“You know you’re in love when you don’t want to fall asleep
because reality is finally better than your dreams.” — Dr. Seuss
In this letter we can feel George’s emotions as he has learned in Grace’s most recent letter that the family has decided to not come home as soon as they had planned. Oh, how I wish I could go back in time and know all the details about why they were gone and how long they actually had been gone. It sounds like they were supposed to come home in mid-August but now were waiting until the fall. And I think Grace must still be planning on teaching school when they get back. I do know she taught in a one-room schoolhouse for a while.
I knew my grandfather as a very patient man but I do remember times when he would be “cross” with some situation. This particular time it is showing quite clearly that he is agitated and very disappointed.
When we love someone so deeply it is difficult to spend time away from them. I think that is especially true of young lovers. (Or old lovers too!) When you fall in love and know this is the big love of your life, the person you want to spend your life with, your whole being aches with longing when you are apart, even for a little while. I can imagine how agonizing this separation was for George and Grace as they wait for their reunion and plan for their wedding and marriage. I am a romantic at heart and I find myself having tears as I read this letter from my grandfather to my grandmother. I’ll let you read and put together in your mind any pieces that don’t make sense. I can’t explain them any better than what you might imagine. What I do know, because I was a witness to their love and long marriage, is that true love is worth the wait.
At the end, I hope you will listen to this beautiful love song titled “Only for a Little While,” sung by my sister, Cindy Powell.
July 25th, ‘09
Miss Grace Verink
Dear Grace: I went down to the office a while ago and got your letter. I was not at all pleased with the information it contained in regard to your homecoming. It’s hard for me to understand why they don’t want to come back by the middle of next month. So, I am not going to have you till vacation is all over! It makes me tired! It is a pity to insist on people leaving a delightful place like that, for the Ozark country and a nice city like this. (Sarcasm here. He is in the Ozarks.)
They seem to be making an extra effort to displease us. Oh, I wish I could come on a “charger shod with fire,” and steal you away from them. When people don’t know enough to come back to a good home like this, they don’t deserve to keep you.
I forgot to tell you that Jim Appling is not very old, at least I don’t think so, for he must be about my age. He and his bride are here today. She is nice looking, but not pretty like mine will be, providing I am ever fortunate enough to get her.
Oh dearie, I do wish we were going to get started with a home of our own this fall.
I am kind of cross this evening. Here I have been counting the weeks, and had begun to feel that the time was not much longer until I would have you back, and now I can’t expect you till school time. If there was any apparent reason for it, I could be more patient.
I guess I don’t know what choke-cherries are, unless they’re what we used to call ground cherries. I have seen the wild plums in Kansas.
Winn (Grace’s brother, Walter’s wife) certainly is a queer one.
This has been a dull day. I haven’t been any place but to the office this afternoon.
I guess I better stop and mail this so you will get it tomorrow.
Oh, I wish I could see you tonight!
Love and kisses from your George.