W6155 TO REV. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his sister Ruby McQuesten
Jun 15 1908 Monday
To: Rev. Calvin McQuesten. Glenhurst, Saskatchewan
From: Whitehern, Hamilton, Ontario
My dear old Cal
I've written letters to you--in my mind as we youngsters used to say--every few days and it is strange that that kind doesn't seem to have a stimulating effect on the other kind. Certainly the other kind needs some stimulating. I don't believe I've written a letter to anybody since I wrote your birth-day letter but there is always hope in man's original sin and my avaricious disposition is perking up to the fact that it can't extract anything from anybody unless it hands out something.1
The warm weather came so soon and put us all in a panic about summer clothes. So we worked away at sewing. Now we've cooled down and also the weather. It is a comical thing and I noticed it every year with all the females at the College that if a holiday came in early it put them all in a flurry buzzing like abstracted bees because they hadn't a thing to wear and it never occurred to them it had acted that way every year of their life and there might be a few days of cool weather yet to come.
Two days in the week I've been ambling down to Dr. Arnott's and he's spraying my throat and giving me various mixtures. He says it is chronic bronchitis but I'll get rid of it with time and treatment, the former I suppose to be taken naturally & the latter in doses. However there are heaps of people with bronchitis & ever so many have said that at some time or other in their wretched existence they have had it for two or three years and then got entirely rid of it. So I'm quite hopeful.2
Yesterday we were laughing about a letter Hilda had written to Mama when Mama was away in Pittsburgh & we were all children at home. Tom was at home over Sunday & he was enjoying it most of all. Perhaps you heard about it. In it Hilda said "Tom is a good boy except when he gets mad. We can't do anything that doesn't make him mad." Poor Tom he said at that time he expected all the time to be teased & Mama says she can see him yet with his eyes following the various members of the family till it was almost impossible to tease him.
It is fine to get your letters and hear all the news. First thing you know I'll be jealous of your cooking. Sometimes your words don't convey the intended impression. Now I suppose--the Yankees would say--I presume--you intended us to think your biscuits were pretty fine when the boys eat all but two. But the impression left on the little Mother was that the boys were very nasty greedy boys and only left her son two little biscuits--poor fellow!
Really though your work must be most encouraging. It seems to me far more valuable the work of preaching to those people who hear almost nothing otherwise, than preaching to ten times that number here of people who have no such opportunity. I think 37 is good & 61 is wonderful.
Now what do you think occurred just as I was getting into my letter. Prof. Vander [Vander Smissen] came in--he is up for some Lutheran synod meeting. And I was taken out for a jaunt around the mountain & he came back for dinner and is now off to the meeting.3
And my time is gone for I have to go off to the doctor's and post this on the way.
I was to tell you about the statue--well it's very fine--I can't describe it further if I could. I'll walk you around it when you come home.
With much love,
Your affectionate sister
1 It is likely that Ruby has not been feeling well and therefore has not felt like writing. She has a chronic cough and is eventually sent away to Alberta for a rest-cure, see W6161. See W6135 for the history of her illness which eventually becomes Tuberculosis and Ruby dies in 1911. Also see her bio. by clicking on her picture on the "Family" page.
2 Ruby confides in Calvin now about her chronic bronchitis but is hopeful that it will be cured. See W6135.
3 VanderSmissen was (mother) Mary's teacher in grammar school and he was also Tom's professor in University. See W5233.