A Fairy Land of Snow Embroidered Dreams: A Soprano’s Aria Chapter 19

Jan 1 1917 Monday Came back to Allie’s this morning and accompanied him to see Mr & Mrs. Jacobson where we will live for a few mo. Allie having rented it furnished.

We were received very graciously by them both and I think will be satisfied out there for the winter mo.

Came back to the room at the Stratford and Allie and Agness went out to see her mother. I remained to change my clothes post up my diary and write some letters.

Jan 2 Tuesday Packed up trunks and traveling bags and went out 2 Jacobsons. Found the house deserted, had a key, walked in and made ourselves at home.

Jan 2 Wed. My slight cold worse. Busied myself with becoming acquainted with the place. Picked up our wash.

Jan 4 Thu. Cold and especially the fever came to a climax last night. I was burning up alive. Finally I broke out in a sweat and felt better. (O me I see I can’t write good today) sick through and through. Seems to be the grip [flu].

5 Fri. Albert and Agnes got breakfast. I cough terribly am consoling myself by reading Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. Oh what a wonderful story and oh wonderfully told. and Oh but the misery of God’s poor world. This night I wept bitter tears for Fantine! No for myself because I did no get to see Leo, and Fantines unsatisfied longing to see her daughter Cosette brought it all back to me poinently [poignantly].

Les Miserables 1912 Edition

Sat Jan 6 Still weak, hot and cold and sweating by turns an weak and have a very bad cough. Got up at 10 Al some breakfast, swept and dusted the whole house, washed and wiped the dishes, took a bath and went to bed. Had a good nap, Agnes called up and later Allie who had down to meet her. I have to get supper for them yet. The movers have come in and another day has gone. Tomorrow will be my third Sunday here and through no fault of my own, I have not been to church.

Jan 21 The biggest snowstorm for 40 years.

Minneapolis Morning Tribune Snow Storm

Jan 22, at 3240 Harriet Ave. so. This is Alberts 27th birthday we celebrated by having the home made bread. The first he had had in a long time. He spent the day shoveling snow. The sidewalks resemble marble tunnels.

Since the last time I wrote in this book, I have been staying at home not going out at all excepting one day last week when I went down with Agnes to pick out a sewing machine. I am over my bad cold but feel under the weather. My heart beats tumultuously and I am homesick in a submissive sort of way. The mail didn’t come today every sort of traffic is snowed in. On the 18 I mailed letters to all my folks and more anxiously awaiting replies. The storm dominates all conversation. The city of Minneapolis had a fall of 17 inches yesterday which broke all records. It drifted badly in places and men shoveled hard all day yesterday trying to clear away paths to get to and from their places in. Give me the rains of my California.

Jan 28 During the week last, I remained at Allies home at 3240 Harriet and so doing all the housework except sometimes the roomers breakfast. I was unwell during the week. I got a letter from Jessie K encouraging me in my musical aspirations. I made Agnes blue dress which she likes very much. I answered the letter from J. K. [Jessie Kendrick her sister] Agnes got a letter from Jessie Fri they are doing well at home, I guess . I went downtown to meet Allie and do a little shopping for Agnes on Sat. in the morning they went to her mothers Mrs Daveys. This Sunday morning it was so much warmer that Allie and I decided to go to church. We went to hear Dr Riley. He spoke on covetousness and miserlyness and selfishness denouncing them bitterly. The sermon was a masterly one. He preaches in a straight forward style with a splendid choice of words spoken rapidly with few gestures and no grimaces or acting . The direct opposite of Billy Sunday. We walked around after church. The snow was melting and the mud was getting pretty bad so we came home and had dinner ready for Agnes when she came home at 5 o’clock. It is now bedtime and I am going to bed.

Feb 8 I am still at Alberts and have been since my last entry. The weather has been and is cruelly cold. The sun shines warmly today and it has been thawing some in places out of the wind which is bitterly cold.

Today I walked over to Lake and Violet and mailed letters to mother, Frank and Jessie also a photo to mother. I got lost as usual and retraced my steps several blocks only to find I was right and had to go back again making 6 or 8 blocks more of a walk than necessary. I shouldn’t have minded on a pleasant day but the sidewalks were so slippery, I had to go in the street and the wind was so stinging cold, I came nearly freezing my cheeks. To enjoy this climate one should have warm furs.

