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#1318: Willa Cather to Annie Sadilek Pavelka, May 19, 1936

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My dear Annie1:

I have not written you because I have not been very well for the last five months and have been pretty badly overworked, trying to keep my business affairs afloat. But when I am not well, I especially enjoy letters from my old friends and your last one gave me great satisfaction, although not all the news was good. I am so happy that you got an electric washing machine with the $55 I sent you at Christmas. But the full price of the washer was $65, and I want to pay for it all. Therefore, I am enclosing a check for $10 to make up to you what you paid out, and now you can call it “Willie’s Washer”. You know, I am not very fond of my real name, Willa, and I always am pleased when Carrie3 and Mary Miner4, and the people who knew me when I was little, call me "Willie," as my mother5 and father6 did. Nowhere else in the world do people call me by that name - just a few of the older people about Red Cloud7.

In a few days, you will receive from me a box of winter clothing, which I do not need any more. One dress (the one with the plaid waist), I wore only twice, as I was ill then and not going out much. The striped silk dress (which looks like seersucker but is really silk), I think you may be able to wear yourself for Sunday best. However, I want you to dispose of these dresses just as you wish, and to give suitable ones to the daughters who have been the nicest to you. I have a good many little nieces to send cloths to, or I would send more to your nice girls. I always pray for your good health, just as I pray the Lord to send rain to Nebraska8.

Your faithful friend, Willa Cather