A Letter From Dear Mother

On August 27, 1953, Hazel Patterson Winter typed a letter to her son and daughter-in-law, Ralph and Roberta Winter. Dr. Winter has just graduated from Cornell University in New York with his PhD and is going to visit his parents in South Pasadena, California before heading back to the East Coast to attend Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey in the fall. Hazel Winter starts her letter by saying it was good to receive Ralph’s letter the day before and Roberta’s on this day. A check for them is enclosed which they are most welcome to use. In case they need more, one of Ralph’s bonds is also enclosed. Daddy [Ralph’s father] conveys that it is worth $94.00 now, so Ralph will not lose much if he does need to cash it. He still has nine of the $25.00 ones and all are very close to the maturity date. Ralph can check on them when he arrives.

Ralph’s parents are so eager to know how everything is and they trust that they will see him and Roberta in good time. However, his mother cautions them to please not try to drive through without adequate sleep or to make too fast time. She writes, “Of course I know you aren’t children and that you have driven across the country before, Ralph, but it still is dangerous to drive when you are too tired or too sleepy.” She believes it is hard to sleep on a bus and expects it would be just as bad or worse to sleep in the back of a car. His parents will be praying for them every step of the journey, “not only that God will wonderfully care for you but that you will use good judgment.” In preparation for their arrival, Daddy has washed the windows in their bedroom two or three times, and each time he commented about Ralph and Roberta being here soon. The drapes have been cleaned and Mother has washed the bedspread and cleaned the closet as much as she can. “There is so much in there that it is a little difficult to make it look just right. I have tried to dust your books but haven’t done it enough I guess because they are dusty.” Hazel thinks they should have tacked light curtains over the front of the boxes so the books would have been better protected.

Mother next asks Ralph about the clinic he is going to because she is concerned about his headaches. Charles Brooks questions whether they are migraines but she trusts not. She does not believe migraine headaches are related to pressure about the neck, which is what always made Ralph’s headaches worse. She should be grateful if he sees a good doctor, which would be worthwhile even if they arrive a week late to Mother and Daddy’s house. She acknowledges, of course, that he must make a decision there and she is confident he will know what is best.

Mother and Daddy received a letter from Ralph’s brother and sister-in-law, Paul and Betty, today too. They went on a little trip a week ago with their children and the Cudneys. Hazel has thought of them and trusts that they are having a good time and resting. In the September issue of “National Geographic” magazine there is a fine article about an American family in Afghanistan written by one of the Habibia teachers’ wives. It has large pictures of the very territory where [Paul and Betty] are going, so it was very interesting to Mother and Daddy. “Last night we took it up so the Brooks could see it. They are going on a little vacation to the High Sierras and will return it when they come back.” Daddy has walked in and since it is almost five o’clock, they must go register this letter sent with all of Mother’s sweetest love.

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