W5894 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his sister Ruby
Jul 2 1907 Friday afternoon
To: [Rev.] Calvin McQuesten Glenhurst, Saskatchewan
From: Oakville, Ontario
My dearest Cal,
Yes I'm here with my family in this lovely place. School & Closings seem quite far off & at present I don't feel like bringing them back even to tell of some of the good times we had.
I was going to sit on the bank here & write, but some children are paddling & they have two dogs & a pup the cutest little black pup with a white tip to his tail & white paws. One dog will swim--the other refuses & has to be hauled into the water by three struggling youngsters, the wee pup is taken in a very short distance and swims bravely in. It is really too entertaining & besides the sun is too hot so I'm sitting on our own nice verandah.
Nellie James is here livening up the family generally, tickling Edna till she nearly weeps, boldly giving Mary a resounding thump which cheers her somehow, & tempting Tousie [Hilda] to go in bathing this afternoon. At present she & Ted [Edna] are downtown. The post-office is a very handy distance here & consequently is visited at least three times a day. Poor you and your one solitary mail! And poor you and your mosquitoes? Wretched creatures! Now here we really have hardly one--it's almost too good to be true and I just wish you could enjoy it. It makes me laugh every time I think of your description of yourself in a veil like a new bride. But it's just no fun the real fact.
Really Cal isn't this the most charming place you could want here? Such a lovely view over the lake & such lovely surroundings & pretty walks. Really Oakville has the prettiest gardens & finest trees & such quantities of them & such a lovely walk down to the pier.
So far I haven't attempted much in the way of walks.1 I've been to church once & made sundry trips with the Milk pail for our evening milk. Robert Buchanan was here the other evening & when it was time for him to go I suggested that whoever went with him to the station might carry the milk can. Said Robert, 'A very canny suggestion.' My pen suddenly started to blot. It evidently objects to puns.
I'm pretty much at home now in the workings of the place--have hoisted buckets of water from the well without losing the bucket & made the acquaintance of butcher & grocer. The grocer's boy is a bold boy--he peeked thro' the crack in the kitchen door at me when I was getting ready to wash my hair this morning. I hope my tawny locks edified him.
One afternoon Mama got me to the point of donning my white dress to make some calls. But the ladies were both out. So we went across one bridge & back another & rested ourselves on the school house steps to wait for Edna to return from one afternoon in Hamilton.
We were awfully glad you had found a comfortable place and are feeling so much better. Just keep on my dear and lay by for next year.
I'll tell you more about Ottawa next time. Hilda & Nellie are going in bathing now & Edna & I are going to listen to their yells. Wouldn't you like to be here to hear their sweet voices!1
1 This suggests that Ruby has not been very well and is now gaining strength (W5932). She has left the teaching work at the college for good (W5865). See W6135 for the story of her illness,(tuberculosis) and death in 1911.
2 The McQuesten family has taken a cottage at Oakville for 9-12 months, while the Hamilton Club has rented their home "Whitehern" after their club meeting place was damaged by a hurricane.