Monday, October 24, 2005

This one's mostly for my siblings

(But you can read it too :-)

I think I got only 2 letters from Dad in my lifetime. He was a rare and contemplative communicator - which means he was a man of a few words but he made most of those words count.

This week, while I was sorting through yet another box of clutter in my basement, I came across one of those two letters. The "backstory", for those readers not related to me, is this... I was nineteen and living in Banff at the time. I was miserable in the worst job I've ever had - cleaning hotel rooms for the summer. My Dad was a farmer, and also had an off-farm job at the Auction Mart. At the time this was written, my brother Dwight was working with Dad on the farm. Dad had nicknames for all of his children and grandchildren - mine was "H".

Here's what he wrote:

June about 7, or so

Dear Heather
I'm fine + you are probably better than when I last heard from you. - just came in from getting pump fixed - (want to get to Auction Mart again) - going to drink coffe just now - Jarvis's here to put in last field of grain - (Sun is shining)

Read 2 letters by H, - don't get to write letters to daughters and sons often - you might guess why this one is written - read letters with shiny eyes. One of best paragraphs, - you almost offered Dwight work, - sounded sensible by a sensible daughter. Feel close to you - you're only one with work similar to mine - I have to clean out quarters with last night's occupants still in them too - One of them kicked me - must have splintered my leg - said leg quite swollen - cheer up - g by


Thank you for material for Cindy's dress - when I - we were in Banf I carried family up mountain - should try it again sometime. (I saw the Gondolas when I was there) - we rode on them.
Someday I think I'll frame letter you sent me on my birthday - get lots of letters from people with completely different thoughts of me - some would prob-ly rather see me in jail? - Dwight wants me to come help him with pump.

P.M. Work waiting for you when you come home - approx 3 ft manure in 2 barns - you could maybe work with Dwight - pay 2 1/2 meals per day (above partly serious)

Love you

Unscramble above as best you can

And because no letter from Dad would be complete without his unmistakeable handwriting, here's a scanned version.

As much as I'm happy to get rid of clutter in my house, this is one thing I WON'T be throwing away.


Cuppa said...

What a treasure. thanks for sharing it with us.

My dad was a man of few words also, and I have very few letters from him. I treasure each one too. There is something about seeing their handwriting that touches the heart. It brings the person right back into the room and floods the space with their presence.

Oh I miss my dad! Sigh. I think it is time to dig out his letters and take a walk down memory lane with him today.

Gina said...

How simple a thing a letter is, but how priceless! I am thinking we don't write enough "real" letters anymore.

Your father sounds like a man with a wonderful sense of humor! I can see why you miss him so.

Simply Coll said...

What a priceless treasure.
It made my heart go soft.

Linda said...

What a priceless memory!