Binghamton, New York,
April 11th, 1926.
"Better late than never" will have to apply to the date of my letter, I fear. Have been thinking "Cousins letter" for several weeks, but with school work, housekeeping and "flu", have found my time pretty well occupied.
We have passed a very busy but uneventful winter Last fall we bought our home and have enjoyed doing it over ourselves.1 This spring we look forward to a great deal of pleasure setting out shrubs, flowers, etc., as well as fruit trees, grape vines and berries. Walter and the children are already raking the lawn and making flower beds Auntie sent us several of Grandma Hoyt's roses last fall and we are delighted to see that they are still alive.
The youngsters are well except that Henry has a bad cold at present. However, he manages to enjoy life nevertheless. I have just had to stop and take him down from the table where he said he was "stirring" the gold fish.
Mother has been with us a great deal this winter and we have of course enjoyed it very much. She just returned from Elmira2 last night and the youngsters have missed her a great deal. Tom says no one reads the "Funnies" or the "bed time story" to him when "Gram" is gone.3
We also have a new brother in law, Isabelle's husband. We think him an awfully nice chap and like him very much. Isabelle, Tom and mother were here for Christmas and drove out again last week end for Easter.
The children are getting anxious to see Granny4 and Grampa Bill and we hope to be able to drive out soon.
Have just been glancing through the last Cousin book for a little inspiration. I object very much to Cousin Mark Seely writing as though compared with most of the Cousins his life and influence had been limited.
1. I suspect my mother enjoyed the redecorating much more than my father did. She loved rearranging furniture, changing wallpaper, etc. In spite of my dad having been in the Navy, the only times I heard him swear was when he was hanging wallpaper. I'm not 100% sure which of their homes she's referring to, but it obviously had a fair amount of land included. In the 1930 census they are listed in "Ross Park Heights, Town of Binghamton", Broome Co., NY. That's just south of the city of Binghamton. I know they lived there a while on one of the streets running off Park Ave. I assume that's the same house she was writing about in her letter. I believe they lost it as a result of the Great Depression. BTW, the unofficial name for "Ross Park Heights" was "Dog Hill." Pressumably because of the number of pets.
2. Staying with her daughter, Isabelle HOYT Field. She rotated staying with each of her three daughters.
3. And he, in turn, read them to me.
4. Inez HOYT Boller, whom mom called "Auntie".
There has never been anyone in Nelson who stood for the higher and better things in life as Mr. and Mrs. Seely have. They have had an uplifting influence on all who came in contact with them. The old "Church of our fathers" would long since have had to close had it not been for Cousin Mark's untiring devotion. Then there are Aunt Em and Uncle Jabe and Aunt Mary Shipman all shining examples of "simple folk" whose influence have been far reaching. I never knew Ed Congdon but Grandma Hoyt always said, "Ed is such a good man" whenever she talked about him, and Charlie and "Ed" were very dear to her heart.
While I was writing I wish I were able to write a glowing eulogy to the character of Grandma Hoyt. There never was a sweeter, braver, happier spirit than hers in her old age and I only wish we might be able to pass some of it on to our children.
We girls5 always remember her as happy among her flowers and the simple things of life. Even at the last when she could not walk,6 which was such a trial to one so active, not one word of complaint ever crossed her lips. She was happy over the gifts and visits from her friends and the many nephews and nieces. One of the things which pleased her the most was Cousin Charlie Congdon saying "Why, Aunt Phoebe, you look as sweet as a rose". She always imagined Heaven as a beautiful flower garden and I am sure, up there somewhere among the roses, her "soul goes marching on".
With best regards to all the Campbell Cousins, I remain
COUSIN JESSICA HOYT THOMPSON
5. My mom and her 2 sisters.
6. I think I was told she broke her hip.
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