W5654 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Sep 17 1906
To: Calvin McQuesten Macleod, Alberta
My dearest Calvin,
I am thankful to say, the weather turned cooler middle of last week, but it continues very dry. We are still in a state of confusion, as it is so difficult to find any one to do what one wants. Last Thursday Tom started to paint the spare bed-room, but Ross had only sufficient paint to do the windows, and not until this morning could I get any more sent to finish the job. But this morning I got up at seven and went down and managed to get it sent. The men took up two bed-room carpets Monday and came after tea Saturday to put them down, but only Mary's could go down as the painting was not finished. It is all so dry and dusty too that cleaning seems useless. Tom is taking his holidays at home, but there is really no fun going, it is a dull season.
Yesterday, Communion Sabbath, we had very fine sermons from Mr. Ketchen, but he is looking so thin and ill that we all feel very troubled about him1. He had nearly two month's holidays but seems to have gained very little. It does seem so trying both for him and us. Ruby went off on Tuesday and she writes back of feeling so fine and well and fit for her work, and that she is going to have an easier time this year, as arranged at present.
Heurner Mullin met me the other day and was inquiring about your field, he simply said he had a patient, whom you knew too, that he would like to get out there, he may be writing you. I am wondering if it could be Willie Johnson but he could not preach could he? Mr. A.I. Mackenzie is very low, not expected to live many hours and Mr. Carscallen died yesterday.
You say you have worried often about the girls, and I have too. Though I know it has been very wrong, for I feel that if I had attained to the perfect condition of Christian faith, I should feel quite at rest, believing that God plans all things for us with Divine wisdom. I confess that having brought up the family as nearly as possible to the way I thought pleasing to Him, I had fully anticipated that He would provide for them. Well, when I come to think it over, there has been much of self-seeking in my service, I am afraid, and most certainly, we do not know what is really best for us. Hilda says from what she has seen of her friends' married life, she would not be married for anything. I am afraid M.[Mary] is not fitted for it at all, she has not head enough and there would be trouble. Altogether it does not do for one to plan or worry, for we do not know what may come. It does seem sometimes, as if it had been a great cross to have been burdened with this property during the best years of our lives, and just when we seem most to need money, but then we do not know2. Saw Miss Buchanan (Jane) at church last night, she had just been spending 6 weeks in the Adirondacks, she apparently has a much better time than any married lady3.
When Tom left the office for his Holidays, he received $25 of a bonus, which cheered him up very much and on the strength of which he took Hilda to lunch at the King Edward, she had gone down to the boat. Helen Gartshore was here a short time last week she is preparing to go again to New Zealand. Mrs. Gartshore's sister's husband is very ill cannot recover and is all alone there. It seems almost too much self-denial for her father to let her go, as Mr. Gartshore is really in very poor health, he had a severe attack while Hilda was there and is any thing but well, and when he is ill it is Helen who writes his letters, he ought to have a partner and is trying to find one4. I do not know if I ever said how thoroughly Mary enjoyed herself at Staney Brae and they were all so kind; she was like a different creature when she came home, it was very fortunate we were not in the city this summer and the heat kept on so long. Think it is coming on again.
Well, Cal dear, there seems nothing more for me to say I hope you have had cooler weather and are getting cheered up. Edna is getting up her spirits wonderfully and you will probably. With much love from all.
Your loving mother
1 For Rev. Ketchen and family, see W5359.
2 This act of reflection came at a time when Mary had already refused marriage proposals from suitors for Hilda and Ruby.
3 Miss Jane Buchanan, daughter of Hon. Isaac Buchanan, and a member of MacNab Church (W4367).
4 For Gartshore family, see W4815.