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Neligh. Jan 24, 1889-1863=26

My dear Boy Frank

Is it possible that twenty six years have passed since you first pulled your grandmother's spectacles off her nose? It must be unless figures do lie What a long time it is since you spent a birth day anniversary at home-eleven years!

When I calculate, as sometimes I do, the aggregate time you have spent with us during the time since you first left home to teach school, I can scarcely credit it that you have been a homeless wanderer for so great a part of your days. I marvel if other places do not seem more like home to you than does your father's house.

In your early childhood what fond plans I laid for rendering home a pleasant place and a place of rich culture to you. There were to be many years for all this,- ample time, it seemed, looking forward. but how sadly I miscalculated. Time and boys wait for no one, and by the time I began to carry out a cherished plan the time was too late and the boy was too big for that and a new program must be arranged.

So, in many things I have ever been a laggard and probably it is too late to expect to catch up now. But I trust to keep my dear boys somewhere with in hailing distance, though I do rejoice to know that they are far out-stripping me in many things.

Earnestly do I wish for you many happy returns of this anniversary.

Well do I know that they are beginning to come a little faster than you wish. To annouce yourself one year older is not a privilige so eagerly embraced as it was once.

You and we, your parents, have very much to be thankful for. While your life has not been so easy, your path so smooth and flowery as is afford no discripline, neither has it been a hard and bitter struggle. Your plans included work and you worked faithfully to carry them out, and your plans have worked well.

Thank God and take courage.

Your letter of the 20th came yesterday. To day your father got the package. He likes the garment well. The cloth seems just the thing for his use. The figures I sent were as the trousers he had worn measured. These are a little too long but that is easily remedied, as you say.

No, Mr. Brown has paid nothing yet. He is called very slow but sure. I suppose we cannot depend on him for the note due early in Feb. Your father will try and get some from him for our next load of coal which will be needed in two or three weeks. If it were not for Charley's bill at the stable we should have enough to last us until March, enough money, I mean, for all our expenses. Mr. Griffith sent the horse out to his farm nearly two weeks ago. His man may take the harness at six dollars. If he does and pays the money it will help some.

He paid our personal taxes to day. These are 1888 taxes due on this place, I suppose. Your father will inquire about it when he goes down next.

We do not find "{unreadable book name}" will look more tomorrow, but fear the book is not here. We will finish the search tomorrow and if it is here you will get it in a day or two after this is sent.

There is a book "Phenomena of Plant Life" by Leon {unreadable}, Lecturer on botany {unreadable} Manchester, England. Published by Nicholas & Noyas 1866. About 100 pages. Well, I was describing the book and then going to ask if we should send it, but your father says he will send it any way. So I shall tell you no more about it.

I am very glad if {unreadable} was any use to you. It was given to me thirty years ago by a good old man.

You and W. must look out and not over do in your pursuit of knowledge.

I suppose He read Faust in the original?

We are glad to get such good words about Aunt Caroline. We have no letters from any of them for a long time.

Willard's letter of the 13th gave another discouraging account of the Ross family. Nellie must have a great weight on her shoulders. It is too bad Mrs. Ross must come home so little benefitted. I hope for better reports when W. writes next.

We received the paper telling of the storm but W. did not smile about it, as he seemed to think he had. I saw no mention of damage or scare at the High school.

Mr. Davis is Rev. Joseph W. I wrote you about the owl's eyes, and so had your father before that, I am sure-that they were received and quite satisfactory. The owl is Mr. Griffiths, Mr. Davis does the taxidermy for him.

The last medicines Dr. H. sent seem to be taking hold a little better. I have not so much fever & bones ache. I want to get a little stronger so that a little work does not tire me so much, but perhaps I never shall. I have medicines enough for three or four weeks yet. When these are gone I would like to take a rest from them for a while at least.

I am very glad that you and W. get some little favors on the strength of my being his patient. That may be as great a benefit as any the family scrap from all my dosing. Perhaps I do not look on the results of my experiment so hopefully as I ought. I must close. Your father may add some tomorrow.

Lovingly, Mother.

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