The Business of Analyzing and Answering to All

Notes from Alexis: The story of EAB is on the daily list of “To Do’s.” But gardening and preserving are running a tight second.

Dearest Lex,

Well it has been fun and games time again this past week. We picked more plums and froze three pints and dried 2 pints (about the same as freezing 6 pints). They are ripe and so sweet they can be eaten raw. We also canned 7 quarts of tomato juice, there are tomatoes lying all over the place.

Then yesterday my face began swelling again so I called Dr. H. and made an appointment for this morning. Went in and he gave me cortisone pills and something else to get rid of hives, and it is just now beginning to work. Of course, he also put me on elimination diet. It is very easy for me since I already don’t do ‘the don’t do’s’ and just have to alter one or two little things such as using safflower instead of sunflower.

I’m also lucky because of the time of year. Two of the vegies I can eat as much of as I want, are cauliflower and broccoli, and I have a ton of each. Cut three nice heads of cauliflower the other day and the garden is still making broccoli like mad. Asparagus is on the list and is available in the stores for some reason. Can’t imagine where they would be getting asparagus this time of year. Bought a turkey and will roast it today or tomorrow. We plan to get another small freezer and put it just inside the door of the pump house and butcher the lambs in a few days. So there you have the food portion of this day’s broadcast.

He said ‘no coffee’ and I said “no, YES coffee.” He got a little huffy like he does and said, “Well, you are the one with the hives, etc.” but I just smiled. If it proves to not be anything else I’ll consider coffee.

J. and P. loved your book as did I. It came at the exact moment when I had to laugh or else, and I sure did laugh. I tell you I have heard more ‘poopy & peepee’ stories since little J. was born, than I’ve heard in my previous 50 years. He is a cute lad but what a serious soul. He takes this baby business very seriously. I don’t think he has spent much time in his bed. The parents hold him all the time.

Even though I was swollen and had a headache, and I had to hold a wash cloth to my head, I still wrote two more chapters of EAB. I’m working on the ending. I dreamed last night that you read the book and cried and said it was a super book. I remembered that on the way to the doctor. It was just so real that I had forgotten it was a dream. I think that is a very hopeful sign, don’t you? Of course, what I am doing now, this first version, is just like an agenda, a plan of what I hope it will be about. Later I will go through and try to make it good, or better, or right, or whatever.

Are you ready for another marvelous coincidence?

I finally decided on a true love for Anna (in EAB) and you will be delighted to learn I have found someone tall, dark and handsome (no moustache). I think it is interesting that I always thought of him in terms of his occupation. Remember I mulled over a farmer, a veterinarian, detective, sailor, editor and finally found him as a professor at a teacher’s school.

I dreamed about him and know exactly how he looks and everything. So I began looking for a teacher’s school and there is one about 30 miles north of Wellman. It was there in 1960 and all of a sudden I had the whole thing–him and the ending.

His name is Ethan (his friends and family call him E). He is 40 years old which is 16 years older than Anna, but he can’t be any other age.

Now that I know how it is going to end, I can go back to Bainbridge and write the middle. The book will be in three parts: Range, Bainbridge and Wellman. There are a great many points I want to make, and this will allow me to do it.

When I told J. the night little J. was born that I was writing a book, he wanted to know if I was writing a paper back. Well, am I? I never know how to answer such things. What turns a person’s mind to such a question.

One of the things I have discovered and find amusing and exasperating is this: Everybody makes me account for everything I say. Every thought and every opinion has to be substantiated. If I like or dislike something it is always, “Why?” Of course I always have a reason and I don’t mind explaining, I just find it curious that this is so. However, that is well within my field of expertise–this business of analyzing and answering, and is of tremendous help with the writing. Are you called to account by everybody (not just me) for every opinion?

Will close for now and run mail this, and then get back to Wellman. You will love E., he has the most curious family.