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#1607: Willa Cather to Laura Coombs Hills, December 29 [1942]

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ My Dearest Laura Hills1!

I know you would have been pleased could you have seen with what joy I recognized your handwriting on an envelope. I think when I last wrote you I had my hand in one of Dr. Ober4's metal braces. (The tendon in my right thumb had been wrenched loose by writing too much5.) He cured it, wonderful man that he is, but my hand was perfectly useless for ten months. I could not even sign checks. Being an artist you will realize (what most folks don’t) that a hand without a thumb is simply no good at all—useless and painful. I am so glad to have a right hand again. Try to put up your hair with your hand in a metal brace! I never took it off, night or day—slept with it on my cuddled against my left shoulder. These woes are now in the past. I recount them only to tell you why I have not clamored for news of you.

Even in a miserable newspaper reproduction your “Hurricane6” picture gives me a thrill, and I am proud to be mentioned as one of its admirers.

The darlingest7 of my five nieces8, who lived in New York2 for the last five years and has been such a help to me and such a gay spirit, has been exiled to Colorado Springs9 with her doctor husband10, now a major in the Army. I miss her, but she writes me every week and her letters are so jolly. Miss Lewis11 and I still have an apartment12 together. We have similar tastes and have travelled a great deal together. Just now we have no maid, so I get no work done at all, except in the kitchen!

This is a scrappy letter, but at least it will tell you how happy I am to be in touch with you again and will take you my love and a warm embrace.

Wonderful, that Hurricane picture! Did you snatch it out of the air, in the real hurricane, I wonder?

Willa Cather
Laura Combes Hills1 66 66 Chestnut Street Boston3 Mass. NEW YORK. N.Y.2 DEC 30 1942 8-PM