JOHANNA'S LETTERS 1962 TO 1963
LETTER FROM MABLE HEATHER
51 A Grange Court Drive
Nearing xmas once again & we think of friends far away. I wonder how you all are. At this end Mamma is still going strong & hopes to see her 103rd birthday on Feb. 4th. She was very thrilled because on Dec. 2nd she was on our BBC programme entitled "What is old age?" She had to say about four sentences near the end. Some of our friends heard it, who didn't know about it. It gave them a nice surprise.
She keeps well & happy but doesn't go out in this cold weather. I nap her up well even by the fireside. We don't have full central heating like you do in the USA. My husband & I managed to get to my sons near London in November for a week.
We both needed a change. My eldest daughter, Claire, came & looked after Mamma. She has a daughter just started at B'ham University & a son in top form at school, so he & the Father managed alright. Peggy is doing languages including Russian. I wouldn't like to tackle that, but I am doing a BBC course in German which I find quite interesting.
I wonder how you fared well with the floods some months back. I hope they were not in your district.
We, in England, are copying your high buildings. We were quite interested seeing some of them when in London.
We are looking forward to news of you. We always like to hear how the children are developing etc.
Best wishes for Xmas & the New Year from
Aunt Johanna & Mable Heather.
LETTER FOR MABLE HEATHER (Johanna Duffus Short's daughter)
61 A Grange Court Dr.
May 3, 1963
It was indeed kind of you to send us presents for Easter. What a lovely soft shade the scarf & hanky, a beautiful fine linen - always useful.
I'm glad you're getting warmer weather after the terrible cold of just after Xmas. We are appreciating it too although it is more one day warm & the next colder. mamma has sat out in the sheltered corner several times already & enjoys it.
She has decided she musn't try to walk at all without my support so she just gets on the bed afternoon sleep till I come where she is safe. She certainly couldn't walk at all by herself.
We had a very nice Easter with our family just before another long week-end over Easter with the eldest granddaughter - Peggy Rowell - staying on till Friday. She was on vacation from Birmingham University where she is studying languages. She is the clever one of the grandchildren. She is going to France for a month in July to stay with a French family. The students are encouraged to do this as apart of their education. Both families have a car so we got out several times - Mamma too, which she enjoys as she doesn't get out often.
The Red+ ? have a good scheme for old people. They distribute 10 lbs. of lucious grapes given by a firm in South Africa at this time of year for people of 100 & over. So Mamma is looking forward to having hers soon. We give quite a lot away to our neighbors & friends as there are too many really for me. It is something nice the old folks look forward to. We are looking forward to a visit from a cousin of mine (Nellie Geddes from Edinburgh) at the end of this month. She wants to see Mamma once more after about 10 years.
With many thanks & our best regards from
61 A Grange Court Drive
August 27, 1963
I have been reading your last letter in which you wondered if we got your parcel with a scarf for Mamma & a handkerchief for me. I think you will have had my thanks long since this, but I would like to say how much pleasure the scarf has given Mamma. She tells everyone that it has come from afar & has used it when visitors come with her black velvet coatee. It is such a lovely soft shade - just like the colour of her cheeks. She has a a long string of many pink beads, which go with it well so she feels a swell.
She still takes a pride in her appearance & puts in a curler at each side & one in front. People are very amused.
Friends called this morning & said we would like to come a run along the front (the show?) so she was very willing & off we went for an hour, as it was a fine summer morning. We are not having much of summer, but we have a weeks sunshine now & then.
All the families have been down this summer & then they had
their own holidays in Scotland, Devon, Cornwall & one family are as far from Italy -- a first adventure for far. We are not used to such long distances in our little Island, as you are. We've asked my eldest daughter to come for a week, so that my husband & I can get out for a day at a time.
Mamma keeps very fit & enjoys having visitors to tea. These, we have, when my husband is seeing cricket. The West Indians excelled themselves over here & everybody enjoyed seeing them win. Cricket is taken very seriously in England.
I remember the American soldiers playing baseball in Hyde Park duirng the war. They made a rattling good noisy game of it.
I was interested to hear of your relation, who is now a minister & married to a minister's daughter. That is a good partnership as they both understand the work of it.
I expect August is a holiday month for you in America. That is when your weather is terribly hot, isn't it?
Mamma joins me in sending her love
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