March 31, 1925.
My dear Cousins and all:
Another year has passed, and we are again reminded by our worthy officers that it is time for our annual letters. I haven't forgotten it, for I have been looking forward for some time to the wonderful messages we are soon to receive. Still, at this time I wish I might enjoy them, without doing my bit. However, I find there is nothing worthwhile gained without some effort on our part; and since I I have been ill and in my room for nearly nine months, and most of that time in my bed, and since I have spent many pleasant hours reading those letters and looking into the faces of those we love, I know it's well worth the effort.
I have been with Mabel and Llewellyn since June first. I have the best room in the house, and every comfort possible. Helen and the boys are just across the street, and I see them every day. I now sit up each afternoon and have been out in the car a number of times, so you see I have very much for which to be thankful. I almost thought during the winter that I was in Florida. My room always had flowers. Brother Will from the North kept the temperature just right with electric pads, etc., while Tommie has kept delicious Florida fruit on my table all winter. Another large lovely box came only last week.
I miss sister Kate who was with me often until she and Lish went South. I hope the weather will be so hot that we shall see them home soon. We enjoyed a visit in August from Brother Will and Louise, Tommie and Frank. Kate and Lish and, a little later, Cousin Ed and Emma Congdon; so, if I could not attend our real Cousins Dinner, which I so much regretted, we did have quite a reunion right here in my room, and I certainly did enjoy it. Kate sent me a report of the dinner at Cousin Laura Mowrey's, and Stella Wilbur was kind enough to report on the one at Cousin Charlie Congdon's, together with a fine account of her trip. Cousin Ann Owlett was with me several weeks during the summer, and if any of you need a nurse, and want assistance in locating one, I can recommend a "top liner".
Among the one hundred cards and letters which I received at Christmas time, I had remembrances from sixteen of our cousins. They helped wonderfully to make the days shorter and brighter.
Three of our cousins have passed away1 since our last correspondence and exchange of letters, and we can truly sympathize with their loved ones, and deeply feel the loss ourselves. We shall miss their letters.
Cousin Ross Van Dusen spoke of his busy life2, and Cousin Jennie of so many things we older cousins remember3. When George and I were married, Christmas 18734, Cousins Johnnie and Jennie Bosard and Mark and Sue Seely and Ed and Emma Congdon were there, and each of the three babies then only a few months old, and of whom Jennie spoke5, has a letter in our last year's C.C.C.
Like Roswell, I think a large family is fine - nothing gave our children more pleasure than going to Grandma Campbell's where we were always welcome, and we all loved every last one of our eleven aunts and uncles. This is why our large family of cousins seem so near. I feel sorry for the children today who have only one brother or sister, with aunts and uncles equally scarce, and who are so far separated from them that they have little more than a speaking acquaintance. Of course, such unfortunate children will never know that they have missed, but most of our cousins could tell them.
I hope through the wonderful idea and plan of Cousin Will Selph we shall always keep in touch with the descendants of our forbears and live up to the principles taught by those good old Scotch and English ancestors.
As the girls6 intend to write, I shall let them tell how busy they are themselves, and shall get my letter on its way, as I should hate to be the very last in line.
With best wishes for the coming year, and much love to you all.
1. Andrew Owlett on Sept. 24, 1924; Ross Van Dusen on Dec. 1; & Jennie CRANE Bosard on Feb. 23, 1925.
2. His 1924 letter.
3. Her 1924 letter.
4. Our "modern", commercialized Xmas --- family time together and a fat, jolly Santa are less than a 100 years old. Those customs and imagery weren't nationwide till about 1920. Puritans outlawed celebrating Xmas; and in the North, celebrating it was widely considered sinful until after the Civil War. Weddings on Xmas were quite common in the 1800s and even into the early 1900s.
5. Mary BOSARD Snavely, Lena SEELY Goodrich; & Georgia CONGDON Parks Merritt Weir.
6. Her children: Mable SHIPMAN Shaw & Helen SHIPMAN Willson Ireton.
Buck Garrett's 2012 transcription.
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