Box 12-240 TO REV. CALVIN MCQUESTEN, B.A. from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Dec 28 1910
To: Calvin McQuesten 449 Ninth Ave., Edmonton, Alberta
From: 'Whitehern' Hamilton
My dear Calvin,
Well Christmas is over and I am somewhat thankful. The dread of what may
happen before the next, which always oppresses me, hung over me more than ever. Perhaps this is due somewhat to the fact that I am so very tired. Of course, getting everything necessary for the Christmas dinner besides all the presents up to the cottage entailed a great deal of labour mental and physical, besides taking up to show R.[Ruby] all the things we were giving so that she should miss nothing. Before I forget Sydney Little sent some socks, handkerchiefs, ties for you and Tom. Do you wear anything but black? There are four ties, one red and three in black and grey. Will not send till I hear from you. And now I must thank you, dear Cal. for my very fine present; it is a very handsome skin and will make a very beautiful rug. The books came to-day. It is a very handsome fairy tale book that one of Grimm's and I think Ruby always liked fairy tales. I gave Tom his book and Edna's Dream Days looks very nice. Mrs. Begue sent R. "The Second Chance," and Mrs. Mullin sent us "Peter," so we think of changing them.
Tom goes to Toronto this week. We all thought you had given us quite enough, for this family always comes off well. I do wish you could have seen R.'s room. The things poured in, as Mrs. Colquhoun said, it looked like a conservatory. Her mantel is long and high just like the one in our sitting-room. It was covered from end to one [sic] with cut flowers cards and china and the top of your little book case too and another table in the corner (a packing box) besides plants all round the room. There were pink carnations, from Mrs. Mullin and the Hopes, red roses, white roses, red carnations and lily of the valley from Mr. Chisholm, violets from Wm. and Charlie Murray, pink roses from Isa Black. Then she had an azalea pink & white from Mr. Carey, Jerusalem cherry from Belle Macdonald, begonia from Mrs. Randolph, rust cyclamen from Mrs. Leitch, May Stevens and Mrs. Heurner Mullin, paper white narcissus from Mrs. Fletcher and a bunch of them from young girl next door. Ernest Bruce sent her "Jim the Jester" a very nice book, Miss Grantham brought her a lovely thing to cover her little table which she has beside her bed, it is a piece of lovely cretonne with delicate pink roses edged round with gimp and over this the same size a piece of heavy bevelled glass, so that nothing can be stained if anything is spilt. It must have cost a great deal. Mattie D. a little bowl & cream pitcher of Belique, Miss Curry sent her hand painted cup and saucer and the little boys who carry the water a very pretty cup & saucer. Then Marion & Winnie Glassco, a bottle of best cologne, Miss Izzard sent her a beautiful bottle covered with silver for smelling salts, Annie Woods very pretty table cover in stencil work. Mary Cook another very pretty one and Mrs. Bell and Herbert, a most beautiful basket with various kinds of fruit arranged in the most artistic manner, the basket must have been 18 by 10 like a large work basket and there were grape fruit lemons oranges bananas tomatoes grapes figs dates, all laid in paper and red and gold paper shavings. We opened it on R.'s bed and had it as a centre piece on dinner table. Helen Locke a knitted shawl and many pairs of woolen shoes from various ones. Tom gave her a pretty vase, Mary some dried scarlet leaves, a new thing this year, which will stand the cold. Hilda a little pot, very pretty with air plant and cream jug & bowl. Edna a book for snap shots. I gave her cologne. Altogether the poor child was tired out with the number of things and the excitement. Things arriving for days.
We had the table set in her room and the uncle came, (late as usual) escorted by Tom. We had a very nice dinner grapefruit first, which we all enjoyed, particularly it being a very mild day and the little cottage roasting, then tomato soup, then turkey &c. plum pudding, Charlotte Russe and nuts & raisins, coffee. Ruby ate some of most things and said she had enjoyed the day very much. I stayed on till bed-time and the rest of the family left. Tom went down to have another dinner with Herbie Bell. Since that I have not been up for yesterday and to-day have felt completely tired out.
Yesterday morning Carrie Barclay arrived for the day, and Mr. Nosse of Ottawa went up to the cottage and then came to us for tea. Am afraid he stayed far too long with Ruby, and it was unfortunate he should come a day when she needed a rest. Then we are expecting Marion Robinson on Saturday to stay over New Year's, but I hope we shall be a little rested by then. Fortunately Mr. Allan, the city missionary brought us an awfully nice Scotch girl just a week ago, she was trained in the old country, wears her cap and apron and knows how to work, and is quick and willing to learn. It was just a special Providence sent her; she went up with us to the cottage and was so nice and helpful, and seems very pleased with every thing & sleeps in the room off kitchen and likes it. We had got it nicely papered & painted.
You never tell me if you get any compliments about your preaching. Edith Vander Smissen has just called, on her way to Dundas Saturday & will go up to see R. Poor Ruby! She will be killed by kindness. Must close dearest Cal., wishing that you may have health & strength given you for a bright and blessed New Year. With fond love.
Your loving mother
[P.S.] It must be H. who addressed you c/o of Dr. McQueen.