This is the second half of Grandpa’s letter to Ced wishing him Happy Birthday and tomorrow, I’ll be posting the rest of the letter, comp[rised of personal greetings from friends and family.
Aunt Betty is well and fits in very nicely with the routine. She gets breakfast in the morning, helps Dave wipe dishes at night, does mending and does light housecleaning during the day. I still get supper of course. Dave is getting more and more dependable and helpful, is taking on cheerfully and without being told more and more chores. He is a good sport when he can’t do the things he would like to do and we all get along splendidly and happily.
Of course we are counting every day now until Lad gets home and Dan’s letter brings another joyous bit of news as to the possibility of his coming home late in the summer. Altogether it looks like a banner year all round in spite of ominous war clouds threatening to break soon.
And speaking of Dan, that old champion of do-it-now rightly merits the title of Direct Action Dan. I will admit there is much to be said in favor of moving quickly to accomplish what ever may be decided as the best thing to do in making needed improvements, but you know old conservative me — I have to look at all sides of the proposition first. Any moves such as suggested would certainly mean the borrowing of funds, but whether this is done through a government F.H.A. loan or through some bank or building and loan, it would first require the paying off of the present mortgage first, as second mortgages, even if possible to obtain, which I doubt, would mean a much higher rate of interest. Taxes, of course, would be higher. If we rented the house where would we store all our furniture if the barn were not available? And with the very acute housing problem where would we live while the rebuilding was going on? Again, looking forward a few years, what position would we be in when this is all over? Suppose something snaps on one side or another next year and there would be a big letdown. We do not want to maneuver ourselves into such a position that the obligations we would have to meet would be so onerous that it would sink us entirely and we would lose all we had and be worse off than now. This is not being pessimistic and predicting such a thing would happen, but I have lived long enough to learn the wisdom of looking ahead far enough so as not to get out on a limb if there is a chance that the other fellow might saw it off before you have picked a soft landing spot. I do not mean to say that I am against the changes suggested but I do want to be sure we think the thing out and not go off half-cocked. It is certainly my intention of talking it over with Lad. Elizabeth has no objections and Dave is for it as a whole with a few minor disagreements.
As to the prefabricated house idea I intend to talk this over with Red (Sirene?) and get his slant on the whole business. There is also the matter of obtaining adequate skilled labor. Building trades are busy and are demanding high wages already. There seems to be a real danger of material shortage. I wonder if it would not be the better part of wisdom to get ourselves in a good liquid condition while the going is good and then, if and when the bottom drops out and labor and materials are a drug on the market, step in and write your own ticket for what you think you would like to do at that time. Of course here you are taking a chance on it being a long time before this condition might develop, if at all, but it is worth thinking on all sides of the thing. Meanwhile, as you say, we can be getting our plans all worked out and know exactly where we want to go when we start going.
Let’s all think about this some more and exchange views as we get additional slants on the proposition.
It is good to get your reassuring letters about the car. I did feel pretty down in the dumps about it from Dick’s messages and imagining the awful letdown you would get after all the high expectations I was responsible for creating. I feel better now.
I’m going to answer Dan’s letter more fully some other time. Meantime tell him I’m awfully fond of him. It’s a real joy to have boys like mine. Tell that old rapscallion Dick that if he reads my letters they are written as much for him as for the rest of you and would be sent him just the same if he were not with you two, it is just common decency to write me himself once in a while. I’m honestly a little hurt at being ignored by him in so flagrant a manner as is the case.
It has been a busy day for me. This morning after getting the dinner started I cut some grass, cleaned out a part of the barn and rearranged things in the Playhouse, garden stuff etc. After dinner the three of us went up in the attic and cleaned out Lad’s old room so that if he elects to go back there it will be somewhat presentable. In summer it will be hot enough to make him feel he’s back in the tropics, anyway. Then I went out in the barn and built a couple of screens for screenless windows. Then after a shower I came down and started this letter, quit long enough to accept an invitation of the new minister to come to the Parsonage for a little social visit, and now back home I am finishing up my weekly Clarion.
And so to bed, as Samuel Peyps would say.
Tomorrow, I’ll be posting personal Birthday greetings to Ced from friends and family.
Thursday and Friday will be devoted to Lad’s homecoming.