|Leora Fast, Claremont, CA|
Received your Easter greeting last week. I've been so sick the last two weeks. My stomach has been giving me misery night and day. It has troubled me before a little but not like this. It's getting me so nervous. I break down and cry and am so nervous. I just can't go any place for even an hour to shop or ride a little but what I suffer from it.
Gene, I wasn't hinting around to you for money, but I do appreciate it. All I wanted to know was about the old age pension that your mother receives. Is it the same as it is here in this state, and are they doing me right? I told you in my last letter what I do, and I wonder why Leola can't receive the same as she does when she goes to a stranger's home. They'll give such big checks to these nursing homes, but when she is in my home, then they balk even tho we give her all the care they need and love, etc. I can't understand it. Someone told me California didn't work that way. Each state should operate the same way.
I've had her in sheltered homes and they'd give them a big check for nursing care, and then I'd go and find her in a pitiful, dirty condition. Her toenails were so long one time that they were turned under and cutting in her flesh, and she was filthy and even her hair looked like a rat's nest. I reported it and the doctor saw it and almost had a fit. And the lady got so violently mad, but yet they were paying her for sheltered care.
Leola is now (thank God) very well and is so contented and happy Gene. It's not bad when she does what you tell her like a small child. They don't give a care in these institutions and let them go dirty, wet or whatever. I feel so sorry for some of the old ladies in that nursing home. Some are just tied into a straight chair and begging to be put to bed but having to sit there tied--80 and 90-year-old women. Poor things. I asked Leola if she wanted to go back to Hill Top Home and she said, "No!" Says, "I want to stay here."
She doesn't talk much, only when I talk to her and that's past memories that she has gone through. She has gained about ten pounds since I've had her. So I feel happy that I've got her. It's less worry on me. Of course, if she'd get ugly or stubborn it would worry me, but she's always just as sweet as she can be. And when I bring her ice cream, candy or comb her hair, she'll always say, "Thank you Minnie."
Well, Gene, I wasn't hinting around for money from you, but I do want to know how and what they give there. They send me a check for $52 to help on her clothes, household necessities, etc, but they do not allow a thing for shelter. Why do they cut things down so low for us relatives when they'll give 3 or 4 times that much to these nursing or sheltered homes and then won't be decent with them. I can't understand it. My heart just bleeds for some of the poor patients I've seen in these places. I'm so glad you have your mother. Bless your heart.
Well enough of this. I must close and get dressed. Leola sits and sleeps most of the time and only gets up and walks all around the house with her cane and says, "I've got to exercise!" When it stays warm, she can get out in the yard and look at the flowers. Well, Gene, I thank you for your gift and I will use it for her. She does need some wash-and-wear dresses now. Love to you and your family, Aunt Minnie & Uncle Arthur
April 25, 1971
Received your good letter over a week ago, but because of this constant headache I'm very slow getting an answer to you. In fact, I'm kind of slow at everything! I'm so glad you are enjoying yourself. Sounds like you have been doing lots of things and going lots of places. I'm so glad you are getting better acquainted with all of your grandchildren up there too. I'm sure they keep life very interesting with all of their work and lively activities. It must truly be a "house of action" as you used to say of us.
|Elmer and Leona, Claremont|
So if you want to spend a few more days up there, I think you should. Your checks will be coming in a few days and I'll mail them to you. Your room is fine here and no one bothers your things. I have had a card from Flossie. She is so happy to hear you are having a good visit with Dick and his family.
I've also just had another letter from Aunt Minnie. Her health isn't so good, but she says Aunt Leola is so much better now that she is home with her. I will try to write her soon too. Now enjoy yourself. I'm sure you'll get back here in time for Renee's graduation and some better weather in June. Love, Gene & all
April 26, 1971
Dear Mother and Dad,
It has been a long time since I wrote. I am pretty sure it is my turn. But the real reason for my writing is to suggest something to you and see what you think about it. We were talking last night about you, and Renee and Harriet were both saying how they wish they could see you especially since they didn't get to see you last summer. And it may be that we won't get to come up and see you this summer because I am afraid the car wouldn't make that long of a trip it is so old. And I don't really want to buy a new car at least until fall if I can help it.
So we were wondering if you wouldn't like to fly down here. It only takes about one hour on the plane and we could pick you up at the Ontario Airport, which is only about fifteen minutes from our house. If Hope and Grant could put you on the plane up there, we could get you here and it would not be tiring at all to you.
|Claremont lawn and flowers, July 1971|
Don't you think you could come? I think it would be a wonderful trip for you. Also Dale and Carol would really like to see you and show their little Charlotte off to you. She is really a beautiful child with beautiful black hair. Then there is Eric and Linda here too and their little Laura is just a lovely little girl. I'm sure you would just love her. And Eric would really like to see you, Dad. You are one person he really respects. I think it would be a great experience for all of us. And we have some slides and tapes which Jan has sent from Bolivia. We could show them to you and you could hear his voice.
You may think that flying is rather expensive for the two of you, but don't you think you have earned it after all of these years? It would be $200 round trip for the two of you. But when you consider the time saved and the extra comfort it is really worth it. Don't you think you owe yourselves a real good trip after all of these years? I do!
Please think it over and let us know. We have plenty of room and it would be a wonderful way for all of us here in Southern California to see you. We would treat you like royalty. Please come! Dad, you needn't worry about the safety in flying. It is much safer than the highways, and at your age it is infinitely more safe.
Please write us back and let us know what you think. And please decide in the affirmative. Write immediately. Love, Perry
May 24, 1971
Dear Mother & Dad,
After calling you on the telephone, I never did follow it up with a letter, which I really should have done. but I hope you accepted the telephone call as both a birthday greeting and a Mother's Day greeting to Mother. How are you now? I am still hoping that we may get up to see you this summer, but I can't say for sure. But I'm still remembering, Dad, that you said maybe you would come down around your wedding anniversary or Mother's birthday.
|Renee, Claremont yard, 1971|
I surely do feel that we have been blessed this past year. We have kept Jan on his mission and now we are able to send Renee away to college too. There is so much unemployment around here. While so many people have no job, I still have two--or at least one and a half. And even my evening job has been cut back so much that all of the teachers were cut back from five nights a week to two nights a week. But I have still been working my regular five nights because I was in reading, which involved federal rather than state funds.
Last night in sacrament meeting several parents of missionaries spoke and reported about their missionary son or daughter. I talked about Jan. I mentioned how so often missionaries say the two years were the happiest two years of their life. Then I said these two years of Jan's mission could very well be the happiest two years of my life.
Well, summer seems to have broken through. Now I we will probably get a lot of heat after a real cool spring, but that should make my summer flowers grow. I have surely had some beautiful spring flowers. For summer color I have planted a lot of zinnias because they aren't as demanding as a lot of other flowers. I haven't grown any of those since I was a child back in Roosevelt. Do you remember?
Well, I must go. Give our love and best wishes to all the others up there. Love, Perry