Feb 9-10 Fri to Sat Usual routine.

Sunday Feb 11 We had Agnes relations over for dinner. I love to see the 3 sisters of them. Josephine, Minnie and Agnes all sitting on the same stool at the piano paying and singing. We had a very pleasant time. Mrs and Mr Davy and Minnies husband was with them. Minnie has lately undergone an operation for cancer of the breast. I sincerely trust it will prove successful.

Mon Feb 12 Lincolns birthday. I was pleased today to see so many American flags displayed. The majority seems to stand by the president in this crisis. I got a letter from Jessie and Lolita in S. F. and Allie got one from Les in Fargo. This is a very cold day. I turned the heat in the dining room and studied the Etude (back numbers for several years) for 5 hours. In the evening I answered my letters.

Etude Magazine for Music Lovers

Tues Feb 13 It is much warmer today. I was feeling depressed and nervous also a little anxious from waiting for word from Rogers, Neb. I forgot to mention that last Sat I received a package containing a tray from Lolita and handkerchief’s for all of us from Jessie and Grandma Mosier for our belated Christmas.

Feb 14 Spent quietly at home thinking of my last years Valentine in California.

Feb 21 Nothing much in importance has happened since my last entry. Agnes sent a pretty cap to Eilene all crocheted and pink beribboned and lined with sheer white organza and she sent a beautiful picture of the baby Hoffman. I had a letter from Jessie Mosier and today and the 21[st]. One from Jessie Kendrick. I have answered them all. And tonight if it isn’t too cold I think I will go to the Baptist prayer meeting and see if I can get into the choir that has been work on a cantata called the “Seven last words of Christ.”

Sat Feb 24 I did not go to the prayer meeting Wed eve, it was so cold and cheerless out and it looked so lonesome to go alone. Then I was tired and Fri I went down town , payed some bills for Allie and selected a set of civet furs at the Leader store. Today, Sat, I am doing housework and will iron the clothes I washed then when the mail came and nothing in it for me I headed to the bookcase for something to read and on my knees before it-the better to see the titles, I read them over Hugo and Dumas and Eugene Sue. O but life is too short—I would love to read The Wandering Jew by the latter. So as a compromise I selected the Inside of the Cup by Churchill. Was my choice a good one! I will wait until I have read it and will know.

Sunday March 4 My Lolita’s birthday 16 think of that! Soon now she’ll be grown up and taking her place in the world. I wish all you wish for . Could I wish you more. I should wish you might always wish the best.

First Baptist Church of Minneapolis

This is Dr. Riley’s 20th anniversary here [First Baptist Church of Minneapolis].

I was at church this morning to hear his sermon which was very good and Rileyesque like the fine efforts of John Haddon who so nobly graces the pages of the inside of the copy which I have. finished and which so coincided with many views I have always held that it was almost startling . Much of it was along lines that were bitterly thrashed out in Ministerial circles in S. F. several years ago when Dr Aked [Dr. Aked spent much of his life advocating for peace; he was a founder of the Passive Resistance League] preached his views on the Virgin birth. I hope I may know the truth some day.

Last Wed eve on the last day of Feb. I attended choir practice and got started on some very hard music which I think I can learn. It will try my mettle and I’m glad it’s difficult for then I will have to work all the harder which will be good practice.

Tue March 6 Just finished the house work. Made a pretty thorough job of it too. I opened up all the windows and doors for a good airing. How delightful to feel the fresh purity of it after being hermetical sealed in the house so long. Yesterday the 5th was the most disharbingering day of the winter. I was short of coal and the wind blew relentlessly all day chilling me to the marrow. I kept the furnace with sifted ashes, waste Paper and coal and had the house warm when the folks came home at night. This morning I ordered coal and it was not yet arrived hope it will be warm soon. It has clouded up but still warm and yesterday Allie got a letter from the dear ones in S.F. saying uncle was there and that they were all glad. Indeed so are we. I worried about the poor old [Horace?]

John McCormak sang to a record breaking house last night at the auditorium. I wanted to hear him so very much. Why is it that some have so much and some so little? I may desert the politics of my fathers and be a socialist yet. Who knows.

