be diagnosed with cancer and that his mother would break a hip while he was in the Veterans Hospital at Topeka, to the hardship of all as Tom was the only child, far away in the middle of the Vietnam War.]

Sunday Afternoon [22 September 1965] Handwritten. Florence age 65, Walter age 69. Shortly after this, Walt became sick with cancer.  His death record said that he had the disease starting 13 September. rr/s/mh
 Went to church and dad suggested we go out and eat but there was so much food at the picnic last night that I didn't feel like looking at more food so scrambled some eggs and had asparagus and some cantaloupe and that fit the bill.
     The picnic was more of a success than we had expected as last year was almost a flop, but there were 42 there. The trouble was there would have been more but since was Labor Day holiday several were out of town. They asked for volunteers for next year and the Diehls [neighbor's at 1104 High Avenue] and us volunteered so we hope to plan something different and maybe go to a different park. This is the 14th one we have had, the Diehls and us had the first one and have been hosts several times since. The shelter houses are charging a fee now in the summer $2.00 and winter $5.00 but that isn't bad for a crowd. The paper table cloths furnished and gas and all in the winter heat. Each family paid 25c last night for the place. I took 4o cinnamon rolls and the kids sure did gobble them down. Also made a casserole of escalloped potatoes.
     This morn at church they sang "Take Time to be Holy" and I probably have told you before about the time or the first time I ever heard that song and whenever I hear it I still smell peaches. This particular time, was in the fall the first year we were in Topeka [1920] and often Grandma and Grandpa Hahn, Margaret and Louise [Walter Hahn's unmarried sisters] and us would go for a ride. Louise wasn't married until later in the year and was their first year in Topeka, so Sunday afternoons we would get into that Ford of Grandpas and go out on the country roads. Wasn't any traffic on any roads in those days. At one farm house we saw a sign "Peaches for Sale" on the gate down by the road, so we drove up a long lane and there was a peach orchard on one side. The smell was really something and as we got to the house we heard singing -- someone playing the piano and several singing this hymn. So we knocked and said we wanted to buy peaches and they said they didn't sell on Sundays. So I can still smell peaches whenever I hear that song. So this morning my nose got to twitching. We have bowl of peaches and pears on the table now but they don't have that orchard smell. You have never written about the tropical fruits there [the Republic of the Philippines]. Do you get hold of any like the ones in Hawaii?

[Fall 1965] Tuesday Morn at 2:30. Typewritten
 My Dear Son  I feel that the added note I sent off this afternoon wasnt very explicit but I was beside myself and couldnt think straight.
     Dad asked me the first of the week if I wanted to talk to the Dr and I said well you have told me the details so guess that is it but I got to thinking  about it and thought that would contact him today so did and he gave it to me straight, he drew a diagram and where the tumor was and that it was cancerous and that a section of the colon would have to be removed and all depended how much the disease had spread, it was as tho he had run a knife in my stomache but I kept composed and went back and chatted with Dad some more and had to keep calm then also. I asked the doctor if Dad knew and he said yes so that was Dads way of having me find out. I thought that I would never get home [from the Veterans Hospita] at Topeka] so I could break down and as soon as I got in the door the flood gates opened up and have kept up most of the evening and night.
     Dad is so patient and kind and leans on me so much. He said he coudnt write to you as he couldnt put in a letter the things he wanted to write and then he doesnt feel up to it.
     I take you letters out to Dad and he wants me to read them to him and then he will read them again.
     While the thought ran through my mind many times that the ailment might be malignant I wouldnt dwell on it and we are all prone to think, that it couldnt happen to us, but I still have faith and hope that all will turn out alright. They will operate Fri they think, their schedule is full for the week. The waiting is hard and tome will drag. Dad doesnt have any appetite and hasnt for a month or so, things make him feel sickish and when Dad cant eat that is something. He has had enough tests etc to make him upset tho and doctor says now he must eat to get some strength.
     It is a wonderful hospital and everything run so efficient, plenty of help in way of orderlies etc.
     Every one is wonderful to me, offers to take me out to the hospital but some times I like to ride the bus, is a nice part of town and see things and then I can come home with Mrs. Diehl as she works out there and leaves at 4.40. [Mrs. Diehl lived at 1104 High Avenue and Florence live at 1120 High.
     It has rained for days and days. so monotonous but cant tell you anything about rain. [We lived in the Republic of the Philippines.]
     We love to hear about the kids. With Much Love, Mother
     Mae [sister] called this morn and said she would come down if I needed her so may have her come later in the week.

6 November 1965 Sat.  Letter from Neighbor, Zola Snyder. Handwritten
Dear Tommy: I have news & it isn't pleasant so I'll be on with it. Thurs A.M. your mother fell in the back yard & broke her hip. I called Dr. Lawson & an ambulance to her to Stormont-Vail. After several x-rays she was admitted to #315. Dr. Lawson and & & they (your Mother, Dr. L) to call a bone specialist Dr. Krowl. Yesterday (Friday) at 1:00PM they did the surgery. I stayed till she was awake but missed Dr. K so this AM I called Dr. Lawson so I could report to you & Walt. Dr. L. says he doesn't know exactly what they did but here is what he told me. Her condition is excellent. The ball of the ball and socket joint of her left hip was broken off & crushed - this bal was removed & replaced with some kind of hardware (how do you like that expression?) I don't know what they used. Anyway they put in a new ball & fastened it. There is no cast which is good because she will be up much sooner & no crutches. One M.D. told me that she would be walking with a walker in 10 days to 2 weeks.
     She planned to tell you today but asked me to write because she is shaky & nauseated today - these are not uncommon symptoms - she's uncomfortable & in pain some time I'm sure but is getting all the care anyone could give her. This won't last long. Today she looked very good for the first post op day.
    When we found out her hip was broken she asked me to go out and tell Walt. Of course he was shocked & took it hard - he has gotten himself under control & is doing fine. I go out & report each day. Sunday Jess Brown said if Walt is strong enough he would take him to see your mother - this will be good for both of them.
     Tommy your folks have so many friends they won' want for anything. Both you Mother and your Dad have asked me t take care of the few business things for them. I hope you won't think I rushed in & took over - as long as they want me to I'll do those things you would do. Of course we wish you were here but there really isn't any thing you could do but be that sweet son you are & no can can fill that place. f I can do any thing for you or if you want any questions answered I'll be glad to try. Sincerely, Zola Mrs. J. H. Snyder, 1130 High Avenue.

[November 1965] Tues. Handwritten
This has been a big day. got to sit in a wheel chair an hour this morn, an orderly lifted me in and out. [Walt was in the Veteran's Hospital; with cancer when Florence fell and broke her hip. I was living in the Philippines and going to and from Vietnam, being very involved in that war with the units that I had stationed there. Because I was their only child, it was difficult for all. When Florence left the hospital, her sister, Gladys (Torgeson) Murphy White I stayed my mother for a while.]
     I have lots of company, Florence Taggart this afternoon and so many pretty things they bring me, all kinds of paper, stamps. I begged folks not to bring plants but have 3 gorgeous plants of mums, 2 yellows and a bronze one that has a large bunch of artificial grapes.
     I miss Dad to tell him things, but not yet able to phone, when I get home we can use the phone a lot.
     It all seems a dream yet, me here and he at another hospital and I keep dreaming that all will be like in the past. We have had a wonderful, well rounded life together, and then everything went boom. I do send messages back and forth and he writes notes also.

5 September 1977. Handwritten. mh
Dear T & N   Fresher this morn and hazy. Was 57 yrs today Dad and I were married. and this year seems so fresh in my mind, some years the day goes by without thinking about it.      The [wedding] day was a bright quite warm one as I had a new winter suit and a satin blouse so it couldnt be as warm as now, for no one could stand a suit this kind of weather. Louise and Margaret went with us to the ministers study First Meth at eleven oclock and then back to grandma & grandpa Hahns for a nice wedding dinner. Dont remember whether there were any relatives there that day. I came to Topeka a few days before and stayed at the Hahns and I shopped for my clothes.
     The day after our wedding was Marie and Eds at Baldwin. The ones at the Hahn house went in the Ford [to Ed Hahn's wedding in Baldwin] and Dad and I went on an early train to Baldwin. We slept in our own home the first night as had my bedroom furniture from home [White City] shipped here, and there was a kitchen table and a stove. The wedding at Baldwin there were a few guests and Mrs Jenkins, Marie's mother, had dinner for us all, and then we left around 6 o'clock pm for KC for a brief honeymoon. Ed & Marie went too. We had a card fro our White City furniture man at a furniture store there and we were supposed to get a percent off. Whether we did or not, I doubt we did, we were so green, and only furniture we got was a buffet, table and chairs, we couldnt afford any more, so we got a few things at a yard sale in Topeka, a few days later--a wicker settee and chair. We did get a table with the dining room stuff, they called them library tables then, a long narrow table and it stuck out like a sore thumb in that almost bare room, but we were very happy and proud of what we had. I had bought things for my hope chest for two or three years so was well supplied with towels, sheets, etc and got a notice from the bank in W.C. a week after we were married I was overdrawn 67 cents. I never lived that down. Dad thought it was quite a joke and loved telling it, but I also came back that I had a cedar chest and many dollars worth of things for the house, also my suit and hat, and only wore the hat to my wedding and to Baldwin and KC and the next day in KC was raining and it was ruined. It costedding hat cost $18.50 and suit $75.00. Clothes were high then.
    The night before we were married the Hahns were playing the Victrola and the record was, "When you come to the end of a perfect day." Maybe you have never heard it but it was so popular then and I got homesick and left the room and went to a bedroom and cried. Dad came in and I told him I was lonesome and wanted to go home to W. C. but in no time he had me in a different frame of mind, so fall has always been a beautiful time for me as that one was such a lovely one.

   And now this Labor Day am also thinking about later years on that day. We always got Colo peaches, the last ones to be on the market and I made what you called Halloween jam, as had te color of Halloween things, used orange peel, and marashino cherries, and peaches, was a beautiful jam and company jam.
     Havent set a any date yet for coming, waiting for cooler weather. The leaf from Shepherd House is out on easel. With love, Mother                                                  

                                                            * * *

During the next period covering these letters, 1978 - 1988,  Florence Hahn lived in an apartment at 2101 High Avenue, Topeka, Kansas. She had moved there from her home at 1120 High Avenue several years after her husband, Walt Hahn, died in February 1967 at the age of 70, when Florence was 65 at the time. Her son, Tom, had left home in Topeka in 1944 after never returned to lived. He wrote to his parents and then to his mother at least once a week, no matter what the circumstances or where he was. Florence was a good letter writer and she wrote and spoke good English. The letters start when she was about 81. Some of them are typewritten. Florence was not a trained typist, but she could manage a letter on the typewriter. The content of most of the letters is not of great importance, but they reflect the life of a widow, with an only child, who maintained good health and a sound mind and body. At the time these letters were sent to him, Tom and his wife, Nathalie, lived in Shepherdstown, West Virginia at 6 South Church Street.

Because we lived in Shepherdstown, West Virginia and my mother live in Topeka, Kansas, we didn't get to see each other often, but she would visit us and when we could we visited he. Sometimes I went by myself on the bus. Usually, when I/we left, she would have a little lunch or goodies of some kind to take with us. This note was in one of those packages:

Thank you for coming to see me, I shall miss you. Hope your journey is a pleasant one. And I love you Mother

February 1978 Handwritten. Age 80. s
     Tom, I wish could remember more about certain things when I was young like you do. I was thinking about my mother [Margaret Owen] after listening to Dr. Shuler [television televangelist] talking about his mother and her apple pies and about mother doing baking for Grandma & Grandpa T [Taral Torgeson (Thomas Torgeson, Sr.) and Torborg Jonsdatter (Matilda Johnson)] of Norway and sending us ] over with it. We sometimes went alone and sometimes one of the sisters went. as they weren't like other grandparents. [They spoke Norwegian and what little English they knew was taught to them by their children from the English they brought home from school. We were a little timid aroud them and so we waited around a short time a short time there. Grandma would go in the bedroom and get each of us a stick of candy, she kept in a drawer in a sack.
     Then mother would send me to an old couples house, a very small house, don't think it is there any more, and the lady was a small person in a wheel chair, and had rheumatism and her hands were so crippled and the man did the housework. I think I called her grandma and she was easy to visit with. When mother went to see her she often gave mother money to buy me something with. Mother never told me until she got me a present. I don't know whether the money was in little change and mother saved it untie she found the present and one present was a beautiful gold locket and chain. I just loved it, and gave it to Betsy Hahn, her grand-daughter] 2 or 3 years ago. Bought a new chain for it. The locket has always been as bright as when new. Then another time a big doll. I never was much for dolls past the little age stage, but it was a nice one. It is in the tent picture.

Tues morn. Was such a surprise during a commercial to get your call and am glad as that gave me a chance to see the Wilson admn. I had seen about an hour at the start, then decided to watch "The Corn is Green," as she is a good actress. but was disappointed in it so was glad to switch over to "Back Stair" [at the White House], and didn't know it was 3 hr deal, so I want to see them [episodes] all. Now this Wilson admn. was when I started working in the [White City, Kansas] P.O. so was especially interesting to me. [Her father, Thomas Torgeson, was the postmaster, appointed by Wilson, and Florence was the Assistant Post Master. One time was in paper that Wilsons two daughters Margaret and Jessie would be coming through White City on the Rock Island train. so some of we young folks went to the station and they came out on the train platform and waved. They were grown up. Got out my "First Ladies" book and read about Mrs. Taft and Mrs. Wilson. [Florence enjoyed reading and belonged to a book club for many years in Topeka.] So I really had a big evening and was nice to know you were watching too and felt like I was close.
     Had snowed all night a fine snow and supposed to get 4 in but will quit this afternoon. Morning paper full of accidents in night and they warn and ask folks not to get out in cars if not necessary as they get in way of snow plows.
     I was up early and bread is raising. and have a casserole of chicken and rice in pepper halves to put in oven at same time. Also tucked a big potato in as it can be used tomorrow in something. I try to put more thing in oven to save gas. [Florence was a good cook, having learned to cook from her mother and having taken lesson taught by the gas company.] So I have been on the go and is only 8 oclock so I will wash my hair next. [Florence once to Tom that when she was a girl in the winter when it was extremely cold, they kept their hair clean by brushing cornmeal through it.]
     Two calls in night in night on radio for beer bread recipe. They say letting it set for 20 min before baking helps, and I put a piece of foil or brown paper over top so won't get so hard. You probably know that. [Florence in later years was a poor sleeper, so she often listed to a talk radio show in bed at night.]

[Pasted in letter, headline] TIRED OF SHOVELING SNOW?
     Am going to write Betsy today. Haven't done that since Christmas. My days seem so full and am content, and I know the snow creates problems but I can;' do a thing about it so why not enjoy it, and I spend much time watching folks walking by by snow up to their knees. I never read funnys but these [enclosure no longer with the letter] caught my eye and got a chuckle out of both.
     So a lot of Love to all Mother and Grandma. Chris this letter ought to hold you a while, and lots of milk and cookies while you are doing hw [home work?? as you say you like to read letters while you have your snack. [Tom's son. Chris, lived with Tom and his wife, Nathalie, during this year and attended Shepherd College at Shepherdstown, West Virginia.]

[13 July, perhaps 1978] rr/m
     Dear Nat [Tom's wife]   Your letter came today and it made good time as was sent Wed pm, but dont bother if you cant get a letter mailed as you are too far from a Post office [in Maine] to run there every whip stitch. But was glad it came today as it seems to long to wait over the the weekend.
     Sat is either a drag for me or full, somehow I just dont like Sats any more, women that have husbands or work like it the best of all the days.
     Went to a wedding at 10 this morn, our asst preacher got married, he is a young fellow in his 30s and has an office in our church and is over at Washburn [College]  so much counseling or something. He is a rugged lookin fellow and modern etc nothing sissy about him yet is sincere about his religion. The minister had the wedding in his yard, it is across from the campus and has a large house and the yard is emense lots of oak trees and shrubbery and lovely outside so cool and they had stereo or amp and the young fellows had guitars etc and sang songs not like the wedding songs am used to, the Mod love kind. We sat in chairs and a large crowd, so many young folks from our church and from the college also. I went with Jenay's mother, dress and everything simple, no on frets anymore what to wear at a wedding, just what they have, only had a best man and matron of honor and our preacher married them and then after the ceremony we went to the church for a reception, their cake was devil's food instead of the traditional white kind. Before the reception they showed slides of the bride and groom, that was taken the past year, them playing tennis, on picnics etc which I enjoyed. Came home and changed clothes and got a light lunch and started in on the 3rd chair to wash off and buff and Garnette came and wanted me to go to a shopping place so I quick changed into a and went and we were only gone a short while, I did look around for a summer dress went and was there half hour or so, and as we got in the door Jerry brot each of us two cucumbers and said,  "Come in for a glass of ice tea, as she wanted a break from her vacuum cleaning.] I think Jerry was a neighbor in the apartment house.] She had worked down town all morning and part of the afternoon so we then he came in, he loves to have folks around and we said we were celebrating the "Happy Hour" and he said "With ice tea?" Just before I went over there my phone was ringing so answered it and it was an obscene call, very dirty.
     I dont know whether you will get much information from Martha as I wrote two years ago when you were making out some papers and asked about her sisters age or something and she said she didnt know. And you asked about my grandmother Owens, about anything I could tell you and cant think of anything. While she lived to be an old lady, she never told us stories of her life and I cant remember my mother telling anything. When I was young and visited them had a good time. Martha Florence's mother's sister] and I are the same age. She let us do most anything in way of play. They lived 6 miles from us and I would go down to visit them on the train. We girls would play AUTHORS in the evening and we would fix up all kinds of concoctions and put in little patty pans and put in oven or on top of the stove and play house that way. Gladys told me last night that she remembered the day Grandpa [Owen] died, he was found in the barn dead. He had diabetes but I dont remember that, or that he had been sick. Grandma and Martha used to come see us on the train. I think that grandpa worked on the [railway] section. After Grandma became a widow one or two summers I went down to a carnival and we fell for a fellow that took up tickets. He didnt know it but we went home and talked about him. I was probably 13 years old but I do remember their yard there were glorious morning glories growing around the well, and apple trees,, one in particular that had such good eating apples they were called sweet apples and were just that and the inside was so white, they were called pound sweets as they were very large. [An Internet search brings up the statement, "Pound Sweet apple is an old variety that has been a favorite for years. Fruits are large, delightfully sweet. Amber to golden yellow when fully ripe and russeted. Very best baked or canned. Also know as Pumpkin Sweet it originated in 1800's in the apple orchards of S. Lyman of Manchester, Connecticut."]

The house was small, and two rooms upstairs which was steep, but dont remember the furniture or anything about the house but them kitchen, had a cook stove and table, etc. Mother told me that a few days after grandma was married her mother came to see her and grandma was cutting out baby clothes from her wedding dress and her mother said, "Addie are you in the Family Way" and he reply was "Isnt every one after they get married" but Grandma wasnt so soon, as she didnt have a baby for a year or more.
     Mae was the one that loved her grandma. She was 10 yrs older than I so could appreciate her and she used to talk about her a lot but cant remember what. I never hear Martha mention her uncles or aunts, they no doubt lived back east and in those days traveling was nil almost.
   Have finished the third chair setting getting the gummy spots off, no one will notice the difference but me.
     Have the phone on the maple chest on the north side toward kitchen and a kitchen chair beside it, so the office is a store room period right now. With an overflow of company I may go back to it for the typewriter table, etc.
    And I feel for you about your treasures you lost from theft [from the cabin in Maine]. Those are things that cant be replaced. Here is a quotation from a little book you and To sent one time "Memories from days gone by"
New things are good things
And they fill our life with pleasure.
But the old things--those that touch the heart.
They're the ones we'll always treasure.

[Sunday Evening]  Quite a day as I went to church with Ruth and Garnette, they always go to church together and then eat some place afterward and so Connie was out of town so I went with them and a call to Ruth this morning that a couple were coming to see her for which they do often so we all went to church together. We went to the cafeteria downtown. We went to First Presbyterian Church, So after dinner we went out in the Potwin area, it is a lovely old part of town and years ago was the best place in Topeka, the houses are very large and beautiful shrubbery. They were having some sort of a Bi Centennial deal in several yards. It was advertised so we wanted to see what they had but wasnt much, some ceramics, macrame, etc, but was fun looking. This couple were so friendly, he is in the real estate business and I dont know where she works. They have their office in their home and he does well. They were the kind of folks that fit in so well. They have no children. When they brot me home I asked them in to see my home. and they set awhile and couldnt get over how cool it was. We had another cool night and so when I left shut the cool air in and pulled the shades down.
    My new permanent is a pleasure to work with, have only shampooed it once since had it done and when ones hair looks good you are always ready to go unexpectedly, so if keeps on looking nice I will have to go to this shop again and will be so convenient as is the shop right on the bus line and get off at 9th and there it is.
     Ruth is having her nephew come and take her to Califor Santa Ana to her brothers golden wedding. She has  to take her poodle dog and wont fly and put it in the kennels. She went out several years ago and this fellow came after her. He is always out of a job. not always but is a loafer and is in his 30s so she pays him well to make the trip.
     When the folks left as they were going out the door the gal down the hall Jerry came tearing out and said, "Was that the Laws" I know them, they were both raised in Clay Center. Several people in the eat8ng place knew him also.
     When over in the Potwin district the folks noticed the old chimneys on the houses and how odd, they said they looked like chimneys on English houses and he took pictures of three, some had two and three chimneys.
     And TODAY is your BIRTHDAY and I dont know how old you are, fill me in. Hpe that your package arrived in time but the timing at your end [in Maine] when you pick up the mail I cant control.
Mon Morn  Another lovely morn, is supposed to warm up a little but nights will be in the 60s and that will be alright, has been cooler, the mornings are so fresh.
     Dont make your letter writing a task but remember I am having a vacation through your eyes so write all the tidbits that goes on, seen the Bartons yet? [The Bartons were friends in Maine. Much Love Mother

Sept 6 [1976]. Typewritten. mh
     I have been thinking about 56 years ago today. What a good life we had together. We were married on the 5th [of Sep 1920]. Louise [Hahn] and Margaret [Hahn] [--Walter Hahn's sisters] went with Dad and I to the First Methodist Parsonage here [in Topeka, Kansas] at 11am and we went to Grandma Hahn's for our wedding dinner. The next day we went to Baldwin [KS] to Marie [Jenkins] and Ed's [Ed Hahn was Walter's younger brother's] wedding at Mrs. Jenkin's home. [Mrs. Jenkins had previously lived in White City, but she moved to Baldwin to give her daughter, Marie, a home while Marie attended Baker University. Mrs. Jenkins also took in students as boarders.] Avis [Marie's sister] and her new husband [Frank? Sharp] of four months were there. I think about six o'clock we two couples went to Kansas City and we stayed at the same hotel. We went to a furniture store. We had a letter for a discount from the furniture man in White City, so we bought a dining table, buffet, and chairs and we didn't have money for anything else. We were there two nights. I had a new wedding suit which was a fall model and was a warm day and then a rain the first day in KC that ruined my wedding hat.
     It was so nice for us to have our relatives living here [in Topeka] and raising our families together. Les [Beckman] and Louise [Hahn] were married in December, then Myrtle [Walter's older sister] moved here the next year and Ed soon after that so that we were quite a family. The Hahns were wonderful people, good folks and loved their children and we were all very happy. Then my folks came two or three years after we did. Dad was still in the Post Office 2 or 3 yrs after I was married.
     We had such fun on picnics and going to the Fair with our kids and we were all poor together. Dad [Hahn had a Model T car the year they came to Topeka and they came here only a few months after we were married. That first fall we were the only ones and them here in Topeka and we had such good times. We would go for a ride Sunday afternoons with Louise, Margaret and Grandma and Grandpa Hahn and we would get lost in the country and finally get back on the road to town. We would stop at their house for a little Sunday evening snack. It seemed that it was a wonderful fall, everything new to us--the big Fair and we even had a guest or two that fall that came to the Fair.
     And Dad had a good time stocking up on apples, pears, etc and grapes. I didn't know much about what to do with them but did know some from home, but mostly my job at home was peeling the peaches and apples and grapes and mother did the rest. And so today all I've done is think about the good times and how beautiful that fall was. And to be in my own home with a furnace and running water and a toilet, I felt like a queen, but most of all I had a good man to look after me and we built our future together with work and dreams. And after 5 yrs we were on our feet getting a head start so planned for a little boy and that made our life complete, you have been so good to us and there are so many things I wish that I had done differently, more patience with you, etc.
Still no rain, hot in Kansas. Poor Mr [William O.] Douglas. What a life he has now just suffering.

Fall 1978 Typescript [M] [At the top, four fall quotations: "Air deliciously crisp. like the first bite of a McIntosh." "Hillsides looking like Persian carpets." Frost tarnishing the goldenrod." "Cornstalks standing like gaunt soldiers in faded khaki.]
     My Dear Son: Have just come back from my daily walk. Sometimes have to kick start myself to get going but after I start it is rewarding as the air so fresh these days and I think of the humid summer days and being shut [in] as too humid to take a walk so I am going as long as I can before winter sets in. The grass very white with frost. The first big one so plants etc will feel it. T the trees are simply gorgeous and on all side of me is beauty, and I take it in.
     The days last week were so full I didn't know whether I was coming or going but have quieted down more this week. Yesterday the little old lady next door brot me a hot piece of ginger bread. She had it on a napkin on a big sycamore leaf. She was the lady that was here Sun for tea and she is such a smart one and is always interested in things and what the trees look. As she doesn't see well and doesn't venture out side. Well, to go back to the cake, she has a black lady come in often to do her laundry and cleaning and get groceries and this lady had gathered up some leafs  from our yard for her so I know this lady had baked the cake as Mrs. Landis can't see to read a recipe and I was so touched at the friendly gesture of her bringing that piece of cake, and she just comes to the door as says a few words and back to her rooms. The other [neighbor] never knows when to go home. She doesn't cook like she used to and she was a wonderful cook. This is Mrs. Samways.
     I have spent of the afternoon trimming the butternut squash. I have done that the last few years. When your Dad was here he brot me a little pumpkin for the table and instead of cutting it and making a face I pasted eyes, nose and mouth so that I could have it for a decoration all the fall season up to Thanksgiving. This one doesn't have much bottom more tall than squash when they are that way. I made triangle eyes. For nose and mouth I took a little brown sack and crumpled it up for a hat and a red top of ball of fringe and I fringed a strip of brown burlap and have that sticking out from under the cap for the hair and he looks more like a scarecrow than a Jack O Lantern. He is standing on the brass table with a green piece of cloth around the neck. I have other fall things on the table, a ceramic hen pheasant, and artificial color leaves, little squirrels and a colored ear of corn. All these have had for several years and every year they come out of hiding. So I am managing my sad spells by doing something with beauty or creative in the home to pep me up.
     Have stuffed peppers with cubed potatoes and cheese on top and two little custards, one for you. Try to have two or more things in the oven at the same time. [She was a good cook. Through the years she lived alone, from 1967, she manages to cook balanced meals. At this time, she lived next to a small shopping center with a grocery store. Almost every day she went to the store for something or other and to get out and do something. [Florence's step-granddaughter, Diane Torrey, gave Florence the blank Nothing Book as a gift. At Tom's request, she left it to him when she died.]
     Yu mentioned storm windows being hard to find, if you need any for down stairs why dont you try plastic. Mrs. Samways fixed all her windows with plastic as she said her windows were too cold, and he [manager] came over and put it on my bathroom window and it helped a lot but dont attempt anything like that up high windows. He had a small piece of stripping and tacked it on the top and bottom with nails.

[Undated] [rr/s/mt]
The article about greens reminded me of the time mother had a Bridal Brunch for me announcing my engagement. This was Aug. 1st and she wouldnt tell me what she was going to serve, and I cant remember what she had but for something to put the salad on (our garden lettuce all gone) but she used the tops of carrots for greenery, and she made a pretty deal to put, I think it was jello salad, on it. We kids never ate greens she cooked, like horse radish, lambs quarter etc, one of our wealthy women in W. C. [White City, Kansas] when she had club in winter time she would call to Herrington, a larger town and have them send lettuce on morning train, for any luncheon etc. she had. Her daughter was one of my best friends and I loved staying all nite there. She had a bedroom all to herself, a fireplace, blue wall paper & white painted wood work. We didn't have room for a nite guest.

Thursday Evening [At Charlotte Johnson's home in Missouri. October 1978] mh
  My Dear Son. Its raining hard and in a trailer sure is loud when it beats on the roof. [Her niece, Charlotte (Schump) Johnson and her husband, Gayferd Johnson, owned a trailer park in Missouri at this time.] The others are playing cards but I am too full of supper and not good at card games so sitting it out.
     I made the sour cream slaw for dinner tonight, have good meals but once a day. We walked a mile around the court.
     It was such a shock about Marie and last night was awake all night reviewing in my mind the past 52 years or more of our lives, how we started out our married life the same year. They (Marie & Ed) were married the day after we were and we two couple went to KC together and were there 2 days and bought some of our furniture. And from then on when you kids were little, our picnics, holidays etc. together. And then later the hardships . . . and am wondering what brought on this attack, if the fall had anything to do with it. And I battled with myself what was the thing to do about hurrying home, and it seemed so confusing to try and get there and spoiling [surviving sister] Bernices trip, and really with relatives there, I could do so little. It seems as though I have had my share in losing folks this summer, [sister] Gladys, then Ed and Marie, and that is quite a few in a short time. My friends and sister have sure gone.
     The trees are thick not too far from here and are like a small mt or hill and blue haze and so many trees are red but very little yellow showing. Charlotte is such a fun person and is up early mornings.
     Bernice is having a hard time finding new clothes. The Taggarts [probably her husband, Tom's brother, Bob, and his wife] took her shopping one day but no luck, so we will try some shops close by to Zita's [wife of nephew, Francis Schump]. Bernice turned her foot two weeks ago and then Sun. she banged it on edge of [bed] springs and a big lump came on leg, so that slows her down. [24 years later at age 101 1/2, that foot remains her only major health problem.]
     With so much talking its hard to concentrate on a letter but am thinking of all of you. Probably be home Mon. and I hope Bernice stays on a few days but when she gets started she will probably not stay more than a day in Topeka. So with love, Mother

[November 1978] Handwritten. s/pwh
     My Dear Son. Will soon be your birthday [5 November] and I shall always remember it as the happiest day of my life as I had a baby boy to complete my life.
     Grandma and Grandma [Margaret (Owen) and Thomas Torgeson] came the next afternoon allowed in the room at hospitals and the nurse brought you in and Grandpa T held you and kissed you. He loved babies [He and Margaret had had nine of their own.] was so proud you were named after him.
     It was a beautiful fall and then the first light snow came softly down. A yellow chrysanthemum was sent me. In those days greenhouse flowers were rare. It was such a happy time and your dad was there every evening and we were somewhat reluctant in sharing our evening with any visitors.

