New Providence, NJ.
Nov 29th, 1898
From: Ruth Barrell
To: William A Gray
My Dearest Will: –
“Pace tanti viri.” I suppose that is the way to begin. I dare say you have forgotten it’s
meaning, so I’ll repeat it (begging pardon of so great a man.)
Just finished the old routine of dish washing, churning, etc., and I just couldn’t do
another thing until I wrote you a few lines, though I haven’t one interesting thing to tell you.
But it is such a relief to me to be alone with you for the few minutes I am writing.
Our winter still continues. It looks like more snow today. I feel just as I used to ten
years ago today and I just wish you were here to take a sled and go out playing with me.
You forgot your umbrella again didn’t you. I hope you will not need it until you are
here again. I hope you didn’t catch any cold yesterday morning — or in that cold bedroom
either. I’ll remember the little brown jug next week.
I had some exercise yesterday wading through the snow to the post office and
chasing wandering hens to their comfortable house. If you’d been here I’d had had some
fun throwing snow at you and such child’s play. I wish I had nothing to do for about a
month but play with about half a dozen children. I’m just in that mood. I often long for a lot
of little brothers and sisters, all of mine are more grown up than I am, even the two
younger ones don’t enter into play as I do. Guess I’d be better off if I acted a little wiser
I cannot think of any tune today but that new one we learned Sunday. Whenever I
commence to sing that crowds out all the other tunes out. “Clear the darkened windows.
Open wide the door. Let the blessed sunshine in.”
I hope you are feeling real well Dear — and O, how I’d like to know you were not
working so hard as you have been. It makes me ten years older to dwell on this subject
and as it doesn’t do one bit of good to any one. I’ll try to stop worrying about you and just
trust your welfare entirely to God, who can care for you every minute, while my care for
you is only stupid and blundering at best. And I’m going to try and be just as happy and
cheery as I can and make this place as bright as possible and send a lot to you too.
On the whole I feel pretty gay, and I expect you could set me a giggling very easy.
Well I must fix up and go for the mail. So good bye Will.
With my whole heart’s love
I am your