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#1605: Willa Cather to Irene Miner Weisz, December 26 and 27 [1942]

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I can eat anything now and am beginning to enjoy food after four months of hating it.

Irene1, you darling!

There are some presents one admires, some one is doubtful about, and very few that one runs to meet with open arms. Why, yours is simply a mercy to me! We3 have been buying the most miserable substitutes4 for jam. Orange marmalade full of ginger, grape jelly made of grape juice and gelatine. You have saved my afternoon tea from distruction.


You see, we made no provision of any kind this summer. Although I paid something over fifty dollars a day at the hospital for my room and two nurses and food, I could not eat their food at all. They soon stopped trying to make me eat it, for it came right up again and spoiled all their lovely blankets. So Edith had all my food, except my breakfast, cooked here5 at 3 home and carried it out to me at 145th street in a taxi. So she had no time to do anything in preparation for the Winter.

This note was interrupted by the grim necessity to wash a lot of dishes. Our excellent housekeeper6 has been ill at home and unable to work since October 11th. We both went away to Williamstown Mass.7 for a month, but when we returned she was still unable to work. Our faithful cleaning woman of many years and a very good house man come for two two days a week and keep us very clean, but we taxi about town2 for the our food most of the time. Quite often we get a grand dinner here at home. This way of life is not helpful toward putting on weight, which is what I most want to do. I have come up to one hundred and fifteen, however.

Your precious box will at least give me a good tea every afternoon.—And it is lovely to look at. Like an old Russian Jewel box. I opened the orange marmalade this afternoon. Oh how good it tasted, after all the substitute stuff I've been having! Thank you darling, from a loving heart.

Mrs. C. W. Weisz1 3270 Lakes Shore Drive Chicago8 Ill. NEW YORK N.Y. STA Y2 DEC 28 1942 8 PM Jam