     As I think back all the years following, they were easy compared to now days. I may not have been the best mother in raising you, and cross at times, when should have been more patient and understanding. You grew up and have made me very proud of you. And your Dad loved you very much too. He was the patient one. And so have a happy day. Will be thinking of you. With love, Mother

2 December 1978 Typewritten. s
Such a nice letter from you and makes me realize what a thoughtful son you are and such a comfort to me and has made the loss of your father much easier to get through the years because you were always doing something to help. I get bored when folks say to me that their children are too busy they don't have time to write, or say they don't like to write letters. You write such nice things to me and it makes me feel like life is a challenge so I work on it
     This morning as I was fixing the corn and broc casserole for my lunch I thought why not ask my new friend] Hilary for lunch, as she had left me a note on the door Wed and I was gone, that she would stop Fri morn, and so she came at eleven and came in. I said do you have deliveries to make around here and she said she did so I told her to get going and come back here for lunch at noon. Well her eyes sure did light up and she was so pleased and was back here at noon. I made no fuss over lunch, just heated up two slices of my homemade bread. took two cupcakes from the freezer that were three months old but freshen up so well and peaches were pen, made tea, and that was it. Most folks have just a snack at noon, and she ate it with a relish and we had about an hours chat. She has a daughter that lives in K.C. She works at Hallmarks in KC and does designing on cards and goes on business trips for them , so they see each other often.
     I told her the first time she came I wouldn't be a customer as I receive some of her products as gifts and so she doesn't push her wares. She is doing this to get over a frustration of being alone and has worked at different stores until the past few years. Her husband went out in the yard one morning and fell died a year ago from a heart attack, so she decided to try the Avon deal for awhile and can quit anytime.
     I feel the same way you do about Christmas. It should not be such a mad rush but the papers etc are getting one all in a hurrah and it should not be so hectic. A we are doing things all year as you say with trips and things so that is what I like best and the things I can remember and think about all year. I made three trips this year, the two to see you and the one with the girls and feel sort of selfish that I did it yet it was too make others happy too. And so I used the legacy [Gladys, her sister] left me for those trips and so have much to think about this winter. And you helped make the trips enjoyable and Nathalie too, so am busy or have been al fall getting boxes and doing a little shopping for the family and then next year it will be something I can send in a brown envelope. Something soft, as this deal of buying tape etc to please the PO is something. Of course you wrap Books etc every day and tote them over to the PO. I don't mean to complain as I enjoy doing things but it gets to be a chore unless I start early on shopping and I have all along so that hasn't been any big deal. One can't count on the weather this time of the year. So I have a box for the family and have enjoyed doing it but it is not a big affair and I don't want you to do much either. I only send cards to 3 or 4 friends as I write others all year.
     Did you watch New England Christmas last night, I was a little disappointed but parts I liked was with Rod McKuen, and the pictures that were scenes look like Nathalie's crewel embroidery. His voice is so low was hard to get some of it. . . His last poem was about home that wherever you are or what you do is going home.
     I was coming home from the store yesterday and there was a nice little branch of greenery that was on stuff they were using to decorate the store no doubt and was kicked around but a nice little branch on the side walk off of greenery that was off stuff they were using for decorating the store no doubt and was kicked around but a nice little branch. So I brought it home and washed it off and have it in a bottle on the table. Had to put a little stick in it to hold up the top branch. Little things like that little piece of cedar make me feel Chrismasy, and the smell of it and I thought about the Christmas when you were in Maine and the first Christmas without Dad and you surprised me and came home the first part of Dec and were only here two days. You came in with two little pine trees for the buffet and a larger one for the table, and several packages of deer meat on dry ice. Those are the Christmases that one never forgets. While gifts wear out but Memories never do.
     And to make the trip last year and bring Betsy. I have regretted that Betsy didn't get to be with more of the family, but in later years we have been scattered at holidays and not like it used to be when you were growing up. and I wondered if she didn't think it would be that way when she came' However, she got  to see the clan or a part of it Christmas day and Gladys.
     Tis a dark morning and is misting and the forecast is for freezing drizzle or snow by night. Haven't had any snow yet, just one time saw it on a roof.
     Charlotte [her sister Kate Schump's daughter] and Gayferd [her husband] went to Calif [from Missouri] to visit and for Thanksgiving. [They later moved to Orange, California] Their clan put there in a town not far from where they lived had it this year [?] so they went a few days before Thanksgiving and left their car at the Schumps [her Kate's son Francis and his wife, Zita] and will be back Mon, and they will not like this storm, after being there.
     Georgine, Jenay's mother and Jenay and Dorothy' Gary's mother [Church friends] and I were going out this morn to Sorority houses, five of them. They have a show every Dec and it is so interesting. They sell things and the decorations are so pretty etc. I have gone for four years and almost backed out on this but decided to go , but a storm is moving in and I went to the phone to call and say I wasn't going and Georgine was calling me and said it was getting slippery and I am not taking chances and she wasn't either on driving so will be a nice day to stay in.
     The Dickens Readings [at Shepherd College, Shepherdstown, West Virginia] must have been nice. You do have lots of things going on there which makes it interesting and I have enjoyed the activities that have gone to when there.
     The little skinny turkey picture is funny and I will put it in the Nov. month Know Nothing Book. [Diane Torrey's Tom's step-daughter, that is, his wife Nathalie's daughter, gave this blank book to Florence and she left it to her son, Tom]

About 28 March 1979. Handwritten. s
My Dear Son. Just received your letter written in my Birthday [23 March 1897 at White City, Morris County, Kansas] and is such a good letter. As the years come and go it seems that you feel and write more about your feelings and thoughts and I also feel that I can open up also. Is hard for me to put my thoughts on paper. But while I don't expect you to write all the time about your Dad, am glad you do once in a while. He was a good father and loved us both very much. But since he has gone. I concentrate so much o you to fill that void, he has left, and you have done it so well in beautiful; and sending letters so often, and have made me happy. Our visits keep us in close touch also. I have wanted to tell you many times that if and when something happens to me to not have any guilt feelings, that you have neglected me or have been unkind. You have done so much to make my life a happy one and worth living. So be happy for others.
     And another thing and so happy and relived is about what you have done for Chris . . . And I know that Nathalie has had a part in all this also. Here is Margaret's address you asked for. [Margaret (Hahn) Walter Hottle, Walt Hahn's sister, who lived in Mt. Vernon, Posey County, Indiana.] Am sure she would like a note from you. Gladys wrote to her as they were the same age and their birthdays a day apart and would write on their birthdays, a day apart, and Christmas. [Gladys (Torgeson) Murphy White was Florence's sister.] Also she sent me a letter after Gladys death and I answered it and I wrote at Christmas and received a nice letter from her and she said her three faithful letters writers had passed away. Gladys, Irma [the adopted daughter of her sister-in-law, Myrtle (Hahn) McCollister], and Maries (Marie (Jenkins) Hahn, who wrote for Ed [Walter Hahn's brother].
     One of my Birthday Cards was a long poem about "Birthdays are a gift of God" [Not included here] And I was touched by Chris [Tom Hahn's son] card. What he wrote, "Since one of my most happiest people I know is my grandma. Please feel good about your one day this Spring that is really yours."
With much Love, Mother

Sunday Afternoon [April 1979) Handwritten. s
     Dear T & N. This is one of those wet soupy days and chilly. Was going to church, with the Weeklys, as its Fellowship dinner and they have such good food and was going to fix a bean casserole and got dark and wet so decided to stay home. I get so chilled out a day like this.
     So have put in time on letters, changing addresses. etc to the new phone book, and just puttering, not a planned meal this noon since thought I would be going out, but I fixed a quick one in little steamer and am out of bread s have bran muffin mixture soaking and will have muffins and apple sauce for supper. Muffins heat up so well, and like to have them on hand once in a while.
     The programs should be better tonight than last. I watched Love Boat, but it was a repeat, then turned to movie that was half over, but it wasn't my kind. Watched the Welk Show and it made me teary as they sang Red Sails in the Sunset, "Its a Small World." The latter was one that we hummed a lot at Charlottes [her niece, at Orange, California after we had been to Disney Land. and went on a boat and little dolls from all countries [that mattered to Disney, at least] revolved around and sang it. And so I thought of [her sister] Gladys [] who lived also in Topeka] and how she enjoyed the trip, her first plane ride and all. [Part about niece Charlotte's family life in California not included here.]
     Tomorrow election day for city. Ken Morrow running against Bill McCormick, who had his four terms, 8 years, and he has been good. Ken has talked and sent cards against Bill. He sure looks old. He [Ken] is 60 years and is going 6o make over the city he says. [Ken Morrow was a son of John and Hallie Morrow, good friends of the Hahns and members of their church group, "The Bonehead Club."
     Well so much for that, will see. I didn't register so have no choice. Love, Mother

From a May letter year unknown
The sun was warm but the wind was chill
When the sun is out and the wind is still
You are one month on in the middle of May
But if you come so much as dare to speak
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch
And the wind comes off a frozen peak
And you're back two months in the middle of March (Robert Frost)
You know how it is with an April day

[June 1979] Sunday Evening. Typewritten. s
     Dear T & N. Have just come back from a walk. Little late in starting but wanted the house to cool off ands had the oven on. Baked three poppy seed loaves. They are a sweet variety and have [had] stuff on hand for some time, as I don't want too much of that stuff on hand to eat up by myself, so since found out Avis  was coming thought it would be nice to have something along that line, and also made a meat loaf, and put escalloped potatoes in the oven. The caked baked first as they have a low temp, and the meat loaf in at the same time and then added the potatoes after the loaves were out and the meat loaf needed more heat so was eleven when started out. [Avis Shuart, old-time Sunday School teacher, fellow church member, and along with her husband, Clarence, a member of the church-oriented Bonehead Club that was my folks social group for years]
     Is a gorgeous morn, cool and wore a sweater. Went to see the garden as has been several days since saw it, and it has been so wet so should grow good and is so sturdy looking. No beets, but beans, cabbage no greens for salads. May have had that earlier but is the end of garden. I never see anyone around. [I think she is talking about her friend Hilary's garden. When she was away, she told mother to help herself to it.] I can see why dad liked his walks. He would come home and tell me many things he saw. I didn't have time then. I tried it and he stopped at every grocery store if they were on our walk. He took so much time and started out around 8 30 or 9 and that was my time to work and get the noon meal ready or go Mon Mornings to the Hospital to do volunteer work.
     Had a queer experience the other morn. I woke up at 5 and told myself that I had to stay in bed until 6, so finally dropped off to sleep, and must have been asleep for I saw a person, a woman, hurry down the hall and I got up to see if she went out and the latch was on and the door locked.
I'm like you, Tom. Am sorting out odds and ends of letter material. Leota, Lewis wife [the step son of her sister Gladys White] brought a box of stuff last fall. She works at Hall marks, in the machinery dept, so am using some small env. . . .
     [In speaking of an enclosed about sharing food] When Dad [Tom Torgeson, in White City, Kansas]  had a garden, he would plant so much and work so hard keeping it up after work and then we girls had to take stuff to folks that didn't have any gardens. In those days there was no way of canning peas and beans.
     Did not especially like the Movie last night, but stayed with it, and I thought my mother must have worried about her five girls, no four as I think Mae was a model daughter. I had some concerns about the youngest ones once in a while, coming in late and being so quiet so no one would hear. I was late, 18 years old in getting involved as did not become a woman as early as the others, so I was late in getting started but had no problems when I did. Hope you have a nice picnic tonight.
     Later in afternoon. A call from Florence Taggart that she was coming over if I would be home. So, in a few minutes she was here. I had dressed for the day in decent clothes and so didn't have to rush around and get dressed for her. [She and her husband, Dr. Floyd Taggart, were former neighbors two houses south when we lived at 1120 High Avenue]. They remained friends until Florence's death and she is still living at this time. She brot a news clipping of Amy's [granddaughter] wedding. The little steamer [one of mothers standard wedding gifts] went over big as she did not received any and not much in the way of kitchen stuff. She was here an hour or so and what a nice visit we sure had. Made the afternoon a cheerful one and now can settle down to evening. She brought six hot cinnamon rolls, small ones, so will have two for my supper.
      The day is a beautiful one and so cool in the house and outside also. The robins are going mad with a song. [Remainder of paragraph about a friend's grand-daughter]
      Had a long conversation with a friend and Leota [White, wife of sister Glady's step-daughter] called. I have been thinking about them for two days and had planned on calling them today but didn't and so she called tonight. and said they have thought about me and should have called so we had a nice chat. Lewis [White, Leota's husband] is feeling fine now and back to work and they have a garden and a strawberry patch and have picked 40 qts of strawberries already. They have frozen some for jam, etc, and so with their jobs they keep busy. Was nice to hear from them tho. They were very good to Gladys. She died 23 May 1976. At the time of this letter they lived in Arkansas. Mother particularly missed her sister, Gladys, because they were both widows in the same town of Topeka. Although they lived on opposite sides of town and did not visit each other often, they kept in daily contact by phone.]
     So my day was little surprises after all, and now is bedtime as nothing [of interest] on TV. One little blanket was not enough last night and tonight will dip into 50s and last night 45, so you see how nice it has been today after the rainy day yesterday.

Monday morn [June 1979]. s
     Such a cool beautiful day and two little blankets on last night, but will warm up today.
Have been over to the store as wanted an gel food cake mix as am having three and maybe a fourth for lunch tomorrow. One has a birthday so am just having ice cream and cake. So today will slick yup the house a bit and make the cake and look forward to another nice time tomorrow. So doesn't it look like I am getting back the old zip. Wish I could have been more on the ball when you were here. Am trying to eat things that put back the good germs that the bad destroyed. So my walk was short. Only went around the block to the store as my housework will wear me down for too long a walk, With much Love Mother  Recd the Canal bulletin . [Tom was the editor of American Canals  for seven years.]

Thursday Afternoon (Late) June 1979. Typewritten. s
     Dear Tom. Am dashing off a line before the evening program comes on. Not too much this week in the way of a movie, There is one The last of the giraffe  that may be interesting. I watched a program this morn as I had heard what the talk was going to be, about Sisters. A lady and her sister were the speakers and one had written a book about Sisters. They had folks on that were sisters. some had three or four or one and they told of their times growing up, Only one sister said that she and hers never got along and now they are grown they still don't visit or have any contact and I thought of my sisters, our reunions, etc. And also we lied to each other when growing up. Of course there was bickering, etc about whose turn to do the dishes etc and one group said that the oldest ones didn't have the easier breaks as the young ones did and I know that by the time Gladys and Bernice came along everything was easier for them, and they got a few more clothes. But as one lady said, once a sister always a sister.  And it seems now that after [older sister] Mae left home [she] was the one I turned to and in later years after mother was gone she was like a mother, only I felt freer to talk things over with. Its too bad you don't have a sister, and some cousins for your kids.
     You write such nice letter. One came today and you had Betsy over the weekend and that was nice.
     Am glad you got a power mower but like you I do not like directions [in putting it together].  About the mower. Your yard is large and hard to mow so I am glad that you got one. When Nathalie was here I got a plate hanger and it was different than the one I am used to and had to have some studying to get it to work and she got the thing fixed. Grandma Owens [Florence's maternal grandmother] would come to our house and Mother would have to cut on a bought pattern on a newspaper as she [Grandma] didn't like to read directions on a bought pattern.
     I intended to send you a check for a fan for Chris or to help of a refrig for him and My mind wasn't working then, but here is something for what is needed. This money left from my trip home?????? so use it. You probably already have things lined up before you leave [for the cabin in Maine and I see where you are going to start later than you planned, or maybe something for the cabin.
     I have so enjoyed the boo you sent not long ago "Essays on Nature: and all kinds of interesting things. One just read about is about an apple. There is a star in many flowers and the one in the apple is [when] you cut cross wise had way between the stem end and the blossom end and there is a perfect start. I had to get an apple and see.
     The light is good now in the bedroom as the sun has gotten farther west, so that is why I am using the typewriter more. It is too heavy to carry from the bedroom to the living room and the stand too. Sometimes in winter when I am shut in I have it set up on a card table in living room
     All the lilacs were the first flowers to be planted around the newly built cabins and farm houses all over new America. They were planted in a garden at Portsmouth New Hamp in 1750 and they still grow there. When folks moved west they would wrap a root of lilacs in their belongings to plant in their new country.
Fri morn. Raining this morning so the walk is off. Watched movie last night "The last of the Giraffe" a two hour one and it was interesting. A giraffe is my favorite of the big animals. Today seems like Sat but looked at the calendar and it is not. All the news now days in on the planes. Will they or not be allowed to fly.
With much love, Mother

July 1979 After Dinner Noon One. Typewritten. s/mwh
     And it was a good one too. Everything so tasty and I put it on a glass plate and with a large drumstick. A helping of escalloped potatoes and 4 large pieces of zuchini. That was a good meal and now the baking dishes are soaking and will do the dishes later. I looked up in my nutrition book for the vit. It is an old one and doesn't list this squash, but will ask Norma as she knows things from Z to z as she has to fix him special meals. Well, anyway it was the prettiest 4 slices with the green edges around it. Only take 5 min. to cook.
     I used to like the warm summer Sunday dinners as did not have the oven meals so much on the day when weather hot and would have a can of salmon in fridge and cooked peas after got home from church and had a salad and fruit, coffee. Dad would make me iced coffee as had hot . but he would drink it also but later would have a cup of hot.. He did it because of me, fixing the iced coffee. I would sip on it so nice and cool in the breakfast room with shoes off and we would sit and talk longer than on other days.
     The other morning over to Barb [niece Barbara (Hahn) Lamantia, daughter of Walt's brother, Ed] at the coffee Georgia [church friend] talked about their family reunions. They have been to one recently in Nebr and said they had officers to get things organized. And when she got through, she seldom has a stopping place, I told Barbara to get out the Grinter picture. She had said that they had 46 relatives at the reunion. Well, when told her about our reunion and she looked at the picture she didn't have much more to say. We would have 3 and 400 and had officers to manage to see about the chairs. They got them from the funeral home, and they took charge of the silverware, coffee urns, etc and each family paid a small fee for this deal. [200 may have been a close number of people at the Grinter Reunions.]
[Handwritten on the back of the typed page] One page of this letter is missing.

July 1979. Handwritten. smt
   Recd the first letter from the cabin [near Amherst, Hancock County, Maine] and can see how busy you must be. However, it is easier to work if weather is cooler which it probably is there. You do have a lot of company the two weeks I was there and I hope you have time this year for rest, fishing, etc. There will be folks dropping in tho.
     I do remember the hassle about the outhouse at home [in White City, Kansas]. So few things I remember about when my brothers were there but mother would get mad [about the state of the outdoor toilet] and they got busy. She never let that job wait until the droppings hit our bottoms like some folks did. There was always a box of lime to put down, and we had to sweep [the outhouse] out and keep it clean. They moved the building to another location close to the old spot. I never knew about winter up there taking care of that. As I remember Mother was particular about things. We had to pick up the rotten apples under the trees. I guess she wanted to keep us busy some of the time, and we had plenty of chores.
     Now seeing turtle eggs must have been an interesting thing to see. Some many nature things in the woods.
     [Younger sister] Kate [Torgeson) Schump and I had to clean out the chicken shed, but that wasn't too bad. I think abut when I was a kid at hoe more in summertime. We went by my home with the nieces again and it isn't the same place as one in my mind. No trees run down house, etc and the one I remember had apple trees, plum trees, and a swing in a tree. Jean [(Hahn) Johnson] and Patty (Hahn) Blair] so enjoyed our day in White City, looking up places the folks use to tell them about. Jean was born in W. C. Moved to Topeka when she was small.
       A letter from Charlotte [ (Schump) Johnson, daughter of Kate (Torgeson) Schump, Florence's sister]. Gayferd [her husband] brot her maple seeds to plant in pots and she has named them the girls. They are now 6 in. high and also has 5 walnut trees in pots. They can have them. I don't like walnut trees. She is so interested in garden now. Her youngest Brian is married, has been going with her a year. She has a 4 yr old boy and can't have any more, because of an operation. so Brian won't ever be a real father.
     Have come from store. Mrs. S. [neighbor, Mrs. Samways] called this morn, rather early for her and wanted to know if I was going to store. Was raining and I had just washed hair. I told her I couldn't until afternoon. She said that would be . . . . [page missing]

July 1979, Typewritten. Thursday Morn. s/mt
      And a beautiful one, sort of hazy and 67 at 5 o'clock and the day is not supposed to be too hot. Am telling you Kansas has had a good spring and several hot days and nights then comes along a break. Went for a walk and everyone I passes was feeling the cool morn. The vacant lots all around and our yards have been mowed so everything looks nice.
     I am so glad that I moved when I did as have met so many interesting people and probably over on 1120 [High Avenue], I still would have enjoyed the neighbors as always by Wilcock [the neighbors. Hazel and Ed, who lived immediately behind Florence on Wayne Avenue] would have put a damper on that and also the neighbors are old too and ailing and here I have a choice and feel that my horizon has broadened. Saw Mrs. Hawk [another neighbor just behind and to the south of the Wilcox's] the other day when shopping and we had a little chat. An then yesterday Zola [Snyder, second neighbor to the south] called and wanted some info about someone. She said that she was walking over to Falley's now to get groceries. I can't imagine her doing that as she never walked any farther than across the street, but she has always wanted to be patriotic and for a while get a move on for short generation. She said that she was saving gas. They are going on a tour to New Eng first Sept on plane to Boston and then on bus from there
     I got up at 5 and cut some stuff for Hobby sta. [Whatever that is.] Got an idea from a design on back on Calendar book. Am like Grandma Moses. I try not to make the same design twice but catch myself doing it but she never made the same painting twice.
     I am like a one man band, I first write a few lines and then paste something and the cut out a design and then write a little and all this in the bedroom, with cedar chest handy. I can load it up with boxes, etc. [Her Granddaughter, Betsy Hahn, now has that cedar chest in New Hampshire. Now Mother when making a quilt would cut out the blocks all boxed, etc. Not the hit and miss kind [like me] but that way.
     The others have their heat turned down lower than I as I can't stand the cold. But summer isn't gone yet, so had best not brag about the heat not bothering me. Today has been great, 84, this afternoon and humidity 59. That is about the lowest it has been all summer

     On walk this morning the hollyhocks were so pretty in back of a place over by the store and many wild flowers in the vacant lots. The TV gardener that talks here of Saturday afternoon had a lady on that has written a book about the wild flowers in Kansas. She is a smart lady with all kinds of degrees. He says is the best book and we have the most interesting flowers as any state. Avis [her old friend from White City who lived at this time in Council Grove, Kansas]] and we girls noticed so many on trip to Council Grove. I have been reading about birds and flowers and animals in the Nature book you sent and read them on the month that they happen. And have been reading about cattails. The Indians used their fluff for lining mittens and moccasins in the winter. Their name for cattails was FRUIT for Papooses bed as they also lined their baby baskets with the fluff.
     Read an article the other day. To conserve on fuel at the peak time. Iron in the morning and other chores before the heat of the day came and it reminded me of Mother. She would cook a kettle of the new little potatoes from the garden and then we would brown for supper as that did not take long to brown them and cook the kettle of beets as that takes time, so long to cook. Well you are doing the same thing on young cook stove [at the cabin in Maine, where the cook stove took the chill off in the morning as well.
Cooking pea soup, etc. and heat dish water and on hot summer afternoons, she would pull down the shades on the sunny side and close the back doors on the west, and we kids had to either stay in our out and no running back and forth letting in flies. An she had a pitcher of lemonade from real lemons for us to take out with us.. And our house seemed to comfortable, except was hot in bedrooms at night many times. But going back to the shady afternoons, I can remember when at other homes how hot it seemed as the kids were allowed to run in and out all afternoon. We seldom went anywhere in the afternoons as there were four of us to play together [Mae had been married and gone from home years before] and mother though that enough. And she wanted to rest some. [Her mother, Maggie Torgeson, was a good mother. She did nice interesting things for her girls. It kind of reminds me of Little Women. The Torgeson's didn't have much money, but they made the most of it.]
     So cooked early this morning two chicken legs and when they were about done ,I out in carrots and potato and barley, and the kitchen wasn't so hot at noon. I took out enough for noon in a small kettle and then cooled the rest and put in the refrig for tomorrow. They are some things that lose their vit. by cooking and reheating. but they are fragile kind of veg like. frozen broccoli and zuchini  which only take a few minutes in the little steamer at meal time. [My mother was a good cook. She went to  cooking classes offered by the Gas Company and to nutrition classes and did the most she could from the resources available to her. Being as only child, I had unlimited access to fruits which she supplied for "snacks" and also saw that I had a bowl of raisins on my desk. Although my desk had a sign with the three "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil monkeys that said "DON'T MESS WITH ANYTHING ON THIS DESK" -- a rule I still impose on others, including my wife, my children, and especially CLEANING LADIES -- I tolerated the bowl of raisins.]
Saturday Morning. Handwritten on back of above.
Another beautiful morning and is very still;, with love, Mother

July 1979. Typewritten. This may have been part of another letter. s/pwh-ch
Going back to refrigerators . [?] Our first one we got in 1933, replacing the wooden ice box. You sure liked to climb up on the ice wagon and get a piece of ice. [In my memory, the driver would not have permitted us on the wagon. We would pester him for a piece; sometimes he obliges us, sometimes not. I am sure that if every kid on the route got a piece of ice he would have had to return to the plant to reload. Son Tom] You could have had a piece of ice anytime at home but that was the same. [I don't think so! The ice was needed for refrigeration and that didn't like to let warm air into the compartment in which the ice was kept.] The ice man got mad sometimes when several kids were there at the same time and he told you that if you kept off his wagon he would give you a piece. He was afraid someone might get hurt.
     Well, the Beckman's [Walter Hahn's, sister Louise Hahn, and her husband, Les Beckman] and we girls sure had a good time making ice cream in the freezer part and we would get whipping cream and make it. It was cheap in those days, but finally that got too rich for us and we went back to milk. The milk got harder and hard to get out of the pan, so I would make a custard sometimes and stir up a little cream in it and freeze. We would also make sherbets and ices, and you kids would freeze cool aid and make Popsicles. We had that freezer [refrigerator] from 33 to 47. I don't think there was anything wrong with it but Dad got a bargain and a better one in a deal.
     I have a little book that kept so may dates in my head and I sometimes wonder why I keep it but is such a little book and interesting to compare prices. But there are some things haven't put in the price.

Florence and Peter Rabbit at Tom and Nathalie's cabin on Lower Lead Pond in Hancock County, Maine, about 1978. (Tom Hahn Photo)

August 1979. Monday Afternoon. Typewritten. s/pft
     Dear Son:  What a nice way to start the week, with a picture of Peter [Rabbit] in a letter. He looks so much like the Rabbit on the Easter card and so he has a place on the little shelf in the dining room. Sometimes a little creature takes the place of a friend and I love to hear about him as much as the grandchildren. You are going to miss him when you get ready to leave but think of him as your Cabin Friend.
     There are things that you have written about this time that reminds me of the first time that I went to Winter Harbor [Maine]. I remember John H[hayes, Screenwriter for Hitchcock]. We had a picnic on the rocks and afterwards went to some folks place and stayed there a while and Betsy went over to Hay's and I can't remember the name of the folks where I went. It was in a very swanky neighborhood . Some one brought out lamb chops and cooked,. I had never cared for lamb and took the smallest one trying to like it and it was so good I wish that had taken a larger one. The kids had hamburgers. Can you remember the folks. You used to mention Hays in your letters, his literary career. [Butterfield 8, Peyton Place, Rear Window, The Birds, Butterfield 8, etc.] You and Nathalie have been visiting more than usual haven't you among your friends. Maybe you had more time this summer.
     I too am so glad that you had a nice talk with Ed when he was here. [Ed Hahn, younger brother of Walter Hahn]. I thought the day at Barbara's that he looked like a sweet old man. ... His girls [Jean, Barbara, Pat) were very good to him and now they don't have to worry about him being lonely. He did miss Marie [Jenkins Hahn, his spouse] very much since she left.
     We all have made mistakes and bungled in lots of ways. Maybe we thought we did more that we really did, but I think of the past and wish I had been more thoughtful and kind to others, but I will say that we sisters were very close and did much for each other after our families were grown. For years [sister] Kate was busy with family and we didn't see as much of her as we others did, yet Dad [Walter Hahn] was much on keeping up with family and I think we went more and visited more than the others.
     As I grow older, I have more time to sort out feelings and more on the positive side than the negative, if you can read my mind. I may not word it the way I want tit to be. but when one loses one after another they begin to cling to their memories and think of the happy times [rather] than the mistakes, and all are different and each one has a different side. Like with Zita [Schump, her sister Kate's son's wife] and Charlotte Jonson [Kate's daughter], they are both so good to me and in different ways. I feel like Charlotte is my little girl at times as she is so loving and such a Mama girl with all those brothers. Her brothers are too thoughtful; to her. They are just that kind except Fran [Schump, Kate's son].
     I feel very fortunate that I have nieces and want to keep in touch with them. but I doubt if we will have the family gatherings as much any more since Ed and Marie are gone as the girls Barbara and Patty [Jean lived in Illinois] can hop in their car and can see each other at any time. They are all busy with their families. Ken and Patty have a very good family relationship with their kids, problems and all. They are the loving kind. When we were those little kids, they were always taking hold of our hand and hang around more than the other children.
     Well, just got to thinking about everybody since have been with them all so recently, and am sorry that I didn't get to talk to Jim [Jim Kilkenny was the husband of Marty Becky, the daughter of Louise Hahn, Walt Hahn's sister]. He is almost an stranger as Marty comes up to see her dad [Les Beckman. His wife, Louise, died in 1944.] without him [Jin] and their kids are away from from. [Marty and Jim lived in Ponca City, Oklahoma.] Did you find Marty's note?
     Rick [Corby, her grand-nephew, son of Harry Corby and Becky (Beckman) Corby] has sold his place or has it up for sale and has been over to Becky's some. I did not ask what he was going to do, get an appt or a smaller place. He was at Christmas time interested in a widow but that has fallen through.
     I have written Margaret [her sister-in-law Margaret Hahn Walter Hottle] a letter and telling about all the relatives from last week as I doubt none of the rest will write to her and Ed was very good about writing to her or dictating letters to Maries [his wife]  to write and he would call her and there were two or Hottle lived in Mount Vernon, Indiana.] And I have also written to Dorothy Taggart as Bob Taggart [Florence sister Bernice's husband's brother] He  died the same time that Ed [Hahn] did. I feel badly about that as I had hopes of us being together once in a while.
     I went for a long walk Sat morn and I did like you said. Someone had told you to say a word over and over and I did, and mine was Thank you Legs and was swinging my arms around when no one was looking and so enjoying the walk and met up with a lady and walked two blocks with her and on the way home I began to lag and so yesterday was a short walk as was somewhat lame and I just took a short one this morning.
     The cantaloupes are good now and I cut one up and put chunks in a covered bowl as they have been so good. I figure how many meals I can get out of  one as they are not cheap[ and I read where food doesn't have to be ignored if it is higher than some things  if one can figure out how many servings in a head of this or that.
     Called Mr. Finly [apartment house manager] to fix the faucets and the trouble was only in the little screen filter so hope that is the end of having him here for a while. He is very nice to me. Is a very pessimistic person and always starts in with the country is run by a bunch of dumb clucks and price of things.
       Going back to the time that we went on that picnic, and you mentioned this Haye's writing Peyton Place, etc. It so happened that Movie was on tonight "Murder in Peyton Place" and I watched it but somehow it didn't keep me very interested when they were a weekly series years ago. I used to watch that program and tonight remembered all the characters, but felt like Dad as I couldn't keep up wit so many characters so he wouldn't watch it. I had no trouble that way but just didn't hold my attention too well.
     You mentioned that Nathalie made lobster stew and that is my favorite way of eating lobster. It is really super and the stew so colorful too. A also remember when you were at Winter Harbor, the base, about us going into the woods a short ways and you picked some [highland] cranberries and made sauce and it was delicious. They were a small berry but very red. And also remember that Jimmy, he was an Italian was he not, he would bring vegetables and stop and chat. [Jimmy worked in the Supply Department at the navy base.] That was such an interesting trip that time and I got to see and do things that had never done before, Navy things.
     The robins are getting more drab now as their breast isn't as bright as in the spring and yet I marvel at the brightness of flowers this late. In a summer would would think that they would be faded but their colors are more brilliant than spring flowers.
Wed Morn. On my walk this morn met a young lady very heavy set and she said that she had cared for her parents for so long and did not get out for walks and she is a diabetic and the Dr told her to walk one miles each day, so she is doing that and then a little ways on my way an elderly couple and they said they took a walk night and morning. They would have a cup of coffee and then have breakfast when they got home. They had come quite a ways as lived on Plass.  The other day was at the end of the walk here on High St, that was in the afternoon and across 21[st Avenue] was a lady with six kids trying to cross the busy st and finally hey got across. A boy about 7 was pushing a stroller with a baby in it and on a rope were 4 little kids and she had hold of he rope. , like folks do in a blizzard to find the way and she told me she kept them on the rope in the store, that was where she was going, and I wonder4ed how she was going to carry groceries with both hands full. Maybe have each child carry a sack. That must have been a sight in the store to see that.
     This letter has gotten way long but am sending it anyway. With Love

Sunday Morn [August 1979]
     Dear T & N  Up early and made a meat loaf and casserole of escalloped potatoes and bran muffins, all in the over while it was going. And yesterday opened a can or peach halves and pickled them for eating with meat or with cottage cheese gives them a perked up taste. And have washed hair, had a short walk and listened to a sermon and is now eleven o'clock.
     It's hot but a breeze so summer is still with us but such a nice break of almost all last week.
     Was interested about Peter [Rabbit] being caught in a net and remember last summer how mad he was and how some of the clan thought I was cruel to push him in the cage where he spent the winter with the Pete Estes Family. I think it was Diane who was the tender hearted one, but he wasn't hurt, just his feeling, and as you say an animal like that has more of a personality free from a cage and can show off more than being shut up. We he was fun, and I was thinking about my ducks. They are a fun pet. One is more fun than two as they depend on each other and don't pay as much attention to you. I had Joey first and he was so much fun. He would follow me around when I hung up clothes and would pick and pull on my shoe laces and nibble my arm and that made marks so had to make him stop that. He stayed in the yard, but one day I sneaked off and went to Mrs. Elliot's [neighbor two doors to the north] and we were sitting in the porch swing and she said look who s coming and there was Joey quacking and I called and he came running to me.
     Then came fall and Dad said we can't keep him all winter penned up, so he said he would take him to the park and put him in the lake or something and so when it was about time to take him I was out on the steps with Joey and Pop came out and sat with us and he said, "You didn't..." and I said, "I did." He was pointing to Joey's head and there was lip stick where I kissed him. Well I missed him ore than Dad as he was with me all day. And then  the next spring he got two and when they got older we noticed one couldn't quack, but would open his mouth and nothing came out. They were good at catching bugs and insects and suirt98ing on the sidewalk which I had to hose off often, and I didn't name them separately but called them The Boys. When I wanted them I would call, Here boys" and both came but they didn't play with me like Joey, and then fall came and the same parting and I rather think that Dad gave them to one of the carriers and they ate them. I wouldn't let him kill them to eat. It was off they seldom went off the place, maybe roam around in Goldie's yard [Goldie Pepple] next door to the north], but I cried when they left and that was a bright spot in my life with an easy time with a pet that didn't need much care of bother.
     Did you have any loons this year? I am sure glad that I went last summer to Maine as it was a hard time for me to get over the loss [of her sister, Gladys] and now this summer have been quite content. I miss Gladys very much but with a different kind of feeling. [Gladys was the inky sister who lived in Topeka.]
     Nathalie, the place mat is so colorful and I have it pasted up under the cabinet. And, speaking of pictures. a note from Gene (Hahn) Johnson, her niece] since she got home [to Glenview, Illinois] and thanking me again for the jewel picture and she said she had it up in the kitchen as that is where she is most of the time when home and she can look at it., but I think that that is  queer place for that kind of picture but if that is what one wants, that's all right.

5 November 1979. Birthday card to son Tom on his 53rd birthday with a nice little drawing by Florence at the top. mwh
     My Dear Son. Am thinking about Nov 6-1926 when you came to us and how proud we were to have the first and only boy. a grandson, in the Hahn family. And while in the hospital, had the first snow, and with a beautiful fallish chrysanthemum plant in the window, and a little baby in a blanket. I thought it the most beautiful and happiest time of my life, and I thought about how I would rock you as we had gotten  large leather rocker.
     The night before you came Grandpa [Chris] Hahn came with Uncle Paul [Chris Hahn's brother, Walt Hahn's uncle] and Aunt Eve to see us and they said the house smelled so good. That day I had made several fruit cakes for the coming holidays

     You were much wanted and how that little boy has grown up to be a thoughtful good and kind son to his mother, and I am proud of all your achievements and  love you. Mother


December 1979. Handwritten.
     Dear Tom and Nathalie. Am so glad you are back [having visited Florence in Topeka]. It was so lonesome after you left here but I got busy and put everything back in place and later on all the Christmas decorations all boxed up and put away.
     As I told you on the phone I was out Sat afternoon, it just seemed as though I couldn't stand being in, and so Fairlawn Mall is easier than downtown. all in one spot. So got quite a few bargains at a Drug Store, a chain of them here Walgreens and they also have a counter of canned goods, etc and had advertised prunes for 79 c per pkg, so go 2 boxes as was out, and I sat awhile in the lobby and watched folks. As I was waiting for bus to come home, a young fellow was standing in the exit door to St. He was waiting for  the bus also. He was a clean looking young fellow quiet and from VA [Veteran's Administration Hosp[ital], He said he was looking for long underwear. They have a store of all sot-rts of things and that was where we were waiting Store is Woolco, [and] none there, and I said have you been across the St down to Litwins to look and he said "They are probably too expensive there, and I can't buy anything unless cheap, but will wait, they might get them at PC at hospital. He said his first name was Camaron (Scotch name) and we were talking and bus came along. and he ran out to stop it. We knew it was due in our 5 min chat but it sneaked up on us. An on the bus, a big burly fellow maybe from VA was across from this boy and he asked him something and the boy said "I don't want to talk" and the fellow kept making remarks and finally gave up and smarted off to a girl  (this was the tough guy). I felt so sorry for the quiet fellow. He looked about 23 yrs and before he got off us he turned around and said to me, "I liked the little talk with you."

