Give my love to any one who you think care for it I’m sorry about Jack Young
Ponsonby Dec 7th /81
My darling Lucy,
I felt I must not let the mail leave without a line to tell you that you were lovingly remembered yesterday and earnestly did I pray that the Lord would bless you abundantly as He sees best for you. We are but poor short sighted creatures, we do not know what is best for us. Our heavenly Father knows & we must try and trust with all our hearts even while passing through the fire – it is only to purify not to burn.
You have ere this received dear Father’s letter written while at the Thames. He was so well all the time we were there, no one in the house would have imagined there was anything the matter. Of course when we were alone he used to come out with his fears & anxieties but before others was just as he used to be – conducted family worship when Mr. Lamb was to ill with a cold to do it himself, and now he is very anxious to get something to do and we have been making enquiries today. It would be a great help to him if we can hear of something. If we could leave Auckland I cannot help feeling he would improve quicker for the constant sight of the asylum keeps him back I am sure, but that must be as the Lord leads. He knows all about it and will guide for the best. Poor Sue has a bad cold in her head, you know what a trial her poor nose is generally under the circumstances though I don’t think it has been quite so bad this time. I fear I am in for it also. Father had a touch of it at the Thames – but except a slight cough is all right again. Fred is at Glen Orchard surveying – laying out roads in a new township. He gets on very well with Mr Hickson. I wish his salary was better, for he works very hard, and three pounds a week is not much to keep a family on. But we are very thankful to have that coming in regularly. We hope to have the dear boy home for a while again in a week or two – we miss him so. We took tea with Grandpapa last evening. Father was so happy with them all – it made it quite pleasant. We put Susie’s dress out to make and of all the sewing I ever saw it certainly was the worst. It was enough to make one groan to see a nice useful material made up so badly. Her bill was 18s-11d for making lining and buttons. I am going to take it back & point out the fearful sewing – I am not given to complaining but Sue has worn it twice & it is litterally (sic) coming to pieces. I shall have to make it over again. I am going to get my Japanese silk turned & made up for Sue for best – the one I wore at dear Emma’s wedding. I think it will do nicely, as I have my black silk for best I shall not need it. I only wish I could show Mrs McLymont the work on Sue’s dress, she would be horrified, everything just tacked together with coarse black cotton. You could not imagine it if you did not see it yourself.
But enough of this. We are getting near Christmas are we not? I cannot realize it at all, indeed I feel very little interest in it. Mrs Gilmer our kind neighbour gave me a dozen eggs today for my Christmas pudding. She gets about eight dozen eggs a week and more when the hens are laying as they do earlier in the season. She is always giving a few eggs for “Mr Nutter’s tea” or some excuse, and they are very acceptable for bought eggs are not to be depended on at all. Father says he told you all about our visit to the Thames. We did enjoy it, everybody was so kind, they are all so homely & sociable. We were to have spent an evening at Mrs Smith’s (sister to John Douglas of Dunedin), old Mrs D. is staying with Mrs S. We could not do so as we were returning to Auckland. The Lambs asked us to stay longer but they were nearly all so poorly with colds that we felt it would be kinder to leave them. Old Mrs Douglas tells me that her son is coming up here to live & is going into partnership with Mr S. Vaile brother of Mrs Jones, & Uncle to Mrs Biss & Mrs Connell. I fear it is a mistake. Time will show, but I should not like to see anyone belonging to me going into partnership with a Vaile. However I trust for Mrs D.’s sake I may be wrong in my opinion. It is many years since I knew anything of them personally. I hope you will excuse this rambling scrawl, but I write just what I think of as it comes into my head. I hope you will never forget to give my love to dear Miss Brunton for I always mean it. She has a warm corner in my old heart. Now darling goodby.
I wish I could see you instead of writing but we must wait & hope on. Give my very best love to dear old Arthur & Emma & a goodly share for your dear old self – from your