Saturday, February 14, 2009

Congo (2) At Sea, 9/20/1920 [DCS]

Monday Sept. 20, 1920

Dear homefolks:

This seems like the first chance I have had to write you since I’ve been on board. Everything is no new and wonderful. It seems I can hardly comprehend everything. Have not been feeling so very extra part of the time, and haven’t much appetite; however I have not been what you would call sea sick. They tell me the ocean has been unusually calm, but I must admit it hasn’t seemed so at times. I love to stand out on deck and watch the waves rise and fall, and break causing white caps to form on the water.

Since the first afternoon it has been too cold to stay any length of time on deck, of course if we have plenty of wraps and our steamer rug it is quite comfortable. We play forty-two, the Hobsons and we, I mean, read and study Baluba, we only started that this morning. All I know is the alphabet.

Occasionally, ships pass us, and it is interesting to watch them struggle against the waves. There is a great deal of sea weed on top of the water, which is much like sponge [sic.] in appearance.

This ship gets to Plymouth on Saturday I understand. This means only seven days on the trip. We leave this boat at Plymouth, and I don’t know what the plans are from there on.

They are having a dance tonight, but as I left my evening clothes at home, I declined the invitation to attend.

We have some nice friends here that I imagine are quite wealthy. We played a game with them this afternoon and certainly did enjoy it. It is better to stay out on deck as much as possible.


Another day of quiet sea. The cool weather, good meals and everything put together makes one feel fine. We have been out on deck a good part of the day playing games etc., of course we spent some time on Baluba. I spend more time than Mr. and Mrs. Hobson, and B.M. says I am doing very well.

I had planned to do so much writing but the time just flies and I hardly know where it goes.

The ship is much nicer that I had ever dreamed. While there isn’t much room in each cabin, and ours hasn’t even a port hole, yet everything is very convenient folding washbasins, chairs, etc.

My bath is at six with plenty of good warm salt water already fixed for me, but the first evening I washed by face in it and !!

I never answered your question about Aunt Nennie. I think she is every so much better, at least she seems to be, so much better than I had expected to find her. B. M. fell in love with her I think, but every one does, you know. I don’t know whether it was the lunch he fell in love with or her herself. He made the statement that he hoped I was enough kin to them, Aunt N., and Aunt H., that I would learn to cook as well as they do. B. M. is just as good to me as he can be and we are very happy, at least he seems to be.

We have the very best to eat and B.M. says he is going to get you a few of the orders in order that you may see just what we had. There is music the whole time we eat, and they played two pieces that I knew today, Barcerole and The Flatterer.

Thursday afternoon

I have just finished a game of shuffle board. This is my second today and I am to play again as we are having some contest games today and my partner, a Mr. Shaw, and I have won two games which means we have to play against B. M. and his partner. I certainly like to play and have threatened to have one of my own someday.

We had to dress up for dinner last night, and there were lots of cute costumes. I dressed as a Hawaiian girl and carried my “uke”. Rowena (Mrs. Hobson) and Mrs. Rhine helped me fix my costume, and some said I should have taken the prize, but you know people say things to be nice sometimes. Just to hear me tell how I was dressed will not sound well, I don’t believe. However, I wore that plain white petticoat without any trimming covered with straw for a skirt, my blue sweater, lots of different colored beads, and a wide beaded band around my head with two braids. A red sash and red piece reaching from one shoulder under the other arm as all Hawaiians have you know. Red stockings and black bedroom slippers. The one that took the prize was draped up in a United States flag. I think they chose her through patriotism, for there (were) several others better than she.

I am feeling all right now, have gotten used to the rocking of the boat, but we really haven’t had any rough weather.

They are playing and dancing in here so you know how I can write. Think I’ll have time to write more tonight. I just love you lots.


Sat. morning

Stayed in bed this morning and did not go to breakfast. Hardly anyone gets up early on board this ship, but this is the first time I’ve stayed in bed later than 8:00 A.M. There was a entertainment for the benefit of the disabled seamen and their children last evening, and we certainly had some good numbers. Music, recitations, songs, and comic selections. Had a good time, but these people keep such miserable hours. It did not start until 9:00 o’clock, and it was about twelve when we got in bed.

I have to pack up today as we land tomorrow and have to get our baggage ready today.

Have written a good many letters and cards (mostly), but not as many as I had planned.



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