31 December 1979. Typewritten.
     Dear Nathalie and Tom: This is a sort of diary as I probably will not write as your time is so short there. [I am not sure why. Tom] I have written to you after you left [from a visit to Topeka] but it probably did not get there before you left.
   Am thinking about the days you were here and am so glad to have this Christmas with you. It it so quiet around here, probably everyone is tired of taking the tree and decorations down. I have most of mine put away.
     Norma [next door neighbor] came to the door this morn with an angel, that was broken and she thought I might like to have the jewels on it as she was going to throw it away. [Florence made jewel pictures out of old costume jewelry custom-made for the intended recipient.] The head was broken off and it was a music box deal,. Play Silent Night, so I have glued the head on and out a ribbon around the neck where it had broken off and have been playing it while doing the dishes. She said that she had had it for many years. Some people can fix things and others not, and I am one of them and she is too about some things, but this deal was no problem. [I did not inherit this trait from her or from my father who was an excellent mechanic. Tom]
     So I keep busy and it is so quiet and am lonesome when I sit around. I want you to know that tinsel and ribbons don't make a Christmas and only show one day, but the plain unwrapped ones last a long time, such as box of raisins, a ham for a Christmas dinner and is still some left, and I came across two little baskets that I will have fun with fixing them up, and a bag of coffee candy, and other things that you have given me, and then the wonderful help in helping with the banking business. Al those things are service and love. I do appreciate the other things that I have received from friends, but there are two ways of giving.
     Went to Book Club Fri and the Christmas glow was with everyone and none had a book so we talked about Family Christmas in the past. And then [friend] Ruth invited five of us for dessert on Sat and I was glad to get out again, as Sat is not my day.
     As I had gotten a towel calendar for the kitchen and the Shepherdstown one which I like better as I like to look at the pictures on it and have it in the big closet where I can see it, and so took the other one that Georgine gave me to the luncheon and asked one or all the girls if they could use a Calendar and one said she sure would like it. The giver will never know it has a place somewhere else.
     Bernice [her sister] called yesterday (Sun) and said there was 12 in snow on ground and that it was beautiful. They are saying that we need moisture badly, especially the cedars. The garden man on TV said to get out the hose and water well before the ground freezes. Bernice said was the worst [head] cold she ever had, and from her account it was like the one I had when you were here in May, a head cold and a virus along with it, so called the doctor to send out something and with the antibiotics and cough medicine I was helped and pulled out if it.
     Ruth has two cats and a small dog and when company comes she shuts them up in another room, but she had something she sowed us. It is a thing that looks like a round footstool and a hole for a door and it is lined on the inside and the outside is covered with sort of plush material and the cat will go in there and sticks its head out and loves to run in and out of it. I told her how you could get a cat to do tricks and she says she has never been able to do that. They play with all sorts of toys.
     This morn Hillary called to wish me a Happy New Year and that she was going to take it easy for  while. And in a short while she asked me what I was going to do, that she was having her neighbors in for watching Rose parade and for lunch and wanted me to come any time from 10 to 1 and I said that Jenay was coming for me to see the tree before they took it down later on in the day and would be after me in the morning, so after I came home from there she would come. I was so glad to have some place to go. She said she had some special neighbors and wanted them to meet me. [Florence was already to go to someplace on a few minute's notice and had what she called, "Me fireman's boots handy."
   Florence Taggart called this morning and she was so pleased to have you and to meet Nathalie. [an old neighbor from earlier days at 1120 High who remained a friend. She is still living in Great Bend, Kansas, in 2005.]
     The weather is wonderful, and really mild and it is sure good for getting around. I will be by myself tonight and I usually am and New Years Eve is like any other night. There were many New ear's Eve that I stayed with Jack Clevenger and how bored I got playing Monopoly, but he was such a good boy that I went along with him, and then when he got older we would watch TV. One year he was older , around 12 and he wanted to have a turkey for New Years to eat  late so his his mother had the cook roast a turkey and make cranberry jelly for sandwiches late at night. He also had bans that he would bang also at 12 o'clock. There were always boxes of candy and fruit that had been given them for Christmas from firms [his father was a banker] for Christmas and so was fun to be there. I sure did love that boy. Dad was so bushed after the Christmas rush that he did not mind being alone on New Years eve, so he went to bed early.
     One New Years night, not Eve, we had the Boneheads [Church Club] over for a hamburger super as everyone was fed up with big feeds at Christmas. so we had it in the basement and I cooked the burgers etc down in the basement and that morning Dad went out scavenger hunting to see what he could find behind a drug store out in Westboro and he came home with fresh holly wreaths that were thrown and in plastic bags and fresh and moist as though they had just been picked at a place in Oregon, so we put the wreaths on the doors upstairs and down and they thought we were outdoing ourselves to buy so many wreaths. I guess Pop told them how he got them. We had such und with that bunch and most always all came and to get a meal for 24 people was no small thing. but it was fund, then later years we had dessert supers.
(Continued) 1 January 1980 Typewritten. Well New Years is over and I did not go over to see Jenay's tree. She sounded so groggy over the phone that I didn't want to see her. They had been out to a party and she was sleepy, so we called it off to today, and I went over to Hilary's at noon and expected to see lots of folks but they had turned her down as they were going other places, so just one widow came from across the street. But we had a nice time and I got in on the last hour of the Rosebowl parade, and then we had diner. Was a good dinner as the ham and veg were so good all from the freezer that was from her own garden, the salad a rich one and then the dessert was so very sweet. She says she likes her sweets. It was a peach cobbler and the bottom was so very rich, chunks of butter and sugar. I am glad hat I asked her for a small portion. The other lady told her it was too rich. Hilary likes to try new recipes, and twice this week she has made a new one. One was a topping on a salad or dessert of cream cheese and something else and cream in the other and she couldn't get it to thicken, and I said what did you do with it. She dumped it down the sink.
(Continued) 2 January 1980 Typewritten ) (Florence at age 82)
Worked all day until noon getting some things done and washed the gold round [table[ cloth and took off the red one. Looks so nice with the gold chair. Whenever am out and come in the room the new chair looks so pretty.

The Weekly Family, often mentioned in Florence's letter, in 2006 Chelsey with baby Maura, sitting, in back her sister, Ashley. Gary Weekly and Genay (Provided by  Genay Weekly]

     This afternoon went over to see Mrs. Landis [neighbor] and took a pot of tea and some cookies. Used some of the gift tea and she liked it so much. It was peppermint spice. An then I read her cards [to her] and talked. She showed me some more books she had written. They are small booklets. She gave them away for Christmas presents in those days and they look interesting. I just glanced through them.
     Made Sour Dough bread. Haven't made an since you were here and I let it get very light and it is super. That way way can also make sandwiches out of it like light bread and a made a ham sandwich for supper. Also took two of the gals upstairs each 1/2 loaf. Cut it while it was still hot and was 5:50 in time for their supper.
     The days are dark and cold, 30 in day time, 20 at night. no snow but looks like it. And so am doing little fun jobs. Have worked under the cabinet in the kitchen where I keep what nots and have gotten out things to replace the Christmas things so the room had a new look. Oiled the wooden fruit and shined it up and it is on the brass table [that Tom brought to her and Walt from Hong Kong] and then got out the brass foreign bell that rings by a pull chain and worked on it and put it in detergent water and hot brought out the red engraving and polished it up and on the brass table. I like to get out things, seasonal things and I have some things that will never be out of my hands as long as I have  shelf of them and one is the black wooden bowl [that Tom bought in Japan] , big brass tray and other things as my friends don't seem to have those kinds of things and they remark about them when here.

Continued Sunday Morning)
Yesterday around noon went to town, was beautiful balmy quiet weather and I wanted to be out. {At this time, the public bus ran in front of her apartment and that is the transportation she commonly used to go to town.] I wanted to be out. Went to pick up watch as I had called 3 days before telling them that weather had kept me from coming after it. And so when I got there one of the salesman I didn't know looked for it and came back and said it was not in the ready files, so the manager came out and said that he had not worked on it, and I kept my cool and said I couldn't make the trip o cold or stormy days and he said he would bring it to me. So then milled around in 2 or 3 stores. Town isn't like it used to be so I bought a new lipstick and I hope it stays on better than last 2 I have had. This is kind I used to get, and the girl who was young used 2 of test ones on my hands. I always try on wrist but my brown veiny side up and hardly a spot white enough to try. I have a good time figuring out people.
     So the day was so nice. I got on the bus to come home and just stayed on [passed her apartment] and went out to Fairlawn and browsed around and found two things to work with, hobby stuff when shut in.
     Had intended to have you get a typewriter ribbon and put it on-hah hah [I think that she was making fun of my mechanical skill], but forgot it and yesterday before I went to town looked for te box where I keep the old one and it has disappeared., so this morning got to the machine and ribbon conked out, so looked in instruction book, and found no typewriter in Dads writing and there it was, hard to find on machine, so until I get to town again will push the pencil.
     Had a wild dream last night. You two were in a room painting the walls for me wasn't this apartment. You didn't ask me about doing it and a couple, came i and they started doing things. I didn't know them but you did. The 2 of my women friends came. I had started just for just we three and I had a time getting that meal ready. You, Tm, left the curtains up and nothing over the furniture and cans of paint sitting on the rug, dripping paint, but walls were so pretty. I so seldom dream any more.
     I am thinking of two weeks ago today and wished we had taken time out to go to my church. There are still friends from Trinity [Methodist Episcopal Church) you would know, or had the TV on to the service I listen to every Sun. The music is outstanding and so in the minister [Rev. Schuler]. He often has a celebrity on and this morn had Arch Bishop Fulton Sheen (he died two years ago and this was a tape when he visited this church). He use to have a column in one of our newspapers and he spoke common language.
     I would have gone to church today as is Fellowship Sun and their doinners are so good, but it is damp, a heavy mist so I stay inside.
     Norma [neighbor] came over last evening to tell me her sister had been operated on for a carcinoma of intestine, and had gotten through it all right. Leroy [Norma's husband] has not been himself for several  days, so she has her hands full. So little I can do to help, only to check if she is out on errands or hospital.
     [Sister Bernice in Goodland, Kansas] is still shut in. A mil or neighbor brings mil or fruit from store but she [Bernice] takes car of getting groceries ahead of a storm, but he is still not over the vicious cold and is staying in anyway.
     Am glad that you were with the relatives more this time so you could get better acquainted with them and when I am not here they will be a comfort to you. {Alas, most of them are gone now, twenty-five years later. Tom]
     I have to write 2 sympathy notes so will take time to not make mistakes, so those kind of notes I write with tongue in cheek. [ am not quite sure what she means by that.]
Continued )Mon Morn
   A tremendous three hour movie last night, from 7 to 10, "Skag," about a family. The father loved his wife but 4 children from 14 to 21, he couldn't understand them. A steel worker and he had had a bad stroke and he worked hard to recover and tried to get to know his family. Jan 17 will be the end. You may be able to pick up them. With love, Mother

Valentines Day 1980 Handwritten. s/pwh
Dear Tommy Boy: Am thinking about the Valentine Days when you were a little boy. As I sit and think about it I wish I could have one day to live over again and it would be Valentine Day and making heart cookies with red sugar, red Jell-O and Dad bringing home the biggest red apples he could find and there would be one at each plate. Good Jonathan, winesap and others, but these apples were the ones from Was. State, and a crippled fellow on 8th and Kans sold them by the apple, and they were polished and shiny. I don' remember the price of them.
     I wanted to do something for all of you to share this week, but was so shut in to try and mail something but you and Nathalie can do the things I used to do, and my mother did for we kids. Jenay is having the family tonight for a dessert evening, but I am not going over as a fine mist and will be freezing by night band I don't mind that at all . . .[She] celebrates all of them [the holidays] as she was alone growing up and so now she wants the little girls to have family celebrations.
     Norma brought over a plate of heart cookies, large ones and brown, probably made with brown sugar and this afternoon had one with a cup of tea and watched TV. Saw something funny on TV last night, a Washburn [College] student in grocery store putting in cart groceries in 60 seconds, for a cause, Muscular Dystrophy or something, and she ore from one place to another. I wondered what I would get of turned loose for a certain time and groceries would be mine. What would you pick up? With love, Mother.

Saturday Afternoon. February 17 1980. Typewritten m/tsr
     Have just finished reading "Snow Bound" and while reading it the snow is softly falling down and is pretty and an inch has fallen. I so appreciate the time and thought writing [copying] this article up and am sure it meant more to you by writing it.
     In your letter was an article about the death of Christ written by a Dr priest about a heart condition was the cause and it reminded me about grandpa Torgeson [Thomas Torgeson, Sr./Taral Torjeison],. (my dad's parents) Grandma had a short illness, some kind of flu and was in bed for only a short time maybe three days and when Grandpa saw she wasn't going to get well he took to bed also and when Grandma died the doctor told Dad to hold off the funeral as Grandpa was not going to survive. The doctor said he could find no health problem with Grandpa, but he had no will to survive Grandma, in other words, a broken heart. but can see where [it] was for the best.
     Grandpa was on the stern side and did not have anything to say to we kids but Grandma talked a little but they were not like the grandparents on mothers side. I had fun at Grandma Owens.
     Mother would send us over to take food and we usually went in two's like the Latter Day Saints that go from door to door in airs, and we would stay a very short time and then grandma would go in the bedroom and bring us out a stick of candy. We could hear her open the dresser drawer and we would wait for the candy.
     My minds picture of that old couple was like a commercial several years ago, a tall stern couple standing straight one with a hoe in one hand a one with a pitchfork [Grant Wood's "Gothic"]
     My Dad belonged to the Pres[byterian] church and the minister would call on the old folks and one day I was there when he came and was embarrassed because Grand Ma was smoking a little clay pipe.
     Going back to Snow Bound. There are teary places "How strange it seems with so much gone of love and life to still live on, Ah sister and I, thou are left of all that circle now, those lighted faces smile no more, we tread and the path their feet have worn, yet love will dream and faith will trust. That somehow somewhere meet we meet we must" and at that point was when the tears fell in abundance.
     The mail was great today, letters from you and Betsy. I sometimes send a self-addressed env so she will have no excuse for not writing it on hand and she wrote such a good letter, and I can see she is growing up and is an ambitious person. Quote from letter, "Be careful on the ice Fearless," and signed it Love you, you Aries." Also a note from Patty Wilcox [daughter of Ed and Hazel Wilcox who lived in the house behind Florence and Walter when they lived at 1120 High.] I know she misses her parents. She said she had taken some old books from their attic and was reading the Life of Longfellow. Also a letter from Bernice so since Monday is a holiday [President's Day] I am fix up for mail until Tuesday.

Sat Morn. Sun out. March 1980. Handwritten.
     Dear T & N. Up early and fortified with a bowl of oatmeal with raisins, and have just read this article about "Hot Cereal Mornings." I don't think the writer is as old as I, as some things we didn't have then, but I do remember we all ate oatmeal. Mother had a large double boiler to cook it. Dad said his mothers oats was scorched some of the times, and we always had a hot breakfast, sometimes pancakes with pork tenderloin, or bacon and eggs, and no one seemed to be picky about what was on for any morning, like kids do now. Of course always good homemade bread, oven toasted so crisp. But mush made with cornmeal is best.
     I have something today to look forward to as I don't care about Sat, this is Ashley's birthday (Jenay's youngest). She will be 4. [The remainder of the letter is missing.]

Sunday Morning. March 1980. Handwritten.
     My Dear Son. Tis a bright cold morning 2 degrees but still.
     Glad to hear your voice yesterday, but not good reception. Your sounded hoarse or weak (voice) but a nice visit and with Chris also.
     Have meant to mention since the canal bulletin came about your very beautiful tribute to Wm Douglas memory, and his writing of 1954 was really something to remember, and I knew you were good friends, but not how far his influence went until I read your tribute, and so you also leave a good heritage by your life style. [At this time, Tom was the Founding Editor of American Canals and Founding President of the American Canal Society. Justice Douglas was a Director of that society.] We all have out own ways of doing things, and I think of my friend Avis Shuart. she has always been an inspiration to me, and has never let me down, and her standards have still held up all during our 60 years friendship, and she has touched many lives, giving courage. She has worked hard all her life. They would come to her with all sorts of problems yet she isn't a saint, just good.
     Re the doors or door on [your] kitchen and dining room, I know you will benefit from storm doors, and also nice to have an open outside door in Spring from dining room or kitchen and am glad you are having the work done, as is a tricky deal getting them to fit. [The first part of Tom's house was built about 1775, and the second part about 1790, so there were always things to be done to it.] Dad knew how as he was part carpenter, but it was quite an ordeal for him at that, also the shutters at windows had to be fitted and that was hard also. We have loved our home and had to do without some luxuries keeping it in shape.
     The movie Kramer vs. Kramer is still running. That's a long time, must be well attended.

The Feed Bags

     In reading the enclosed article [not kept and not used here] reminded me of an experience with feed bags. This was after you were away from home. [Tom left home and Topeka in 1944 when he joined the U.S. Navy.]
     Dad sometimes went overboard in buying bargains at the Santa Fe unclaimed freight, and he got some 40 bags for 15 cents each. They had to be raveled out, washed and bleached some and ironed, so was a job. and I said I will do what I can with that many. They were too large and heavy for dish towels that I could use and give as gifts, etc. Well, I advertised in a weekly paper which did cheap advertising and brought some good results as had sold things before by advertising. The bags were about 36x45 [inches]. The first day the paper was out had sold most of them and the second day had to turn people away. They thought they were flour sacks. and when some saw how heavy and large they were they wondered what they could use them for and I suggested they make ironing board covers, butcher's aprons, lunch cloths fringed, etc. I sold them for 35 cents each and kept a few. But was an experience and some work.
     One time on our way to KC, Dad and I stopped at Jon Stephens, Annie's brother and he had a feed store and I bought a few sacks there and they were small like flour sacks and were flowered and figured and made interesting dish cloths and little table covers, the 36 in size. He only had a few or Dad would probably have bought more, but that was my buy, not his.

Monday Morning 24 March 1980. Handwritten
     Dear T & N. Woke up to a fluffy snow and all over trees and Bambi has a little fur cap on this morning.
     Well, yesterday my Birthday was a Blast, busy all day doing fun things. Bernice called in the morning before I left for church, and then after I got home Zita [wife  of nephew, Fran Schump] called, then Charlotte [niece]  and she, Charlotte, was full of gab. She said she could hardly wait for evening to see how I all day. We talked about our visit at Bernice's and she said that Gayferd [Johns, Charlotte's husband] said they could all leave the unpacking after she got home from Bernice's but she would like to get that done first and then feel free to play, so she was going to see about the time. [?]
     Zita and Frank celebrating their 40th anniv. yesterday., so they are getting up there and then won't be long until his retirement, a few years yet.
     After the calls I took off my dress up clothes and put on a long skirt and blouse you gave me many years ago, haven't had in on for 3 yrs. So settled down to a quiet evening with TV
     Then Norma came [next door neighbor in the apartment house], she comes so little lately as he is so poorly and she doesn't like to leave him much as she has to go on errands etc, so the social end she gives up, altho we spent the afternoon over to Harriet's [another neighbor] last Thurs with Mrs. Samways [another neighbor] and she enjoyed that. She doesn't neglect others when she stays home. She is busy doing for others. She came with a small 2 layer cake all frosted and candle in the top and sat a few minutes to chat. I enjoyed that. She is always a fun person. So I then started on TV and somehow I couldn't get in the mood for "Dr. Zhivago, but watched clear thru. I went in '68 when it was  on movies for the first time and I got to thinking about that time. It was only a few weeks after dad was gone and Pearl [Zahorek, a church friend] called up one Sunday and said, Am taking you to a movie. You need to get out." It was a cold afternoon and snow on ground, about the first week or 2 in March, and I was like a tender house plant, and I got so cold going from car to the theater. altho we parked close. I think it was at the "Grand" and I enjoyed it but was uncomfortable sitting so long [she had broken a hip the previous year]. and I think I saw it on TV several years ago, but some argue and say that this is the first time on TV. Well, anyway, this first part has lost its interest to me as doesn't seem the same. The 2nd part may be better, but went to bed after over, and slept through until 6 a.m. [Florence was a poor sleeper, so sleeping through the night was unusual for her.]
     Jenay's little one are getting more interesting that the older one. Little Ashley didn't have her pacifier and I whispered once to her, "Do we still have our secret" and she said "Yes." So I haven't mentioned it any more to Jenay.
     We all set together in Church, then she got restless and Gary took her up to Nursery. And the minister always asks if any "Concerns" meaning illness. etc. and then he asks if any special joy or good fortune and the lady next to me (I told her before church started when visiting it was my birthday.) not thinking she would blab abut it and she got up and said it was a joyous day as Florence Hahn's birthday and made me stand up, then beside her, but I wasn't fussed. And so after church some of my good friends came and talked to me. So this probably will be the busiest birthday I will have, and now Bernice will be 76 yrs Fri 28. [In 2005 she is 101.] The dining table full of beautiful cards, standing up, 20 of them, and did the book of stamps fall out of your card? I opened Bernice's and the yours and stamp book was on table. I think it was you so let me know.
Nice to talk to Chris, and that you were making cocoa. after yard work and mama out gadding. But hope the weather isn't winter there like here. Had washed up the red cap and scarf Sat and put them and heavy gloves away, but will use a scarf, lighter one, if I go, out and that won't be today, so will have a quiet day at home, after a full busy yesterday. With love, Mother

Tuesday Afternoon. June 1980. Handwritten.
     Dear T & N. This has been such a wonderful reunion, and Bernice is so relaxed and I think I wrote she insisted we stay until Fri, and we could see she really meant it. [The "Torgeson Girls" began their reunions in 1953, a year after their mother, Margaret (Owen) Torgeson, of Topeka, Kansas, died in October 1953. They had the reunion at a different sister's house each year, in the fall, and kept in touch through the year by their "Round Robin" letters. Someplace along the line, Margaret Torgeson's sister, Martha (Owen) Brown, in later years of Hendersonville, North Carolina,  joined "The Robins." She died in 1994. Mae, of Junction City, Kansas, died in 1972 and Kate, of Kansas City, Missouri, died in 1976. Eventually Kate's place in the Round Robin letters was filed by her daughter, Charlotte Johnson of Orange California, and her daughter-in-law, Zita Schump, of Kansas City Missouri. Florence's son, Tom Hahn, of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, now Fort Myers, Florida, took her place in the Round Robin on her death in 1998. About three years ago, Mae's daughter, Dorothy (Christensen) Waters, of Port Angeles, Washington joined the Robins. Two or three years ago. The reunion this year was at Bernice (Torgeson) Taggart, of Goodland, Kansas. At one time, the other sisters were able to take the train to Sharon Springs, some 30 miles south of Goodland, and then later, I believe, they took a bus to Goodland.  ] Yesterday we spent most of the day outside as was so pleasant and when the big spruce tree didn't shade on this side we sat on patio up by the house. I fixed a skirt band that was new last spring and only wore twice. It had a ruffle at top of waist band which I never liked but with Zita's and Charlotte's sewing experience I got the job done and backed stitched the band so was no problem that we didn't have a machine. So Bernice got out her skirt which was like mine and Charlotte fixed it for her. So it was good to accomplish something while sitting, and Charlotte worked in flower bed also. We have eaten supper outside 2 evenings but it is up to 90 today so are staying inside. All of us have red arms and me a red nose from sitting where sun hit us but was so pleasant we didn't realize what was happening.
     The neighbor next door in early evening invited us over for 7up or whatever we wanted so went in her house. Her husband passed away in spring. She is 80 and a well preserved 80. She works in yard a lot.
     Wed. another friend of Bernice asked us over for coffee. We went at 10 and stayed until 12. Had an early breakfast at home. She has a husband, her second marriage and a  large patio, so was out there. Her husband has a garage or building as large as a house where he does carpenter work when he isn't out on the farm.
     So had coffee & cookies there, sqs of raisin cookies which were good.
     Zita and Charlotte are so excited over everything we do, and they seem content to sit around, especially Zita, she is so glad to be free of laundry for 4 grownups, and folding that many socks etc. I envy their sleeping thru the night and often Zita takes and hour or two nap in the afternoon
     Right now Charlotte is napping and Bernice & Zita playing scrabble on kitchen table and I have a batch of cinnamon rolls mixed up (request). [Hr cinnamon rolls remain unequalled today.]
     We didn't want any lunch after the coffee. but did stop at an ice cream parlor for ice cream. It was fixed up like old fashion kind. We like food at home as the eating places are not so desirable here and get some good ideas and nourishing food.
     Bernice's sister in law was up one night and I didn't see her last year and could see she had failed mentally and I had a little cry by myself seeing her that way. But she smokes all the time and that is her idol and pleasure, and when she was here we sat outside as she puffed away like a chimney all the time. [Tom Taggart's sister lived in Chicago and had a tiny house in Goodland where she spent her summers.]
     We have talked about our past as the girls wanted to hear it all altho Kate had told them about our past reunions and I think it was so nice that they and their husbands were willing for them to stay longer.

Thursday Afternoon. June 1980. From Goodland, Kansas.
     We are getting ready for a 9:30 coffee here [at her sister, Bernice Taggart's], 7 of us and while the dust rag is being used I am idle.
     Yesterday afternoon late I made cinnamon rolls for the coffee this morn and will heat them up
     Then this afternoon we are alone. We will pack for an early start tomorrow.
     Has been beautiful weather so far. Stormy in parts of state and a little town in Nebr not far from here 7 tornadoes, one after the other hit, and 35 killed. hat is quite a loss in a community, and we saw on TV the disaster and folks cleaning up, and I know how it is from the big one we had in Topeka 15 or more years ago.

Thurs. Eve.
     The morning coffee so nice. Besides cinnamon rolls, Bernice dug out her refrig top, gumdrop cake (cut in slices) and 3 kinds of cookies all made at Christmas time, so the tray looked so pretty. And we had a fun time/ We all feel acquainted after seeing them the last 3 reunions. Maybe only 32 for Zita and Charlotte and they think old ladies can do interesting things along with cooking and now will have to pack for our early morning trip home. Will be nice to have the girls stay with me all night with me. [Perhaps, one of them -Zita or Charlotte -- drove their car to and from the reunion from Kansas City, Missouri.
     Red salmon salad and a veg for supper as we skipped lunch as we sat at the table until 1130. So this is the end of a beautiful reunion. No hard feelings, just for fun and happy memories. With love, Mother

Tuesday Afternoon 3:30. June 1980
Our Trudie Harsh, one of the members of [the] Bonehead Club passed away -- she was 92, and for a year she had been very poorly and confined in the Meth[odist] Home. [The Bone head Club was composed of Church friends of Florence and Walt's.] He funeral today and I went with Jenay. They have a very nice chapel in the home and is a large room, so saw many of our church folks there. It was not sad as she has wanted to die now for a year since she became inactive, si I'm remembering the fun times we used to have. The last few years Dad was here of Sun afternoon aroud 4:30 or 5 he would say let's go out to Harshes. So I would pick up something to take along to eat and we would have a light pick up supper at kitchen table and sit and visit. And she and Earl were a Bonehead couple and when they threw a party it was more fun. One time sent out invitations to come out to the hen house for supper, and she had games about chickens and of course lots of fried chicken. There were 10 couple in our club, and she had prizes, etc. Well the next time they had a arty it was a strawberry party. They had a big strawberry patch, so had all the berries we could eat, short cake or berries and cream and Dad said she knew she was going to ask us questions about strawberries, so he boned up on where they were raised, how many bu[shels], etc, and she passed around papers for us to make out and dad answered every one correct according to her figures. Some argued hat Delaware or some state did not produce that many., that it was some other state. so she got the World Book out and it was the same edition as ours which was very old, and then she caught on that he must have looked up [the subject]. He got the prize anyway as answers same as hers.
     And she was the one that had the old quilt I have written about. We gals in her SS class, Avis Shuart's (class) out there and we all made a quilt block, of a farm animal which we had to draw on white muslin 2q. That was in 1934. [The Harshes lived on a farm in Topeka.] And after Earl died she broke up her home to move to ME [Methodist Episcopal] Home. and they had a large room [in their house] when all relatives came, and when the Boneheads went there, so she kept all her vases, large dishes, etc. on shelves ou there, and she had all of we Bonehead women there for lunch [one day] and after lunch she told us to go in that room and pick out a dish or a vase for ourself as her girls had picked out what they wanted, so we had fun deciding what to take, and my choice was a little brown tea pot with designs on it like little colored beads, and I still have it. The other girls were lugging big glass fruit bowls. etc. home. So I have had a remembrance time writing you. Nathalie may not be interested but Tom you know about that bunch.
     The weather turned cooler and am sitting here at 4 o'clock pm, without a fan on.  LeRoy [neighbor] opens up the two outside doors early morn and cools halls and then about 10 o'clock shuts the doors and I don't run in and out like in a house [opposed to an apartment] so can keep the coolness in.
Wednesday Morning
A heavy fog, like one on coast and has taken it sometime to lift as is 9 o'clock.  Yesterday when Jenay brought me home from funeral. the girls [Jenay's] were with us. They stayed at their grandma's and we picked them up, and Chelsey the oldest one likes to walk me to the door and last time came in to look the place over,. This time she said, "Do you have anything new in the house?" and I said, "No." and she turned around and left.
     She is going to a summer school for a few weeks for gifted children. I figure that is smart ones with a talent. Anyway, she was griping about it with her mother. She didn't get her lesson, kids are pushed these days also Mothers with their ballet lessons, etc. I found something this morning about it next letter, if you can do something with it. Not any big deal.
     The potty chair will be more comfortable than the pot. I must have told her that we bought a potty chair for her to use at the cabin in Maine [or the house in Cherryfield, I am not sure which, rather than a chamber pot at night. The guest room in the Shepherdstown house took steps up and down to get tp the toilet. Something difficult to do for an older person. The toilet in Maine was an outside toilet and to get to and from the guest room at the cabin in Maine one had to go out on the porch to take a few steps on the porch to  the main part of the cabin.]
     I feel so badly about the wheat fields that were so beautiful when we drove back [from Goodland, Kansas]. In very dry here. Seems like there are times when the weather doesn't cooperate with situations in the right time.
     I took Avis Shuart [old church friend] over a Care pkg. when I went there [the Methodist home] and she called last night. Talked an hour. Gave up a good [TV] program for her. She was so pleased with the pkg. Filled a small jar with leftover garlic pickles from Christmas, baked 6 bran muffins and took her 4 small ones, and a jar of instant [coffee], small jar, and she had supper in her room. She often does that, just fixes a sandwich. She will miss Trudy. With love Mother

July 1980. Handwritten
     Dear Tom. You are getting an extra bonus in way of s letter as sent one to you yesterday, but thought you might get a little lonely without Nathalie, but she may be back before this letter gets to you. [I don't remember where she was. Tom]
     This is more to my yesterday, as I had quite a busy day. After the bread making, etc., took a bath and was only 9 o'clock, so decided would attempt the walk down to see Hillary and it was hot but a breeze and humidity down , so took her a loaf of bread and came back with two tomatoes and 3 nice size zuchini squash. As long as there is something in the garden I don't come home empty hands. O yes also some parsley. She works so very hard, but does her garden early morning. Then sat a short while for a chat. Took you clipping abut "Retired Farmer." and came home and cooled off a while before going to store as it is so cold there. Had nice cant elopes and got one as the one last week turned out so well. Let it ripen in a warm spot and think it will be ready to cut up today. I cut all of it in pieces and put in a plastic container and it keeps well that way. Also got a package of chicken wings and will bake them in the little oven with cutup potatoes. When I was growing up my favorite piece of fried chicken was the wings. Dad liked back and neck. Gladys thigh. Kate legs and mother and Bernice the white meat. Always fried 2 chickens as we raised them. and my job was to cu up chickens and also pick off feathers after I was half way grown up.
     Some years ago chicken wings were cheaper and we would get a package of wings to fill out a roaster of them. That was after married and they were much cheaper and now sell for same price as whole chickens.
     So yesterday afternoon I rested and around 4 o'clock called up Norma [apartment neighbor] to see if she was home. Wanted to give her several slices of bread. She had guests so waited until after 6 and they were still there, so I told her to come over for a light supper after they left. And at 6:30 she came. I had sliced egg on lettuce a with slice of tomato with dressing, and had two slices of cheese on plate with the salad, and fresh bread for dessert had tapioca pudding over sliced peaches (canned kind) and had the table looking pretty, first time she has eaten here, besides the neighborhood coffees, so we had a little visit and she went to see her sister who isn't too well but has a husband, and I know her, so sent her a little loaf of bread, so I only have one loaf left and have used some of it.
     A church friend who has been laid up all winter and fall with a broken hip called me later and we had a nice talk. I have been in her home to church group meetings, but she lives to far for me to visit her, so since her shut in days with her hip, as she has to be in wheel chair longer than most, so have sent her a note now and then and called on phone once in a while and have gotten acquainted with her that way. She called last night and we had a nice visit and I mentioned bread making and she wanted the recipe as she used to make it but wanted to start out again sp gave her a lesson on how to make this [kind] and takes such a short time. for it to be ready. She was married late. She taught school and the man she married was a widower. He had raised 3 boys, so he knows how to cook also. So my day was full and different. I am learning that one has to reach out and get new friends when the old ones leave, and I have certainly lost quite a number the last few years.
     Recd checks from Medicare & Blue Cross the other day from the Dr check up. They send in the form at office. I pay the bill to Dr and they send papers to the co. and that makes it much easier, so bill was $61.00 and Blue Cross pd 42.70, Medicare 4.80, and so I only had to pay 13.50 for my checkup. Of course that doesn't include the medicine I had ti take for 2 weeks, but of course I have to pay in long run to the Blue Cross and Med. insurance but that is what makes one feel more secure.
     The picture in Engagement Book this week is Sunset, Madaket Beach, Nantucket, Mass.
     The yard man came yesterday and cleaned up my yard. The sycamore tree by both room windows had several large limbs dangling from the storm and dead wood under the tree but now all cleared up. A large space where limbs were broken and the sun shines thru, but Bambi is safe among the leaves. [A figurine]
     This picture reminds me of a swing in our front yard in my childhood days, only ours didn't have a top of it, and how we loved that swing, and in back yard under a large tree were two rope swings with a swing board seat in it.
     Later in Morn. Watched TV sermon which was very good. The music and all the gorgeous Calif flowers. And then dinner in the little oven, stretched out on bed for awhile yesterdays full day and a dress to keep on until night, and a good night's sleep left me wanting just to relax and that is an old age process as there are days like that, then the next day sore muscles and relaxation is the mood for the day or I contend it is because I am an Aries and have spells when I keep going and happy doing it, then times when force myself, but I found one has to keep up.
     Some of my friends living alone are so bored and expect some thing to happen without doing anything about it. They are not getting [making] hot meals and just existing, and are in cool homes. While I was stretched out on bed waiting for lunch to cook, and smelling those good smells I can hardly wait. I dont get bored as I try new ways to cook, and with lots of time staying in, I try all sorts of things. and I think of food people waste because they dont take the time to utilize what they have. I never knew years ago that how onion tops can make food taste as good as the onion, of course I am thinking of top before they get too so tough. I dont use regular onions as much as if had some one to cook for as they spoil if get more than one at a time so I buy a bunch of young green ones and I can use the whole part of it from top to bottom. Vegetables are very high now with this hot weather, green peppers arent doing anything from gardens here and they can be so tasty, eggs down 59c this week so that is good and I like an omelet at supper with parsley. Cut up a cant elope got yesterday and it is delicious.
     Anything new with the Bartons? [The Bartons are our friends in Maine, so this letter must have been sent to us at the cabin in Maine.] With Love Mother

July 1980. Handwritten.
[Portion missing] Yesterday baked 4 pieces of chicken and a potato cut in 3 slices and used a small casserole in the little oven, so have enough left for today. The TV reception isn't too good, pictures distorted, etc others having same problem so we watch it that way knowing it will right itself when heat and weather gets normal.
     You mentioned the heat wave we had in 1936, it was bad but dry air and we used the basement a lot and kept the inside basement door open and cool air would come up. And we slept out on cots on porch some nights and some evenings would drive up to Security Benefit hill to cool off and spend the evening blankets on ground. I don't think we had an electric fan then. Taggarts [second house tot he south] had a tin tub in living room, folks did all sorts of make shifts to cool off. You kids played with the hose a lot.
     Grandpa Hahns funeral was day after 4th of July or may[be] a day later and temp was 111 and men in those days didn't have summer suits and had to wear their winter suits and was no central air cond. in bldgs then either, it was awful hot going to cemetary [in Topeka, Kansas]. But we were young and could take it and didn't know the difference like now. So Ive been thru 2 terrible summers, and bad flood and bad tornado and a hard winter so know what is all about. Last summer was a pleasant one as I only used air cond a few times, the fans were adequate and so am thankful now am getting old I can have it comfortable. Have been to store, usually go in afternoon to mill around in the store but figured it was not the thing to do today. I had a card filled with coupons so got 1.04 can of tuna with it and that was a small can too.

