October 1, 1947
Pub. in the kitchen:
Weather: Hotter than
Crestfallen Manor Circulation: 49
339 Frost Ave. Editor: Genevieve
Rochester 8, N.Y. Publisher: Charles
Fall is definitely here.
Of course you city slickers know it because the store windows have been
changed to fur coats but we know it more surely. It’s in the air. And
not some ethereal “feeling” in the air, either.
It’s an unmistakable odor, especially in the early morning and around
supper time. No one could miss it.
On all sides the neighbors are burning orange crates, old furniture and
the accumulation of cellar junk in those iron monsters - the combination ranges!
So far I have resisted all efforts to get one into my kitchen and even
helped Charles drag out the huge old black one we found in this place - it
brought one buck as junk And
it was a REAL antique.
THE MANOR: The
cement blocks in the cellar having dried, the jack posts are now in place and
every so often, sometimes without a word of warning, Father jacks up the house a
bit and scares us all to death. It
is one gruesome experience, believe me! Walls
crack before your eyes and you think frantically back to the year 1 to recall
any earthquakes in New York state. The
floor gently heaves up under you and boards creak - whew!
I just can’t get used to it but the old joint is getting an almost
And our cellar is bursting with the canned fruit of the
earth. It’s so cute.
People do get old, you know, and so they will offer you a 50-50 deal as
long as you feel up to climbing pear trees, etc. after the fruit.
So, between our own lovely, lowly Concord grapes and our winter pears,
crab apples from an old neighbor, Seckle pears from next door, swapped red
tomatoes for green and all such barter, we have some grand quarts and pints in
the cellar, believe me.
Then, the hot water heater coil took it into its head to
break, so we had that business to go through.
Of course, we knew we must eventually come to it but, as usual, we had
something else to do right then. But
hot water is slightly necessary with four kids, so we installed a little black
demon - a pot stove that burns pea coal and like it much better.
That also meant rearranging the cellar because the original position of
the heater and tank was very awkward and dangerous.
And by moving the tank and stove that meant the pipes had to be
rearranged, too, so we had a grand time for a week while Father was our plumber.
But it works now!
At the rate these little “accidents” are happening,
when we change the name of this place it will have to be to: PINCHPENNY INN (AND
OUT). How many of you remember the
old Fords that “nickled and dimed you to death”?
Believe one with experience: an
old house can leave a Ford in the ditch forty miles from home and still beat it
at sending you broke.
But, we have no landlord and nobody living up or
music lessons continue. I can
entertain myself and the family for hours and while it isn’t good, we aren’t
fussy and it gets better as we go along, so we are all very happy about it.
are getting longer, just as they said they would. But Mr. O’Brien is following along, too!
He informed me the other day that he’s getting long underwear.
month I announced the commencement of my heirloom tablecloth with 1740 discs.
So far, along with everything else, I have a piece about 2 feet by 3 feet
finished. But my Mother sent me a cute clipping re same:
Seems an Indian was willing to make a chair for $5. but
when he found that he had to make six alike he raised the price to $7.
“because it’s so tiresome making six chairs alike.”
Mother added a note, “Wonder what he’d charge for a tablecloth?”
I shudder to think.
WILD LIFE: We
have a pet squirrel, Petie Dink. We
are looked upon as a meal ticket by this rodent loafer and when either of them
(they happen to be a Mr. & Mrs. but to the kids it’s the same squirrel)
get hungry they just drop around to the side porch and raise a rumpus until we
do something about it. Each visit
sends O’Toole into fits and when they get mad and climb up the screen door he
nearly loses his mind. We’ve
warned the children against them but with me both of them are quite tame and
will take things from my hand quite mannerably.
To the small fry that also seems very normal, “That Petie Dink is
afraid of Mummy,” they say with confidence.
THE GARDEN: In
the dining room right now are eight of the most beautiful bursting rosebuds you
ever saw - two red, four pink, and two tea - which we cut to cheat the frost.
And our French Marigolds were the prettiest I’ve ever seen anywhere.
They ranged from lemon yellow to mahogany, dozens on each bush, pungently
fragrant, sturdy as stones and grand. We have so enjoyed the yard.
But Putsey Jones has an edemic allergy (I trust that is
something like right, begging your pardons, Docs on the mailing list).
They think it is to pollen and the way it swells her eyes and forehead up
is something terrible to see. But
she’s quite unconcerned about it. “Aw
wight, I won’t stick my nose in no fwowers no more, Mummy,” she said and we
can still have them indoors. Keep
dem fwowers away from my nose, you Dick,” she’ll say if something makes Dick
or the others move a bunch. “Does
yous want me to get sick again?” And
she shoves it right back.
VIOLETS: I now
have a bar. In shot glasses in
sunny window I grow roots on African Violet leaves and in Old Fashion glasses
the little pots with the fledglings in dirt hold forth. I’ve recently rooted two pink violet leaves and have
been promised two white ones, too. My
mother-plant, a violent lavender affair, took three weeks off in August after
blooming from March and it is now back in full flower again.
After all my yelling about it I finally got directions and such results!
Players will open soon with “Jean of Lorraine’ and it’s noteworthy that we
had a membership drive for 2500 season-tickets-for-two from one Friday morning
until Tuesday night. How’s that
is burning two warts off the bottom of my foot with glacial acetic acid and are
we having fun! The question is,
will I have a foot or just the warts left? Isn’t that a peculiar place to
develop warts, especially when you’re addicted to shoes? Sounds like a hill-billy ailment. But it happened before years ago and it’s happened again.
Humanity is simply weird.
Our love to all. And
some of you had better write, or else.