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The "What shall I call it"

Box 04-088 TO MRS. MARY B. MCQUESTEN & FAMILY from Ruby McQuesten
May 4 1910 [estimated date]1
To: the McQuesten family
From: Gravenhurst Sanatorium, Gravenhurst, Ontario

My dear darling mother and family,

Here I am in my happy home and really it is delightful. My birthday will extend over to-morrow as well for I have still some letters to read. But the excitement of coming yesterday and my presents & family letters kept me busy. My parasol is simply beautiful, the most perfect thing of its kind you could have planned. It's just a delight. (I just had to put it down & look at the outside again for I have it up & am enjoying the nice light through the green). I put it up when I first came yesterday and it is just the thing.

For this month anyway I like the sun shining into my verandah but the little parasol just protects my head & eyes and leaves the sun to warm all around. You are just a darling child to plan it all for it is such a comfortable thing and then you know I can't help liking awfully pretty things too.

I came over here in a chair on long sticks carried by Mr. Graham & Mr. Harris & felt like an Indian princess & the parasol made me proud as the queen herself. Poor old Mr. Graham, I made him put me down on the way for it was really too heavy for him and he was just puffed out when he reached here. But he never let on and he was so anxious to get me over that he fixed the poles for the chair & stayed to carry me. He's really been very kind about things for one of his best man had a stroke & he's been worried about his work but he's fixed this verandah so nicely--the glass sliding panes work so nicely & fit so well & tarpaulin is snug as anything & my two little shelves. And all done in time tho' I'm sure he had other jobs ahead of this. He's a dear old man I think.

Did you hear why it was yesterday noon that I came? Well first on Monday a sick boy from Toronto train-then rain-then stay at home. Then Tuesday, all ready--no rig--no rig-11 o'clock-11--12--horses all off indulging in a funeral to Bracebridge, no horses--long faced me--most inconsiderate stiff said I!--put me in a wheel barrow I'll go any way. So Mrs. Fournier thought of the chair I had & four people carrying it & the doctor said he had for a long time wanted an arrangement for carrying patients so hence the two poles tied on to the arms of another chair.

The air was just beautiful when I got out & it's all along seemed much warmer than in the house. Last night I was just perspiring because I had on my long bathrobe instead of my short jacket & I took the whole thing off & slept blissfully till morning. I wonder if it is because I'm stronger or if it is that in summer after a warm day one notices the cold of the night air about 2 a.m. But now there seems no great difference & the morning air didn't seem very chilly at all--always perfectly comfortable anyway & lovely to awaken & see the sun over everything.

I much enjoyed the family letters and presents--just fine all of them--the letters I must read again & the books, I'll have to read such lovely ones. Thank Mrs. Mullin for her book it was very kind of her. And Mrs. Bruce for her kindness--I was quite touched & Winnie Glassco really so kind & generous sending me so much candy, I appreciate it very much. And a lovely letter and poems & cards from Aunt Annie. And more mail has just come.

Mrs. Parfitt had sent over a large bunch of daffodils to greet me & Mrs. Cruickshanks--the mother of little Jimmie was up yesterday & today came a little asparagus fern. Hilda has put some candy which I didn't touch aside & we're planning to destroy Mikey (Edna) when she arrives. It's nice candy all right but too much for me & Hilda doesn't want to be tempted.

Well my darling mother & family, many, many thanks for everything, for letters & presents and all the planning that has given me a perfectly lovely place.

Much love


1 This is the last letter we have in Ruby's handwriting. Ruby was at the Gravenhurst sanatorium for Consumption (Tuberculosis) patients from approximately April of 1909 until this date in May, 1910. Then, at her doctor's suggestion, she was moved to a cottage on the same grounds so that she could have her family near, and Hilda and the family came to look after her. She was there until late fall of 1910, at which time she moved into a cottage on the Hamilton Mountain that her brother Thomas had secured for her through his law partner Chisholm. Previously Ruby had been at a sanatorium in Alberta. Ruby died on April 9, 1911. See W6135, and see her biographical sketch by clicking on "Family" on the Home Page, and then on her picture.

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Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
Please direct questions and comments to Mary Anderson, Ph.D.

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