     Each time I go over they have a new girl at counter, so I watch the tickets and some they get have to learn the machine, Today they had a young boy and that is the first one since the original fellow Joe White sold out. The boys used to stock the shelves etc and I like them.
     I think of Chris all the time . . . Must get in mail. Love, Mother

July 1980. Handwritten. [Portion missing] mt
     And I am thinking about my Mother on 4th when were all kids. She always had fried chicken (she raised chickens) and new potatoes & peas, beets and the gallon freezer of ice cream. We kids helped some by shelling peas and picking over beans, but she was the one working over a hot stove.

July 1980. Handwritten. mt
     My Dear Son. Such an interesting letter and clippings from you. Today is another humdrum day same old weather line, but a little cooler as was 98 this noon and humidity down and getting cloudy so maybe it will work up to something. [Rain]
     The Native article [I don't know what magazine or article she is referring to] was interesting and I had recently read that Harpers Bazaar as it was called years ago had folded up as so may of our magazines from the past have. Sat Evening Post, Life, etc. And I remember about how Mother wanted us to have good things to read but could not afford many magazines then. She got us "Youths Companion" and there was a small magazine something like Readers Digest called Path Finder" and later there was "Delineator and Ladies Home Journal, maybe someone would hand down to us and I was so eager to read.
     I shall always remember a good friend that ran the Hotel there in WC. She was good to so many folks. She called me in one day when I passed by and asked me if I would like some magazines to read and keep but I would have to bring our little wagon (We had one for groceries) as too heavy to carry so many magazines, so I was sure glad to have a chance to get them. There was two years of them and I was so excited as there was two numbers of DEC and Christmas stories and ideas how to make little gifts out of those Dec numbers. What a wealth of reading and advertising was interesting also.
     I don't feel the same way as the author does as they have their place as are a nice pick up pastime to thumb through when sitting a spell and I used to take magazines but haven't for several years as I bring some of Jenays home with me when I am over there. I doubt if she reads many of them. And at home we always had an almanac and Sears catalog and Montgomery Wards also. I shall send the article to Martha the next time I write as she will think it interesting. [Martha Brown, her mother's sister but only a year older than Florence.]
     I read the Country of the pointed fir. I think the first I was ever at the cabin [in Maine where we were when she wrote this letter] and cant recall the author now but was a Maine writer.  And I can't remember what it was about but it was one of my favorite stories about that part of the country. And your fishing trip with your friend and the women folks being together was nice and the bird life you saw and I am glad that I saw the loons and heard them also when I was there. Is the little squirrel smaller than the tree squirrels we saw at the camp in Maryland one time they were so cute.
     I hadn't thought much about coming [to Shepherdstown] this fall as you both said that the [Nathalie's] brothers were coming for a reunion and I didn't want to be there when you needed the room. But will think about it as time gets closer and you hear definitely when they will be there and how long.
     Every day it has been so hot. There is a report on TV or radio to use electricity and water during the quiet time as morning, etc. I have always tried to do just that not for any convenience but it makes sense to do so to avoid the heat. When I was growing up a kettle of water was boiled in the mornings to fry for supper, etc and bread made in the morning and the ironing done etc, so I have learned from my early training.
Tuesday Morn. August 1980. mt
Dear Nathalie.  Instead of a red letter day, it's a Pink one. I still have one more bilious green envelope and addressed it Sheptown so put it away. 
     Have had a bath and dressed for the Convention this morn. Watched last night and they called in West Va votes, but didn't get to hear Kans. Our Gov. is there and has made a talk and I think as far as I know that he is doing well, but hear negative reports also. It's been hard for Kansas to have a Democrat Gov. but in later years we have had several. When I was in the grades [grade school]  we would have elections at school, and only Democrats was a boy in my class and I, and I used to wish just once I could brag, and so after I was in H. S. or rather the year I graduated Wilson became pres. and my Dad got the Po. [Post Office  at White City, Kansas]  because of that and he had it for 8 yrs and was a good paying job for him and a challenge for a man like him that had no schooling only grades and I don't know how far he got, but he made a good living with this job, and that was exciting. The only way we could hear reports was over phones and newspapers.
     So I had to go from H School into training in P.O. and there was so much to learn. Was more to it than putting mail in boxes. There were 4 rural carriers and then first W War started and thaw was a busy time for everyone. Made mail very heavy with overseas mail etc. and women got busy with knitting and canning classes etc, and we had to finger print all Germans in town and farms and a lot of red tape  going on and there were Red Cross classes, but a good thing for women in small towns to have an outlet from their home life, mingle  with people.

     Well I didn't mean to ramble on but to me, this election doesn't seem to have a right man for either side and as I read and listen, I never gave Humphrey any thought until his last two years and wish he were here her this fight. So I am still not ready to vote.
     Now lets talk about hair. The only thing that has come from the humidity this summer that I know about is that my hair has stayed nice. I let it get too long after a perm, but had it cut short and it still is soft and fluffy, and some have said, "How do you keep your hair from being stringy this weather?" So when your hair looks nice makes you feel better. But my clothes get sticky.
     Have just finished reading a book, "Be not Afraid." A father's inspiring story of an epileptic boy, from his life at 8 he was struck on head in a fall and the father [the remainder of the letter is missing].

Sunday August 1980. Handwritten.
Dear Tom: You may not be interested in this article, but since I am a Kansas girl and have seen the beautiful wheat fields, and this trip to Goodland they were so promising. Wheat was not ripe yet but so green and tall.
     And it seems lately that certain things I read remind me of that subject in my younger years in W. C. [White City] and reading about wheat. Occasionally Mother's bread wasn't up to standard and Dad was never the kind of person to criticize food, but he would say, "What happened to the bread this time." and she would say, It must be the flour, as flour was better with some age to it.
     The first year Day and I were married we lived next door to a middle age couple  and their married daughter & little girl lived with them. The father was killed in some kind of accident, so the daughter worked at the flour mill where she tested and weighed flour and baked a loaf every day, and they would bring us a loaf. The flour was called "White Loaf" and it was the top brand. I remember using it.
         When my Dad worked at grain store, we kids liked to jump in the wheat bins, only 2 at a time but not often if Dad caught us, and we would chew on it.
     And then while on Nature subjects. in Aug, we called them dog days when winds would be so hot, and Dad would worry so about the corn crops. And he would be so tired and face dirty from helping shovel grain in bins in their store house. Lots of times he would come home late to supper but we would eat without him and I am sure that was more restful for him also. So ever generation has their hang-ups. Storms, etc to battle, and the the good times too.
     Poor Hillary [friend] has had it this summer and if she isn't careful she will get down. She is still taking care of the 11 cats and 3 or 4 dogs. Think of the litter pans these hot days. I think she said the lady has air conditioning. And her daughter came home last Sat (Hillary's). She lives in KC. [Kansas City] and comes on bus, and bus was almost an hour late. Got in at 7 pm and she got so hot in car going to bus sta to meet her daughter and the bus was full except one seat beside her daughter and no air conditioning on bus and folks were sure having a bad time. Opened windows part way. She got so hot she took off her blouse. I wonder what folks thought of that.

6 September 1980. Handwritten. mh
     Yesterday Sept 5th Dad & I were married 60 yrs ago, and I thought about that day a lot, seems more this year, and it was a nice fall day and not too hot as I wore a navy satin blouse. Louise [Walter's sister] made it for me, as I couldn't find one to go with suit. I came to Topeka [from White City, Kansas] a few days before we were married and stayed at Hahns. They had only been in Topeka a few months. And now since Ed and Marie [Ed Hahn and his wife, Marie (Jenkins) Hahn] are gone I feel very lonely when I think of that day.. We (Dad & I went on train) and Louise [Hahn, Margaret [Hahn, Walter's sister], grandma and grandpa Hahn drove to Baldwin [Kansas] to Ed's wedding. Mrs. Jenkins [Marie's mother] lived there and she had a dinner at noon for relatives and then Marie & Ed, Dad I went to KC for two days. So grandma & pa gave away two sons in two days.
Sunday Morning
 Up early and plan to go to Church as this is Fellowship Sun, 1st of the month, and covered dish dinner so I made mine yesterday, which is a new recipe for a good cook book. Rasp. jello, chopped can beets, can medium crushed pineapple, and 2 T vinegar, and it is pretty and good.
     Georgine [church friend] is coming after me and I told her not to take any food as the salad am taking makes a large dish. She seldom goes to these dinners. One thing, she doesn't like to cook, and another she is church secy and she contacts the members a lot, and doesn't care about mingling with them at these dinners, but she always goes to church, and today she is staying as is Jenay's [he daughter's] birthday and they stay to the dinner as they say, the dinners are free except what you take and are better than the eating places.
     The whole [Weekly] family and I went out to eat last night tho, as she, Jenay, wanted us over for a little celebration at their house afterward, and her presents.  So went to an Italian place out north a long ways out and went over the cloverleaf and was nice to see the country and sunflowers. This place doesn't look like anything from outside but is nice inside. I think is so dark. I could hardly see the menu. They when you eat they have soft lights on. I am not crazy about Italian food, but got meat balls which were good, and spaghetti.
      [Portion of letter missing] and also will get a pan to go with it when I come, so Marty {grandson. Chris Hahn's wife] can cook veg. the quick easy way. Also have a timer for them. I don't know if you have silverware for them or not, as you have had lots around. If not, and if they aren't too particular, I have a whole set, 8 place settings, knives forks, spoons that I seldom use. I use the 4 stainless most of the time and have my good set for company. This silver we bought at bank when deposited etc. and I have it in silver wraps. I have used it a lot, but is still shiny, if they don't have any I can fix it up and bring or send it so let me know.

About 5 November 1980
     My Dear Son: Am thinking about a birthday 54 years ago, and many happy birthdays. [Tom Hahn born 5 November 1926] And I do want you to know that you have never been unkind to me and as the years go by have been so very thoughtful in many ways. So hope that you do not feel the years much as 54 is such a nice age, the '60s were a nice age for me and Dads retirement was such a care free time for us both.
     Weatherwise we have had cold winds and now after a cold rain is getting balmy again so Indian summer will come, there are many trees to color up yet.  I thought the leaf on this card was pretty with the burr and bee on it.
      I have a leaf you sent me four years ago framed and up every year and the leaf from Vermont is under glass also on a frame on the buffet, the other is in the kitchen right where I work and they are such a joy to me to look at them. Its the little things that sometime [are] more touching. [The leaves went bye-bye someplace along the line.
     Has been a little lonesome and so quiet since the girls [sister Bernice and niece Zita and Charlotte] left, but have many things to think about and they are so kind and thoughtful to me. I sure have been around for a whole month and have held up pretty well, in spite of it all, takes a lot of doing but I made it. With much love, Mother 

Thurs Morn. November 1980. Handwritten
     Have been for a block around the block and so still and trees as far as I can see on 21st are simply gorgeous, the stately pin oaks in gold and red. Folks say has been years since they have been so pretty this late into fall, and the two across from me are a picture, one bright red, one gold and when the morning sun shines on them the colors are more vivid. Last night when sun was setting and shone on  both trees they both looked red the same shade, and I wondered so I could hardly wait for sun this morn to ee if the gold tree turned red also but it hadn't.
     Had a nice afternoon yesterday. Went to Methodist Home, our church group had a tea for them. I baked sugar cookies for them. and while I was down the hall helping a little old lady to the lounge or parlor where we me6t, they had started to help themselves to cookies, my ladies and all, and when I came in someone said who made the sugar cookies. No one answered and they asked me, and wanted the recipe and I said, Just plain sugar cookie recipe, the secret is to roll them very thin.". and they backed down and said, "That's too much work." There was a young man who played the guitar and a young woman and he sang, several numbers and they were good
     Fran [her brother's son] is home, came home Sat and will go to hospital Nov 14 for operation. He feels good, and working in yard and doing puttery things. Charlotte [Fran's sister] will be there this week end. He will see about the Trailer Park, don't think the deal has gone through yet. [I forget where in Missouri the trailer park was.]
     Back to Ladies at the Home, Pearl Zahourack isn't like the Pearl I had such a good time with when she lived down st. next block from me at 1120 High. Her mind is slipping and she doesn't have much to say. Avis (Shuart) looks frail; and has to use the walker all the time, but her speech also low and slow, but she has a small book of poems of hers at the printers now. [Pearl and Avis were also members of the church-oriented Bonehead Club. Avis, being older, was also a good adviser to my mother.]
     I wish you could see the living room now, the sun and trees seem to becoming inside. also in the kitchen. How I love the fall weather when it is pleasant and I heard 2 geese that have gone stray from their formation honking. Much love, Mother

How does election strike you was it a surprise. It must be hard for a pres. to be defeated but if they weren't we would never have a change.

Wed Morn. December 1980. mwh
     Dear T&N. Am having such interesting mail this holiday season and I don't intend to keep up with some and feel I have to send them a card.
     Was interested in the turkey literature and remember going by that turkey farm, but still like the bronze or black kind the best for looks. Every fall in Nov. 0r rather several times Dad [Walt] would take me to a turkey farm and one time many of the turkeys wore saddles so the gobbler wouldn't get to them as would injure back or some such and this article about the mating etc, inseminating, new to me. Years ago Ed Wilcox [the neighbor in back of Walt and Florence, on Wayne Street] wouldn't buy a frozen turkey. He would get one at Wilson farm up at Rossville.
 Do you remember Tom when a little boy you wanted a live turkey for a pet and so in fall when up to Junction City, he bought you one at a produce pace. It was a cull and we brought it home in a box and you would pet in all way home [and] put it in a big cage back of garage, and fattened it up and cooked it. As I remember you did object to us doing that but maybe you did. I know I would [not] let Dad kill my duck, but ducks are smarter than turkeys.
    This has been and interesting fun week, as Mon went to AARP meeting and our regular Christmas party. Had it in a very large new church south of town, in their dining room. There were 127 there, lots of food, a covered dish affair, and after the dinner (noon) a group came and put on a program. They played banjos, horns etc and first sang and played and then into the Christmas carols. The 5ables were beautifully decorated by a comm. of our group. Three of us gals go together at the meetings. Then last night was invited upstairs to apt. This gal is a young math teacher in H.S. and has been here in bldg. 2 years. She was here to a coffee of all of us a yr ago. I have never been in her apt. She has a piano and we asked her to play and she is a shy, quiet person but when she got started playing she did a fine job. She served a dessert shortly after we arrived, spice tea and a sq. of cake that had a cooked yummy filling. Mrs. Landis [neighbor] went. There was an invitation on door several nights ago and I took hers in to read to her and she said, "I would like to go to that." She turned us down for 2 years so she asked what she should wear and if she was to take a gift etc, and I told her no gifts and just wear any kind of dress. She has been out of circulation for so long she doesn't know what is going on, but her daughter [remainder of letter missing].

Sat Afternoon. February 1981. Handwritten. mt
 Dear Nathalie. I am enjoying this Sat, as it is so beautiful, the second snow this year. All Jan none, and it seems so quiet, no wind and at times for awhile the flakes so very large and fluffy. They used to say, "The old woman the Sky was picking her geese," then the flakes get normal size like she was down to the small feather picking.
     The forecast was it would reach here Fri afternoon (the storm) so I went over to store and got things to have on hand.
     Thurs had 2 gals for lunch. The one takes 2 or 3 of us to AARP meeting but this time just she and I. He sister lives with her so she came, both of them in late 70s. Francis I have known for years but have only been in her home once, but she will go out to eat and I like to have company here. small group, to keep up on cooking. I had bran muffins, cheese & rice casserole, lemon jello with shredded carrots & cabbage, no dessert.. Francis told her sister she wish I would have bran muffins and they were extra good.  It seemed to me we had a nice afternoon and they left at 3:00.
     Wed Hiliary [Hillary. She often chided Florence for misspelling her name.] called and wanted me to come down and play Scrabble. She has been ailing, has an infected ear. She is going to write her memories just for her daughter.
     Back to Wed. gals. I used my new place mats recd Christmas. They are a woven dull grey brown color very pretty. but had no napkins that went with them, in drawers and came across a 2q card table cover that size. It is so old and flimsy but so pretty. I made 4 napkins 14x15. Cut out the small amt of white in center of it and napkins are all over with large brown & yellow flowers like mums so I only had to hem 2 sides., other side [already] hemmed, and when I use them will fold them in a triangle. Used the brown and yellow kitchen dishes.

Wed Morning [March 1981] Handwritten
Dear T & N. The tying paper gets cheaper and thinner, as got a new packet but the writing tablets are same also.
     The article  about snakes in orchard reminds me of twice I had experience of picking cherries and a big old bull [black?] snake laying across the limb. Poor mother had a horror of snakes also but she was brave and would get the hoe and kill it, and I went in fear every summer, as she would make me pick the cherries and sisters would help also, but going to privy and looking down and laying across a wooden beam was a snake, and I still feel the same fright in any outdoor one, but I can't help it. Jenays little girls touched a snake out to zoo, but I never told them how scared I am of one and the next phobia was tomato worms, the big kind that climb to the limbs, dont think they are on them much anymore.
     Is a beautiful morn. Goodland had 17 in [of snow] last week. We don't have any, but grass is getting green.
     Hale just finished polishing up a rack of silver spoons the gas so hard on them, and while I have done it once since Christmas, they were really black and I tried the soda deal, it worked when not so black, but didn't this time, so had to use silver polish. So wrapped them up and will not get them up until next mon[th] as am having 4 gals in for lunch and when spoons are so black, right where folks are sitting, want them to show up. The cheap metal spoons, that have come up in later years keep their luster. but sterling is hard to keep shiny

     Have beef stew on, and some apples boil baked [and made], so have lunch on the way.
Was over to Jenays mothers in law Mon. night. all there for supper. She is a good cook, and had ordinary food but so good, cor escalloped, and escalloped potatoes same like corn  other potatoes. I like both, and a fruit jello, and angel food cake. Her table is formica top, so seldom uses a cloth, oh yes, have to [?] it was daughter in laws birthday.
     Have you seen the Gary Weakleys [what?]. I took label to show them their ancestors come from east, and so they were interested. Some relatives as you know spell their names different as theirs  is Weekley.
     Talked to Beck [Corby, her niece to marriage] last night, they are in a business deal mess getting stuff ready for income tax, and nice they boys [sons] still have their jobs. Both parents have been in their medical bldg [where the Corby's lived], for several weeks and now he is back in apt. [Remainder of letter is missing]

[May 1981] mt
 [In writing of her friend, Avis Sharp]. . . [portion missing] She writes of her married life living on a farm. She was a city girl, that was used to having a hired girl do the heavy part of house work. They had oil lamps and heating stoves for many years. They inherited the fruit business from father-in-law, he had an apple orchard. Homer (her husband) graduated from K. State majoring in horticulture and carrying on with his fathers work. The Sharps came from Eng. My best friend in my girlhood days was Jessie. She was Homer's cousin and Avis was several years older. sop when I was in teens, I began to pal around with Avis. Well so much for for this family. I only wish Avis and I could get together. There is no way to get to Council Grove for me.
      I thought of an old scrub plum tree by our wind mill, that when in bloom the bees were thick on it. There was an old was tub, had been  washing machine and had a wooden stopper in it and one day, some kids and I were around close and the stopper was full of bees and the only brave thing I did when young. I took hold of that stopper on one end where no bees and pulled it out, bees just held on and the kids were amazed. I knew they wouldn't bother me as have had them crawl on me.
     Am getting adjusted to being alone again. Fri. baked rolls and cinnamon rolls, the reason for the cinnamon rolls was to take France upstairs a small pan of them. She is in a bad way with cancer, is up and around. She had surgery in Dec. but now has spread. I sent her a card from your place and she called me how much she appreciated getting it. I asked what she would like for me to cook for her and she said, "I like your rolls." She has eaten them here at coffees, so took them up Fri.
     And now am sitting in rocker thinking of last Sun. [in Tom's at Shepherdstown, West Virginia] Mothers Day, church and what a full day we had, so interesting, the scenery dinner etc, gospel singers until bedtime, the best Mothers Day have ever had and I shall cherish that memory of May 10-81 forever.

May. Memorial Day 1981. Afternoon. Handwritten, mt
   Yesterday was talking to a friend over phone and she said she was going to cemetary this morn, did I have a way? And so far didn't as too much family deals going on. This friend said that a neighbor broke a bone in foot Sat and had her peonies picked and in refrig. so she wouldn't be able to take them to 3 cemetaries in small towns close, so told this Francis to come get them and do what she wanted to with them , so Frances had a bucket full for me, and I gathered up several coffee cans for them. She went in cemetary a different way and I got mixed up trying to find our corner. so went to office to ask and he had small maps to show where located, ours in East Lawn, and a bucket of flags (small) outside and I asked if I could have one. I used to go out with Less and Gladys [Walt's sister's husband and his second wife]. The man asked if I had a Navy career man, and I said a son, and I wondered if he knew you. I told him the name was Hahn, so he could look up the location of graves.
     And I went over to [sister] Gladys and Joes. Some one had been there with garden flowers. Bob [Joe's son] took me 2 yrs ago, but that friendship has gradually dwindled out.
     Decoration Day was a Special Day for us. as we always went to W. C. [White City] after Grandpa T died, and would take Mother and [sister] Mae and Bob came also but that didn't last long as then Bob died. so we would get up early and get Mae and go to W. C. and to their services in morn and meet old friends and then go to Aunt Celia's [and husband John, her father Tom Torgeson's brother] for noon meal. We took things for the dinner. She sure loved having us. her house had lots of shade around it and always cool. Uncle John was still living a year or two when Bob was. We would go back to Maes late afternoon in later years and stay all night and talk about friends we had seen that day. Am sure Tom you were with us in early years. And we went every year until Dad [Walt] left in 66.
     There were 2 or 3 times we took fish. Dad's catch. Kept them frozen toward that day and was my job to fry them at Aunt Celia's. She thought they were such a treat.
     A shower this morning.

      Tues morn. A hard shower last night. didn't last long. This morn is sunny and fresh, and have been for a walk. The tramp in the cemetary sure made my legs and hips sore so walked to get them limbered up.
[She enclosed obituaries for Marty Beckman, her niece, and her, father, Les Beckman, who died a day later.]

Friday Morn June 1981. Handwritten
Dear T & N. A beautiful cool morn, a light shower in night. The storm Mon. morn broke a large limb off the sycamore by my bathroom window and by Bambi's limb, so he may go next, maybe not as is so close to bldg. I didn't get to look at him this winter when plastic won on window and now he is surrounded by leaves but his head sticking out.
     Not much going on here, but a little funny thing happened to make a story. One afternoon Norma [neighbor] and I went to a larger grocery store to get green stuff (veg) and I looked at the green beans and they were such a large pkg. so got zuchini and little onions stead. The potatoes (new) were not good either. Norma got a bundle of beans and next day came over with a container od cooked beans, and that morn on my early walk there was a good size new potato with dew on it and was cold, only a few feet from our door and washed it and had for lunch with green beans, so yesterday Norma, girl upstairs and my neighbor next door was all in hall and I said, "Did anyone have a hole in grocery sack night before last, and spilled them in front of our door. So we had a big laugh over that, and the girl next door had been making the rounds of all in this bldg and was handing out a pkg of little unbaked rolls to each of us, 5 in pkg, something new she was trying, keep in Frig. and will keep for several days, so we had a laugh about my experience with green beans, potatoes, and rolls. I said it was pennies from Heaven.
     The new neighbor hasn't any personality as so far haven't noticed any. is quiet, and it may be shyness. Anyway, she s quiet. She works in an office at Washburn [College] and walks to work nice weather, her age haven't figured out maybe 40. Susan the upstairs gal is 31, and she is teaching one evening class at Washburn and is an athelete, plays tennis, softball etc., live in Hays Kans. so is a husky farm like girl. Mildred Hawn [neighbor] keeps to herself most of the time, is now in Boston attending some convention. She has been a school teacher and is busy with some sort of work.
     So little experiences happen to keep us going around here during hot weather. Of course Norma is the is the outgoing forward type and is always good for a laugh, although has been quite on shelf lately with health problems and busy with family also.
Later. For a walk and went farther this time. So fresh and cool and all lawns have just been mowed and flowers are bloom, and noticed an apple tree with little apples on it. We should have nice lawns, trees etc going into hot weather with all the rains have had recently.
     Read the place mat letter. [Often when we went out to eat, I kept the place on which to write letters to my mother. Tom] Showed it to Norma. She had never heard of anyone writing on one and that is so interesting and I have it on the cupboard door.
     Am thinking of the Day we went to Camden [Maine]. That was a nice trip and all the time that you are there [in Maine] I will think of other trips and I know what your cabin is like and am sitting there right now and waiting for you to get the pancakes ready for breakfast, too early for blueberry ones and have the cabin pictures out and the one with the pie on the stove and two of Lake. You sent a small snap shot book a yr ago on my birthday of cabin pictures, new picket fence around yard in She[herds]town. mu house in W. C., Peter Rabbit and I, etc. That was such a nice idea fixing up that book, so handy to get out, etc, takes up little room in drawer.
     So your letters from Maine will be looking forward to and I hope the summer will be a pleasant one for you. With love, Mother [Enclosed a poem from AARP Bulletin:
Time speeds on its way too quickly
   Every day slips soon away.
And before the heart can grasp it
   Night has blossomed into day.
Grasp each moment - live it fully.
   For the day so briefly lingers.
There is gold in all the moments
   That we let slip through our fingers. 

MY DAY (Tuesday) July 1981. Typewritten. mt
Dear T & N Up early started making bread and on warm days humid days it sure raises fast so was out of the over by 1:00 and I waited a bit for it to cool a little and then took a loaf down to Hillary, a small loaf, poor dear, she was out in the back all bent over putting some clippings in the trash, she has had back problems so bad lately but persists in getting in the garden.
Her garden is getting a little out of hand as so much rain and grass and weeds are taking hold. She has cut down some on the ground and has a grassy plot between house and garden. Zuchini squash are setting on, and she has planted butternut [squash] but it will be some time before it shows anything as is a fall squash. So after looking the garden over we went inside to cool off and chat a short while and she had stuff in the refrig which she put in there a day before and was cold so she had a long plastic bag and out in five fair size potatoes all washed and 2 large carrots, a beautiful purple onion, she says they are sweet but (I haven't tried it yet. She peeled the outside layer off and it was pretty and shiny was a picture. I think that vegetables are as pretty as flowers both have their place. She also has a lovely rose garden on other side of the house away from he vegetable garden. When she handed me the plastic sack she said This is a Christmas stocking for you. I think I had written you last week when she brought up beans and potatoes it was like Christmas and she was a Summer Santa.
     So today I cooked one of the carrots in the steamer and when they were almost done put in four thick slices of zuchini squash (store bot) and the carrots have such a good flavor.
     Hiliary [she often misspelled her name] likes my bread as she says she doesn't take time to make bread and hasn't done much in that line. She likes to make coblers, etc the best, so I can do something she cant and so know now what she likes that I can make for her. She also said that she likes the garlic pickles I make so we all have to do things that others don't try. I havent been to any other store to get the butter buds, so I enjoyed the package you gave me but will get some when I go to the store as saw an add in paper about them and they were on the diet shelves. And in this enclosed article the mention of Postum. I used to like it with lots of milk in it but haven't seen it in stores.
     And then this afternoon late Harriet, Mrs. Samways that used to live down te hall came to see me, then wanted me to go for ice cream but was looking stormy and I didnt want any so they came in and visited instead, so when they left I gave them the other little loaf of bread. I have done that before and they like it so I am left with the larger loaf, it isn't too large. Harriet asked what I was going to do 4TH OF JULY, and I said that Jenay had asked me there. She said that if it fell through to come and eat with them and a couple, so I would liked to have done that but my family first.
     I made up a batch of Snow pudding, with gelatin and a custard sauce to pour over it and is so refreshing on these hot days. I try to do some of the hot cooking in early morn that requires heat and I think of the summers when I was young and mother would cook up a kettle of the little new potatoes early in the morning and would be ready for supper and the kitchen wouldn't be so hot as a kettle of boiling potatoes can make a lot f heat so I did just that this morn only not a kettleful but enough for two meals. And warming them up doesn't take so much heat.
     I think of what you are doing and at times wish that I were there []at the cabin in Maine], but your letters are so interesting and I know what you are doing and can sit back and see all the activity, and you telling about lobsters and remember you having them then there but I liked the stew the next day the best. That red stew sure was tasty. Wouldnt it have been fun when you were younger Tom is some of the relatives lived somewhere and had a cabin and we could go visit but we were lucky to have so many relatives here and have picnics etc/ So I can imagine that Wayne and Clara [Bjorlie of Shepherdstown] will have a great time with you. They were there last year, were they not?
     Just came back from walk, an early one and the grass so heavy with dew and is hazy and seems cool but air is heavy. Saw a brown thrasher, hey are such a pretty bird. We used to have them every summer back in the bushes. And I missed the two doves that have been walking ahead of me on my way to store so they have probably flown away.
     Later afternoon, had a little bed rest but not a nap but I just lay there and thought about the hot summer afternoons when I was a little girl and mother would make us a pitcher of lemonade for a treat every afternoon and we would play out under the apple tree or when we got the tent played in it but it was not as cool as under the trees, and if we would get out in the sun she would call out to tell us to put on our sunbonnets so we wouldn't get sun burned. She would pull down the shades on the west part of the kitchen and dining room, the sunny part of the house in the afternoons and the house was very comfortable. She had so many ideas like that [that] other mothers didnt do and she would take a rest of hot afternoons.
Thursday morn. Dont suppose you watched the movie last night [clippings enclosed] it was very good, also the African picture so that was a full evening for TV and so glad it was not stormy as I don't have the TV on when it storms. With Love Mother

Sun September 1981 Handwritten. mt
How nice to talk with you on a rainy afternoon, but I got in on  a nice walk this morn.
    I may have written hat took the radio to be fixed. Doris Martin [old neighbor from 1120 High Avenue days] took me and I supposed would be taking it to a service shop and she said she knew a man that did radios and fixed 2 for her some time ago, so went to see him and left it. I found out afterward he must have had a shop as my bill was on an old sales slip. This man is retired and is such a clean fellow, neat sort. I guess the rest of us old retired guys are not?] I called him we would be after it and he even brought it out to car. He said he got a large percent off the tubes and took some off my bill, only two tubes were burnt out. He said the tubes had gone up to 21.00 etc, and so I felt luck to get hold of an honest ,am and a small charge. So had radio  on last night and works fine. [She was a very poor sleeper and often listened to the radio several hours a night in bed.] Doris is such a kind person. He husband died this summer and she has put the retarded boy age 35 or so in a home for such. She says very little about her problems and I know why she has done this. She has a cancer of lymph gland, has had t for years and takes treatment for it, one hand and arm swollen. So she wants him to get adjusted and cared for and she is so pleasant always and until her husband was home sick, she took patients to hospital for treatments.
     Am thinking about Labor Days in past, the colo]rado] peaches came in around that times and I made a jam that was pretty and colorful. Was peaches and ground up oranges and marchino cherries (now taboo on account of coloring) you called it Halloween jam as so orange color. And the white clematis and trellis was always in full bloom that day. Maybe I have written this in my letter to you Sat. so may be a repeat. I have written to Zita [Nephew Franc Schump's wife] so may be it was her. She [Zita] also misses family since they have moved out as they scatter and do or go other places, yet she is fortunate to have them in same town [Kansas City, Missouri]. So is [niece] Charlotte. They write to those 2 girls, as we all miss Kate [Florence's sister, Kate Schump] and her sister] Gladys. They did not know [other sister] very well as were young when she was her [that is, living].
     July wasn't a very good month for me, so humid so stayed in so much of time. Air conditioners are fine, but too much of it in stores and some homes. I would get so chilled with fans going, and conditioner on low at times. My sinus was uncomfortable also with humidity plus, the pa9nting they did [in apartments] in the halls in May and my bathroom in June. It was horrible and I still smell paint others dont seem to, but with drier weather and open windows it is better. August has been a good month temperature down cool nights and no dust as August usually has. Love, mother

Fri Morn [Sept 1981] mt
     Dear T & N. Sure having some early fall mornings 38, has hit a record since '73, and the daytimes 60. So after drawing up in a knot night before last piling on blankets I broke down yesterday and put on electric blanket, so had a cozy nights sleep last night. But we will have warmer days as we usually do in fall.
    In my last letter about dates I left out our reunions [with her sisters] started. The night before Mothers funeral all we girls [five] were up to Maes and were sitting at table talking and Bernice said, 'Now lets dont drift apart. Lets get together every Oct for a Reunion." And we drew names, and poor Gladys drew for the first one. She was always a little uptight about company for any length of time, was the cooking that bothered her, but that first Reunion 28 years ago [1953]was wonderful. She had games for us to play and just all to be together for a whole week was really something, and so no we have added Zita [sister Kate's son, Frances Schump's wife] and Charlotte [sister Kate's daughter] and still had ones after [sister] Gladys] left, only they have been in the summer when Charlotte was closer.
I went to my church group meeting Wed. and we had a good speaker who called herself Princess (somebody) from a foreign country Russia or some place. I was in a tight corner so didn't get much out of the talk. There were 2 ladies that always come with walkers and have to be helped, so I was the one to do it. Someone came in while folks were arriving and asked if I could come to he car and help her with a lady. I went but I didn't do any lifting, so another lady came out for that and I carried the purse, [and] walker and they wheeled her in a wheel chair. It was a tug over a brick sidewalk so I have to watch myself also. So many in my group are in their 80's [Florence was 84]. I shouldn't say many as attendance is usually 15 or 20. We meet at different homes but there are times when they dont have enough room for that many and one of the members has it ather home, and the ladies like to go there. They have been there so many times they have certain chairs that they want to sit in. This is a 2 story house and has a large living room. and Nathalie you would be beside yourself when you first see it. I never get over the hodge podge, even Christmas stuff is still mantle along with jar of BVengay hand lotion, etc, and the photographs hung or sitting all over, the coffee table full of clipboards, store sale papers, etc, it is really wild. They dont have to live like that, but thats her style. Some times she picks me up for things going on at church. Her husband did this time and I had a little fresh loaf of bread for him .  .[Remainder of letter missing]

Wed Morn [Sep.1981]
     My Dear Son Yesterdays letter was such a good one and I spent part of the afternoon looking over old pictures, etc and have everything in neat bundles. Put back. And came across the enclosed items which are very old as you can see, the letter from the White City Register Marie [Hahn] sent me in 1976 when she was looking over her old scrap books, and the letter to his mom [Mattie Defries Hahn, I guess] from your Dad are like your letters to me. So dont send them back. You keep them. [I think these are a couple of letters from Walter Hahn to his mother from France during World War II.] Grandpa Hahn died died before Grandpa T., Grandma T a widow from Mar 30 1939 until her death 1952 Oct 29. I miss Myrtle Walter Hahn's sister] when it comes to remembering dates. And I am glad that you are not bored about me talking about the past as both you and Nathalie are interested in past history.
     Yesterday at store, a lady and I were by the meat counter and heard an explosion and it was close by at cheese, canned biscuits and a can of biscuits had popped open and across the isle where bottled drinks are and had bits of dough hanging from them.
     Beautiful weather, yesterday morning jackets were being worn and then sun warms up later in day and is very pleasant. A bunch of crows across the st. kept up a racket. They sound so much like wild geese in the fall.
     Am so lad that you can get fresh fruit. We dont have too much variety in the store like you do with the road side markets and I remember how good the peaches etc were in the visits there., but soon the fall apples from our orchards will be ready, the Jonathan and delicious but have had good vegetables. Yesterday had cut up stew meat and when tender added some noodles, and in the serving bowl I cut up fresh parsley and put the meat and noodles on top so the parsley was crisp and chewy and green. And soon all kinds of squash will be ready and that is a good fall veg. to look forward to. Haven't been to Hiliarys for 2 wks as she has been out of town, so must get in touch with her, and her garden stuff.
     Take care of yourself and much luck in your new job [at West Virginia University]. It must be a strain to start out on a new venture like that, or it is? With love, Mother

[Probably September 1981. Typewritten]
"The golden rod is yellow. the corn is turning brown, the trees in apple orchards, with fruit is bending down."
Dear Son. It seems as tho this month is not turning out as lovely as poems about Sept tho I can remember lots of Septs when it was a nice month, the first half hot, then the last half really fall like, and we still have a half a month to go.
     When I was a little girl I always looked forward to school, usually had a new dress and always the first day of each month the teacher would have the top of the blackboard with color stencil. something seasonal for that month. And in September comming home from school the best smells comming from our house, picillili, catsup[ or jelly and there was always the smell of fresh baked bread and we could have a slice of it with butter and brown sugar on it, so snack foods then.
     An I remember one Sunday afternoon in Sept when Jessie and I went out to a farm to visit friends of theirs, and she and I went out in the orchard and ate peaches and pears. The folks (Jessies) had a buggy, two seated with a fringe on top) and I never remembered going out there again.
    I was reading the other day how the aged remembered things so clearly about their early childhood and yet forget what was told yesterday. So memory is a wonderful thing, if we keep the good things in mind.
     Your cards, leaves, and letter came yesterday and that card means a lot to me no Hallmark card can match it and it sets on an easel on the shelf I brought home from Gladys. This shelf is hanging on the wall over the telephone stand, and I have all sorts of little bric-a-brac on it. And I am glad that you have a sentimental side and enjoy natures beauty.
     Dad used to bring home things he found on his walks, maybe a little bouquet of flowers or a rare weed for my fall bouquet and often a bird feather of some unusual bird and he would find [other] little objects. I used to say I never found anything and he would say,, "You go too fast and your head is up in the clouds" and now my head is in the gutter as I have to watch my step and I still find very few things.
     At last we have had a big rain. It has been working up to it as have had it all around 2 1/2 in yesterday and in night before, but hasn't turned cool yet, tornado warnings for two nights in early evening and have had bad storms in other towns. I turn the TV off when it is storming and lightening, the lightening was bad last night, and in some towns it caused fires. But we know it can rain, it was all clear this morning.
     My new neighbor down the hall brot over two slices of onion bread that is out of this world. I ate one slice with butter and the other toasted, tastes something like dill bread only it isn't made with cottage cheese. I hope to be able to make it some day but I haven't asked for the recipe yet, all let her bring it, I mean for a treat. I took some of mine over and I was proud of it. This onion bread is a light bread, not farm style.

