Two Women Linked Across Time

Notes from Alexis: Daily life, wills, and property lines all become part of the life we create and then watch play out.

5-11-84

Dearest Lex,

How are you? Now about writing (don’t you love it!). I just can’t believe it but I have written four very nice articles this past week. They are short, 500-1000 words, and I have three of them out looking for work. I am really pleased with them. They just seemed to flow out of the pen. Also I am about half through with next to last rewrite of EAB and feel good about that too.

I was so pleased that you wrote S. and J. about your marriage plans. They made a point of telling me. When you do things like that it makes me so proud of you. An interesting side note. I was going through some of my papers the other day and came on some thoughts I had written down lo these many years, and was struck by how they reminded me of you. There was something about the phrasing, the tone that I catch in your letters sometime. I think it is more than just association, for certainly the words were different. I think it is the age. We, all of us, tend to feel much the same at the same stages in our lives. Despair, happiness, boredom, etc. and then use the same terminology. One poet’s love sonnets sound about the same as another’s. The geniuses, of course, say it better.

It gave me a great pleasure to feel the two women linked- – me at your age and you now, a kind of kinship reference point that is not exactly blood, but time. We are just the same only different.

I have made the first effort to sell all my weaving and spinning equipment and have in fact sold the picker. I will go in later today and write another letter about selling the rest. It’s funny how I have hesitated and then it was just time and right to let it all go.

Tomorrow or the next day we will go out to Ann Burns’ and get three lambs she is giving us. She owed us one lamb and said we could have a nice big lamb or three scrawny little ones so, of course, Dad wants the babies.

I have begun to give a lot of thought to wills. This comes I think with age but also because I have spent so much time with EAB and have realized the problems ‘things’ can be to heirs. You would think M.s legacy would have made it clear, but she was they, and EAB is me.

As far as money and possessions are concerned, I have all the faith in the world that it will all work out. J. at this point in his life is greedy for things. I have a hard time understanding this kind of greed for I really have never, ever been in such a state. I would get up and walk away from any of it at any time, and have done so several times, so has M. and so have you. We are level headed and know we need necessities and are forced to drag them with us, but we could have walked off with our hands in our pockets and nothing more. I am the worst of the lot with M. a close second, but you would too. Not J. at this time, his needs are shrouded in a mist.

What I need to do very badly for my own peace of mind is to get the writing and the Frameworks all situated. What I want is for them to be cared for after my death. They have no value to anyone in this family except you so I need to burden you with them. Once they have a money value then people will step forward and volunteer, and so they have to be protected when they aren’t wanted and when they are. Isn’t it pitiful? I am not sure how to go about this. It seems strange to most people to make provisions for things that have no money value but I know you feel the way I do. Please give some thought to the problem.

Well, the most peculiar thing has happened, and there are a great many implications beyond what I will set down here, and perhaps someday I’ll be able to tell those too. The facts are these: The other day I saw C. C. (Keno Realty) downtown Keno, and spoke to her and she said she had something to tell me. It seems all our fences are wrong and that we had about half an acre over on another lot that was unfenced. I couldn’t believe it and argued forcibly. Dad doesn’t make those kinds of mistakes. So we drove out and she showed me by the map, and it was true. We have paced and studied, and there it is. The mistake Dad made was to trust the original fences. Since we owned all three lots, it didn’t matter and we didn’t have the place surveyed when we moved in.

The big problem is the greenhouse, and we sweated blood until we found that it sits on this lot, Lot 2, but only just barely and just legally. What it means essentially is that the dear trees you planted run off the middle of Lot 3. All the rose hedges and lilac hedges do too. Dad plans to move all the fences as soon as he had time and energy, but plans to move the fence on the outside of Lot 1 immediately because someone has bought the lot next to J.s and has already planted trees.

Well, will close for now and will write later or talk to you whichever comes first.

Love,
Mom

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