17 Feb 1917 The Irish Standard pg 5

Sat March 10 Colder and cloudy but not so bad at that for the icicles are growing longer and that’s a sign its above freezing. I just wrote to Jessie, Leo and mother. I didn’t go to choir practice Wed for it was storming and I had a splitting headache. 11 in. of soggy snow fell covering the city into a fairy land of snow embroidered dreams. But that same city is wondering in dismay where it is to get the money to hire that afore said “beautiful” off the down town streets which have already, in two months cost the city 2000.00 dollars.

March 11 Got letter from Frank which I will keep and let it speak for itself. It was very unkind Blaming me for staying so long at Albert’s and telling me of Milo’s sick spell. I ans the letter also wrote to Milo. Am worried about him. I am reading the French novel called The Wandering Jew by Eugene Sue to keep my mind off of things which I cannot help or alter in the least by worrying. The story is a strange tale of the intrigues of the Jesuit church in the year 1830. And the mysterious appearances and disappearances of a man and woman who meet once in a 100 years at the extreme points of North America and Asia and exchange silent greetings across the Bering Straight. Then onwards and onwards doomed wander to expiate their sins. The Wandering Jew, for refusing the tired Savior to rest on his bench outside his cobblers shop. The print of the nails in the soles of his shoes leaves this mark wherever he goes. [That of the cross]

Gustav Dore’s Illustration for The Wandering Jew

The woman’s sin was demanding the head of John the Baptist and they both try by all their power to make Reparations forever for their sins by doing all the good they can while they are allowed to remain in one place.

March 12 Just a year since Frank and I went to see K.C.B in the Christian Church in S.F. its snowing again here in wintry Minneapolis.

March 13 Still snowing steadily.

13 I was reading away while outside the snow fell in steadily persistently, Piling up more on top of much. The phone rang and called for Mrs. Mosier. I ans’d the person said it doesn’t sound like you. I assured her it was indeed and in truth it was myself. I said who do you think is speaking. I collected my wandering wits and said slowly gaining time to think. O Mrs Newman.

Mrs Mosier said she now could you tell and I replied I knew your voice. I haven’t forgotten you. She was tickled to death and asked me over at once and I went. I was walking distance and I went in all that snow. I was greeted joyously and entertained royally and I came back in all that snow and more which had fallen in time to let Agnes in. She was more upset than I was I had walked about 8 long blocks and she 1. The Newmans have adopted a boy Vincent. They bought a place at 27201 Aldrich and are very nicely situated. She is anxious for me to reenter the lodge.

March 14 The morning is clear and windy. Tonight is choir practice night. I hope to go.

March 15 Last night I went to choir practice and enjoyed very much. I seem to get along as well as any of them. today is cloudy, cold and dreary to an extreme. I have not had much fire and that of course adds to the cheerlessness of the lonely day. I have bread rising slowly. My washing is hanging to dry in the basement and the groceries are ordered for dinner. Agnes will go out to see her folks and so Albert & I will dine alone. I watch with amusement the growth of the ice crystals on the eaves of the house next door. It is now fully 4 feet long and the top is composed of a mass of smaller ones run together into a solid sheet of ice aft across. Water is trickling down by the points of them showing that it is thawing but I am very cold here in the house. No letter again today.

March 16 1917 Minneapolis Minn 3240 Harriet Ave. A blizzard is raging. The air is filled with fine particles of snow driven by a high wind. It is cold and dreary. Here on this residence street everything is quiet—no body passes and silence reigns supreme save for the howling if the wind and the rattle of the storm windows and the clicks of ticking sounds loudly through the deserted rooms.

I am alone with my household duties my sewing and reading writing and thoughts, the latter hardest perhaps of all. No letters came for me in the mornings mails to brighten my solitude. A glance out of my window at the writing prospect. My icicle has stopped growing. It almost reaches the top of the first floor window below it. More snow to shovel, more coal to shovel and a railroad strike threatened which will boost prices again and reduce our already reduced supplies. May the Lord temper the wind to the shorn lamb. I must now see after the furnace fire.

Kelly Wheaton Copyright 2021. All RIghts Reserved.

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