Thurs Morn [9 October 1981]. Handwritten
Dear T& N." This is a pause that refreshes" to sit down and talk to you.
The girls left at 8 15 as Bernice's bus [to Goodland, Kansas] got in at 8:40 and then Zita & Charlotte drove her to station and then went home to K.K. Gayferd will go to KC this afternoon and they will go back to Mo. tomorrow and hope to go home to Calif. next week.
     It was a wonderful Reunion just packed with fun, as we had added Christmas while they were here, no big deal but, we got useful little things all summer for it, so no pkgs to have to be mailed at Christmas.
     We rested the day after they came and then went out on the town, Bernice looking for clothes she couldnt find and other shopping. Zita knows her way around now to different centers [in Topeka]. Betty, Bernices friend gave her $20.00 to take us to lunch as she didn't have us over this summer when we were visiting there. so we had lunch yesterday at a nice place and one today at a little place called the Cheese Pantry, and Tues afternoon was sprinkling all day and dark and Hiliary invited us down for tea. First we played an interesting game of checkers, use ordinary checkers but played in a different way, then at 5 we sat at table and had tea and cookies and zuchini bread with cream cheese filling which was so good. The girls think she is a smart cooky and interesting. A such a nice time on a dark day.
     One evening we watched" Family Reunion" which was on 2 nights, a continuing of the night before. Bette Davis was wonderful in it? Hope you saw it. Then Tue "Callie and Son" and Wed Jacqueline Kennedy, all were three hours ling, so we were entertained all evening and was nice they happened to have 3 good ones in a wee, and if we had an early supper we had a little snack later in evening. We stayed up late, for 2 days Zita had a very lame back and she slept on floor which she said helped some and in between times when home I had her use the heating pad. The damp weather may have brot it on but she wanted to get out & do things.
     Yesterday late afternoon Norma brot over half a cake and sat awhile & talked and then I got super in oven. Bernice sneaked over to store & brot 4 nice pork chops and I baked them and sweet pot and slices of butter nut squash in with the chops and let them bake slowly and boy were they good. I had simple meals. Made apple salad twice request) and had yellow delicious apples for that and Jonathan for the whole cooked kind with skins on, Bernice brought the large size tupper container packed full of chewy cookies, another can of pinwheel cookies. I had homemade bread part of time and they sure liked the toast. When I made toast from store bread they were so flabby.
     And Zita washed dishes most of time [no wonder she had a lame back], dried them and put them away and put them in right place in cupboard, and so I didn't have that dish rack of dishes facing me (as I do when I am by myself). Charlotte's job was to set table and go to store and empty trash. I wouldnt let Bernice work as she needed more rest. That bus trip is a long one and our gadding around took energy. I felt fine all the time and was on the ball, some nights not good, but excitement and some one around kept me stimulated. So today I hope there is a letter from you as am alone and miss the girls. But have defrosted and have the refrig. in a nice shape, very few leftovers and has space to stock up anytime.
      Some of the trees are coloring and they show up well and Oct is half gone and now have the trees to watch coloring. Love, Mother

[November 1981] Handwritten. In response to a Topeka newspaper article entitled, "A Grim Month.". Handwritten. mh
I dont agree with this article, the Nov is a grim month. To me it is a lovely fall month, Indian Summer, Thanksgiving to look forward to, and air so fresh and crisp, geese flying over, hunting season, and fall harvest, things such as apples, squash, sweet potatoes and cranberries, and the Hahn family Special Day Thanksgivings and Grandma Hahn's specialty was cranberry sauce & the jellied kind, and baked apples. Sometimes a light snow in Nov, had a baby boy [me, Tommy] arrive and that Thanksgiving I remember well as baby too little to take out so grandma T[orgeson] said they would come to our house. We hadnt started the Hahn Thanksgiving [tradition] yet so Gladys, Bernice, Tom T[aggart] and grandma T and grandpa [Torgeson] came to our house. Grandma made pie and other things and I baked a large hen, dressing with help as I wasnt too strong yet, and the when all the kids were around 8 & 10 yrs we started going to Hahn families.
     And I think of the history of First Thanksgiving and now mine has changed and a whole new set up, but a family set up anyway but not my real family, times change.

5 November 1981
     Am remembering 55 yrs ago on Nov 5. and you have brought me much happiness through the years. And I love you Mother

Monday Afternoon [December 1981] Handwritten.
Dear Tom. How did you know this would be a Blue Monday as far as weather is concerned, raining when got up, a slow kind and very dark. But I have been busy with many little chores.
     Have been reading all the interesting little clippings and while Thanksgiving has just passed and it is such a good holiday, lots of tradition and family gatherings. And turkeys brought to my mind while reading about them of one fall before Thanksgiving we were up to Maes, you and Dad and I, and we passed turkey places and you said you would like to have a live turkey to feed and for your own, so while there in Junction City, Dad went to a turkey store to look for a small turkey and found a cull, a healthy bird but not ones idea of one for Thanksgiving dinner and he bought it, and found a large carton and out it in the back and didn't tell you until we got in the car. You had to have it with you in the back seat and you patted it all the way home. Dad made a little pen back of garage and you fed it and it filled out in no time, but it seems like you had no objection to us killing it when got cold weather. Do you remember that?
    Saturday at 6:30 I went with Jenays family to an advent party for young folks. They have had one for 2 years, so I though there would be some older folks there only one elderly couple, the rest were parents of young children and a few 60 year olds. They had all kinds of stuff for the children to so for a tree in basement and other places, so some made foam ornaments, some string pop corn and cranberries, and the little ones decorated cookies. The mothers each too a pan of baked cookies.
     We have a house or Reach out Place for retarded young folks in teens & older and they go to our churc services with a helper and quite a few of them were there. All but two were men folks, around 20s and some one came over and asked if one of us would help a 20 yr old retarded blind girl decorate cookies, so I volunteered and we sat in low chairs at a long table and I had to guide her hand with a flat knife and she would feel along to see if the frosting was all over. I cant think of eating those cookies the little folks had and licking off the knife and I then left her and went to a table where adults were teaching a deal, so tried one, a sq mirror glass and you trace a design. They had cards to use and put stuff on, etc and take off the paper after 5 min and have a frosted design on that mirror glass, and I found Ashley, my little one, and gave it to her and she was thrilled and on the way home she said, "Grandma, I have the glass picture all wrapped up in my bag so it won't break."
     There were pans or large kettles of pop corn to eat and cocoa any time they wanted it. At the place where I did the picture one of ministers teen age boys, he has 3, was helping folks get started on the glass deal. He helped me, didn't have much to say but was nice and I was surprised to see so many young boys there - the food attracted them also and then when it was over we went upstairs in church part and sang carols, then downstairs again and all helped clear up the mess. Jenay and Gary work with the young children. Some hoe I was impressed and touched by it all. And the minister asked if they would like to have the retarded take the cookies  and they boxed them up and gave them.
     Tried to think of the name of the home for the retarded. Its called "Sheltered Living" Doris Martins son lives in one of these houses. He goes home once or twice a week for supper and sometimes 2 or 3 others come too with him.
     I have laughed over the clipping "Making Thanksgiving Memories" about the burning rags and turkey manure, etc and foul smells and the lovely smells of camelias. Was really a different article, not the Grandma Moses kind.
Tues Morn. Snow on tops of cars and a very fine snow now. Nebr. had a big one yesterday. We are not predicted for one but one never can tell.
     I try to accept what is best for others and did the same in you case, having to change dates [about my coming to Kansas, apparently. Tom] Maybe you will be more relaxed by the new date while you are here a more time also.
     A good program on PBS channel last night. on life of Bing Crosby from a baby to his death and his career. He sang all the songs and they were good ones. 2 1/2 hours of it. With love, Mother

Sat Morning [December 1981] Handwritten.
     Dear T & N. Tis a beautiful winter morn, the sky such a deep blue now, the winter look, and sun sets at 5 p.m. I look at every evening when its clear.
     Went to church tea Wed. It was for all women at church, but only 25 or so there and such a beautiful program, the Madrigal Singers group from Topeka High School gave a program, only one black girl there in program and she has won a scholarship to Juilliard Music College, and after program we all sang carols and then to basement where they had the tea, and tables decorated so pretty and the tea table so attractive, all kinds of handmade cookies and little nut bread, banana bread sandwiches and we sat at tables and visited, and we all had a feeling of Christmas and "Good Will."
     Have had no snow, only a light wet one last week. but didnt stay on ground, but places like Ariz & Calif got some, unusual, and Nebraska a lot and missed most of Kans. Had an accumulation in Goodland.
     There was a gorgeous sunset last night and tonight am going to get my coat on and go to the corner where I can see it sink down low. Here I can see it go behind the store, and the one last night passed through a cloud and was something have never seen before. And I think of all of you at this time and do so during the day. At sunset time I sit on the cedar chest [in the bedroom] and watch.

  I remember how  Mae [sister] did the last 2 yrs she was here [alive]. She had a candle on at 4 o'clock during winter months and sat and thought of we sisters. It is a time of evening that is sort of a lonely time for women [and men?] who live alone. The sun starts going down at 4:45 and by 5 has gone down.
     Chelsey is quite a Book worm. She reads, and so the little one and the cat & sat on divan and talked. She is a chatterbox. This is the first time the cat has gotten up beside us.
    Do you remember Mrs. McHenry that lived by Grandma Hahns? She is still going at 90 and lives in a house, a different one and down a ways from her home, [on West 17th]. this one on Polk Street. She goes to my church. At a meeting she asked if anyone would like a lap pad. Folks give her material, yarn sn craps to make them [Remainder of letter missing] 

First and it came in like a lamb [1 March 1982]. s
Dear T & N. A beautiful day  and I took a walk this afternoon.
     Last night a gorgeous sunset. I was sitting in L room and a light so very bright shone thru and thought must have left the hall light and bathroom lights on so went to see and there was the sun getting ready to set so I sat on the stool and watched it sink behind the store bldgs it takes about 15 min and was so lovely and I sat and thought of all my sisters, parents and you and felt a little lonely. and after the sun sank there was a bright red sky where the moon [sun] had been. I wonder if many people take time to watch a sunset like that.
     Watched [Archie] Bunker. was interesting to have Gloria and little Joe there. and if they stay it may turn out to be quite interesting. Nice you have a second TV upstairs.
     On this March front picture in my engagement pad is the same picture as last years book, a man plowing a field with 2 horses and black birds
flying around.
     An am wondering how the canal trip turned out and if Marti and Chris came, and thought about you I I, Nathalie, and the rest of us at that very cold windy night at a place and you made chili etc. for the crowd.. Bernice called late afternoon yesterday (Sun) pleasant weather there.
    Thank you for the article. Alexandria Historical Soc, how proud I am of you son, Love, Mother

Mon Morn [22 March 1982] s
     Dear T & N. Last night out to Beckys, was a fun one. She was only going to have Ricks family and I and then decided to have Corby Srs also, as they dont get out much, and she didnt give them much notice, asked them in morning before they went out to eat there in dining room so told them not to eat too much there.
      The table had a money tree in center, and 85 dimes on it and that was for me. [Her birth date was 23 March 1897.] And the dinner so good, baked chicken breasts, baked potatoes, brocolli cooked in steamer and no seasoning on it was just good natural then a large bowl of cut up (Texas) oranges, grape fruit, and bananas and for dessert Angel food cake only a light glaze and small cups ice cream, was a good diet meal for any one. [Becky] and Harry Corby  stayed winters in South Texas, hence the Texas citrus fruit.]
     Went to basement to see the train collection and other and you can hardly walk thru, has small pinball machines (old) etc all sort of things on that order. Rick said that if anyone broke in his Dad wouldn't know what was taken, and they have so many things, several antique grandfather clocks. but enough room [and] they look nice in dining room, living room, and even in breakfast room, to each his own.
    Meagan [daughter of Rick's second wife, Debby] is such a sweet little girl and real handy. She loves every body and she & her mother are a good addition to the family. Debbie is a down to earth person and they are all looking forward to the May baby. We had quit the good session trying to get names for baby.
     Am going out to lunch today, two ladies are taking me, they are sisters and live together and one works part time in mornings, the other moved here from Texas both widows and in their 70s. I think a nice arrangement but the one that owns the house is impatient with the other who is lame from a broken hip 3 years ago, but they really do well together sharing expenses. they had to have a new stove and bought it together.
     The Corbys noticed my glasses and they thought they looked so nice and gave me a new book. All wished you were there.
     So tomorrow is my real birthday. I have kept so quiet about it and havent mentioned birthday but seems as tho folks have written it down as have been getting cards and invitations out and as you said Tom maybe the idea of it being 85 years. I dont want to think about a 90th one. [She would have been surprised had someone told her that she would have a 100th one.] B pkg arrived and Thank You.
     Nice of you to send a note to Mrs. Diehl, Tom, as you too are in her past and she thinks of you.. She was a good neighbor . . .[Remainder of letter missing]

Thurs Morn [March 1982]. s/mt
     Dear T & N. Well winter is back again, really never has been good, as has been chilly except a day of two in between, and yesterday snow and rain mixed and this morn the same, doesnt stay on ground, on TV is shown the bad snows in the East.
     Cozy inside and am making raisin bread, and dont know how my company will feel like coming. [sister] Bernice supposed to come tomorrow Zita and Fran [nephew and wife] Sunday for dinner.
     Have an accommodating postman a new one, I seldom see who we have, but on my birthday week we got acquainted as he knew from amount of mail cars and pkgs, it was my birthday. Also one of gals upstairs had one last week and he had one also. Yesterday I went out to see if mail had come and he was there and I asked the zip of a letter and he told me so I got the letter and put a stamp on it and he waited for it. My letter wasnt sealed and he said, "No problem, I will lick it shut."
     The early flowers have been starting to bloom, and here it is snowing heavier and big flakes but melting as it hits the ground.
    I have finished reading "The Lord God Made them all" Harriots last book, quite interesting, and now have read them all, and still wouldnt like a vets life. I saw quite a bit of animal life when I was young. When I was young one time coming home from school I saw a calf half born, our side walk from school was across the road and there was where the barn was, and the cow. [I don't know whether or not it was the Torgeson's barn.] And I woudnt eat oatmeal for a long time as I didnt want to have milk on anything. Mother never noticed that I didnt with so many kids around the table, how could she, she didnt eat breakfast wit us. Then I got over that and another time , was evening, and Dad came in with arms &hands covered with blood, and he told mother he had to help deliver the calf. She didnt see me there and again I went without milk on things, so I wouldnt make a good farmers wife. The  when little chickens hatched during a snow storm, she would bring them in to cookstove oven, and the feathers sure did smell as they were wet.
The flakes are coming down big and fluffy now. so the "Old woman is picking [the feathers of her] her geese." and is beginning to stay on ground and is so pretty, and grass is green. Some how it seems like Sat. and am glad it isnt. Now I have never seen flakes this large, thought I had seen everything in way of storms, but this is something. With love, Mother The little wt spell is over, lasted an hour and snow melted but still cloudy.

Mon Morn [March 1982] Handwritten. s/mwh
     Sent Nathalie a letter yesterday  but have been thinking about things this morn as I work around the kitchen. Aunt Myrtle [Walter's sister] used to have a tablet on kitchen table and she would jot down things to write to Irma, and she (Irma) used to tell us those letters meant so much to her when she was so far from home, and in those days telephone long distance calls were only for sickness, death calls, not for chatting. And neighbor Mary upstairs writes a weekly letter to her daughter in Calif of bits and pieces, clippings etc, not much news about what or where she has been during the week as sometimes she doesnt get out all week. She is crippled, walks with cane. She is one who took me out in country last week when we went for groceries, and she only comes downstairs to see us when we have a coffee but she is a smart person and has traveled and reads a lot, so like to be with her. Well yesterday I was over to store and just got a small sack of groceries, but had the wrong purse so didnt have enough [money] for groceries, so left the sack of them on counter and told them I would be right back, when I got back they weren't there. they couldnt have time to wait on more than one person, so had to do shopping over, but not hard when only four items to get. Am trying not to carry a heavy bag at a time, so am wondering if that person will bring the groceries back, a pkg of chicken in it.
     They have a notice that an all time butcher will be there and to ask for different cuts of meat. I got a pkg of chicken wings as that is my favorite piece of chicken and the big part of it was cut with a big part of rest of chicken on the big bone of wing. Chicken wings have been same price as other parts, so I usually get whole chicken. So am having lima beans green and small pieces of carrots cooked in steamer, the chicken in oven along with a piece of peach cobbler, the cobbler will be for 3 meals warmed up in little oven. I dont need any lectures on diets for the aging or nutrition as I work on it most of the time. I dont live on snacks, it takes time but I like doing it.
     I am seeing your yard this beautiful morn, the little flowering trees and the tulips etc. There is one thing I forget is names, and have to think a long time. but memories are very clear in my mind., like the other night over to Jenays. They wanted me to look at the new swings, etc they got for the kids, they had swing for real little ones and now they are older, to they have bars, swings, etc, bright painted ones, and I remembered the heavy poles and substantial swings Dad [Walter] put up for you and sand box, a large one, all was work to do, the kind now takes work to put up but thats all, and I can see the swings that we had at my home [in White City, Kansas] two, in a big tree, by the cellar and what fun for two on a swing board pumping it together and climbing up in that tree also, I didn't climb trees like Kate [sister] did and the other neighbor kids. . .[Remainder of the letter is missing]
Sat Afternoon [May 1982] Handwritten. s
     Dear Tom: A letter from you today and I like the red ink print also. This article in mornings paper made me think of the good times down on the farm with Beckmans and our kids. [Obituary of Alonzo "Lonnie: Hiefner died at 89, of Admire, Kansas] I didn't realize he ["Lonnie" Hiefner] was that much older than I and were married 6 years longer than Dad & I. The first time I got to meet him and Hazel [Hiefner], and another couple was at the Capitol [the State Capitol Building at Topeka, apparently] the Lesh's, at some public affair. Dad [Walter] worked with these two men [at the Chevrolet Garage in Topeka, I believe] and had met their wives and they were sure curious about me, as he had told them how wonderful I was etc, and they sure gave me a looking over at that meeting, and told me later, that I wasnt as wonderful as he told them.  And from the clipping the had a lot of grand and great grandchildren.
  Bernice just called me and said [niece] Dorothy left [from Goodland, Kansas to probably Port Angeles Beloit, Kansas]. She was going to stay all day but the weather forecast was for rain so decided to leave. Bernice had bought extra groceries etc expecting her to be there for  2 breakfasts and a whole day of meals. And I was busting to know if she told Bernice something she told me, so we had a laugh out of that. She has a "Boy Friend" she met at trailer park in Ariz 2 or 3 yrs ago, and is crazy about him and all she talked about after we got our family talked over and pictures to show etc etc. I was surprised she was so frank about the relationship. She said they ate most of their meals together. He is a Bohemian [dairy farmer in Wisconsin] and has 9 children and some grand kids, is 65 yrs old and she is 71 yrs. She has written about him in her yearly letters [portion of letter omitted as too personal]. [Tony died tragically a few years ago by being run over while he was crossing a road to get his mail in Wisconsin.]
     Her [Dorothy's] son Gene lives at Mesa and is married, no children. He is a Prof of Science and something else, is a smart fellow.They dont live as close as city folks do. It must be beautiful therel looking out on the Bay. [Gene died in his 50s in Oahu, Hawaii. Dorothy's home is indeed in a beautiful location on looking out over the Strait of Juan de Fuca with Victoria Island in the back ground and with the Olympic Mountains behind her. She still lives there at age 95.]
     Today is "May Day" and when you were young all the kids went around the neigborhood and hung may baskets on the door knob. I remember one time I forgot to make the baskets for you and you came tearing in the house saying the kids were taking theirs, so sent you up to attic for the wall paper book and I made cornucopias and pinned them together, and we had spirea & lilacs in bloom so filled them wit those flowers/ Do you remember doing that? It was a pretty custom as old folks as well as others enjoyed it. But only after I was left alone at 1120 High [after my father died in 1966] did they come only 2 or 3 yrs after that. And yesterday I was reminded of May baskets as went to Book Club and one of the guests brot a bouquet of deep purple violets from her yard, they were so pretty. I had made cinnamon rolls the day before so I took 2 of them to the hostess because she lives alone in an apt. I put them in corner of cabinet and told her not to say anything about them. And she called this morn and said she had one for supper and one for breakfast. She doesnt bake bread stuff. Dorothy said I hadnt lost my touch with Rolls & cinnamon ones. Se makes bread, and makes rye which I have never done. She copied some bread recipes.
     Dorothy brought 4 grapefruit and I ate 1/2 of one, and so sour I couldnt eat any more, too much acid, the Texas oranges [grapefruit] are the kind you can eat like apples the ruby red kind.  So I have taken the other three to the neighbors, left two at the doors and at one door she was home and said, "What do you want to take back home? I said, Didnt know I was getting anything." She said she had pie, or had cooked chicken, a piece of pie or a piece of chicken and so I will have that for my supper. She said "That was custom in their house in anyone brought something you should give something back." I dont like that way of doing.
     Dorothy [Waters, daughter of Mae (Torgeson) Christensen, Florence's sister] stopped in Jct City [where Mae lived before her death in 1972] on way here and the yard looked so run down, she had been in house before one time and they had done some remodeling which was nice. . . [Personal data not included]
Sunday Afternoon Have been to church, was our Fellowship Sunday and a covered dish affair and I put some money in a dish for the coffee, napkins, etc, this is my 3rd time to do this and they have so much food, so I dont have to fix a dish and lug it over, always take my plate, fork, spoon & napkin. Today 4 students from Baker [University at Baldwin, Kansas. This was a Methodist institution.] were our guests and gave a short talk. I was way in back and hard to catch all of it, and they were guests to te dinner. so when dinner over I went over to their table and asked about Jim Chub [He was a well know inspiration speaker back in the 1940s.], for you, the boys didnt know him but one of the girls did. She said she just loved him. he was everyones friend, he passed away a year ago.
     Their enrollment [tuition] cost a year if I got it straight was 3,000. Georgine took me to church and leaves after church as she doesn't like covered dish dinners. and I come back with Gary & Jenay [Georgine's daughter and husband].
     So after I got home took a walk and such a calm lush spring day half hazy so was pleasant but my legs havent been used to walks and could [not] go very far. [After all, she was 85.]
     Hope you had a nice day too, does Dovey ever go, outside the yard. [Our cat Dovey never went outside the yard.] With love, Mother

[July 1982]. Handwritten
[Portion missing] And about the article in "Camping" you mentioned about "Watching the Sunset is a ritual," makes me think of this past Feb. the sunsets were so gorgeous. I think maybe I have written about them, the winter sunsets and the bathroom was all aglow like lights were on. And it took about 20 minutes to go down and that was sort of a ritual for me. I sat and thought of you and my sisters, a special time I and I also thought about Mae for 2 yrs or more in winter she had a candle lighted about 4 pm and sat and thought about us.
     Seems as tho you are busy most of days going on trips and visiting folks or they coming to see you, so you are having a busy summer. The quilt card so interesting, think of making blocks, a church, a store etc. This was on Castine [Maine] trip and I would love to have been on that trip and your letters so interesting about it.
     Must get on ball and make room in closet for Avis comes Fri. With love Mother

[August 1982.] Handwritten. mt
[First part of letter missing] You sent a clipping about picnics in the past. When I was young and even grown up at home picnics were rare, but I do remember 2 or 3 that were outstanding and where and when we went has lost me, but it was in my teens and maybe we walked to a place, but boys and girls half date thing and mother made potato chips for me to take.   The kind we get now werent on the market. She had a maker like a cabbage shredder and you would shred the potato and it would come out like waffles [with] the holes in it and they were not as thin as potato chips are now, buy t we thot they were great. They had to be in [a] deep frying kettle and such a hot job and mother put them in a sack size of pillow slip (flour sack) imagine making that many. they were a novelty among my gang. Mother was always ahead f the time in doing things. And I thought when I was first married I had to bake beans like she did, several hours, and I would take them to the Hahn picnics, and then I got on to the canned beans and liked them better than the other way. Dad used to come home on the picnic day to a hot kitchen and say "Why do you decide on baking beans when there are easier things to take," and then I got on to how to quick bake the store kind. Marie would volunteer to take a jar of pickles for her dish, she was a young bride to, but not used to seeing her Mother sweat over a cook stove like my mother did, and my friends used to liked to eat at our house.
Mon Morn
Temp at 6.30 60, and humidity 90, so while cool is harder to breathe. I took a walk and met one neighbor and we walked together so that slowed me down and kept me from walking faster which I shouldnt do. I went out while clothes were in dryer. So now the work is done and still lots of morning left, and I have leftovers from yesterday so lunch will be a breeze to fix.
     Tell me all about your visit with Betsy. With love, Mother

Saturday Afternoon [September 1982] Handwritten. mwh
     Dear Tom  Your letter came today and has opened a whole new trend of thinking. about China painting of your friend [Jerry Smith, of Shepherdstown, West Virginia]. In later years it has almost become a lost art. In my younger days it was quite the thing. I have only one hand painted dish, a small plate and has the date 1919 given to me as a shower (wedding gift by a friend and initials are on it but I cant remember who it was). I have two other hand painted dishes that are pretty also. A whole, set done by a person for their Anniversary would be really something special. The dishes painted for Tom and Nat Hahn by Jerry Smith was a tea set that had Chesapeake and Ohio Canal scenes from the books on the canal that Tom had written. The set was donated to the Charlestown West Virginia Museum when the Hahn's left West Virginia about 1999]
     And the article about tuna was also informative, I have wondered about what the difference was in dark or white. I think the dark has more flavor for casseroles but have always been hesitant about getting a brand havent known. Sometimes in different parts of the country they carry brands we dont get here. [Sister] Mae used to use oil and for the seasoning and those were the days when we werent so concerned about fats, I drained it off, and now folks wash it off or get water pack. I always get Chicken of Sea, Star Kist or Bumble Bee, the latter has only been around here in later years.

     What did you think of the General Foods lettere? I thought it was interesting and to think that Postum, Post Toasties and Shredded Wheat [remainder of letter missing].

[September 1982] Handwritten. s/mh
Have just had Sunday dinner not to much to it made meat loaves yesterday individual ones and put in little potatos, so heated those up, today and the steamer had a few pieces of zuchini and 3 buds of brocolli, apple sauce, and I had the end of table looking nice with a place mat and a change of dishes. Guess your article on dishes made me think, and I didnt want a plate from any of the 3 sets of dishes I have so I got out one from Aunt Bertha gave me a very old one called "The Indian Tree," has a sprongly[?] tree of blossoms, and little bunches of fruits and blossoms around the rim of plate, it isnt a thin China. Do you remember Aunt Bertha. She was a widow and lived in K.C. and kept house for an old couple, and the year we lived in K.C. [1928?] when you were 2 yrs she would come see me on her day off and would bring little tidbits of fancy nuts, like cashews etc which were unusual for ordinary folks in those days. and other bits of other food wrap[ped] in little bundles and just enough for me. And then after she quit working and we were back in Topeka she came to visit all we Hahns. She was grandpa Hahns, I think oldest sister. we girls called her Aunt Bert, her husband had been dead a good many years before we got [married] into the family and her request was she wanted to be buried here by Grandpa H. and I cant remember if she went after he did. Of course when she lived in KC. she had Uncle Gus and Aunt Nellie etc to visit with. She had young ideas and didnt dress like an old lady. the way old ladies dressed then. So she gave e the India Tree plate and I treasured it and much of the time it is on the Hutch and she gave me the metal tray I set the toaster on all the time and I sat a long time looking at it and thinking about the Past, that is an old ladies privilege.

The Indian Tree Plate (Tom Hahn Photo)

 And also Sunday dinners when Dad & I were alone, on Sunday a Special lunch cloth was used and the good dishes, which were pretty. They were a China with a gold rim narrow and a small black line around the gold. There is a story about those dishes also but you have had enough of that subject [Not!]. I guess your letter yesterday about the friends hand painted China triggered me off.
Was cooler this morn and quite pleasant in house with fans going. Charlotte called she was at Zitas over Sat & Sun. The men went fishing all day. They have sold [their] trailer park [in Missouri] and will get deal all settled Sept 1st then go home, has been a long drag.

[November 1982] Handwritten
     Dear T&N  Yesterday had Jenay for lunch then had her take me over to see Avis Shuart as was her 95th birthday. Jenay left us to visit and went on errands until time to bring me home. I had made sugar cookies the day before, covered a coffee can with con6tact [paper] and had a small jar of the garlic pickles for her, she has had them before and loves them, also a very small jar of jam. She often skips the evening meal and takes 2 slices of bread from noon meal and makes a jelly sandwich for supper.
     She was always a neat person in dress and neat room, but she has so much furniture in room now hardly enough space to walk in, and dresses, piled up boxes on top with letters and clippings and photos of her family on top of tables etc. and the room was so warm and stuffy I felt faint. I had to look at old photos, etc and sometimes she cried and I thot I didnt want to live so long [Florence lived to be over 100 years old] and lose my identity but we have no choice so I thought about the many happy times in her home etc, and when we got home there was your letter with the article "Do the Dead Sing" and I cried and when all was over I felt alright. But old old age is pathetic at times. And I feel good about Georgia as your letter today about her. and am glad that you have been kind to her. I didnt get to say goodbye to her as she was gone when I came back from the church meeting. Please address enclosed for Nellie. I didnt know her last name. [Georgia Summers was our long-time cleaning lady. Nellie Washington was her sister.]
     I called Mrs Diehl [neighbor from the old High Street neighborhood] after came home to see if she could come for lunch but her sister from Calif was here and its hard to have a 3 way conversation when one  is an outsider and so we decided when the sister went home we would get together. She said she had such a good letter from you and I told her I read a good one Walter [her son] sent you. and we said we had good kids even if they did fight a lot when little.
Sat morn A still morn, last night the sky was so red for a long time. but sun hadnt been out, and a new moon was up there. So hope this is going to be a nice quiet day. November is going so fast.
     My old neighbor Martha Hawks has gone to Pa, Everett and I have been trying to get hers since have come home, and couldnt so finally called her son here and he said she had gone, so got a card this week. She had been to Johnstown [Pennsylvania] and was snow there. She is leaving Nov 20 (today) out of D.C.

