Notes from Alexis: Well, it is four years later from her last letter. Life took some sad changes. Gwen got mad and stopped writing to me. I guess we all have our family problems. Then her mother moved in with them, and life changed in more ways than she will admit. So we move on to a new chapter in all our lives, and nothing seems different. So strange the way life goes.
She has given most of her writing energy to Genealogical books, even though she has also been writing fiction.
Happy Birthday Sept 1989
Dearest Lex & various and sundry (but not skunks) animals,
I’ve been down on skunks ever since the great skunk saga. Last Sunday Don got up at 4:30 to go hunting and let Hanzi (the dog) out. There was a skunk in the yard, and Hanzi ran it under the house. He didn’t take the time to squirt Hanzi, but, of course, he was under there.
All day Mom and Hanzi kept checking, and they could see his black and white tail. Mom and Don decided the way to get him out was to throw moth balls under there. It worked, too! He came out MAD and squirted the end of the trailer.
We almost asphyxiated that night. I went out twice and washed the trailer off with vinegar and water. It helped, but just. Once during the night I became seriously concerned about breathing and had to go out and walk around to get some air.
A week later the smell of skunk is still at the end of the trailer and under the front steps and in the back bathroom defying all my efforts at freshening——Lysol, mint, leaves, etc.
Well, I have been researching my family tree, and have seven microfiche films in at the Family History Center, so for the next three weeks, I’ll be going up there two times a week to look at them. One of my second cousins once removed, sent me a lot of new information on one of the lines that I thought I would never find, so I am really excited.
I am still plugging away at Vol II — “William of the Tuttles” book, and the awful thought keeps intruding that Vol II might end up being II, III and IV. I can’t see any end to them. Or it could be I just have the “mid-book blues.” The beginning is exciting, and the end is too, but the middle gets tiresome.
A man put a query in the Connecticul Genealogy Society newsletter that I take, and it was about the Tuthills, so I looked it up in Alva’s book and was able to trace her back seven generations. This set me to thinking; I might, maybe, perhaps, do a book on the Tuthills too. I tell you there is just no stopping me once I get started.
The garden has withstood the cold weather, cutworms and pocket gophers and has produced so much we are just astounded. The gophers chewed holes through the underground hose. Mom went out to pull the carrots and saw one disappear down a hole right in front of her so it has been a foot race to see who would get the produce, them or us.
Every day we would go out and find another beautiful bean plant cut off, and we still have frozen 40 pkgs put up. The corn has just gotten a little carried away. Yesterday we froze 36 packages and just plain gave up. We were too pooped to put up more, but there is a ton out there. Sorry, you don’t live close enough for you to get the overflow. More important than the amount we have put up, is that everything is so good. Never better! I swear the grapes in the greenhouse are so good, and we have had enough to satisfy everybody – except Hanzi dog. He adores grapes and begs beseechingly for them. I give him the peels. He loves wine too, and spaghetti, so that’s how we know he is an “Italian” poodle.
Well, J. had her baby, 8 lbs. 2 oz. The doctor and nurse came to her house, and she had her at home. S. said they had a birthing chair, and all. What in God’s name is a birthing chair?!! What is the world coming to, with doctors making house deliveries?
S. gave us nearly a 100 lbs of prune plums that the B’s. had, and didn’t want to bother with. So they went out and picked them. We have canned 49 pints, which was half, and I am in the process of drying the rest. They are mighty tart, but when I add honey to them, they taste like wild plums, which is neat because we didn’t get any wild plums this year. They all froze.
SKUNK UPDATE: I wrote the first page a couple of days ago. Yesterday I got up and told Don something had to be done about the skunk smell. I told him if he took the end skirting off at least some air could get through and maybe the smell would blow away. So he did.
A little later I looked out and yelled for Don to come look. Laying out on the lawn was a dead skunk with bits of hair all over the yard. Hanzi had gone under the house and drag out the dead skunk. Mom plays with him with bits of rags and socks, so he had grabbed the tail, evidently, and was going to play with it, but it fell off. Dad thinks that the skunk may have been hit by a car, and that is the reason it stayed under the house all that first day, and then died under there, of course, it may have been sick anyway.
We now have blessed relief from skunk smell. I tell you I was about ready to move out! We left the skirting ends off all day, and Dad is just now putting them back on. He is all a dither because he leaves Thursday night to go hunting. He packed a week ago and then repacked last night.
Well, will close for now, and you all take care and have nice days during all this nice weather we are having, of course, it may not be nice up there. As usual, our summer was the pits, but it looks to be a lovely autumn if a tad cool-ish, we are building morning fires.