New Providence, NJ
May 19th, 1898
From: Ruth Barrell
To: William A Gray
My Dear Will:
I meant to have gone to bed on returning from Prayer meeting, but no one could
sleep during this bombardment, so I may as well improve the minutes by writing to my Will.
Bessie and I walked to prayer meeting tonight and we had such faith in the weather we
had neither rubbers nor umbrella with us. The first thunder I heard was just before Mr.
Hooper finished his discourse, and then he asked deacon Potter to pray, of all persons. I
couldn’t help wondering every minute whether he would get through before the shower
came. Well, we didn’t. It was raining hard when we went down stairs, but a good angel in
the form of Amos jr brought us home in his buggy. His father had the two seated wagon for
the rest of his family. There was very heavy thunder and sharp lightening all the way home
and it rained pretty hard too.
When we ran up on the piazza we found two men seated there with a lantern beside
them. When we got inside, Mother told us about them. They had asked her if they might sit
on our piazza while the storm lasted, and of course she gave her permission. She said
they were German from their talk and had some very bad tobacco. One of them was but a
boy. The man told Mother they came down from Murray Hill to catch a fish, and it rained
and wet them, and then they asked her for a drink of water.
Managed between showers to mow about half the yard today, also sewed some of Bessie’s things. She cut out part of my new wool dress too.
About four o’clock this afternoon I started out on my wheel on mission land
purposes, went to Mrs. Hoopers and to Jennie Hoods. We are going to have the meeting
tomorrow so Saturday will be free to us. Got home about ten minutes to six to feed
chickens, then I rode over to Grace Baldwin’s to tell her of the meeting. It was just lovely
then, the road was in good condition, the air sweet with apple blossoms ( Mr. Bebouts
winter varieties), lilacs, and quince blossoms, and all my dear birds were singing; orioles,
robins, song sparrows, and a sweet wood thrush too. I wished for you so much to enjoy it
all with me.
It looks like now as thought I could meet you on Saturday, but if it should dry
enough so Abe can work. I do not see any better plan than for you to come to Murray Hill,
on the 3:50 from N.Y. I might ride up on my wheel to meet you if the plan seems favorable.
However think you will see me at Summit in the buggy. No potatoes. It seems to have
settled to a steady rain so guess I’ll go to bed.
Goodnight, your loving
Friday 11 A.M.
Through sweeping, some yard to mow yet. Will meet you tomorrow at Summit 4:18
Yours hastily and lovingly