To Bertha from Nell Babbitt – January 5, 1917
[Note: Bertha is 26 and is studying art in Washington, DC]
I don’t know what you can think of Ethel and me for not writing sooner. We’ve been disgracefully late this year about writing to everyone because we unexpectedly went up to Chicopee Falls for Christmas and have been busy since returning.
Your delightful package came through safely. It was indeed amiable of you to give us such a pleasant surprise. I didn’t even know where you were until a short time before that when I heard from mother that you were all in Washington.
And now about my beautiful box. You were certainly a dear to send it to me and I think you sincerely. It’s charm grew upon me the longer I possess it. It’s coloring is simply delicious. Please sometime have time to write me a little letter and tell me all you know about it. (I don’t mean to confine you to that subject when you do write, though.) And do you know what it is for? I confess that I do not, though of course one could use it for any number of things.
In regard to your Christmas box, I must add that I’m awfully glad Ethel is in the family because I’m quite fascinated also with the _____ carvings!
Ethel’s family are still living in the Isle of Pines, and it’s rather fun having them there for they tell us interesting things about it. Though it isn’t interesting in the same way that the Philippines are, still it’s a queer little island, full of things that are new to us.
There are a great many caves in the mountains which the Blossoms delight in exploring. It may amuse you to know what “Dad” Blossom (who is now seventy-five) climbs up all the steep rocky passes with just as much agility and pleasure as his son and grandson.
I half believe that sometime, unbeknownst to himself, he has had a drink, or at least a little sip from that fountain of eternal youth that mortals used to search for.
Have you any idea how long you are to be in Washington? And if you’re there for some time, shall you not skip up to New York for a while? We’re wondering how you like the art school there and who teaches you. I have a rather nice cousin in Washington, but alas the creature went and got married before you arrived. Otherwise, I’d have like to send him to see you.
We are still living in the same old place, though we have intervals of hunting the town madly for a place that we’d like better. We talk a great deal about moving from beneath the young elephant who is caged above us, but end our expeditions by coming back to our comforts and discomforts! We are about to start on another tour of exploration, we feel it coming on! If by any chance, we should change our address, however, we shall let you know.
In the meantime, please feel moved to write to us. I shall now turn over the pen and ink to Ethel in the hope that she can think of something to say to you which will convince you that we are not the ungrateful objects that I am sure we must seem to be. Please give my love to the family, and with much love to yourself, I am as ever.
Your affectionate cousin,
524 West 122nd St.
New York City