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Showing posts from September, 2010

1918 Letter from China

In the papers from my great-great Aunt Katie was this letter from a friend who must have been on a missionary mission in China. It is dated 1918, and is written on paper made from bamboo.  At the time of this letter, Katie was living on a farm outside of a tiny town in the middle of the Great Plains. She seems to get letters from friends that traveled all over. The letter documents the practice of some people in China who got rid of baby girls. I tried finding "Kutien" on a map, but that seems to be the English translation of either a district of Fuzhou, or of Gutian. There was a lot of missionary activity in that region before WWII. "Kutien, China April 6, 1918 Dear Miss Bookless - Thus far the New Year has been fulfilling your wishes to me. It has been bringing joy and peace to me. The work goes nicely. Yesterday morning we had another baby left at our gate. A two day old girl wrapped in old rags and placed in a little basket and this hung on a bush. But this c

Looking For Work - 1879 Style

My sister recently sent me a box of letters and papers that my great-great aunt Katie had kept. Among them was this letter from my great-great grandfather, James Scott Bookless, who went by his middle name, Scott. He had set out from the family homestead near Abbyville, Kansas in search of work and he was writing home to let my great-great grandmother, Jennie, know how it was going. The family continued to live on the farm, so I am assuming that they just needed some extra cash to make ends meet. They had married in Illinois five years earlier and then moved to Kansas to stake a claim and build a farm. At the time that this letter was written, they had 2 kids and Jennie was pregnant with their third. James had just turned 41, and had been married before and had six children from his first marriage. It seems as though the youngest, Addie, was still living with them. Jennie was only twenty five. Jennie was left at home with three kids, away from her home in Illinois, pregnant, in a sod

Working at Home

My son's before and after school care program is hosted at a public school, and every year they shut down for one or two days right before school starts. Apparently I was supposed to plan to be unemployed those days. Silly me. Fortunately, I have a job that I can do from home. Today is one of those shutdown days. School starts tomorrow, so Alex and I are at home. I am spending the bulk of the day on conference calls and email, so Alex is keeping himself busy with other projects. It is very good that he can do this. Currently, he is cleaning off some shelves in the basement to figure out which old toys need to go to Goodwill . The cats are somewhat discombobulated when we don't go to work. They have a full, daytime schedule and that does not include us. Dimitrious hung out with us for a while. He spent some time napping next to me as I took conference call after conference call, waking up only to gnaw on my hand a bit before dozing off again. That's his way of saying, &q