Sunday Evening [January 1983]. Handwritten
     Dear Son. Such a satisfying talk with you as have been anxious how things were going there. I guess all you need to do is tell Dovey [cat] and she knows when things aren't right.
     I didn't tell you my dream or sort of a nightmare I had last night. it was rather upsetting and kept me awake until morn woke up at 12 [that night]. Seems like Ed Hahn called and said they would all be here later as they had sold out and going to locate some other state. Well Dad and I wanted them to come (only 2nd time have ever dreamed of your Dad, finally they all came. the 3 girls, Jean, Barbara & Patty still young, and Marie and Ed and then dream seemed to taper off before before got to talk to them. Ed & Marie were young also. So I felt sad and laid awake and got up and walked around the apt then at 5 dropped on to sleep and woke up at 8.00.
     So Georgine [friend] came after me to go to church [University Methodist Church] as Jenays [daughter and family] to early to get their kinds in SS. I dont fix a dish anymore to take as they have so much food so put something, money, in a dish on table that they use for coffee, etc. And am glad not to have to carry a casserole and lug it around.
They have 4 men & women in the kitchen to take care of dishes brot in, salads in fridge and hot things to keep warm. And when church is over we go to lower floor basement and casseroles are lined up on table. can go back for seconds, then the table is filled with the desserts.
 There are quite a number of handicap young folks that come to church and they sure eat hearty, there home is back of our church (Sheltered "Living" it is called). I happened to be standing by one of the fellows and he wanted me tom eet his friends, so I went with him and met them, everyone seem to be kind to them. Except a few frown upon having them and that isnt the spirit a church member should have.
   I think about Dovey and what a remarkable cat she is, but you have treated her like a child and she responds, but they dont all do that.
     I ate something with some kind of spice in it that doesnt do me any good. I am not a highly season cook, and it sends me trotting when have eaten something that is, so have some hard toast with milk and butter in it for supper and cottage cheese.
     Yes, the young folk some times think bringing a child into the world is a bowl of cherries. They can make make plans, but they dont turn out so easy, not these days . . .  Recd the clipping from ??? paper, anyway it has the article The Nature" in it, and the writer tells about the days after Christmas. the clutter, and mentions Grandma's Sewing table bought from Larkins. She mentioned it twice in the article, and I know about Larkins, it was a company that sold house hold articles . . .

[5 July 1982 maybe] Handwritten. s
     And now am remembering the July 4ths of the past when a little girl, all we sisters were given a nickel for a package of firecrackers, and the first thing on that morn we would get up and shoot them first thing. Mother would be so busy all morning over a hot stove coking a big dinner and we always had new peas, beans, potatoes from our garden and fried chicken. In the evening some of the folks that had money would shoot off a few sky rockets and we would sit on te porch and watch from a distance, the drug store was the only place that sold them. In the morning we would take the little wagon across the street to the ice house and get ice for ice cream. We would go in the ice house and it was so cool as the ice was packed in saw dust, this was river ice and we were not not to eat it as it was germy, and one of us would sit on the freezer to hold it down and what a good taste to lick the paddle after the ice cream was frozen.
     One holiday [older sister] Mae and Bob drove down and Bob brought a freezer of manufactured ice cream and we ate all we could hold for dinner and he said in afternoon we had to finish up what was in the freezer as he had to take it back. Well that afternoon it turned quite chilly and we were not in the mood for more ice cream and there was no freezer of refrigerator like we have now to keep it frozen so we had our fill that day of ice ream.
     I have thought so much about your Dad Tom also today as he was always so fond of Hahn picnics and last night the girls were talking about the picnics that we would have when Dad would have a fish fry.
. [4 July ] Handwritten [S] Have made nice big crusty rolls to take to Jenays, have never taken them there before, the house smells so good and was hot baking them but well worth it not any hotter than baked beans or some other over dish.
     The morning walk was so hot and I miss the freshness of the morning but am getting the exercise the same but my legs lag more.
     Forgot almost that Sam was there. I dont know who asked him probably Alan after all he is his father. Sam Lamantia, niece Barbara Hahn's former husband] looks older and has a mustache which looks pretty good on him. He looks more Italian.
Day after Fourth. Was a nice quiet time at Jenays. They have a small family Garys father and mother and his brother and wife and Jenays mother and me. Gary had the grill going and fixed beef short ribs and chicken and did a fine job of it, their eyes bugged when they saw the container of fluffy rolls, every one liked them. We ate inside as so hot out and then Gary showed slides of their trip to Calif and then the next door neighbors called and has us over there for a few fireworks on their patio, and after fireworks the gal brought out brownies and Jenays folks had made icecream and took it over there and it got pleasant outside on the patio and was a nice homey gathering and quiet and safe. The neighbors have two little ones younger than Jenays and they were so cute and each had little patio chairs to sit on. This is a new neighborhood where there are all new homes not pretentious just ordinary family places and all have a small garden, and I felt like a great grandma with these young folks just starting out in life. Garys folks went home at 9.30 and Jenay urged me to stay longer and her mother would bring me home. His folks had to get up early as he goes to work early and the mother is a day care, rakes care of several kids as the mothers work and so I stayed an hour longer and we had a quiet little talk and the little ones played around. The neighbor put her little one to bed but the children were very good.

[August 1982]. Later in Afternoon. Handwritten. mwh
     Mr. Findlay apartment manager] came and put a new detector and the problem in kitchen was in the switch in the light bulb alright. [Clear as mud] She he has gone and then that loittle problem has been solved.. Sometimes those things seem so big to me and the hassel of waiting etc but usually he is quite prompt and another nice thing happened, a letter from you and how interesting the little trees are bearing fruits. You will also enjoy the rhubarb plant. I usually buy one mess of it in spring, and it is always so expensive, but a little goes a long ways as is tart.
     How fortunate that you have had so much good fish this summer. And hope you will have a good vacation trip with your friends. This article about cherries, for 2 yrs the cherry pie filling has been so expensive. We used to get it a lot for desserts before then, and now hope they jar loose, but one news mention they would hoard them to keep prices up, will wait and see.
     I wonder if you remember on our trip to Wisconsin [perhaps 1940?] and back of the cabins were those large dark cherries, an orchard of them. and the cabin manager told us to eat and use all we wanted as the crop was insured, a hail hit them and damaged some, so they (owners) werent allowed allowed to sell any and collect insurance to, so we ate them and was on the end of trip before coming home so we filled up the car refrigerator box with ice and cherries and had them along the trip and some when we got home, They were like bing cherries, maybe they were them. [My Grandma Mattie Hahn also went with us, the only time I remember her going .]
Thurs Morn
     This letter written hurriedly yesterday as I was full of news and just dashed off this letter, yours typed so neatly. Too bad I never took typing. For 4 mo my typewriter has been sitting in case on floor as the table has 3 plants of my neighbor who lives upstairs. She has been if Calif, so I had watered and cared for them. She ends her rent checks for me to drop in the box here. but think she will be home this week. . . .[portion missing] at 11.30. I had gotten up early and got a casserole dish ready to put in little electric oven in case Mr. F. came to work on the lights and was glad I had that all done & dishes washed when the company came. [Don't know who.] So as soon as they left out it in over then went on walk and there was a casserole of a large stuffed pepper, cut in halves and I filled it with ground beef mixture, rice with grated onion, celery bits, chicken soup over it all. Recipe calls for tomato sauce, but that doesnt always set [well] with me. tomato sauce and meat, so have enough for 3 more heat up meals.

Mon Morn [November 1982] Handwritten
     Dear T & N  Have just made up a jar of pickles. I seldom eat any but company likes them.
     Watched the movie clear through last night and thot about being up in TV room with you in evenings and expected you to come in with an apple or crackers. so had to cut up my own and eat alone. And an odd thing happened, when all the gun battle and  gun smoke going on my eyes smarted and nose ran, and an allergy seemed to have started up all at once, and kept up, but after went to bed was gone. Figure that one out.
     Over to store they have a coffee urn going 7 to 8 am coffee free but doughnuts you buy if you want one, and yesterday I saw a man walking by carrying a cup of coffee and a donut on a paper napkin. Whether he was drinking it on way home or taking it to his wife who was still in bed??
     And I sometimes watch a program cant recall name now but they discuss movies, and one was two men arguing about an electric blanket, one for and against and such funny arguments on each side. 
     Yesterday such a quiet day around here but a nice one for me, as did all sorts of little things, a good over dinner and enough for today, read, had a nap, and called Avis Shuart. I get so weary sometimes when she calls as she is so slow and have to help her fill in what she means, so I had the time and in the mood and she was so happy I was back. so we had a nice visit. Said there was an intestinal break of of flu order 2 weeks ago and so many were confined to their rooms and kitchen help had to take food to them. at her table of 10 only 3 came to meals for 2 days, but she is a happy person most of time. [Avis was her Sunday school teacher and an older friend that she had for many years.]
     Dad I went to Gettysburg the time we went with the Blanks to [postal] convention. We didnt want to go but didnt say so, as was their trip too and am glad we went. She was looking up an uncles gravesite. So Ive been to Gettysburg [too]. And watching the movie last night I thought about Grandpa Owen. I never heard mother say anything about his [Civil] war experiences. or him telling about it to her as a girl. [He died when she was 9 or 10 years old. I (Tom) dont recall her talking of him, either.]
     The grocery owner told me he was thinking of some way to help elderly folks over here more. I had a 5 lb sack of potatoes and another bulky item & said that was all I should carry, and then he told me this, he had thot one afternoon a week between 3 & 4 he would have a fellow bring them to the door, after we did the picking out. That may help us a lot. With love Mother

Thurs afternoon [December 1982] Handwritten. mt
     Dear Son  Wrote a long letter to Nathalie so not much news for yours, but recd your letter today asking for information about AARP [I must have been 55]. So looked that up for you.
     I have been to Pearl [Zahorek's] funeral this afternoon, was at the Meth Home Chapel and a crowd there so many in the Home came and it seemed every 2nd one had a walker, and I sat wit Avis. Went with three other gals that Pearl & them & I had luncheons at each others homes during the years, the last one was Pearls birthday this past June.
Her last day here on earth she had gone to the dining room to supper and didnt come to breakfast the next morn, and some one went to see what the trouble was, she was dead in bed. What a good way to end life. There was a large crowd there quite a number from my church and was hers too until she moved to the Home and she said she would go to the Chapel there. [The church was the University Methodist Church. Earlier Florence and Pearl and friends and our families went to the Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church until it closed, I believe. I do not want my casket open during service have a few requests in my Bible what I want done. [Circumstances and desires change and Florence died at 101 1/2 0n 5 October 1998 at Shepherdstown, West Virginia where her son, Tom  and Nathalie lived. She was cremated in Smithsburg, Maryland and her ashes were buried the following spring and the family had a simple memorial gathering the next spring at the burial site at Mount Hope Cemetery at Topeka. Florence was buried next to her husband, Walter, who died in 1968.]
     I sat with Avis [Shuart], who looked so frail and sad. She missed Trudie Harsh so much when she left, you know Pearl was one of Bone Heads. [A group of church friends who did things together at each other's homes for many years.]. She [Pearl] was left a widow fairly young. Now Avis and I are the last of that group.
     Mrs Hawks (neighbor back of us on 1120 High) called me yesterday. She had been to Pa. for several weeks and just came home. Her son drove to Pa. on business and came back in a week and she stayed for a visit with her sister & husband. She said she came on Midway and cost more one way, it was 153 one way. She had never gone alone before so said she got along so well she wouldnt mind going again.
     Jenay & Gary and girls went out to a place and you pick a tree and cut it down yourself a cedar (Christmas tree) they had that fun. They have it in garage sitting in a pail of water. like we used to do.
     Am glad you are suggesting to Chris about the Indian check. [Grandchildren Chris and Betsy and Tom Hahn as Kansas Delaware received a settlement from the U.S. Government for partial payment of money that the Delaware were cheated of in the last century.] He takes your advice or doesnt mind your suggestions. He told me he admired you as a father. [Oh well, anyone can have bad judgment once-in-a-while.]
     A letter from Zita today about their Thanksgiving, said they put 2 tables together and it extended into living room, looked like the Waltons, had 3 yr old in a High chair and 5 yr old on the telephone book on a chair. Those are Steves (son) step children and all the kids came but Julie. Zita sent the little story on her letter recd today. With love Mother

[Enclosed in above letter. Typewritten] When I was young they didn't wrap Christmas gifts just hung them on the tree as is, and I remember after Mae was married, I was 10 yrs then and the first Christmas she came home, I looked in her suitcase, when no one was around. I knew somehow she would have hair ribbons and I wanted to see what color mine was. There was ribbons for all we sisters and all i one box with our names on them. And mine was the color I liked so well.

[January 1983] Typewritten May have been included in a letter.
     The sunset was beautiful . . . I sat on the [sitting] stool just thinking about life, its pleasures, sorrows, mistakes, etc. Everyone has them some times, some more than others. They don't always just happen, we make them.   

Sunday Afternoon [February 1983] Handwritten Age 84. s
Dear T & N. Well at last am seeing it snow in the daytime, Very large wet flakes. The saying goes, "the old lady is It is not cold or windy, and largely picking her geese." And usually large flakes do not last as long as is melting as it falls down. Am doing a little family research stuff. As I was straightening up the box in the closet of picture, etc and this little enclosed envelope]  has always intrigued me as a girl growing up. ] It was in a little drawer on side of a dresser. You know the kind that has the two little drawers on each side of a mirror. Well, may times when mother was gone I would go in her room and look at this envelope contents, a little ring, a party invitation and the 2 pictures, and someone has the ring and invitations. but want you to look it over. I have spent the day thinking about those little sisters and I don't remember them. Mother has told us about them. I have one thing straightened out. Have always thought Millie was the older, but it was Merle and she died very young, two years old, while Millie was 7. And I remember mother telling what a good child it was and would be so neat and no doubt she was also missed her more 2 year old Merle. And I see Kate was born Dec 29, 1900 which was only 3 months after Merle died. How mother ever got through two babies deaths and 2 miscarriages and live as long as she did and have a good mind until she died. And I thinking of all the happy times I have had with all my sisters, all those reunions etc. Am so glad both of you like history and can share with you, mine. [Millie was the next sister older to Florence and Merle was the next sister younger. It must have been hard for her to having both sisters next to her die.  This is the first time I remember her saying that her mother had two miscarriages, making it nine pregnancies in all. I don't recall seeing the two pictures that she mentioned and would love to see what those little girls looked like.] Am so glad both of you like history and can share with you, mine.
     [Paragraph about the health of a neighbor, Norma, not included, but she commented, "I can run in with the mail and little deals. In fact don't go in unless something to take in, and I use the little pantry door and shelf  [that opened into the communal hallway] when she is alone and can mail in there also.
     Be glad Tom you have work and interests, Charlotte [her niece, daughter of Kate Torgeson] writes she wishes Gayferd [her husband] had some hobby or work as he is restless. A caretaker takes care of yards etc in the park where they live. She is trying to get him interested in cooking, while she does some sewing.
     Now the flakes are fine. Rain not cold enough to freeze yet. but is midafternoon.
     Had pieces of chicken baked. and potatoes, peas and jello, glad to get bananas again. They were green last week and I didn't know how that kind turned out so waited until yesterday and the yellow ones were in my store [in the little shopping center next door] [After my father died, they ate they main meal at noon. She maintained this habit after his death, always having a balanced meal.
     In your last letter you mentioned maybe a [heat] register cut in floor for upstairs would help heat up a room. [We lived in an old 1775 log house with c1790 brick addition with an antiquated heating system.] We had one in W.[hite] C.[ity] home. It was over the dining room and into my parents bedroom. The heater was going in dining room all the time and real cold weather we kept the living room door shut. It made that bedroom cozy. We used to envy the folks having that room, they would shut that room up during the day, ant is was cozy there. Then would shut the register off at night, except when we had dates, we used to hear it open, as part of we couples sat in that room. Sometimes there were three of us dating at the same time. [Florence, Kate, and Gladys] Our bedrooms were sure icy. We wore long underwear and flannel gowns and blankets and I was still cold. Would take a heated brick wrapped in piece of blanket to bed. We had lots of covers but they were so heavy.
     I got out the pages from  and clipped them together and out in large brown envelope scrap book yesterday, so it will be easier anytime to dig out anytime to see what year we went etc for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Monday Morning February 1983 Handwritten [The day following the preceding letter.] s
     Wet snow yesterday and it was about gone by night, but ground covered this morning and it is still snowing. I had a Dr. appointment as haven't been checked since before went to see you, but too bad to get out and am alright. Jenay [younger friend] was going to take me but they have the flu and cabs are busy when is so bad and I don' want to take any risks about falling, so will enjoy my home. With Love, Mother
     The water truck came by again. I waved at the girl and she waved back. There was another ahead of her and I think a girl was driving it too. They go so slow is the reason she saw me. With Love, Mother

Monday Evening [February 1983] Handwritten. s/m
     Dear Tom: Sent a letter off to Nathalie this morning. Hope her cold isn't too bad. Recd such a nice letter from you so will answer your questions about the two little sisters. One of the sisters died of a ruptured appendix and the other of typhoid fever. The next year I had typhoid fever and out was touch and go for a while with me. The first solid meal I had was 3 t cream of wheat. I remember that and I cried for more, but Dr.'s orders not as been on liquids for so long. The doctor said the drainage [in the yard] was bad not far from the well, as stock was close or some such deal, so mother saw to it that it was taken care of. Even the first yrs of married life when I would go to Dr for some ailment he would ask if I ever had the fever. And once in a while when I was growing up after the big hurt of losing the girls, mother had said Millie was like and angel, almost to good to live. She was orderly and would pick up every little raveling from mother's sewing, and quiet. Back to me. I lost all my hair but it came back quickly for school the next fall. Short and curly. I don't know where the picture was taken [of the two little sisters, apparently] but it seems odd they, the folks hadn't them in a picture as most of us had a picture [taken] during our younger years and I never heard Mae [her older sister, Mae (Torgeson) Christensen]] talk about the sisters. She was home until I was 10. It may be folks didn't talk about things like they do now. Maybe bottled up their grief.
     Today Jenay took me to Dr. for a checkup, I was supposed to go after I got back from seeing you but didn't feel the need to go as am OK.

Sunday Afternoon [March 1983. Handwritten] s
     Dear Tom. There are three things to do this afternoon to pass the time, one to take a walk, so that I did right after came home from church and the dinner good, lots of good food and a good attendance, and I got to visit with folks I know, that stay for the dinner. Surely folks don't don't pile the plates up like they do there at home. There is something about a heaped up plate, that gets me. Seconds are alright but to take a heaped up plate. I didn't go back for seconds and the first [serving] had good starchy food, cottage cheese and mixed veg and meat stuff. Then after we have finished that, doors between kitchen and dining area, those half doors, are open and there is the dessert. Pies all kinds, cakes and cookies. but I didn't take only 1 sq [of] cake and a little tart deal, and don't feel stuffed. My little family sat with me [Jenay and Gary Weekly and their two girls] or rather I sit with them like I belong and how good to feel that I have them there too. Georgine [Jenay's mother] comes after me and sits in church with me and then goes home. She doesn't like to stay for the dinner. Says it is one of her hang-ups. She is church Secy, and is in touch with so many during the week. Hears their woes and sorrows, so is ready to go home after church. So Jenay & Gary [Weekly -- younger friends] bring home the girls. Now is Chelsey, she is the oldest. She went through a phase where she ignored me, now she tells me about her activities etc and Ashley ignores me at this church deal. She has the ministers son sit by her. He is 16 years old and teases her, and she hits back etc, and so she doesn't see me. She has lost some of her tenderness, a phase. [At this time, Florence, Florence attended the University Methodist Church on West 17that Topeka. Earlier, she and Walter and most of the rest of the Hahn Family, attended the Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church about a mile to the east, not far from where the Walt's parents lived. At some point they transferred to the other church. The original church was sold to an African-American church and is now in the hands of a private owner.]
     So have had a walk. There is a slight chill at times and sun goes under for a few minutes and then out. You want a sweater on and turn the corner and want it off. You know how that goes and I thot about one time in kindergarten r 1st grade. You didn't want to wear a sweater to school in afternoon. [We went home to dinner [lunch ] in both elementary school and junior high school. Not always a pleasant thing to do in inclement weather. It was about six blocks to elementary school and about eight blocks to junior high school. I began riding my bike to school in the 5th or 6th grade.] It was one of those changeable days in early spring, our first one, and you begged me to let you go without and a norther wind came up in afternoon. and it was very cold, then you came all sniffly and almost bawling you were so cold. [Scorpio, single sons can be very persuasive, sometime to their detriment].
     I watched the mothers today with their little little folks and thot about the Hahn clan. An another little episode came up came to my mind when I saw a little boy and girl, were about 10, sort of chasing each other. One Sunday you were  hitting the preachers daughter (I think her name was Margo) with a folded up SS paper, and Grandma Hahn [Walt's mother, Mattie (Defries) Hahn ]said "Tommy you mustn't do that." and Margo said" That's alright I like to have him chase me." [Well, how about that!] So you see every generation goes through a growing up phase and through teen age and on to maturity and you love them thru all of them, and I am in my old age enjoying the mature man
     And now after the walk an letter going to fill a spring basket for Jenay. She is hep on baskets, and I have made, fall ones, Christmas one, winter ones and spring. She furnished the baskets and flowers, I do the arranging. She says the name for it now is "Florists designer", so I have done so many and yet haven't fixed any for myself. She has a cupboard or shelves in the basement now and can store them until the next [season]. Cupboard has doors so they don't get dusty. Also haven't looked at the Sunday paper yet

     Last night on TV a tornado warning on from 6 until 8 30 and started to rain and blow. I turned TV off and went to bed and to sleep by 9 30. I don't think it rained very much. but to think that snow storms off recently, now tornadoes have to pop up.
     This portion of a letter may belong to this one:
Someone in our town [White City, Kansas where she lived from birth in 1897 until she left for Topeka in 1920] was a representative and ordered from wherever the Co was located, and when a customer bought something they got coupons and could use them with some cash Mother bought a double swing from the Co. One of those swings that have seats facing each other, and we sure made good use of that
     Then when I was first married there was a tea co, sold coffee, spices, etc called Jewel tea Co. and with coupons, you could get dishes, but I never got into that. Seems money was so scarce that hard to save up for when goods were delivered.

Monday Morning. Handwritten
Has rained in night, streets are wet, 34 but sun trying to shine. Zita sent a piece of material in  letter, cut off a calendar towel. It is so pretty, a bird feeder with a cardinal, 3 little chickadees, a blue sky, and snow on roof of feeder. [She and her husband Walt had a bird feeder at their house at 1120 High Street in Topeka. They never had much variety, but enjoyed it greatly.] How are birds doing there on your feeder?
     I always pick out one outstanding Christmas card every year and have up all during season and cold Jan. This year, the Indian card from you and wild life from Mary Taggart [daughter of an old friend and neighbor] and it has two mallard ducks in flight and is snowing quite colorful.
     Today am having Jenay for lunch as have a dental appt at 2:30 for cleaning and check up, has been over a year since had one. She is taking me. Am thinking about you and hope you are O.K. With love, Mother

[March 1983] May duplicate another letter. Handwrittenm
The big truck that waters the st. just went by and I looked out and a young looking girl was driving it.
What do you think of this. [An ad for surrogate mothers] I didnt think it would come to the place where one would make a living at it, there was a case in court a while back, where an abnormal child (baby) was born, and neither couple wanted it.
     The article about the "Hope Chest" reminded me of mine, they were quite popular in my day, and I was working so I could buy things. The girls who didn't usually had relatives or friends make them things to put in a box. I bought sheets & pillow slips, towels, etc, which lasted for many years, if it hadnt been for that chest, would have had to wash the sheets and put right back on bed, as some had to do, and after I was married in a few weeks came a notice from the bank in White City, I was in the red 79 cents. Dad thought it such a good joke, he liked to tell about it but I had a come back and told him the dowry I brot with me when I got married, that cedar chest full. Sheets, toied comforts etc.

[April 1983] Only a portion remains. Handwritten
 . . . Had a sad sight yesterday afternoon until now Sun at 7.00. Someone put a dead cat up on the parking or rather our yard on north where I would see it, and it hadnt been dead very long , a beautiful soft tan color and large, and had been there all day until now and I looked out and it was gone. I can see you Tom crying about it and I think about the family who owned it wondering where it was, and as I was pulling the shades down for the night I saw it was missing then went to pull the bathroom and bathroom shade and there was a large gorgeous sunset, the first one have seen in a long time. It has been so cloudy. and I think how one window on one side has a sad sight and can go to te other where it is beautiful.
     Back to  Jenays, Gary modeled his clothes, and they all seemed to fit, those women seem to get the right size always. I never got Dad clothes.
     Always take the Smithsonian magazine to the brother He likes them. I am enjoying my magazines you sent, the Readers Digest for table reading like breakfast time, and the Country Living for drooling over when sitting down between chores. Dad always liked the Digest for Bathroom and breakfast time, and I havent had it since he left, only when some brought it to me . . .

Wed Morn [April 1983] Handwritten
Dear T & N  Seems as though its an effort for Nature to get here with Spring weather, the sun waits until noon to come out so its chilly.
     Have you read in  Readers Digest Flags, Flowers and Thanks pg. 75 in May no. read it last night and it brot back so many memories of our trips to White City Cemetary on memorial Day. I would put pkgs. of Peonies in refrigerator in the bud 2 wks before, if it was a warm spring the flowers (peonies) would be gone by that time so in case I had dozens of them wrapped and one shelf of them in refrig. and had plenty for here and down at White City and am wondering Tom if you ever went with us. []I did.] I know in later years we went every year and after Bob Christensen [sister Mae's husband] was gone we would pick up Mae and would take something baked or fruit for a picnic dinner at Aunt Celia's. [Florence's father's brother John's wife] And there was only one or two times when Uncle John and my Dad were there and Bob Christensen and the rest of time was Mae and sometimes Gladys [Florence's sister]. Joe White, Glady's husband] worked on Sun and holidays [as a fireman for the Santa Fe Railway] so he couldnt go. We would go to cemetary first to a program and decorate the graves and visit with our friends and thento Aunt Celia's, her house always seemed so cool (sometimes was hot the 31st of May], but they had shade. Aunt Celia was a good hostess, never flurried and we would help set table etc and do dishes and outside a porch swing and chairs in the shade. and we would go back to Maes and stay the all night and talk about the friends that we had met that day, and old time stuff. Mae so loved having us, and she was like a second mother to us. Dad [Walter] loved her. So this article brot back memories. If you dont have it will send it to you.
     Last night watched "The Miracle of Kathy Miller" a beautiful movie about a handicap girl. And this article in the mornings paper about the library [on the Topeka Capitol grounds] & dome on capitol. I thought it interesting also. And I am so pleased with the labels to stick over writing. on env etc. Many times folks have given me a beautiful birthday card etc with my name on it, and I wished they had left it blank.
Thursday Morn  Yesterday went to Church Group it meets once a month, and at a home. There are 16 in the group and only 2 in their early 60s the rest up to 90 yrs old. We meet at a home and after meeting refreshments, but have a time meeting at a home, as most of members live in apts or small house, for for 2 or 3 yrs now one of members has ir at her home when others cant have us, and it is sure a free for all. she has a husband and they are 75 yrs old and live in a big 2 story house, so her house [remainder of letter missing].

Sat Morn [May 1983]. Handwritten
     Dear T & N. No mail Mon so will send this letter today anyway so it will be there Tues.
     I was quite excited over the phone call and the news and now will not be waiting and wondering what gender we will get. [This was about the birth of her great-grand daughter, Beverly Anne Hahn, Chris's daughter.] In my family have been no May births. but you have one, Nathalie--Diane. maybe m. s we will have to study up on Gemini now what makes them tick. Chris was so excited and happy when talking to m, and he said, "She is so cute and pretty." The miracle of birth is a wonderful thing. I had not thought about the gender of this one, in fact from Oct until now the time has gone so fast and it was such a surprise to hear the baby was here. and so glad you were with them.
     A tornado warning from 5pm until 1 a.m. I had the radio going and went to bed and listened to my night programs, they are on WREN, our local station, so the reception is always good, so this morn sun is out and all seems calm.
     Charlotte and Gayferd leave this week for Albuquerque, to visit their son & family, then up to K.C. and plans are we leave Fri morn June 3 for Goodland weather considered.

Thurs Morn [May 1983] Handwritten
As usual we are having a shower, had one yesterday early morn, so later in morn Norma [neighbor] and I went shopping. No luck, just dont seem to cater to the elderly any more it seems sleeveless sleeves or very short ones, and dresses with elastic at waist and a small opening to get into and put on so our morning was a flop. But, I went to the the Annual Mother daughter Banquet and it was certainly a success, the men in the church cooked the dinner set tables the whole works. For years we have been going to a public eating place where they have large separate rooms for eating and programs, but now it has folded up and they tried another place last year, food poor, so men in church volunteered, as they have been putting on the Mens Breakfast once a month, and the meal last night couldnt have been better, ham, escalloped potatoes, green beans, and real bran muffins, not the box kind and they were delicious, baskets of them, so I brot 3 home to have today for my dinner, not all three, but I bet 2 anyway. The dessert was ice cream sqs with lots of strawberries over (fresh ones) the ladies donated the salads so the meal was 3.50, try to get a meal as good as that out for that, some had mothers or daughters for guests, so I asked Chelsey to be my guest, children were 2.50 and she was so pleased and  and full of chatter. while sunny little Ashley was a sullen little girl much of time. She had her back up about something, very few children there.
     And the program was lovely, 2 songs by 8 ladies and then a book review (not long) by a lady not a member of our church and it was about a late book, "Pioneer Women, Voices from Kansas Frontier Women" which was good. I have just read it. Then one of our old ladies, Mrs. Tompkins, you may remember her from "Trinity" [Church]. Evans was sons name, a very smart boy but very homely. And she told about an event back in Trinity days, that I well remember a ladies meeting and a lady from K.C. came and talked about hats and had hats of all kinds, and a story of some, I think and most sure it was an afternoon affair. , a Ladies Party, and after the talk was over she made an announcement that she had picked out a hat in the crowd as her favorite or outstanding or some such (and it was mine). I about swooned and remember the hat well, it was a delicate shade of green, straw and had white & green spring like flowers on it, and was I ever happy about that. I used to like hats but am glad they quit wearing them. Those days back at Trinity are very Memorable and I was talking to Jenay about things we used to do and she said the young folks now days dont have time to do things like I did as they had to work and help make a living and it is true but it isnt  altogether a living, its the things they want. And this morn I read this article (isnt it odd how things come to one at a time when just got to talking about it?)
     Had a good nights sleep so am ready for the day, and I have another letter to write before get to work.
     A nice letter from Marti in the Mothers Day card. She said that she would get crib sheets & pads with the check I sent. Se is so excited about having the baby and I am glad for her. With love Mother

[July 1983] Handwritten.
     Jenay sent this brochure for you. I see what a big deal Washburn [University] put on this year for 2 days, the day before and the day of 4th [of July] like a Fair and turned out to be a big success and will have it next year. So she is very proud of Washburn, her Alma Mater.
     And I told them about my 4th of Julys. We 4 sisters each had a 5c pkg of fire crackers, which we shot off first thing in morn, then took the red wagon over to ice house across the street from us to get ice for making ice cream. And our noon dinner was fried chicken (we raised the chickens} new potatoes and peas, beets etc and we thought it a wonderful day. One thing I got on a 4th of July was a card from my cousins Ruth, and I have never seen a Fourth of July card since and wonder about Hallmarks not getting wise to that, they make paper plates and napkins for that date. [I will try to find out who Ruth's parents were.] This card of mine had a little girl on it and a fire cracker as tall as she with the words "Go off with me on the Fourth." I wish I had that card now, and it was the first card I ever recd thru the mail.
     And ten my mind wandered to another Fourth of July, a sad one. Grandpa Hahn died the day or 2 before the Fourth of July, I do not or have not kept the dates of the Hahns, but you Tom were around 9 or 10 years old. [He died 3 July 1934. I was 8 3/4 years old.] That was the terrible hot summer where for days the temperature was 116, very dry, and folks slept out in yards etc, and the day of the funeral the men suffered wearing their good winter suits as they didnt have summer suits in those days.
     One 4th of July after Mae was married she and Bob drove down for the day and for a treat he brot a freezer of store ice cream. It was a large one too, and he said we had to eat it up before they went back home in late afternoon. We were excited about it, but got over it by having to keep eating it. No way to freeze it like now.
Dorothy, Garys mother makes ice cream but somehow I do not care for it. She uses good stuff in it but doesnt make a cooked custard like mother did and then add cream and milk.
[Wed Morn] Have been on walk, and was cooler yesterday and is this morn. Now no more legal holidays until Labor Day and today will get mail again.
     This obituary was in yesterday paper and quite a shock, poor little girl what a life she has gone thru. Ever since she was 8 yrs old, but she had a good mind and could do many things with her crippled hands un way of craft, but otherwise had to be cared for like a baby. Gladys was very fond of Jo Alice and so was the girl of Gladys. I have a painting of hers. I brot it from Gladys. This is a wooden plaque of sunflowers. Florence's sister, Gladys (White) Murphy was married a second time to Joe White. I believe Joe Alice was the daughter of one of his sons. Because Gladys had no children, Jo Alice was her "grandchild."

Wed July 27 [1983] Handwritten. "Scraps and Stuff" Handwritten
Am wondering if you watched the movie Private Battle last night July 26, is one of the best. Also watched Chas Kuralt "On the Road." He is usually on once a week. And has turned warm again, the cool spell was great while it was here.
     Have done the laundry and tore up a pr of yellow [pillow?] slips, a wedding present from Louise Hahn, and are 62 years old and very thin. The were embroidered and lovely, so have made sqs from the very thin soft parts to use to wipe my eye glasses. And I got to thinking about that time of year and we were married and how happy to be in my home as a domestic and I got to thinking about [sister] Mae, the nice times with her, her house was always pleasant and cool in summer time and I loved the screen in porch. How nice to sit out on it and she would bring out lemonade or ice tea and cookies. I dont know why I cant remember when she lived in our home. I was 10 yrs old [when she left ]. but only times I remember was when Bob [Christensen] came to date her and her Wedding Day. And I remember seeing mother crying days after she left. She must have been very lonely without her. . . [The remainder of the letter is missing.]

Sat Morn [July 1983] Handwritten
Yesterday I sent Norma a note writing about the hot summer of 1936, this was her reply, thought it interesting. [Not included in letter] We had cots out on front porch some nites, and did a lot of day time being in basement as was dry and cool down there and Sundays, Beckmans came for dinner, you kids put wet gunny sacks [burlap bags] in drain and then sat there with water dripping down from the faucets on your feet. The rest of us setting around playing Rook or something, then when evening came, go out and have the hose or sprinkler on and run around in it getting wet. Hot times but interesting, weather so dry, no humidity at all. I would get up early almost before sun was up to avoid the heat. We didnt have even a fan in those days.
Well must get on my early walk. A card from my neighbor over home [1120 High] Martha Hawk. She & daughter are on a trip in France.

