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Nett-Helen Letters

Helen Clark to Her Parents and Siblings
Written at Lindley, Mo. - June 2, 1884

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Dear Pa & Ma 
          Brothers and Sisters

Well here I am trying to write to you & how awful it seems to think that I have to. I expect you will feel disapointed if you should not get any letter from us this week & I told Will that we must write tonight he arrived yesterday about five-o-clock. John met him at McGriffs & they got caught in the rain it rained hard over there but not so very much here. Ann & children was here all day with me else I might have been afraid. the clouds looked rather black & white sometimes. its the first rain that we have had since you left. We was surprised to hear of it raining there for it was so cool & pleasant here. the wind was in the north most of the week & some say there was frost Wednesday night. it is very cool again tonight

Well Ma I did get lonesome & cried too but I could not help it for it was an awful day. my thoughts were with you all the time

I dont knew how many times I would go to the door & look out up the road. Jap come in & helped me take the bed down & put the beauro in the comer & talked about you going there & believed you would get well & called you pa & ma like Ann does. I didnt get the work all done up untill afternoon but didnt go in the room much for the clock ticked so loud & lonesome & I thought if it always looked that way I dint want to stay here. Blanche would come in every little while & say Ma you lonesome. want me to stay with you. dis old house don't look nice without Granma does it Ma. you lonesome Ma. I took a walk in the orchard & looked at the early apples & then went in the garden & looked around but couldnt see a neighbor or purson any where

We went to bed at nine & about eleven I heard the buggy & guess that it woke me up. I get up & started up the fire & set Johns supper & was so anxious to hear from you that I could hardly wait. dont feel bad about Ma. I am not so lonesome now. when Monday came work came to & I piched in. I couldent bear to set down & sew. I washed four quilts & straw tick & laid them white side up to bleach & when I was at that Mr Coble came through the house & out the south door. he seen me in the smoke house. he says all alone & I told him yes that I couldent bear to stay in the other part & that I went in the smoke house to stay. & he looked real funny like he dident knew what I meant hardly he asked hew ma stood it to the buggy. I told him they carried her to the buggy. she coldent walk & Bill Goble was here one day. Jap said that he acted like he hardly knowed of her sickness or dident seem to want to know. well I am writing things just as they happened. aint any news to write.

Tuesday morning come I washed my blankets & put the clothes to soak as usual for the rain water wouldn't keep very long in the afternoon. I cleaned the old stairs scrubed it & put the rags away & tried to make my mark in getting something done towards Kansas. I began to think you was almost there & it wouldent do any more good to grieve. Then I washed out the clothes to beat Sarah again. well I looked up there & I either see her or thought I did on the steps washing & then I smiled a smile that was all wool & a yard wide, I thought if she beat me shed know it. We got up early & I had my clothes on the line a little after sun up but I rinsed the night before & I rinsed the quilts up in the morning & was just putting on the last one & the post pulled out & then I was smart again they all came down but Jap & Ed fixed it up & then when I rinsed the last of the colored clothes the leg of my bench kicked up & let the tubs come down ker dab on the floor & the water flew all over the smoke house & I thought that would been bad enough for you to done Nett. any hew Sarys clothes dident come out. I guess she kept them over on Thursday. I didnt feel much like work but Anna came down about four o’clock with all manner of excuses. Ellen wasent able to come & mother was going to come but had lay down first & sleep a while & when she got up she felt worse than ever & couldn't come but they wanted to come so bad. la de da. she staid till after supper. don't you think that was great visit she talked about their hired girl mostly & her ways.

John went after the mail that night - I set up till he came home & thought- shure I would hear from you by that time but Less your letter came that night & that was all except the papers. I was glad that you thot of me. dident think that you would write that Sunday for they was to start but I waited untill the next day & the Coble brought it from the office. was so glad to hear but Nett you didn’t do quite as you agreed to about writing what was the matter. for I wanted to know all about hew Ma got along & so many things Will dident write about & had to wait till yesterday to find out. Well Bell came around Saterday night to stay all night & all day yesterday. I tell you now she thinks she is going to live here but shell miss it. she counts the wedths of carpet & just gacked around over the house. Joe told Jap (Ann told me about this) to rent the place & the house too. I recon they will want to keep Eed & Bell keep house if they dont marry. Last night after Will had come Ellen came down & said she reconond I thought she might come down & I told her that I did think she might, she had a few flowers & like to have a spell over my cactus. Well I am so sleepy I thought will was going to help me write & he has wrote a piece for the paper. he is going to Gault in the morning. some of the roses are in bloom & are sweet. this afternoon Will made me a long flower bed between the two bunches of striped grass to sow snow on the mountain. it takes the tub of snowball & rosebush in. I will tell you what Blanche said. Ma give me a piece. I'll set down, see if I dont, bet a dollar I will, wont stand up & galk. Late you couldn't have pleased them any better if you had hunted a week for presents. Blanches is just the right color for her & she thinks it is awful nice. she fans just as awkard & Rosses, he says tell Late they are just right only you bought them a little to short. he is proud of them & has them hung on the wall & tries to strech them longer. I think that I can piece the ends with calico & my calico to is to utterly to. Nett I think I made a good trade for its awful pretty. I thank you ever so much. Late the bird has been trying to sing again but hasent quite made it complete. Nett I am sorry you feel disapointed in the place. it don't encourage me very much to go. Will said you said you couldn't see what I wanted to go there for. I dont, only, to be near pa & ma & the rest of you for its lonesome here with out you. I think a great deal of that. Dewey eat dinner here to day & shingled Rosses hair. he thought we would be foolish to leave such a nice home. They had a trial of it once when they went to Texas.

I dreamed of hearing Ma saying HELLEN just as loud & clear last Tuesday night that it woke me up & it seemed that I seen her just as plain. I couldent go to sleep again for awhile. I give Bell to understand that we was going to be careful who staid here. She asked what I was going to leave & going to take & wanted me to give her my flowers. I told her she had no place to put them. she said I might have before months or days.

tell me just how ma is when you write & all the particulars I hope she is getting well. Everybody is awful anzious to know how she stood the trip.  I will look for your letters about friday noon. dont expect I can get the house all cleaned all this week for its to much.

Copyright © 2012 Mark A. Miner