Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)

Lt 152, 1895

White, May

Cooranbong, N. S. W., Australia

August 26, 1895

Portions of this letter are published in 3MR 407.

Dear Daughter May:

I received, read, and appreciated your letter. Thank you for writing. 10LtMs, Lt 152, 1895, par. 1

I sent for a safe to be purchased for us to use in the tent. The opossums are getting into the food badly. I see now [that] if we can have wire such as is put in screen doors, we can use a goods box, which will hold more than even a safe. Please to give Willie the order to have safe or wire. The wire can let in the air and the food can be kept from the opossums. 10LtMs, Lt 152, 1895, par. 2

We have received nothing yet from Granville in the line of vegetables. When we went for May Israel, we expected to receive something. We will go again today and see if anything has come. The second cow does equally as well as the first cow and we have a generous supply of milk now and cream for cooking. The cream is rich and good. But we must get a dog from some quarter, a good one, to keep off the animals. The barking will, maybe, keep some of us awake, but I see something must be done and what I know not. 10LtMs, Lt 152, 1895, par. 3

I do not propose to tell all the annoyances and perplexities that are constantly coming in. I am not as fond of trees as I have been. We have had a rather strong wind and Sunday it seemed more, and sounded more, like a cyclone. Our family tent is in shape, the very best design to stand storm and tempest. The McCullagh tent fly was rent to pieces. I wished there was not a tree within quite a distance of us, for the blowing of wind in the top of the tall trees seemed like distant thunder or a heavy train of cars. I must say it was not agreeable. 10LtMs, Lt 152, 1895, par. 4

Vincent came yesterday, and Brother McCann and son. They are preparing a place for their horse and putting up tent. Yesterday Caldwell had a hard day. Friday, plowing could not be done. Although all the trial was made, the plow point was so dulled it had to be carried to the blacksmith’s. Brother Worsnop says Brother Rousseau told him when he left that he could have the week to work for himself. I supposed he was our hired man until we get through with our press of work. Everything was changed and the arrangement of doing our work on the place. Brother Steward did not come. We have now only one worker, that is McKee [?]. We cannot possibly prepare ground for oranges unless we have more help. Brother Shannon wants help to dig the holes for foundation to the house. Brother Caldwell was completely used up Friday and did not attend meeting. Sunday he did nothing but look over accounts. Says he is played out and proposed to go with a party of Brethren Lacey and Hughes on the boat. I did not encourage it. 10LtMs, Lt 152, 1895, par. 5

All hands left the building yesterday to board up the kitchen from the effects of dust and wind and animals, and then Maude and Caldwell were going to have them build a pantry out of doors. I thought [it] not best and sent the men to their work on preparing the foundation of the house. We cannot afford to have that house dragging along and lumber used up unless there is no other thing that can be done. 10LtMs, Lt 152, 1895, par. 6

But be assured I am not in favor of Caldwell as manager. If the women suggest anything they would like in fixing up things in the tent, the workmen are called off to do it. I am not pleased with the calculations. If I was not on the ground to hold in check and block the wheels, I think things would move very strangely at times. 10LtMs, Lt 152, 1895, par. 7

I went to the school for the box Sister Ebdall gave me to take sweats in. This can be prepared to keep the milk in. This is an empty box. I shall have it brought up tomorrow and shall use it for a cupboard or safe, putting in the coarse wire and curtain to keep out dust, but let the air in. 10LtMs, Lt 152, 1895, par. 8

I think there are the least inventive powers exercised by Maude and Caldwell to save large expenses. Caldwell will pitch in to do what is asked without consulting if some simple, inexpensive things might be devised that would answer. I see so much the absence of tact and ingenuity. Even in the cooking line I cannot feel reconciled to leave things in such hands. I would give much for such a cook as Byron’s wife, and her value in such things is above rubies. 10LtMs, Lt 152, 1895, par. 9

I shall go today and see Brethren Lawrence and Hare and see what can be done. They took our hired plowmen the days we should have had them, and kept them, leaving us to Friday, and the plow was dulled and could not be used and they have left us stranded. But we shall do the best we can. I shall see Brethren Hare and Lawrence today and get some understanding why every man has left us after the delay caused us in consequence of having the plowing done on their land when it was to be done on our land, by previous engagement. 10LtMs, Lt 152, 1895, par. 10

I shall never decide that Caldwell is a manager of hands. He likes power and responsibilities, but he does not bear them wisely. He is not a proper man for me. He will do anything I say, but this is not what I need. I want someone who has memory, who has tact, and who will not be overzealous in some lines and unappreciative in other lines. For Willie’s work, Caldwell will do nicely. I cannot see yet why Byron Belden and his wife would not fill the place here fully as well as Caldwell and Maude, and they will not be fitful and spasmodic as much as the ones here. Certainly I would not have either of these have the least particle of responsibility of the children. Maude is difficult to work with, and I shall not feel at all free to leave Ella to her management. Caldwell is altogether too full of suggestions, and authoritative in his suggestions. Ella will not gain much if connected with either of these. 10LtMs, Lt 152, 1895, par. 11

Now I have told out what I think it my duty to tell, and shall stop. But to leave things here, even for one week, to be planned and followed out by present company, I shall not consent to do. While I am here there is a restraint upon the parties, but should I be gone I know not what kind of a state things would be in. Certainly I must have things arranged in a better, safer condition for kitchen conveniences. With the air coming in on all sides, the oven will not bake. We have bought all our bread as yet. And some more is to be done to make the cooking room safe from prowling animals—just what is not decided. I begrudge every minute spent by the workmen, for I want the house ready for moving into. 10LtMs, Lt 152, 1895, par. 12

Well, I have been up since one o’clock; cannot sleep. 10LtMs, Lt 152, 1895, par. 13