J. E. Calkins
4THE DAVENPORT DEMOCRATAND LEADER DAILY SUNDAY AND WEEKLY EDITIONSEDITORIAL ROOMDAVENPORT, IOWAMore of pure luxury, as far as I have been permitted to enjoy, than the drift and glide of your skiff on the soundless current that gently sweeps you through these shady leaf-clad channels. There are some of them, within a mile or so of smoky rattling cities, that can bury you in solitude and seclusion as though you were in the heart of the wilderness. And, I am exceedingly glad to say, there are quite a few people in these same towns who properly value the sweet values and advantages of these retreats; though most of them do prefer to travel smoothly paved streets, with good improvements on either hand. They have so far lost the fine appreciation of the best things in this world of beauty that there is none of the good old original Adam left in them.You in lowland California do not often have thunder and lightning, and we here in cyclonic Iowa do not often have them in the winter, but this morning began with the blink and glare of great red flashes through the thick fog that covered everything, and this evening the flashes and the thunder are still at their majestic play. It is soggy and steamy, and away above freezing, and the thunder only growls, instead of snapping and chasing and rumbling grandly as it does in royal good storm weather, but still it is "thunder in the winter," and the weatherwise old men tell us that it is all working to bring down on us a grand freeze that will make us forget that there ever was a warm day. The climate of Iowa is often very trying on account of the moisture and the low barometer, which, to persons sensitive to atmospheric influences, make a combination very depressing to the best of natural spirits. We have days in midwinter here that are simply abominable with their mugginess, though doubtless for the purposes of the farmer they are excellent, and the host of green growing things appreciate them as great benefits. A dry winter is the calamity worse dreaded03809
Original letter dimensions: 27.5 x 20.5 cm.
Reel 16, Image 0623
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