W5844 TO REV. CALVIN AND THOMAS MCQUESTEN, from their sister, Ruby
May 10 1907 Friday
To: [Grosvenor St.] , Toronto, Ontario
From: Ottawa, Ontario
My dear Cal & Tom,
Thank you both for your fine birthday letters. I felt very rich the day all my letters came. Somehow I'm afraid I'm not properly humble at the thought of advancing years and still enjoy my birthdays mightily. I had a fine box from home with a new sailor suit & a giddy little tie
from Mike [Edna] & two fine little plum cakes to cheer the spirits of the family. Then there was the usual after hours feast in honor of the Birthday. It was on Friday night & part of the goodies was the result of Thursday night's cooking class. We had jellied tongues & ham in most artistic & fascinating manner. But my dear brethren, let me tell you privately, they'd be wasted on you. You shall have one big shape, my dears, instead of three. Last night we made cookies, they'll
have to be enlarged four time for my young friends of Grosvenor St. But then genius lies in adaptability they say. But to continue my Birthday feast. After our jellied meats came ice cream & cake & tea & fruit. It was a very grand spread! In fact I'm really glad there are no more birthdays this year. I feel towards them somewhat as I felt towards jellies the night of one cooking class when we made nothing but jellies. Each member of the class made a different jelly & then these had to be sampled. So there we were, each with a plate on which was prune jelly,
lemon jelly, fruit jelly, white sponge (I'm not sure of its name ) a kind of mixture of nuts & figs
& dates jelly & invalid's jelly & the only plain thing to help it along was four soda biscuits between eight people. Somehow that night is in my memory still.
And so the family are quite happy in Oakville.1
You poor people are right in the midst of things aren't you. I'll be heartily glad to think of you both done with it.
By the way Tom, I have rather a guilty conscience. I'm sure it was a month ago that Mrs. Willie Smith asked me if I could tell her about the lumber camp & whether I thought their oldest boy Herbert could do anything there. I said I'd ask you. He is 17 or 18 1 think, not large but he seems fairly strong. I don't know whether he has the make up to stand it & thrive as you did, but he'll just have to try. Would you mind telling how much they paid you & how it could be managed that he could get in. I thought you'd know.2 But don't bother writing till exams are
over. That will be time enough.
Well my dear boys, my time is over. It is still cold here, it must be planning another snow storm. Last night the wind howled as if trying to blow us down.
The only thing this week was a case of the mumps. But mumps has been sent a few blocks away.
With much love to you both & thanks for your fine letters.
Your loving sister
1 The McQuesten family, (the women), mother Mary, daughter Mary, Hilda, Edna and later Ruby, moved to a cottage in Oakville when they rented Whitehern to the Hamilton Club, see W5800.
2 Thomas spent the summers of 1903 and 04 working at a lumber camp on the Ottawa River, see footnote at W4977.