February 9, 1909
Kelowna, B. C.
My dearest Kathleen,
Everything seems to be going swimmingly with me just now. In the first place, I got your second letter [probably Kathleen–January 21, 1909] today in answer to the second one I wrote you and I really haven’t anything to bother me at all now. I always said you were perfect and so you are. If you hadn’t been, you could never have behaved so absolutely sweetly to me. In the next place, I am beginning to see my way more clearly to coming home in April. Powell, my man, is full of confidence that he can do everything quite easily in my absence and doesn’t raise any difficulties, or rather doesn’t go to meet them, which is half the battle; and tonight I broached a scheme that I have had in my head for a long time, that I should build him a small house in the orchard in which he should live when I come out again. I was quite prepared for a refusal, as 99 men out of a hundred out here wouldn’t take such a job for a minute. Most working men would never put up with cooking their own meals and living quite alone. Powell doesn’t mind that a bit. I am away so much that I expect he is getting accustomed to it. It really solves a great problem. In the first place, any extra help I want on the farm will be in Powell’s hands. He will cook for them and they will not bother us at all and that is one of the petty worries of farming out here disposed of. In the next place, we shall be able to get away whenever we want to; and thirdly and lastly, between us we shall be saved the worst part of the housework, for he rather likes doing that and does not feel aggrieved when I get him in to scrub floors, clean windows, and also when we have people in either for hops or surprise parties and that sort of thing it will be Powell who will wash all the dishes the next morning and straighten the house; and all those little things count quite a bit, because sometimes out here the common round and general (?) task is apt to furnish a little bit more than we need to ask; and it has never been part of my programme that you should find there was any drudgery at all entailed in being without servants. There is certainly work to do, but that isn’t drudgery. [“The trivial round, the common task,/Will furnish all we ought to ask . . . .” See Hymn #4 in The Book of Common Praise, Oxford University Press, Toronto, 1930; or Hymn #530 in The Hymnary, United Church Publishing House, Toronto, 1930.]
You may have noticed in my letters that I no longer mention any thing in disparagement either of the country or the life out here. The reason of that is that most of the difficulties and things that I thought you wouldn’t like seem to have vanished now that I have given my attention to getting over them. It isn’t that I no longer don’t mention them. They aren’t there, unless I am quite mistaken.
The only fault I have to find now is in the fact that I shall have to have a period of retrenchment after this and try and make some money instead of spending it; and I don’t think I mind that very much, as I don’t think you are liable to suffer at all and that is the only point of view I look at anything in nowadays.
Our dance at the Walkers’ last Friday was rather fren [sic]. I was rather bored for the first part, which is strange for me, but after that it got better and we danced violently till about 4:00 o’clock. Harry and I and another fellow slept there afterwards stretched out in a row on the floor we had been dancing on. Isn’t it easy to put up guests in this country? The next day I went up to Mallam’s for the weekend and toboggoned on Sunday and played ping-pong between whiles and now I am back here again full of energy for work. The nearer my return to you comes the more energetic I feel. I am not naturally very much inclined that way. I am like a Marathon runner who is approaching the last lap and makes a final effort.
Tuesday. I don’t think I have much to add. I got a list of the steamer sailings yesterday and get quite a lot of pleasure studying the different boats and dates of sailing. I want to sail about the first week in April which means leaving here about March 24th and that isn’t so far ahead. It seems a long way off to look forward to even now. In fact the nearer the time comes, the slower it goes, I suppose because I think about it so much. The answer to this letter will be almost the last letter you will have to write to me out here, which is rather a nice thought.
No more at present except my very best love.
Yours as always,