Sunday [July 1983]. Handwritten. tm
   Have been lying down on bed, trying to take a nap, but no sleep came and I got up thinking abut hot afternoons when I was growing up. We called August dog days, dont know what they meant, seems as though we associated Aug. as the hottest summer month. Mother would dry the shades [on windows[ on the sunny side of house and we kids had to stay in or out during the middle of afternoon as Mother didnt want the screen door open and shut so much and let the flies in. She would make us a pitcher of lemonade and we would take it and sit in the shade of an apple tree, and late summer apples called Maiden Blush. which was yellow and so sweet. They have ripened in late July. We went barefoot all summer, wore shoes on Sun. Not ear as cool as under the apple tree, and then as we grew older she bought us one of those double swings, a seat facing the other and we enjoyed that and always had swings under some bug tree. She wanted us to stay home since there were 4 of us. Mae was too old to play with us, and if we went out in sun to go to well or toilet hot afternoons we had to put our sunbonnets on, and I can see now that she wanted us to keep well. She did not know then that being exposed to hot sun for a period of any length caused skin problems etc.
     Dad did not raise watermelons but he would bring one home, from some farmer wagon, and we would leave it out on north side of house in grass & dew and it would get cooled off. Then sometimes would set it in a tub of cold well water, how we lived watermelon. We had one cherry tree. maybe more, and it had such good cherries, and I was picking one morning and a large bull [black?] snake was lying on one of the branches, so I have never been fond of cherries, and I was scared to go pick after that but mother made me do it. She had to kill the snake and she didnt like to do that but it had to be done.
Now to go to Jenays for a change, she is getting so antique minded, and they are having a ball going to sales, etc, but she will never get the look in a small house like hers like your old house 1775 log and 1790 brick addition in Shepherdstown, West Virginia] She just doesnt have the room. She takes "Country Living" and drools over the crocks & jugs, and I tell her about yours. Gary knows how to fix the furniture and finish it.
Later in evening Sunday  Have put off writing to Bob & June since Jo Alice died so I called this afternoon. They were not home, so called this evening and Bob was home so talked to him. [Remainder of letter missing]

Saturday [Probably July 1983] Handwritten]
Dear Nathalie  On my in 1980, you sent a small album, with special pictures, one of my girlhood home, all of us out to Bernices (you & Tom and Zita and Charlotte, and pictures of the Maine Lake and cabin and all of your kids, and the Black Cook Stove with the pie on top, and I have enjoyed that handy little book so much and I look at it so much when you are in Maine.
The the other evening Jenay was here to tell me about their trip to San Diego, and we had a good time talking about it and while I havent been in San Diego, have been other places where they went, and later Gary came over with the girls and the little girls told about the ocean. Chelsea loved to be in the waves and Ashley said she was afraid/ I told her that was alright, I wouldnt go in waves either. And we got to talking about Maine as that morn te "country Living" came and in it was a cook stove like yours. Jenay takes that magazine also, and so I showed her the little album Maine pictures to them and the picture of the stove and the pie setting there on it. The little girls were awe struck and asked how it worked etc/ and thje Lake. They dont know much about cabin living, only at Scout Camping. I can see Gary cooking on a cook stove but not Jenay.
     I asked her if she would like my old work box, as it is something. She is interested in all antiques and any old thing that is brown/ This sewing box I have had for 63 yrs and a piece of wood is off one side but not noticeable and needs to be sanded or touched up a bit. The shape is interesting. You know, the sides open out. I got down a straw basket purse affair you gave me years ago for summer bag. and I have used it a lot and still looks like new, so for the present I will use it for a sewing basket and see how it works. It looks nice setting around altho I put it away when I get the sewing done. So she showed it to Gary for him to do some work on it. She doesnt do anything like that. I wish a place to work in like in my basement at home [at 1120 High Avenue]. In this box was a needle holder tacked on. My mother made them years ago. It was in a bad shape, the material for the needles, so I may get felt out and fix it up. I have a time when I change things in the cupboard or any place, getting used to a change.
     The little girls had their ears pierced and they wanted it done as they love earrings, isnt that something, it must be the style among the very young.
     Yesterday a note under the door from [neighbor] Norma, wanting to know if I wanted to go grocery shopping late in afternoon. so we went at 5.00 and planned to on my way home to turn in 2 coupons at Dairy Queen not far from here, brot them home and  I said come to my place and I will have tea, crackers, and cheese and that will be our supper. o I set up the card table as is cooler in middle of room than at the dining table in the corner, and so we got our Sundaes on way home, had 2 coupons with 50c off each one, and brot them home and we were late and she was expecting a long distance call so said for me to come there and she had a card table set up in middle of room, so I took cheese, crackers, tea as this was supposed to be my treat also the sundaes and we had a god time over the little supper, and then Dallas and Falcon Street came on so we watched that.
     Norma and I went to St Joe one day this week to shop and she got 3 full dresses. This store is a Jen store, has been in business for years, and is a good place. They furnish robes to wear while trying on clothes, and have a sandwich and coffee at lunch time. She got a robe also, and she showed me one at a time and each one was 67.00 and I didnt think that a bad price as they are that and more here, and then she said she got all three for 67.00. I was floored, they sort of make a bargain.. I would be happy with one. I havent been clothes sh9opping for so long, in spring rained all the time and these hot days I dont get out, so I havent any new summer things and havent started on fall. I did too go on one more late spring and I did several stores but the styles were not for ladies my age with gathered sleeves, etc. Everything is getting so expensive.
     I would like to find some thin wash cloths, am getting short and heavy ones are hard for me to wring out any more. So one uses them a lot this hot weather. I guess the good old bargain days are gone. Am glad Dovey has taken to the cabin life. Does she like fished cooked? Guess had better get this buttoned up for mail. This week has gone fact in fact August will soon be on way out. I keep  the balsam pillow on dresser, and smells woodsey. The little box with blue berries on top of shelf. With love Mother

Wed [July 1983] Handwritten. mh/mt
     Have been on walk, tis a beautiful morn, and was cooler than yesterday and is this morn. No more legal holidays until; Labor Day, and today will get mail again.
     This obituary was in yesterdays paper and quite a shock, poor little girl what a life she has gone thru. Ever since she was 8 yrs old, but she had a good mind, and could do many things with her crippled hands in way of craft, but otherwise had to be cared for like a baby. Gladys [Florence's sister] was very fond of Jo Alice [herd second husband, Joe White's, grand-daughter and so was the girl of Gladys. I have a painting of hers I brot from Gladys [after Gladys died]. This is a wooden plaque of sunflowers. [Portion of letter missing]
     And I told them about my 4th of Julys. We 4 sisters each had a 5c pkg of fire crackers, which we shot off first thing in the morn, then took the red wagon over to the ice house across the st from us to get ice for making the ice cream. And our noon dinner was fried chicken (we raised the chickens) new potatoes and peas, beets, etc and we thought it a wonderful day.
     One thing I got on a 4th of July was a card from my cousin Ruth, and I have never seen a Fourth of July card since and wonder about Halls Marks not getting wise to that, they make plates and paper napkins for that date. This card of mine had a little girl on it and a fire cracker as tall as she with the words "Go off with me on the Fourth." I wish I had that card now, and it was the first card I ever received through the mail.

   And then my mind wondered to another Fourth of July, a sad one. Grandpa Hahn died the day or two before the Fourth, I do not or have not kept the dates of the Hahns, but you Tom were around 9 or 10 yrs old, that was the terrible hot summer where for days the temperature was 116, every day, and folks slept out in yards etc. and the day of the funeral the men suffered wearing their good winter suits as they didn't have summer suits in those days.
     One 4th of July after Mae was married she and Bob drove down for the day and for a treat he brot a freezer of store ice cream, it was a large one too, and he said we had to eat it up before they went back home in lat
e afternoon. We were excited about it, but go over it having to keep eating it, no way to freeze it like now.
     Dorothy, Garys mother makes ice cream but some how I do not care for it. She uses good stuff in it but she doesn't make a cooked custard like mother did and then add cream and milk.


[August 1983]. Handwritten
I have a think for old depots [railroad stations]. The MK&T [Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway] in White [City] had such a nice one. That train we took to Junction City to see [sister] Mae and in real early years to Grandma and Grandpa Owens at Parkerville.
     Then the Rock Island depot rains to KC, Goodland
  etc Topeka and went on it for years, during First War both stations would be crowded with soldiers coming from Ft Riley from Rock Island trains. One time during [World War I]  war times word came the Wilson daughter. President Wilsons, were coming thru at midnight on the RR to go to some city to be in a concert so a group of us went to station to meet the train and they came to steps of train and waved to us. That was a big deal for us then, and my dad got his job [as postmaster] under Pres Wilson and now celebrities on T.V. on the Sts and everywhere to pass, and shown on TV, but those war times when is was in P.O. [Post Office] were very exciting and learned a lot about what made folks tick. I had to finger print Germans, men & women and some got mad, some of the women cried, others calm. Some days would be big mail days when carloads of foreign mail came and the post office would be crowded with folks when they found out mail was in and crowded in, and I never had a chance to read my letters until time to lock up and go home, sometimes several at once.
     [Sisters] Gladys, Kate & I were getting overseas letters all at one time. 
[Remainder of letter missing]

Friday Morn [July 1983]. Handwritten
Dear  T&N The morning walks these days are not very invigorating. just do it to keep legs strong, the birds are quie. On the way I talked to grand nephew] Mark [Lamantia, who worked at Porterfield's Florist in the little shopping center next to where Florence's apartment was.] Surprised to see him since the store has moved out but he said he gets up a little earlier and sweeps up the outside are where the stores are here. He needs the extra money and they are buying a little house (I dont know where) and doing work on it and will move in a few weeks, in meantime he and Barbara [Lamantia, his mother, daughter of Ed Hahn, Walt Hahn's brother] are having sales and getting her garage, attic etc cleared of his and her stuff, having a sale this Sat.
     So folks are getting uptight about scarcity of jobs. Norma's grandson [Norma a neighbor] has been on unemployment for a long time. She has them over later this week since has been so hot in afternoons and he does little jobs for her. She is a good grandmother [and neighbor]  and adores her little grandson, he is in the terrible two's. I go to store in mornings on hot days, this morn got a few more of the purple plums for a treat. I dont eat very heavy food on hot days as dont get so hungry.
     A friend called this morn and said she drove by the other day and saw air conditioners stacked up and said we must going to have new ones, did they break down. After she hung up, I looked out she had it all figured out wrong, all are now exposed as had to take the picket fences around them down as the termites were there.

[August 18 1983 probably.] My Day. Handwritten
Dear T & N Went on a walk at 8.00, did up the work first. I defrost [the refrigerator] every week since temperature way up. One this about this fridge it freezes ice cubes so quickly and works fine otherwise, keeps food good and simple to defrost as I dont load it too much in summer. So after that job was done went o walk and down to [friend] Hillarys and she is always pleased to have me. She was watering in back yard where it was shady and we sat in yard chairs, sure was hazy at times and a light breeze so was comfortable, but sitting by all that vegetation I got choked up and breathing heavy. I watched the bees, bumble bees and other kind of insect pollinating the zuchini and other squash and was so interesting but Hillary was provoked as so many of the blossoms were male, so no fruit or vegetable from that blossom. She gave me 4 small zuchini and small ones I like better than big ones, also a small egg plant, one cucumber, and a bunch of mint. We then went in the house and there was so much work staring us in the face. tomatoes to be made into juice. She never seems hurried when I am there, and she showed me a Garden Book our local gardener (on TV) has put out, so I looked thru it and the girl that helps him on TV has made illustrations for it, sells for 7.95 and of course she bought it. She has a shelf of garden books large illustrated pictures in them and expensive ones too and the same of recipe books. Norma has given me several long narrow color cards with flowers on thrum and they look like Book marks or could be used for that purpose so I kept two and she had the one I gave her in her garden books. She had told me over the phone that her daughter was home for the weekend and they were in a place where they had seeds to grow inside like the alfalfa, we get. Her daughter got some but she wrote her mother she had no instructions how to grow them and Hilary said, "I'll ask Florence, she grows them, and I happened to have the instructions and recipes how to make salads, etc. so took that this morn so she could send it to her. She the daughter mixes up all kinds of greens for salads and is not using heavy oils, uses vinegar and seasoning, and a little sugar. She uses wine vinegar and I just use the dark not the other and dilute it.
     I also brought home two peppermint leaves or stalks and washed them, put in open jar with little water in fridge and it keeps well, so when I have tea I use some and also chew it up, rather nibble is a nice word for that. So that little part wit nature made a nice time to carry on in thoughts during the sizzling part of day. Oh another thing setting around on chairs in dinette was trays of onions drying out. She has no basement. She wanted me to take one or two or whatever but some one had given me 2 good sized ones and 3 white and I use onion not often or very few at a time. Today I had sliced carrots with several small slices of thin onion and then when that was tender put in cubes of egg plant and barely cook it, then put in casserole with a cheese sauce, in the electric oven, took short time to cook it then it had cracker crumbs on top and had a pineapple slice with cottage cheese.
     Your letter came today and I had to look up about a Shrew, as only knew one definition of it and that is witch so I found out it is a mouse like creature with a longer snout. Your cat Tar[ Baby] used to find so many mice in the vacant lots back of us, and he would play with one and wear it out. I have so little outside news. Oh yes, Jenay was over Wed eve  awhile and she talked about her trip or theirs, they all went to San Diego. and later on Gary Gary came after her and the girls and they were full of talk also. San Diego is a nice place to visit.
Fri. morn  Out for walk but so humid and it sure slows me up, not my usual brisk walk. The lady upstairs (Mary) left this morn, he daughter came 10 days ago and she is going home with her and stay until after Christmas, s I get to take care of her plants (3), thats jolly. I get that job every year the same ones, she should pitch them out and get new one when she gets back.

     [Clipping enclosed] "I came back to Topeka recently with my daughter to visit her grandmother and we felt our visit was not complete since there was no brown bread ice cream to be had. Does anyone have a recipe they will share? We still remember the horse-drawn Baughman wagons and the ice cream our family always shared."

Sept [1983] Monday. Handwritten. mwh
Sixty three years ago was my Wedding  Day, and Louise and Margaret went with us to the minister at First Meth Church. He was a stranger to us, and we met in a small room for the Service. And then back to Grandma & Grandpa [Hahn's] for a Wedding dinner and the family all there, that is the Hahn family and Dad & I Stayed in our home that night as had bedroom furniture there and went to Hahns for breakfast. and too the train to Baldwin. Louise & Margaret and Grandma & Grandpa went in the Ford, and this was Ed & Marie [Jenkin's] Wedding day. Marie's mothers [Mrs. Jenkins] had a noon dinner for us and Ed and Marie married in the afternoon. Then went two couple went to K.C. [Kansas City, Missouri] on train and stayed at same hotel that night. The next day went to a furniture store with a discount. We were so green about buying. I imagine it was full price, but did buy a buffet, table & chairs, and didnt have any money left for anything else. So we lived with furniture we got at a yard sale for the Living room, which was a wicker settee and a chair and a little table of some sort, the Living room was so bare for a long time.   Someone gave us a new porch swing, the one we had many years after and such a nice gift. They sold for 5 or $6 new and think how many years it lasted. I could have sold 8 of them when I had my sale to move here to apt. I got $8.00 for it.  At each side of garage on High St were white clematis vines on a lattice, and every year they bloomed on Sept 5 and did years after Dad was gone, but took them down later as wood broken and vines about gone.
     And now will go on to other Labor Days when lived on High. We bought Colo peaches which came about that time and were so good to can, and then was when I made a peach jam which everyone liked to well, it had orange rind and Marashino Cherries) a few for color. You, Tom, called it Halloween Jam, and was so pretty and yellow, and one time two men from White City came for super. Dad met them downtown and invited them, and I put on a dish of that jam and one fellow kept spreading it on so thick was gone too soon, so I went to basement and brot up a pt jar and he sure made headway on that, and I thought if he came again would put on apple butter or some cheaper spread . . . [The remainder of letter is missing.]

Sept 4 [1983] Handwritten.mh
This is sort of a sentimental weekend for me, as tomorrow would have been Dads and mine 63 Wedding am remembering it so vividly I came to Topeka several days before the wedding and stayed at the Hahn's. Louise and Margaret were living at home. I did not want to be married at home in White City as Mother had undergone an operation a short while before and wasnt up to having anything special and I didnt want a wedding like most girls do. I was beat up getting my job at the Post Office lined up. [She has written sever times about the wedding days, but this is the first time she has mentioned why she didnt get married in her home city, White City. Since graduating from high school, she had been working as Assistant Postmaster to her father, Postmaster Tom Torgeson.]
     The evening before I was married was with Louise and your Dad, others out some place. They had a record and I rushed to the bedroom and cried "When you come to the end of a Perfect day" and dad came in to see what was wrong. I was just plain homesick and missing I had grown up [with] etc, that is called I have head Prenuptial blue, and after a quiet talk, I was back to normal. [My dad was a nice man who had a way of being kind to people.] Leaving the nest after 23 years was a big change. I loved my parents, sisters, and home. My brother had been gone 10 yr or more.

     Am getting interruptions while writing. the 3rd time have got up top answer the phone.

[9 November 1983] Sunday afternoon. Handwritten.
Dear Son  A dark dreary day outside, has been drizzling all day up to now, and I thought of my last Sunday there [at your house in Shepherdstown, West Virginia] and how wet it was outside, and in burst Betsy her friend and the dog. So all began bustling up some lunch. Guess Nathalie was [gone], all the rest watching the [foot] ball game\. I did a few duties. The fireplace going. But I went to church this morn, Georgine, Jenays mother, came after me as the others go to SS first. There was lots of food and church was filled as a group from [Baker University] at Baldwin put on a play, so no other service, they put this on the early service also and was very well done. "The day Christ was risen."
    I dont take a covered dish anymore as is a chore carrying it and getting into a car etc so they have a dish on the table for money to help on coffee, tea, napkins, and if short of chicken go out and get some. There is always a good variety, but I am so used to eating alone that I dont care to try some of this or that. The ways folks pile up their plates sort of gets to me, especially when one hurries thru a meal, longtime dawdling is better. And I am wondering of you are having dinner at Chris's.
     And now after talking to you last night I got to thinking about 2 days before you came into the world, 2 days before I had my new house all shiny as we moved in the last of May [1926]I had my new house all shiny as we moved in May
. And I got busy making fruit cakes for the fall holiday eating. And so the day I did that in the evening Dad & Mother Hahn came over with Uncle Paul who had come that day, and when he got inside he said, "house smells so good, like someone has been baking. [Uncle Paul was Paul Hahn, the youngest of Chris Hahn's brothers and Walt Hahn's uncle. He lived on a farm in Kansas City, Kansas. Then by morn I was feeling like was almost time to have a baby and waited around until evening, Myrtle [Hahn] McCollister [Walt's sister] came over in afternoon, and so Pop [Walt Hahn] and I went to [Christ] hospital[ on West 6th Avenue] around 7.00 and at midnight you came. He [Walt] was very nervous and walked the halls. And then after the event, he was like Paul Revere, went from house to house to tell the news. [However, I don't seem to remember that midnight ride chronicled in the history books.]
     I had told mother I was going to hospital a day or two early to rest up, so she wouldnt worry, so he went over next morning to  tell them the news and brot them to see the new grandson. They were first in the family to see you. My dad [Thomas Torgeson] was always fond of babies [He should have been; he had nine of his own.] and when they brot you in in he held you and kissed you. and I told him your name was Thomas Frederick after the 2 grandpas. In those days they were not strict about visitors being around babies. And the first light snow of the season came while in the hospital and I was the happiest person looking out and watching it snow and holding a little bundle all wrapped in a blanket.

[November 1983] Handwritten. "Memories of Autumn" Handwritten
"Autumn has to be the loveliest of all the seasons, I enjoy the fall of the year, the changing of the trees and they exchange their cool summer greens for their warm bright yellows, muted rust and fiery reds of Autumn as fall now beckons to winter."
     And this afternoon am thinking of one afternoon at the first of my visit of one afternoon to the trailer [a few miles southeast of Shepherdstown on the Potomac River] and while you worked on the porch most of the time I sat with my head in cupped hands looking at the Potomac, waiting for geese or ducks to pass by, but none came and I thought of other autumns that I have been with you and how fast the years go by and what nice memories to carry thru the Shut in wintry days. This is Mon morn.
     Found this started letter in my tablet so will carry on, dont know the date, and now it is Mon and quite cool but sunny as was yesterday also.
    Norma and I went out to White Lakes Mall just to look around but a bad idea if you want to be waited on as was Sunday and others took advantage of the day also, but we milled around and bought very little, and sat and rested and watched the people. So now am off for a haircut, on a bus trip. [She was fortunate that the bus to downtown Topeka stopped right at her corner and she still took the bus at this age of 87. At some point, she fell while downtown and didnt venture out on the bus on her own thereafter,] With love Mother

30 November 1983. Handwritten.
     Sycamore leaf, think you mentioned it on the phone call, and pressed it, is 12 in across, brown and old looking, it is standing against the cabinet wall in kitchen and has a stem on it and is wrinkled around the stem like a skirt, and made me think of a magazine article you sent  a long time ago. And then when started the Nothing Book in 1977, I put it in there for Nov. The article is ""November's Faded Brown Dress" And at the end is this touching bit. T  "The days  grow quieter and the Skies heavier. The restfulness of November is in her faded brown dress is here." It is a beautiful nature article.
     A long letter from (niece) Charlotte today, the RR [Round Robin} letter came yesterday from West Virginia. Charlotte and I had it dangling as both were away but now will do better as we will be staying put, at least I will.
     Am also thinking about the Hahn Thanksgivings, we did have such good times at that time and the last time that [Niece] Marti [Beckman Kilkenny] was here at holiday time, 3 yrs ago I think, you young ones looked at the Scrap Book pages of Thanksgivings in the past.
     Here is a Thanksgiving quotation or rather about a turkey and now my mind is on Thanksgiving. "Redder than a turkeys rump in pokeberry time," get it?
Wed Morn Is snowing, a wet one. Am thinking of the First Thanksgiving with your first one, here, a tiny creature, and only a few weeks old. Mother said she thought you were too young to be out and come to her house, so they would come to ours, She, Dad [Torgeson], Bernice and Gladys and Tom Taggart and she would bake the pies and the girls could help with setting table, etc. So I baked a large hen etc. and cant remember what the weather was like that day but we had a nice time, you cooperated and was a good baby [naturally!] and slept a lot that day.
Am going to make up cranberry jelly this morn, to have on hand, for the winter, and then make a jello salad for the dinner tomorrow at Jenays, so as I busy around I will have many happy thoughts of the Past Thanksgivings.
     The snow is the fine kind, so it may last and may not, anyhow, "Snow Bound" Story may be read this weekend, Who knows. With love Mother

10 December 1983. Handwritten.
     Dear T & N  Christmas has come early to my house. This week have received noticed that will be receiving Readers Digest, Country Living and Early American Life ([the latter] from Gary [Weekly]). Now I will surely enjoy all of them., what a nice gift. Something to look forward to every month, thanks you, so much, then someone sent a small box of cheeses, also one to [neighbor] Norma [Eaton] and we dont know who it is, just has on it from Magi. Norma and I went grocery shopping yesterday, to a large store not far from here, and is in a small mall and P.O. to mail to )[sister] Bernice [Taggart] and she had mail to go too. This grocery store sends out a sale bill in one of local magazines that send out want ads (free) every week.  In this store Sr Citizens 20% off grocery bill (this weekend) and a book of stamps 4.00 for 3.50 with coupon, so we got those little benefits, also had other coupons we could use, so we stocked up, and she has a cart we use to bring the sacks in.
     Every week groceries get higher and higher, this week eggs go up first time in a long time, 95c and 1.00 but a coupon for 20c and raises are like buying candy but I still use them, and I came home and I went to my little store for cottage cheese, milk and cranberry juice. Was over to Jenays for supper Tues night, was Georgines 65 birthday. She is going to work another year, she is Sec. my church and makes a good salary but feels able to keep on. So we had a nice time. I took rolls and Dorothy salad, and Jenay had cheese quiche, I think they were frozen kind and Birdseye mix veg. frozen and a carrot cake from scratch. The brother & wife didnt come, so Gary was the only male and he dozed thru the evening off and on, the girls and Georgine play Christmas carols and we sang, and when we werent on guard the cat was taking decorations off the tree. The branches are too close to floor and so are decorations so they will have to put them up higher.
     Hillary wanted me to come for lunch and help her cover coffee cans for her Christmas giving (with cookies) but her car broke down and she cant come after me, so I am spending the morning getting letters off. Tis overcast like might snow. So must get on with more letter. With love Mother

[January 1984] Handwritten
I have kept the little red apple basket had going at Christmas still in living room under the brass table, has large pine cones and two wooden apples setting beside it and it looks so pretty there today with the snow coming down outside, and I think about "sitting in front of a fire, Remembering, Wishing, Dreaming" [pasted it excerpt].
     When I was a girl had two friends. my best friends, and one lived in a large 2 story house in White City and they had a fireplace downstairs and one up, and it was in the Bedroom. Faye Dodderidges home, and I not often but maybe twice slept in that blue& white bedroom with her and the other friend Jesse Simmons [whose] folks lived in a one story house had lots of room and a fireplace in loving room, and I loved to go there on a cold, Sun. afternoon and sit in that room
, our house so crowded so many around, but now I know I ad the best time later on and into ageing years with my four sisters and our reunions. something they never had. [I may have mentioned elsewhere that Florence also had a younger sister and and older sister, both next in age, who died of prevalent diseases of the day.] Jessies mother & father [were] English and her cooking wasnt very good, and she never had doughnuts and cookies etc like we did. Fays Mother a good cook  and when she had Special company she would call to a grocery store in Herington west from White City and have them send lettuce on trains and there were several trains a day.

[13 February 1984] Friday Afternoon. Handwritten.
     Dear T & N  Have been over to store, it is pleasant but chilly. Last evening about 6.00 there was a fog and quite thick and lasted a long time. I didn't look out late.
     In answer to your question of the man who shot Silvers, he was [caught, I guess], dont recall if a Topeka man who shot Silvers, so many crimes here. We have what is called Crime Stoppers deal, dont know if it is a club or any individual and if a fellow if caught who has committed a crime [the informer] gets a reward of $1000.00 or more. This particular fellow about Silvers case wanted money. [I am wondering if this was my old classmate Marvin Silvers? I will attempt to find out.]
     The last picture of Missy [granddaughter Beverly Hahn] is so cute . . . So I am keeping all to see what I want [to put into a large frame]. I look at them often. I get frustrated at times when I have a notion to make or do something and want to do it then and dont have the stuff to get it done then, as is an effort to get to places now days, as I dont get around like I used to, hop on a bus and go, but thats alright, I just wait until the opportunity comes along.
     Tom do you remember a stick horse you used to have, probably not, she, mother, used a broom stick, cut it short, and made a head from men's pants and the head was so natural looking and had straps to hold on, too. We girls used to make mud pies and out them in old jar lids etc and put in the sun to bake. Martha [her mother's sister but Florence's age] was visiting at our house one tie and started to make mud pies and decided we ought to have eggs in them and got some out of a nest, and Mother caught us doing that and sure gave us a talk. Probably separated us for a time.
Sat morn.
 Dampish, and think I have a frame here for the project pictures, found one that I think the right size. Making bread this morn, and a small cinnamon loaf. I dont make cookies or cake for myself as I get to eat that when I go to places at the girls. So am having cinnamon loaf for my sweets this time. With love Mother  

[February 1984.] Mon Morn. Handwritten. Portion of letter missing. Chrism
     Sure enjoyed seeing "Golden Pond" last night and glad I was by myself as I cried all thru it and got out the bag of herbs [balsam, I think] you send me from Maine. I keep them in a corner in by the sheet stacks, not close as is so pungent, and every time I get out fresh bedding, I look at it, and remember hearing the loons on the lake in Maine, and not long ago, was a wildlife movie on and showed them.
Hepburn was especially touching in this movie, as more soft and tender, usually is very brusque and hard and Fonda was one of my favorites, and enjoyed your call also and nice of you to think about telling me the movie would be on, but I had seen that it would be and looked forward to it.
And the young boy reminded me of time Chris was with us for 2 wks or so [when we were living in Silver Spring, Maryland], but I think he was eleven yrs old, and what I good time Dad & I had with him. Dad said to me, let him do anything he wants to, and Ill clean up the mess. He would stand in front of frig and the door open and eat peaches or piece of watermelon and juice dripping on floor, this was in evenings and Dad would go out and clean it up. He was so good and his grandpa took him fishing and on walks  on his time off and on rainy days. He and I made puppets . I am not good at that sort of thing but we played with them. W took him on picnics, one day Jenay went with us on a big picnic some organization, cant recall now, and all the cokes and soft drinks free, and he & Jenay drank so many. And he fooled around with the little shed back of garage and go out there a lot to read and when he got ready to go back home, at airport he said he wished I could go back with him. He was timid but I always loved him very much because of that and he always said "he would take care of me when I got old."
    Have just called weather and its 13 degrees and will be in 30s or 40s by this afternoon, and isnt windy. Yesterday was terrible. Tomorrow a warming trend. So a new week has stared.

[February 1984] Handwritten
     Yesterday afternoon a lady from my church cir call in morn and said she was coming to see me after 3.00 as she wanted a magazine  that had something she wanted. She lives across this street in next block. She has never been here, so I thot of tea and cookies, had made some as going over to Jenays tonight for a little Valentine family get together party.
     So I set up the card table and looked in drawer to see if any Valentine stuff there and found 4 red lacey heart paper doilies so arranged them in center of table , a white cloth on table and looked so pretty, ad the good China, 2 little red fringed napkins, and with a plate of cookies it looked festive and the ladies eyes bugged out when she cane in and saw the table. She had walked around the block and was cold, so she loved the warm welcome. I had a tiny pink sugar bowl and a little spoon in it in case she took sugar and she picked up the bowl and admired it. I have a little pitcher to match also, a nice pair for a sick tray as so dainty & small. I had made sugar cookies, and made a few real small rounds, dont know why I did, and they looked so dainty and had 2 [with] larger scalloped edge in center of plate. It is easy to talk over a cup of tea. We had refills of that, and I use my smaller purplish blue pot with gold flowers on it when only two here. It has kept so bright So that was done before hand but it doest make any difference what is served, plain or elaborate it leaves a memory, that is it does with me. And the last on the day before I left the quickie with the Gannaways [our neighbors in Shepherdstown, West Virginia] was so nice and I am sure it was  a Memory day for them too.
     Florence T. and I had such a nice visit several weeks ago over tea. So maybe that is my speed these days, who knows.
     Must get on the ball and get some work done. I ran the cleaner this morn between writing this letter and reading the paper.
     I dont recall about you taking a trip Nathalie, in Toms last letter you were gone, write about it. With Love, Mother

[7[?] April 1984] Tues 4.30 pm. Handwritten
Dear Tom  Its that hour when it gets lonesome for some one to have tea with, especially when that some one [Tom?] has been here for several days, and has left today.      But I have tried to keep busy some of the time and not think. So this morn did a load of clothes and now at 4 oclock began to get that feeling again so ran the sheets thru. So that keeps me making steps. An tis tea time too, but Im sure I cant have tea today and drink alone, no cookies left. Has been cloudy all day. The call from airport was nice. Has been so quiet, the work men didnt come today and Norma didnt show up either and the Library card came.
     I miss you very much and you are sop kind to me and I appreciate you making the trip, it always takes me two days to get over thinking that there is no one here.
     And during the day I was with you at the airport in Chicago walking around. And I hope the flight back was comfortable, no storms, and how Dovey [our cat] acted. Watched Terrible Joe movie, Cagney last nite and wish it had been on when you were here. With Love, Mother

11 April 1984. Back of envelope with probably a Valentine Letter inside (not kept)

Happy Easter [22 April 1984]. Handwritten.

