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#1854: Willa Cather to Elsie Cather, August 31 [1936]

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Dearest Sister1;

I can't thank you enough for your good long letter, which makes me feel in touch with our little town3. I've been heavy-hearted about it all summer, for I've followed the daily weather reports4 on Denver5, Omaha6, Kansas City7 in the N.Y. Herald8, and knew I couldn't hope for much lower temperatures in Red Cloud3. And the Lambrecht girls9 wrote me that all the old settlers in their neighbourhood are leaving—starved out after so many years of struggle! I am glad this didn't come in Father's10 lifetime. But the whole world seems to have gone bad. Think of11 Spain12! And in Paris13 food is so dear that there is terrible suffering and the Hambourgs14 are sadly up against it. Even this island2 has disappointed us this year—more dark, cloudy weather and less fine weather than we have ever known here. And neither Edith15 nor I have been very well. The damp weather has been bad for my rheumatic shoulder16, and my doctor would not let me walk as much as I like to. Edith got a black-fly bite on her neck—it developed into a boil and then into three three boils! We have a good Scotch doctor17 here, fortunately. But we have both felt heavy and listless ever since the twins18 left, and it has been the least satisfactory summer I have had for a long time. No energy to work at all. We did have a happy time with the twins, though.

I dread having to write to Carrie19. These hard years have hit her so cruelly in many ways, and she will feel Margie's20 death terribly. There are so many hard things to face just now. I have my share. I so often wish I had been gentler with mother21 and father. But, after all, when one is young one has to fight pretty hard to get on at all.

I am so glad you are having the cemetery lot22 taken care of. Here is a check for $25.00, dear. Twenty is to help you with the expense of the lot, and five is for the Church Guild23. Will you please give it to the Guild from me? Don't forget.

My love to you dear Bobbie. I wish life were cheerfuler for you and me and all I love.