Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Lt 201, 1903

White, J. E.; White, Emma

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

September 10, 1903

This letter is published in entirety in 7MR 117-122.

Dear children Edson and Emma,—

It has been a long time since I have written to you. I should be very much pleased to visit you in your own home. Willie writes me that he is much pleased with your situation. I have not heard from you for a long time. I should be so glad to get a letter from you, even if it is only a few lines. And remember that if at any time you wish to pay us a visit, to counsel about your work and about the books that we are trying to get out, I shall be more than glad to see you. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 1

It seems a long time since Willie left us. He went away the last of June, and it is now the tenth of September. He will not be home for a week yet. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 2

Of late I have had many letters to write. Different ones write to me in regard to whether our young people should be sent to Battle Creek to take a nurses’ course. This is a delicate subject, but something must be said in answer to the questions asked. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 3

For the past week the days have been exceedingly hot. The paper says that this is caused by a hot wind from the North. Since beginning this letter I have had to open my windows to get some fresh air. I perspire freely, and then have an attack of sneezing. I hope that you do not find the hot weather very trying. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 4

I think that I shall write you a family letter, telling you about my household and my place. My health is fairly good. I have been and am still able to go up and down stairs as easily as any member of my family, excepting when my hip gives me pain, as it does occasionally. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 5

Our electric battery, which has been out of repair, is now in working order; and what relief it brings in sickness! Just as the prunes were ready to pick, Brother James was seized with an attack of what he calls lumbago. He had severe pains in his back and could neither stand straight nor bend down far enough to unlace his shoes. Sara gave him electricity, Sister James helping where she could. But Sister James was afraid of the battery and would not touch the sponges. At first Brother James could hardly endure the application of the electricity, but Sara persevered, and wonderful relief came to him. He now thinks that electricity is a marvelous remedy. After the first application, he was able to walk straighter than he had been able to for days, and he continued to improve. Sara has given him electricity three times a day, and he has been able to keep at his work. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 6

For the past few months the farm and orchard have supplied a large part of our food, though some of the fruit trees, having borne a superabundance last year, bore hardly anything this year. At first we had strawberries and cherries. There were not so many of these as there were last year, but they were extra nice. Then came loganberries, and of these we had an abundance. We all enjoyed them exceedingly. We had a good crop of Early Rose potatoes, and they were as fine as any I have ever eaten. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 7

For three weeks we have been using tomatoes of our own raising. I thought them a long time ripening, but about three weeks ago I went to Healdsburg. We took some ripe tomatoes with us, and I was very glad that we did; for there was not a ripe tomato to be found over there. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 8

Brother Leininger has been given charge of a large apple orchard. The owner told him that he might give away all the windfalls. Brother Leininger told me of this and said that if I wished I could have all that I wanted of the apples that fell. We have been there several times to pick up apples, and thus we have been able to put up a large quantity of apple sauce. The apples are wormy, but Sister Nelson prepares them carefully, cutting out all the decayed parts. We have apple sauce on the table every day. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 9

I find Sister Nelson to be a faithful, economical housekeeper. She has been very busy canning fruit and drying corn. The others have not been able to help her much; for they have all been busy on the writings. But Mrs. Nelson does not complain. She sees what needs to be done and does it. This is a great blessing. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 10

She has already canned one hundred and thirty-eight quarts of tomatoes, sixty quarts of loganberries, and seventy-five quarts of applesauce, besides cherries, peaches, and apricots. We hope to have two hundred quarts of tomatoes put up. We have nearly a bushel of sweet corn dried and have had sweet corn on the table nearly every day for two or three weeks. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 11

It seems wonderful that in this dry time—not a drop of rain has fallen for nearly six months—there can be such an abundance of tomatoes and sweet corn. To me this seems like a miracle; for the crops have not been watered, and there has been very little fog. I certainly cannot solve the problem of how, without a drop of rain, there can be so rich a harvest. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 12

The grapes are ripening fast. Oh, I wish that you and Brother Palmer and his family could be with us for a while. I know that you would enjoy grapes fresh form the vineyard. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 13

We do not know just what we shall do with our grapes. I wish that we could find a good market for them. But I shall not sell them to the wineries. We shall can a few and perhaps make the rest into sweet wine. Last year we sold the whole crop to the Bakery, but they did not make proper provision to handle them, and many spoiled just as they were ready to pick. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 14

Our prunes this year are much larger than they were last year, but there are not nearly so many of them. We are drying them ourselves. Brother James’ children have been gathering prunes for two or three days, and Brother James and Brother Packham dip the prunes and spread them on crates in the sun. We think that we shall be able to get a good price for them, because this year the prune crop everywhere is light. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 15

I think that I have told you how I lost on my prune crop last year. A young man, our nearest neighbor, bought the whole crop. He also bought largely from others who have prune orchards. He contracted for more than he could handle, and then the rain came early, and spoiled tons and tons of prunes. The young man lost everything and could not pay his creditors for the prunes that they had sold him. My loss was between five hundred and seven hundred dollars. I may possibly get fifty dollars after the young man’s mother has sold this year’s crop of prunes. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 16

Brother James wishes that you could have some of the prunes that he is now drying, and if we hear of any one going to the South, we shall try to send you some. The fresh prunes are very nice. Marian almost lives on them. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 17

A word or two more. I have on hand a large quantity of last year’s prunes. I should be glad to give these to our people in the South. But I have not money to pay the cost of transportation. Have you any suggestion to make as to how these prunes could be sent South? Please mention this in your next letter. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 18

I am very short of money, and I do not know what I should have done had we not been able to spread our table with the fruits of our place. It is years since I have received so little from my books. For nearly six months not a penny came to me. Then I received four hundred dollars from Australia. There were four hundred dollars due me from the London office, but the Pacific Press owed the London office, and I owed the press, so I gave the Press an order on the London office. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 19

At one time I had drawn all that I had in the bank here. But Sara had some money in the bank, and she allowed me to draw on her account to meet running expenses. I shall have to borrow some money somewhere unless I receive some soon. But though no money comes to me, I praise the Lord for His blessings. We meet round the meal table with good appetites and cheerful, happy hearts, thankful that the Lord has so graciously blessed us by giving us an abundant harvest from the seed sown. The Lord is good, and we will honor Him by praising His holy name. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 20

I will be thankful for the blessings that we have; and if the time comes when I can pay off my debts, I shall praise the Lord. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 21

We try to practice economy in every line in our home. We see so much to be done to advance the cause of truth. I pray that the Lord will open the way for me to receive some money from my books. I hear good reports in regard to the sale of The Coming King. I am glad for you. Marian is now working on the temperance book. I am very anxious to see this book in circulation. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 22

The world has certainly been taken captive by satanic agencies, and a time of trouble such as has not been since there was a nation is soon to come. This is why I desire so much to have means. I want to prepare books for publication, and I want to establish memorials for God—schools and sanitariums and meetinghouses. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 23

We need now the power of the Holy Spirit. We need now to put on every piece of the gospel armor. We need clear, sharp spiritual discernment, that we may not be taken captive by the enemy. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 24

Dear children, Canaan is in sight. We must have a place there, in that beautiful home where the Lord will be our Father and we His children. O to be where the wickedness of the wicked shall have come to an end. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 25

I hope and pray that the Lord will help you in your work in the South. If at any time you want to come to us, come; and we will unite our forces. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 26

Your mother. 18LtMs, Lt 201, 1903, par. 27