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It’s a Wagner Week and the main matriarch Maria Wagner always has the scoop for both human and chicken.
March 13, 1887
My Dearest John,
I feel so badly I will not go to church. I am so hoarse I can hardly talk with a great effort and my throat & chest are both sore and I cough so hard that I concluded I would disturb the others that were near me and so I will write to you and cough as much as I please. I got my cold getting overheated in the kitchen and coming in sitting down to the table and of course you know my seat at the table is where I got the drought and that will give any one a cold quicker than anything else. I do miss Ma when I am sick or not feeling well. I just felt this morning so homesick to see her. I know it is selfish and wrong to wish her back in this world when she was such a sufferer in her last years but it is so hard to give her up. We are told in the Bible (a rule for living and dying) “What we can go to her,” and that ought to be a great comfort and consolation, but we never have but one mother, our truest and best friend and mine is gone. I feel as if I could cry but I will stop for fear I depress you. You still have yours and one that loves you dearly.
Friday morning at 6:30 someone knocked and Daniel went out and hurried back, got his hat and said to Aunt Sis, I have to go to the store, she thought he said. She watched and said he ran. Well I was in the kitchen and she came and told me of course we were considerably worked up to know what was the matter and Mary the cook said she heard 3 shots fired in town just 3 or 4 o’clock and that made things appear worse. We ate breakfast and after a while Daniel came and said there was fire in the Picker house at the mill. Never could find out how it came there, the man was oiling the machines and looked around and saw the fire behind him. Of course I have my opinion (not worth much) but I believe it was set on purpose. I don’t know who, but it would only take a match to set it on fire. I may be wrong, hope I am.
About those eggs you speak of, I really don’t know what to say, we only have 4 or 5 hens and you know I have no chicken house and we have a dog that sucks every egg he finds in the nest. I have 2 hens sitting and 3 hens laying, “Tabitha” is laying in the cellar – you remember her – we often say “She owes her life to you.” Our chickens disappear and no one knows where they go. It is discouraging to raise for someone else all the time.
Corinne has 2 turkey hens that came off with 12 chicks in January. The little roosters crow.
Hope you are at church and that you read your Bible.
With so much love and kisses,