M[argaret] H[ay] Lunam
Westfield, Dunbar,April 9th, '94.My dear Cousin John:It does seem a long time since we heard from each other, but do not think we are in the least forgetting you. We are constantly talking about you, and wondering how you are progressing with your editorship of Picturesque California. It was very kind of you sending us the January no. We did enjoy reading it, also the views. Mrs. Kelly has a reading of it. She showed it to the Minister of Prestonkirk, who thought much of it. We also had in due time the very large paper of 64 pages, containing a description of the Midwinter Fair in San Francisco, with all other accounts of beautiful California. I gave Mr. and Mrs. Comb a reading of it, so you see I keep your Dunbar friends well posted up about you, as far as we know. Mr. Dick is watching for your article about Alaska appearing in the Century. Susan Gilroy is also looking out for it, to send us the Century no. It is not yet in the April no. I should have written you before this time, but I have often had colds and rheumatics, which make me very lazy. I do trust both you and your dear family have kept well this winter. We have had some fearful bad weather, and great gales of wind. Maggie has had a busy winter looking after the old houses in Dunbar that were tumbled down with the great November gale. They are all cleared away now, not an old stone left upon another. All is changed, but I try not to murmur. They served their time, upwards of 200 years old, some parts of the buildings.The fine summer days will soon be here, and we will hope to get a good let for the house, so that we may get a fine holiday somewhere, and forget all about the cold dark wintry days.I had a newspaper lately from your mother, which lets us know she is well, When I see her handwriting. I send her a courier occasionally. They have had a very severe winter in Portage, indeed I think all over the northern states. We will be very happy to have a letter from you at your convenience. Maggie joins me in kindly love to you.In the beginnong of March Susan Gilroy came and saw us for a week. Miss MeKie gave her a few days holidays. She asked very kindly after you and said how she would like to get a letter from you, as the one you mentioned having written to her must have been lost on its journey as it never reached Moat House, Dumfries. When she had left us Mrs.. James Hay and wee Peggie, from Birkenhead, came and stayed ten days. We had a delightful time together. Gilbert Hay, Glasgow, her nephew, came and saw us also when his aunt was here, the same young gentleman you saw at Birkenhead. They all spoke much about you. Mrs. Hay had the photo of your two dear girls with her. She showed us them. We were delighted to see their bonnie faces again. I could not help envying her having them to look at, but I am sure you will be sending us their photos when you have any to spare. Mrs. Kelly would also like very much to have their photo. I am afraid you will think us very troublesome, always reminding you of their likenesses, but you must forgive me.Believe me,Your affectionate cousin, M[argaret] H[ay] Lunam
Original letter dimensions: 18 x 22.5 cm.
Reel 08, Image 0199
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