The above at the top of the letter was made by Florence from Sewing Scraps at 87 years old

     Dear T & N  A beautiful morning, no wind and will be in upper 60s by afternoon.
     Went to Gary's [Gary Weekly] birthday last night. He cooked hamburgers on grill outside and we had a simple meal. I took baked beans and I put in one large can of baked beans and had one of regular size, so didnt want to go over to grocery store so put in a can of red kidney beans and had one of regular size, and the combination was very good. We all pan to go to church then eat out at noon Easter.
     I have an Easter basket on dining table, and a little one you sent in my birthday box, and took one each to Ashley & Chelsey last nite with a plastic egg in each. They set on their dresser.
    Hope you enjoyed you canal activities this week Tom. I am remembering the times I have been on those affairs and the lovely trip one spring when the Dog Wood Trees were blooming/ I have so many wonderful memories of times spent with you.
     May will be a Good Spring Month. With Love, mother

[14 May 1984] Monday Morn. Handwritten. mt
Dear T & N   This will be sort of a diary since havent an address to you.
     Yesterday had Hilliary [Her name was Hillary, but Florence always spelled it this way, to the chagrin of Hillary) for noon dinner as was Mothers Day and her daughter (lives in KC) had gone to Eng. for two weeks) so I knew Hilliary would miss her. So we had a nice visit and she brought me some asp.[aragus] from her garden. She has lost 3 lbs in two weeks as she has given up sweets and eating between meals, but still uses sugar in her ice tea. And we spent most of the afternoon looking at pictures and she said she would like to see some of your books (Tom) and I loaned her several canal books, she is interested in diaries etc and is writing memoirs, but hasnt assembled them yet.
     I looked in my "Nothing" book and there was an account of a trip to Sheptown in '81 and was there on Mothers Day, and a picture of "The Hilltop House"  [at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia] where we had diner at noon and then went to a quilt show, and drove back through the Grandma Moses Valley [not really, but Florence thought it looked like the setting where she lived in Virginia] and in the evening to the colored singer ["Brother of Harmony"] musicale. Chris & Marti brought Nathalie & I each a vase of flowers. and on that visit there, we went to a Canal Rally with Shanks [William "Bill" E. and Ruth Shank, of York, Pennsylvania] and countryside [Pennsylvania] was so beautiful dogwood in bloom, so I sat and thot about that trip.
     I did this after Hilliary left and I sat a long time thinking about i then Chris called and we had a nice chat and then Marti talked and I told I was thinking about that year on Mothers Day and she remembered.
     Yesterday I did something different. Had a good nites sleep and got up feeling like trying my wings, so after early lunch went out to Halladay [Holiday?] Square, is south and I have felt it would be too much to go by myself, but twas easy. Take bus here [in front of where she lived on Wes High Ave], transfer downtown on a bus and it went to this mall. is on way to White Lakes, the large mall, and there is a store there that used to be a store downtown (same management) Pelletiers only on one floor and when bus came back, only a short ways to a shelter waiting to get a bus to town, was such an easy trip and a beautiful spring day. I have been shut in so long, so found or bought a pale green skirt with figures in it, the color of blouse. I wanted an unlined sent by didnt have any, so will look for a white jacket next, none there. And manager of store was sitting there and his wife looking over the clothes, I -knew them slightly from way back in early married life and would see him off & on when went to their store, so that was nice talking to them, This store has two of the old clerks from the past, and its so easy to shop here if they have what you want, and when I got home I had an hours nap[ and enjoyed the trip. [Florence did very well for a 87-year old at this time. The Pelletiers store in the earlier days in town at the corner of Ninth and Kansas Avenue was a lovely store.]
     Everyone has been too busy lately to take me, Jenay winding up with last of school. and Norma busy wit settling up her cousins affairs . . . [personal] and has to go back next month to finish up the business, lawyers are helping out, so I have seen very little of her. She isnt feeling very well but has lots of grit, and had good help from relatives where she went.
Wednesday Evening  Have been to my Church Meeting, the place where we went, we go often. We meet once a month. There are so few that have a home large enough for 18 people (women) and the member has a large living room, and we are always welcome there. Some one brings a large pan of cake, the lady makes coffee, and there are always nuts and mints & candy we take out of napkins, so the lady doesnt have to fix anything. Today I was the oldest one here, others in 70's and we had such a nice time. one lady gave a short talk. The lady that took me doesnt stay as she had come from from a weeks stay in hospital from a bronchitis attack. She gets them often and so she picked up another lady, and the man whose home we had meeting brot us home, and I asked him in to see apt, she, his wife, has been here, and so I stood up all the time & and he did too and dont know how long he would have stayed if we sat, we were in kitchen looking house over and I said the stove was so hot in summer and the oven door needed fixing. so we did have some minor problems here, and we were standing by the sink and now the dumb story begins. The faucet has been spurting water etc for 2 or more wks and I hadnt called Mt. Findley [manager] to come fix it and I told this man and said I never did it at my home (fix a faucet) and just the I turned the thing on and I didnt have any wrench it just came off so easy [when he did it, I guess] and only had one filter, ours over home had 3 filters and had to be placed just so, and this only one, and I sure felt foolish. I was so dumb and had to call Mr. Findley to come fix it all these yrs,. Well I did two surprising things this week, so had best not try anything else.
     Must go watch the sunset. it is so far north and about to sink out of sight from here and tis 8.00 o'clock.
Thurs Mon, May 17  This article in this mornings paper and it and others of hers brings me back to my younger days, This one about greens, mother used to cook horse radish, lambs quarters. We kids wouldnt eat them, and now we are eating all kinds of greens. I sure like beet greens.
Your nice letter came this morn, gets here quick.
     Got a bag of cranberries out of freezer and made it up in jellied form, so good on salads etc. I always buy an extra bag in Dec. for later use. . . [Remainder of the letter missing]

[June 1984] Wed Morn. Handwritten.
 Dear Tom  Such a good letter from you today and I sat some time mulling it over, the clippings about flowers very good. I especially liked the one
"The skies cant keep their secret.
They tell it to the hills.
The hills just told the orchards
And they the daffodils."

I had never read that one before. he others were good too, and I got out a book you sent "Essays on Nature" and read about spring, you see we havent had but very little of spring according to weather, but the flowers and bushes were lovely even tho cold  weather.
     And the article about the bonfire I thought about. I dont remember them as a child, but liked them on 1120 High, when all the neighbors would rake leaves and kids would jump in a big pilevisiting back & forth, and speaking of neighbors [ . . .] personal data about the health of a neighbor omitted]
     Dont run yourself down because you cant do certain jobs. I am in the same boat, some women can sew, saw a board and all kinds of womens work and mens work. I have never made but one dress in my life. My mother tried to teach us all, but Bernice and I didnt take to sewing.
    Last time I was there with you at trailer and you were working so hard on the porch and getting no where, and I wanted to tell you to have someone do it. I was afraid of the electric thing [electric saw?], might cut you, that you were using. [We had a trailer a few miles from Shepherdstown, West Virginia on the Potomac River. Later, our friend, Lou Dittmar and a friend of his helped me, that is did, the porch. Years later the people to who we sold the trailer tore it down to make way for a new house on the slope above. My Dad couldnt make a chicken box [coop] for hens to set come spring or put new screening on screens, etc but he could raise lovely vegetables and made a living. [I guess I have his genes, my dad and his father were both good mechanics, but I was worthless, but, I am a good gardener and did make a living at other things.]
I have been criticized by women by letting pop buy groceries, he did a good job of that, we ate well, so what. Now days men are staying home and doing home work if they cant get a job, but wife can, so dont run yourself down.
     When there isnt anything worth watching on TV, I go to bed and listen to radio, a fellow comes on at 9.00 and answers questions about mortgages, wills and all kinds of things, and talks folks out of some things etc, interesting at times.
     Interruption. I have asked several old timers about "Whispering Willow, in State Journal. No one could remember the man. I called one of Book Club members who is 88 yrs and she couldnt remember. so she just now called. She had been out somewhere and asked a friend and this friend knew at once, its Art Carruth, they lived over across 17th on McVicar or close there [farther east on north side]. I remember the house. He must be moved or passed away, no address in phone booth. Why did you want to know? [The newspaper consisted of only a few pages, but on Saturdays it carried his column which covered most of the page, I believe, and I used to read it out of curiosity or boredom. Apparently my mother didnt read it as much as I.]
     The Joyce Whitlow, no relation to the Mary Whitlow that had me to lunch 2 wks ago. [Again, I must have asked about her.]
     Sent Nathalie a letter today. and recd a card from Zita [Schump, of Kansas City, Missouri, wife of nephew Francis Schump], they will come around 9 Sun morn if weather is fit, should be a quiet day since have just had Sun & Mon holiday Still chilly mornings down to 40 this morn but just right this afternoon, sun out.

[June 1984] [Portion of letter missing] Handwritten
. . .[speaking of grocery shopping in a different store] so I gave she & Jenay a list of staples and I got the green stuff, and did I like the green stuff I got, some fresh spinach, green beans, a zuchini, the fruit not so good and very expensive so I got some eating apples. over here [at her regular store] they always have bananas, and I got a bunch of green onions and I cut up some spinach, so I use the little steamer every day.
  The weather has been hard on the Sta here (TV), so have missed some programs, but not many, some good movies on the others. Summer programs are reruns and I wonder why they cant have good ones same as in winter.
     The baby [grand-daughter Beverly Hahn] is beginning to have a grown up look, does she try to walk? You will see quite a change in the time when you are gone. Poor Dovey doesnt like changes but you had good luck with her last year on your trip [to Maine].
     There have been several teenage  driving accidents here lately, and cause from drinking, maybe the law changing to 21 years driving may help.
     This little book I am working on amuses me, it really is for grand-parents not great grands "What was your allowance when a child." I never had a nickel or a dime, only when I went to Parkerville [Kansas] on train to see my grandparents & [Aunt] Martha, her same age, at Dwight, Kansas, each only a few miles away.] The R trip was 20c and Dad gave me a quarter and I bot licorice with the nickel. I didnt make only one trip a summer.
Keep safe on trip. With Love Mother

[1 July 1984] Handwritten
 Dear Tom & Nathalie  Just recd your letter about the busy weekend. That took some doing for all that and company there too. [We must have been in Maine.] I live such a quiet life anymore, and am used to it. There are times when I feel  restless and I try to do some thing about it. It seems we always look forward to spring and summer, when are house bound in winter, but so much rain and humidity are still housebound to a point here.
     A think I have written you about the two books Jenay brot me, they are 8 1/2 by 11 and 22 pages. They do not have a hardcover so went to store and got large manila env to keep them neat, and I will enjoy working on them. Have already started gathering up pictures and clippings.
     I didnt realize was so near time for Maine trip or would not have sent for dates, they can wait of grandparents, you fill out. [Must be taking about the books she was working on.]
     That little girl [grand-daughter Beverly Hahn] is growing fast and getting a grownup baby look, her hands she uses with expression.
     Have moved writing stuff in bedroom, and such god daylight there and keep my material all together, or rather here as am in room, now, sun is bright and will get warm some afternoons but will try doing this way, one of question s [in book], how much allowance did I get growing up? What kind of toys?
I want a small picture of kerosene or coal oil lamps to put in my new history book, keep your eyes open for them in magazines for them or in ads.
Thurs morn  Cool, and fresh with windows open. A joke on me, night before last, a wild storm came and I didnt hear it I slept so hard was still raining awhile after I got up, however no damage done, to trees, etc, its surprising that trees are so beautiful with all they have gone thru, the old sycamore at the west window was so bare looking and now so beautiful, but they are a dirty tree always shedding leaves. [Shame, shame.]
     Jenay and I are going grocery shopping this morn, I need fruit and green stuff, which is scarce and poor over here, except bananas always have them and I get tired of them almost everyday one. They are good for one, how I would have loved to have eaten my fill when a kid. The stores only had them in at Christmas time.
 This book am working on, is called a grand parent book and it really isnt good for a great grand parent. One question how much allowance. When we were older Dad gave each of us a silver dollar for Christmas. And was I a member of any clubs, probably means Girl Scout etc/.  you see it isnt for good for great grand parents. [That is , people of an older generation at this time]
     Hope your sale went well. [Remainder of letter missing.]

[Undated note in letter], Typed/handwritten

If you stand very still in the heart of the wood
  you will hear many wonderful things.
The snap of a twig and the wind in the trees
     And the whir of invisible wings.

One day when I was there [at the cabin in Maine] out sitting in yard was so still and all kinds of little noises, mostly birds twittering and some strange ones to me also and in the distance heard a or maybe more loons way off and reminded me of this poem.

[July 1984] Handwritten
"On the Old Porch Swing"
"Oh that was nicer than anything,
A warm summer's night on the old Porch Swing.
Settling down with a comfortable sight,
Chatting a bit as the neighbors went by."

Thoughts and Reflections of the Past - - "Memories of Days gone by"
     I get this little book out every summer and have it on the lamp table. Its from Tom and Nathalie and I think about that porch swing many times, but it was lonesome after Dad [Walt] left, so I rarely satin it unless someone came to see me. I could have sold in 8 or 9 times [times] if had more. Did I tell you Mrs. Diehl had her porch screened in, looks different.
     Your letter day also reminded me of Spring and fall when the heater in dining room had to be taken out, on back porch for the summer and had to clean out some of the chimney and put on a cap in that open hole in wall, and polish the stove good so it wouldnt get rusty. Dad was awkward about doing things like that and Mother had to be right there to see that soot and dirt didnt fly around. The room looked much larger after down and we liked the look but stove was welcome in the fall. And, the cookstove had to be polished up too of course. We left it there all the time to heat wash water etc.

[12 July 1984] Handwritten. mh/mt
. . . [first portion of letter missing] Grandpa Hahn died the day before the 4th of July, and that was the year had temp of 112 for days. Going back to 4th of July, when I was at home in W.C. Bob & Mae came [from Junction City] for the day and brot a large freezer of ice cream (commercial kind) which was a treat for we kids as we so seldom had store kind as mother made ours. Well we had big helpings at noon after a big dinner of fried chicken etc, and then another helping mid afternoon and Bob told us we had to finish it up as he had to take the freezer back to the ice cream pace. Well we got our fill that day of ice cream as had no refrigerator then to keep left over ice cream, so 4th of July was one of our favorite holidays. Mother always made a freezer of ice cream. We went over to an ice house close by, in sort of a barn, men hauled in river ice and had it covered with saw dust to keep frozen and it was fun to go in ice house as was so col. Mother warned us not to eat any ice as was full of germs from the river.
Jenay has a beautiful pie cupboard in her kitchen dining area. It was dilapidated and he fixed it up, sanded it down and has a dark finish on it, and has a lot of room for dishes she has had stored away and now ca use them. It has the tin sides, now he has another one that is taller which he will use in the basement for books. Remainder of letter missing]

[19 July 1984] Wednesday Morn. Handwritten
Dear Tom  In a letter yesterday you asked about Grandpa Hahn as I had written he died the day before 4th of July. You were 9 yrs old and did not want to go to the funeral so stayed with Grandma T. It was such a hot day of the funeral. Maybe  I have written that was the year that we had 111 degree weather
 for days. and the men folk suffered with their heavy winter suits. In those days only one good suit. They wore light color cotton pants for their dress up, but did not think the looked well for funerals. Grandpa Hahn had diabetes and cant recall how long, but he would not diet as he should and the doctor told him what to eat, and he got a large splinter in his hand and was hard to get it to heal, so was in a bandage when he died. He could have lived longer had he taken care and stuck to diet. You little f0lks would ask about grandpa and then when you were eleven yrs old Grandpa T died and we could explain more then about death and you went to White City with us to his funeral, and then when both of your grandmothers died you were overseas. Was a sad time for Dad and I to not have you home and I know how hard it must have been to get word that they were gone and you so far from home. But we have happy memories of the days the Sundays when we were all together over to grandma Hahns and we would go in afternoon and in summer some of the men folks would go to Baughmans and get a freezer of ice cream, and grandpa Hahn always had a box of fresh crackers and we loved them with ice cream and still now I like crackers with ice cream instead of cake. And I am the only one left in both families, and trying to carry on.
  At Avis party affair I so enjoyed Ken (Patty husband) and Charley (Jeans), they were with me all the time, watching me and holding on to me over rough places. Avis and I were the two old ladies, all the rest were young or in their middle years. And now you have your little family and a grand child.
Wed Evening  So happy to hear you last night and to hear you approved about me getting a hearing aid. Well, Ashley & Jenay took me and watched all the details about how to use one and after they brot me home, I went thru how to adjust it some more, so I watched a program for an hr on TV, and didnt move the TV out like I have been doing and sat back farther and it seemed to work well. {remainder of letter missing.]

[31 July 1984] Monday Morning. Handwritten
The Lobster place mat letter came today and I always have it up on kitchen wall, as you usually send one [from Maine]. Would love to have a fish meal where they are plentiful and not have to be shipped in. You folks are sure on the g a lot but am glad you are free to do that.
     This hammock story reminds me of a hammock we had at home between 2 apple trees, half way in front yard, and I dont remember if I bought it or not. I know I was grown up and when out of H. School into post office. I would get things for the house and for mother as I did not pay rent, and got 50.00 a month and I thought I was rich. Mother got things for us to enjoy and one was a 2 seated swing you would sit in and rock back and forth. held 2 in each seat and we liked that, then we had a porch swing which we girls liked for when boy friends came. I loved to lay out in hammock and relax, if I got there first. We four sisters we had to take turns.
Does Dovey sit in your lap any more since she has gone wild? [She means since she had been enjoying the out-of-doors at our cabin in Maine.]
     The Olympics has been something. I dont watch all the time.
     Vice President Curtis [from Kansas] seems to be in the lime light in the mentionable in history again. [Remainder of letter missing.]

[Aug 1984] Sunday Morn. Handwritten. pwf
     Dear T & N  Tis a sticky humid morn and I went for a walk, started to sprinkle and came home. I used to take walks in the light rain and loved it. . .
Feel so happy about Chris doing well at his job, that makes him feel good. . .
    I  thought about how hard it was to get go when first [married] learning ho to buy groceries and cook them and nothing [money] left for fun, but we had lots of free entertainment in these days, the park wasnt far and of course we walked and that was Chesnay [Chesney] Park [also known as Central Park, I believe], and there were good band concerts Sat or Sun Eve which we enjoyed and then not long after that the families got settled here and that filled the need for outside entertainments. And then the Big [Kansas] Fair was the high light of the year and it was free then also, lots to sell inside, and after you came Tom, we left you with Grandma & Grandpa T, in the evenings, as I thought  it no place for little ones. the dust, noise, etc and after a days work Pop didnt need to carry a youngster around. So we were fortunate to have folks to care for the little ones. . .

Sometime between 1920 and 1926, Florence and Walt Hahn lived just east of Central Park and the Torgeson's (Florence's parents) lived just south of West 17th (earlier Euclid Avenue) and the Hahn's (Walt's parents) lived just a couple of blocks south of the Torgesons, and Walt's brothers and sisters and two of Florence sisters all lived within about a half-mile from the park, so it was familiar to both families.

This little lady here to call (she is short and a little plump) and has a quiet voice, and have only had one visit with her and that was when I called and took a small loaf of fresh bread and he was sitting with us all the time, so our conversation was somewhat stinted. He said very little. He has had a slight stroke and doesnt talk much but I got her started yesterday about your Navy career Tom. [Boring] [Portion of letter missing]

[July 1984] Handwritten. mh
     Baughmans have quit the business but were still in the business when Bill and Jerry [friends] lived here and twice we went and had brown bread ice cream. I used to make ice cream and put grape nuts in it, that is what it is.
     When you cousins were young Tom, we used to go to Grandpa Hahns on Sunday afternoon, he always got a large sq box of crackers (soda) the day before and then Sun afternoon,  couple f men would go to Baughmans for a freezer of ice cream and we ate crackers with the ice cream and that salty with ice cream went so well and I still like crackers with it, sometimes crush them and stir around with the ice cream.
     The last 2 days have been quite warm, but humidity down and that makes a difference, lots more pleasant. I thought about you on the way [to Maine for the summer] and looked at travel pictures going thru New Hampshire. & Vermont. With love Mother

[Part of same letter above but some of it missing or incomplete.] Sat was this open house so we went. nothing startling about it except looked nice with new woodwork, etc in that section, take a beating so young folks mostly there. [Don't know where or with whom.] This Co. as I have been told own Ttr[???] Florence T[aggart] lives, and the apts where Minnie Higgs [former neighbor when at 1120 High] lives, so they are a large firm now, and one never knows what is ahead except higher rent.

[September 1984] Sat Morn. Handwritten. mh
   Dear T & N  A fresh day after 2 days of high wind, a lite shower in nite. The days have been nice lately and nites good and cool. Calif is having a warm spell, they dont like to admit it. [Nice] Charlotte has air conditioning but she doesnt talk down Calif.
    Went to a Weekly [Family] Birthday last nite over to Garys mothers (Dorothy). She is a good cook. We all took something by request, me the rolls and I tried out the new oven, was great, so now am in the business, but not too much while hot.
     Mon. Would have been Dad & my Wedding Day 64 years [6 September 1920], thats a long time ago, but this year I remember it more than some years. I came to Topeka 2 or 3 days before and stayed at Hahn (Grandpa Hahns). Louise & Margaret still at home and I went shopping for my wedding suit and Hat, and Louise made my blouse, Navy satin and suit was Navy hot brown. I remember the prices of them also and at the end of that month got my banks statement from White City I was overdue .67. I never lived that down, but would always have a "Come Back" that I came with a cedar chest full of blankets, quilts, sheets, pillow slips and towels.
     Twas a beautiful Sept day cool and bright  and were at Grandma Hahn & grandpa had all the family for a Wedding Dinner. Louise & Margaret went with us to the ministers at First Methodist Church here and married in the chapel at 11 o'clock. The next morn went on an early train to Baldwin as Ed [Hahn] & Marie [Jenkins] married [there]. Grandma & grandpa Hahn and Louise and Margaret  went in their "Ford." We two couples now married went at 6.00 on train in Baldwin to K.C. and there stayed 2 days and one night then back to Topeka. We had a reference letter from a man that ran a small furniture deal and was a mortician  and he gave us a sort of a credit card at a large ware house (furniture) and we bot a dining table & chairs and a table for living room and then later on looked up 4 yard sales for other furniture. House was pretty bare for several yrs. I made an orange crate dressing table for the bedroom. Bare floors everywhere. Got an oil stove for the cooking and it did alright. We had one at home for summer use so I new how they worked.

[October 1984. Handwritten]
Thank you for such a wonderful time, has made me feel like a new person and so many memories to take home to think about. With love, Mother

[November 1984] Tues Morn. Handwritten
  Dear T & N   Tis a beautiful morn, down to 20, so tis cold and is clear our west so Bernice is on her way or I would have heard and I have a kettle of veg. soup cooking, and hair done up so all ready so far.
     Hiliary called yesterday, she is going to her daughters in KC and the things she is taking. They will have quite a few for Thanksgiving. families from around here, her daughter lives in a 2 bedroom apt and has a dining room and large table so can accomodate quite a few. A relative brot her a freeze box yesterday, they live in a town close by and on farms, and in this box was quail, rabbits, squirrel, and fish all pkg and iced. and so she had quite a time getting them stored in her freezer.
     I am thinking this morn about the Day before Thanksgiving when we were all here [in Topeka] and we started having Thanksgiving together with the Hahns in 1933 and I got those pages out from Scrap Book of our Thanksgivings and Christmas for Bernice to look at, didnt Marty and the rest of the younger Hahns enjoy looking at those pages when here one Christmas.
I called [niece] Becky the other nite and she was bushed from their trip, but looking forward to Dave & wife from Colo, and is having Rick & family, and would liked to have had me there also. She said Dovie [Tom and Nathalie's cat] went thru all her tricks [when they visited West Virginia]. so they now know I am not exagerating about how smart she is.
     Have the house in order and brass table shined. I used Haggertys Brass polish, it is safe to use and not so hard, and below table on the smaller brass plate. I used to have it hanging on wall, but now under the table, sets on the cross bars just fine and have my waxed colored fruits, pine cones mixed in and colored leaves, is quite interesting, then on top is a bundle of wheat tied with green cloth bow, Jenay brot it to me on the way after the bazaar last week. The wooden fruits all polished up on buffet and Thanksgiving plate up. On dining table a bowl of wooden apples, so shiny and look good enough to eat, and have a fallish cloth on table. So am all ready but packing bag tonite. [They were going to Kansas City, Missouri.]  All all the spoons in the racks are shiny again, gas is so hard and silver out in open.
     I am so looking forward to being with some of my folks for a change, altho I love to go to my adopted families here also, but maybe the change will be good and such a good deal all around to have Bernice and one family of Zitas [nephew Fran Schump's wife] cant come so we will help out by being there too.
     Your first Thanksgiving you were in a bassinet and at home from hospital.. Mother thot it wise not to have you out when so young and weather so cold, so she helped with making mince meat pies, etc and Bernice & Gladys were living here then and I think Tom Taggart was there also. And you slept most of the day, which helped make the day a nice one. [Well!]
     Hope all of you will have a Happy Day and I will be thinking of you that day (Special) With Love, Mother

[January 1985. Handwritten.
     Dear T & N   I wish you could see my picture window, the large one in the Living room, it is 2 o'clock and its still frost and looks like a woods with a pathway thru the center, just like Robt. Frost, in his "Walking thru the woods" and a form like a man on the path. I have had such a good time watching it and now it will soon be gone as the window is starting to melt. Havent had much wind today and a good thing as would be unbearable. Yesterday a wind and cold and has been 2 wks ago today since I have been out, was eleven below this morn, but I slept warm, the blankets are on now.
      The alfalfa crop will be ready to eat tomorrow. The seed was. or is good as most of the amt in jar has germinated and that is from a T of seed.
Monday.   Everything went well with inaugural and how sensible to have it inside. I remember when Poor Old Robert Frost stood outside with his white hair blowing, and I worried all during the time about him. Was it at J. Kennedys inaugural? Has been some years ago.
     Tis a bright Sunny day and at noon 19 so is warming up. [Remainder of letter missing]

[March 1985. Sat Morn. Handwritten]
A fresh morn, yesterday was a sweater day and how I love that Lavendar sweater, is rite weight for early spring, then I inherited a lighter weight pale blue, which is good sometimes in the house. I have found out that I have lost 4 lbs is spite of all the stuffing in of food that I have been doing. Its in shoulders & face. The little spring flowers are coming up here too, but I have only the artificial little crocus in the house. If you get a card board pkg, light weight, it is a book for Beverly to look at when she comes to see you, so put it in her basket and see what she says.
     Tis the Sat, the day that I dont like yet somet8mes nice little pleasures come along, so busy myself and do the house and cook. Chick & rice in oven. About getting rid of the cabin [in West Virginia] I think that wise, and it will soon get old and run down unless you are there often. There are times and things we have to give up as one goes into another age bracket and doesnt want to be working all the time on something or let it run down. So spring is a good time to do it, folks will be more apt to look when everything is lush and green.
     Have made the sugar cookie dough to put in refrig, then bake Monday for my group afternoon on Wed. Havent had meetings for 2 or 3 months on account of ice and snow, so am sure the ladies will be glad to get out. We only have a few that will volunteer to make anything, but they like to eat when its brot there.
     Marti wrote her teeth were about finished and she was glad they were being done. With love
     I eat rice once a week, also have enough to warm over. I can eat any amt of the stuff. Today over chicken legs. [Remainder of letter missing]

[22 March 1985] Handwritten
The Day before My [88th] Birthday
     And I am having such a fun time with Birthday cards, one from "The Governor Carlin", "Kansas State Senate," Nancy Kassenbaum is from Topeka. These greetings on printed stationary with Gold Eagle at the heading. Someone has sent in my name, but was fun and also interesting, and then cards from friends and relatives, so I have enjoyed the cards very much and have just put in most of this gloomy dark day thinking about the other birthdays and how nice to have folks remember you. I opened one pkg that came in the mail and the stationery is so pretty, just decided to try it out also, this from Bernice and she doesnt like any kind of sta just wants lined tablets for letters and I was plenty pleased that may be seeing you in April.
Sat Morn  Am going for groceries and who do you think is taking me. Mrs. Foster. She is the wife of my Dr. Foster that died 2 yrs ago. I called up a lady who gets help for folks that need a ride to grocery store and they said I was to go with a Mrs Foster and yesterday afternoon she stopped by to introduce herself so we wouldnt feel so strange so I have a list made out for her and one for me, like I have done with Jenay.
     And tonite I will go to Jenays for icecream and cake, so will have a nice day. I hope the day is bright at least starting out that way, but think that it is chilly.
     So must get ready now to go grocery shopping, and am wondering how it will work out, but am sure it will as she no doubt has done much of it in her volunteer work.
I have hit the 88th birthday. With love Mother    

[19 June 1985]. Handwritten. Portion of letter missing.
 I have used that scrap book many times for many things, to get a poem for Group Meetings, etc. So it has had its day and now have two later books that Diane [Torrey, step grand-daughter] has sent me for whoever is interested.
     I have been thinking a bit about my future lately and I want to be with you, and since I cant get out places on my own, have been lonely at times. [We had told her that she could come to Shepherdstown if she liked when she was ready. Florence always knew when it was time to move on.] Will get thru summer and I hope I can get to Bernices also.
     Have another trip to dentist this week and will have a partial bridge thing on 2 front teeth. Have been careful what I eat that wont break any until that is fixed. [Other than this, Florence had her own teeth to use until her death and 101 1/2 years of age.]
     Just called weather report an 7.00, 55 and will get up to 83 this afternoon, so it sure is great and no rain for 2 days. Had the bathroom window open all day yesterday.

[July 1985] Monday. Handwritten.
Dear T & N   AM so happy about my report from Dr. that had diabetes as found sugar etc in urine, and today went and they took some blood from arm and just called and said was normal, so now I can enjoy my thots more about the things have ahead of me. So even if am out of this deal am going to curb some of my eating habits, especially sweets.
     Had a nice little trip last evening around 6.30. Jenay called and said she was taking me for a drive, and we went out to Shawnee Lake, and looked around, havent been out there in years, and coming home the sun was starting to set, twas a lovely scene, and with talking to both of you. I had a very nice Sunday.
     And so I called Jenay to come for me when was there at the Dr office, the nurse took me as almost on her way coming to go from her place. She is so kind to me. Ive known her for many years back.
     I will leave m y draperies here & try and sell them to the next tenant if they have one ahead of me looking. Jenay is happy about me going to be with my family and thinks its a wise move. I havent told anyone else, not even Norma, until its time.
     I was scared with the flare up and felt like it was a lost cause, but have had my report by a phone call, turned out O.K., the blood sugar.
     There are many little details I can work on in the meantime here. Sorting out things. Thank goodness nothing in basement to sort over [as there was in her own house before she moved to the apartment.] Its so wonderful to have this dream and pans. Altho it seems like a lot of work etc.
     A letter from Bernice and she is missing me already, and I think she would come see me if Zita could come but I am not planning that far ahead. Jenay thinks it great, and said she & family have enjoyed me for many years. now you should have me.
     Excuse if a repeat as I write a few lines then phone or something comes up to take me from a letter.
     Have you told Dovey yet?
Tues Morn And a beautiful one, so still am getting ready for the morning walk. With Love Mother
     Early walk over and went by the store, the Computer Store, has a cut Santa posted on door, and a lighted Christmas tree in window, and I wondered if I had overslept and missed out on Fall, but the heat from Sun is beating down, so it is July. With Love  Mother

[July 1985]. Handwritten.
[First portion of letter missing] I also enjoyed the Waltons when they were on every week yrs ago, and they seemed like kin folk. They havent had but one time had them on since they qui and John Boy's on commercial now orange juice, he had triplets. have you seen him, and his babies? "Highway to Heaven if off now for the summer, but Cosby is on every week and that is a fun family to watch.
     Has been 11 yrs ago in June that I moved here and was so very happy with the change and bus to go anywhere I wanted to, a grocery store so handy etc, but times change and folks change, and I cant go on a bus by myself any more, so am ready to move on, but this time seems such a big deal to me but this time I wont have to do it by myself as the other times and it is so nice Im wanted.

     Georgine called at noon and asked me if I would like to go out to eat and go to a funny show, but I didnt want to go as I was too tired and had been up since early dawn, but wasnt hard to turn it down. She is only 64 yrs old, and likes to gad and a fun person. With Love Mother

[August 1985] Thurs Morn. Handwritten
Dear T & N  Tis a cloudy morn 67 and humidity 93, so think it will rain. After your call last nite I got to feeling I was about ready to give in and let you two take over as am eager to start a new life. That seems strange at my age, dont you think? Am tired of doing the bills as have been doping and I will still have them and my bank balance and I am never the same [in bank balance], so who wants to volunteer to be book keeper, and who wants to be grocery boy? I miss the store over here so much, and so simple when ran out of shoe laces, scotch tape, etc. I mentioned these because needed some tape, so used Elmers [glue], and masking tape on something else until I got out shopping for groceries. How simple life used to be. [I think mother's life began to change when she no longer had a store or two to walk to and the ability to go downtown on the bus.]
    I am writing this by the west window in bedroom and between the two. The man came to pick up the library books from a large iron container like a mail collect box and it also is there, the pickup mailbox, and a lady goes there every morn that am at that window writing.
     Went for walk and looked down Shunga [Creek] way and my "Blue Ridge" mts that grove of trees, was blue and hazy this morn. Folks, the older walkers, had a light sweater on and others shorts,  as I walked along I thot of Mother and Dad about their move to Topeka. Dad did not want to leave [White City], but mother did, and she was so happy in Topeka, city life intrigued her the st cars etc and she was young enough to go on busses and st cars to town, and Dad was unhappy at first with it all. I think in later years after they moved close to Central Park [West 17th], he enjoyed goping over there and [played] croquet with other men who went there, and I was torn between the two. But now no one has to be in that position as I am the one who is willing and eager and alone, so I will burn my bridges behind me and am wanted, so what do I have to lose. [Regarding the offer to have her come to live in Shepherdstown, West Virginia].
     Today will be working on two shelves in kitchen, the bottom ones and find something for Becky. When she was over last week, said she would like something from my house. That is an old fashion idea, when some one died or moved away, to have something from their home. But I will not give away anything you want Nathalie or think you would, and so will get to doing something today and think its going to rain.
     Thank you both for your concern and phone calls about them. I think I am worn out in mind & body, just old age. Mother

Part of a letter from her sister Bernice at Goodland, Kansas included: I almost wished I was going with you to West Va, I know you will be happy and Toim will see that you will be taken care of -and yet you can be independent in your own apartment.]

August 1985] Monday afternoon. Handwritten
     My Dear Son   Read the letter with the pictures of my new house, and I looked and figured out about where certain places are in each room, ands to think it is all new. and the toilet doesnt have to have a pan under the tank, and that the stove is electric. The burners on this gas stove go out every time a breeze hits them, I mean the pilot light, and I don't like to call him over [manager] , mumbling to himself. And those closets, I wont have to put boxes under the bed. I didnt have to over here as that is one thing about these apts they have plenty of closet space. Oh, it will be so much fun to have a little home in your town and am looking forward to being with folks. This winter sure decided me and right now it is pleasant and cool but the humidity is very high so I didnt try to take a walk this morn, it may be better early evening.
     The Sunday outing with Margaret Diehl [old neighbor] was a profitable one, as beside the visit, the idea about going to the market is just what I have longed to do this summer, and it was not out of way to get to it on our way home, and this noon had cut dish of peaches, ripe and so sweet (no sugar) and lat nite some cantalope (that was rip) and not hard green. I peeled it and cut in chunks and put in a qt jar  in fridge and I got a few apricots to, they were about out of them. I had apples on hand so didnt get any. There is one fruit that is always good that is in fruit dept at grocery stores and that is grapes.
     Hiliary went out with some one last night out to market to get sweet corn to dry or freeze, her garden didnt do so well this summer. She is facing a serious kidney or bladder operation the 15 of Aug and is quite disturbed about it.
     I would like to see the Waltons again, it is such a loving family. Have you met the Old Maid Sisters yet? and papa's recipe. It is such a wholesome picture.
     Now Dovey is good company for you while the boss is gone.
     Having the [grocery] store over here was a pleasant time of day for me, to go over and visit folks or the boss, he was such a pleasant person, that bldg still empty. The owner is sure losing money on that bldg, he owns all the bldgs there.
     Am using all kinds of odd env. and scrap paper.
     I drink buttermilk sometimes when I cant get straight milk.
     Four O'clock Got the weather report 88 and humidity 66, but seems hotter than that, so am thinking this may be a hot August, as I remember last Aug. was more pleasant, so stay where its cool and enjoy it, as you have a big job ahead of you. [Taking care of Florence when she moved. We were probably in Maine.] Sure nice pictures of the apt and that a good idea to let me see it now. What colors are he walls & carpeting. The bathroom looks so nice and new. I like the cabinet around the lavatory. You will know how much furniture the rooms can take. I have sat for almost an hour and looked at those pictures. What a nice idea to take them. There certainly is enough closet space. Looks like mine here.
     I thot about a change and didnt know what to do about it and am glad you have started the pot boiling and am all fired up now about moving. It all seems so big a job etc but cool weather coming will be better. Its so hot out today, air is heavy and I went for a walk around the bldgs and its 7:30 and sun still up high, but my legs got some exercise.
     What a nice idea taking those picture, have studied them and trying to get located. Now if expense comes up about rent etc let me know, will send a check. The floors are bare, are they not, but dont wax them. What is on the kitchen floor, and what a nice lavatory with a cabinet in the bath room, its all so nice and hard to think I will be there to live, but am ready now
     Havent told anyone yet and will not until its time, and such a nice season to come. 


[To be continued]

Times New Roman 14 point. TH