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Dolores & Les = daughter & son-in-law
Ed & Marge = son and daughter-in-law
Frank = neighbor Frank Vrzak
Larry = son
Les = daughter Dolores' husband
Marge = son Ed's wife, Marge Kary Wachdorf
sisters = Mae and Madge Wachdorf
(original to Ed & Marge, carbons to Dolores, Mae & Madge)
July 10th, 1954
Am sending a copy of this letter to my two sisters as their intention is to make their two weeks vacation in August out here. So if both of you can get together on dates, it would make it so convenient to plan. For instance by having both of you out here together, we could plan trips to see some of California and in that way we could make one trip to a great advantage. If you had different times, we would have to make the same trip twice. This way it's like shooting clay pigeons, or as Ed would rather say, it's like shooting fish in a barrel. There is only one drawback for the sisters, they will have to occupy the bridal suite, but we will have flowers in it all during their stay, even if they have to pick them each day and line up their decorations. We do not guarantee receptacles under the beds. By August everything should be great and trips should be enjoyable.
One thing you lose out on is that we ate all the blackberries, but you can see the vines if they are all dried up by then. We are now enjoying our immense crop of peaches. One tree has four and the other has about two dozen or more, but good. Also the grapes should be ripe when you arrive. So far they are loaded with fruit and the crop should be bountiful with no thorns. Can't say that for the berries. When you got enough for a dozen pies, you were blood from elbow to the hand from scratches. Getting the garden and premises in shape for your arrival and approval. Would hate to be criticized for carelessness of having the place over-run with crab grass and devil grass.
By the way, we have so many different varieties of grass, such as green, verdant, crab, devil, brown, dry, patchy, long, short, dichondra, sea moss, yellow, matty, dog patch or brown from them using our lawn as toilets, smelly from manure from them, blue grass, ry and rock, oops got them in bad form, should be rock and rye, crawling and straggly grass and back breaking grass. Nuf said. I use knee pads for crawling around in the lawn and you should see me sprinkling. Have transparent green plastic hose, soaker, sprinkler, and brass nozzle. The other tools too numerous to mention or itemize I borrow from Frank as I buy pieces gradually so it don't hurt all at once. Forgot to mention I also have snips for pruning the rose bushes. That way I can keep my distance and not get torn apart by the thorns.
Got a few trees we are nursing along, hoping. The avocado and fig tree are two and Mom has a stinking Guava tree she is praying for daily. Out on the lawn we have two evergreen trees, and two Eucalyptus and are the latter dirty. Shedding leaves all the time and dried up twigs. Even nature is picking on me, breaking my back trying to keep up with this nursery. Water twice a week, pull weeds always, mow the lawn weekly and pick fruit every time Mom shouts see if anything has fallen to the ground. Almost forgot our orange tree. One stinking little marble left. The other mate departed when we were not looking, as we know were two at the start.
Dolores and Les are due here in July about the 18th and we sure hope they make it. Come to think of it, I will just send he a copy as I put in three sheets, one for luck.
Anyway Larry is there now probably exploiting the place at our expense, which I mean he will take all the credit for cutting the lawn once and here I am wore out doing the rest of the work, oh poor me. The more you handle these problems the more it gets contagious.
Marge writes and tells about replanting the lawn over and again to keep ahead of the downpours, she says (quote) washouts.
We have not seen any rain since February, so my hose gets to work overtime and the water bills keeps on mounting. The other day I came in dripping with perspiration from working on the garden in the sun.
We had a lovely fourth, sparklers all over. We went to the parish grounds as the padre told all to come and shoot off their fireworks collectively so all could enjoy them. We went and the results, saw sparklers in hand, flying through the air and bursting sparklers coming out of what we used to call flower pots. Whistling dago bombs with no bomb, just the whistle. We took off being afraid to have some flying sparkler nestle down the back or our necks, thum fun. One nice thing, no infernal skeetoes, but Millers, and their aunts and uncles plenty.
Now for final instructions, come and don't disappoint, stay as long as you can and enjoy yourselves in the golden state, Southern California to you. Pick out your favorite spot and if we can find it that's where you will land. Dolores where's that long letter from you explaining your dates and itinerary? Mom and I have the mail man taking a round about route trying to avoid our sad faces when we say, what no mail? That goes for all, but thanks for those letters we do get as they are so good and that last one from you Marge was so newsy and you cried like a baby for not having everyone stay at your place on their vacations--cheer up you get to see them anyway with no fuss either and we all enjoy your place immensely even if we have to walk in the mud
Lots of love
From Mom and Dad without Larry
To go to next letter, click here: 1954 Sept 6