January 5, 1909
Kelowna, B. C.
My dearest Kathleen,
I think I will write to you just the same as if nothing had happened for though I don’t know at all whether you will want my letters or even open them, I can’t help hoping you will; and if that is the case you won’t want to go a month without getting any. You can’t think what a blank it leaves when there isn’t a letter to look forward to during the week. I wonder what was in that letter you tore up. You shall tell me one day.
Your Christmas present never reached here. Absit omen. I made enquiries but they know nothing about it. I am annoyed, though I was quite determined not to open it till I got an answer to my letter and when I got the answer I was going to keep it till I got your next answer. I don’t think I could open it now until I know definitely that you still meant me to have it, but I wish it had come.
I went to a dance at the Lysons’s on New Year’s Eve. They have a splendid room to dance in and there were about ten couples. They comprised in my opinion just the pick of the people round here and are the ones that in my mind’s eye I have mapped out as being the people you will like best out here.
Last Saturday Harry and I went to spend the weekend with Barneby who lives next to the Mallams who was having a surprise party at his house. Sunday we tobogganed for a bit and on Monday drove home, about the coldest drive I have ever had, it being somewhere about zero with an icy wind in our faces. I found the water pipes frozen when I got home but luckily they didn’t crack, for if they had I should have had about 800 gallons of water pouring through the house from the attic, which would have done a considerable amount of damage. I thawed them out with a hot stove and have since covered all vulnerable places with dozens of sacks and put up a stove to warm the attic, so I hope that won’t happen again. It has been exceptionally cold–17° below zero last night, the lowest officially recorded temperature in 18 years. Tonight it is 14° below but the glass is going down so it is not likely to last. The house is a good deal warmer that it was the last winter I spent in it, when the bread and everything froze. I don’t know whether your fireplace would warm the room properly when it’s quite as cold as this. I had moved everything out the sitting room as I have been staining the floor and Powell has spent about two days waxing it and it has rather a good surface on it now.
I am using the dining room which has a stove in it as a bed-sitting room and the kitchen as a dining room. I had moved upstairs to sleep but I had to take the stove away to warm the water pipes, so now I’ve come down again as it is too big a room these cold nights to keep warm without a stove, especially as there are no curtains or carpets or anything. I don’t know whether I’ll go up again yet awhile either. I am gradually getting everything shipshape but it takes time. I don’t suppose the fireplace would keep the sitting room warm when it’s quite as cold as this but, as it doesn’t average a week a year below zero, it doesn’t much matter if it doesn’t. It will have to be very much colder before we can’t find some room in the house to be warm in when frozen out of the sitting room. It was brilliant sunshine all today and yet it never got above zero and from indoors it looked an ideal day.
Wednesday. It was 22° below zero last night. As long as the pipes don’t burst I don’t mind very much. The glass is still going lower and I expect a rare old storm any time. I should like lots of snow. It makes good sleighing for one thing and sends up the price of hay for another.
I fed all the stock I’ve got out in the meadow today for the first time. So far they have got along very well on the pasture but I thought as it was so cold an extra feed would do them good. They certainly enjoyed it. I am wintering quite a few horses that don’t belong to me this year.
I saw in the “Field” last week some yarn about a sixteen foot python being loose at Heythrop. Rather a fearsome animal to meet when you’re galloping down a ride.
I don’t think I have any more to say.
With all my love, dear,
Yours as always,