RURAL BRYANT, SD, PRESENTS:
Daughter Estelle Rangen's
Quoting Papa about Complaining"
"Years after I left home, while visiting the folks, I asked Papa, "You know, Papa, I never remember you complaining about that terrible depression."
"He curtly answered, 'Complain? Complain? We didn't deserve anything! We knew that God knew what harvest we should have and if we didn't get a harvest, we knew it was God's will!'
"I'll never forget his answer. I began to understand how dependent the folks were on God's will in their lives."
--Excerpt from "Estelle's Recollections of Papa and Mama"
Alfred Stadem's Letter to Enders (Christmas, 1940s or 1950s)
And Hand-written Letter to Pearl Ginther in Washington State
It is just difficult to start this letter having been on the receiving and all the time and not as much as making a grunt before this time. But our hearts often overflow with thanks to God for real true and patient friends that overlook our neglect.
As you folks perhaps heard through Russ & Bernice we did get back home. Leroy was all alone here then, working early and late. Then as Ruth insisted to stay and help us a week that her mother should undergo a opperation on Bilateral vein ligation, we did go through with that, and am happy with the results.
Leroy had to leaave for College. Ruth left for Minneapolis, then to help a sister at EauClaire, Wis., then excepted a position as Parish Worker at Sisseton, N.D.
Well, that means the oldtimers have to be alone on the farm and with EACH OTHER. We are everything considered well and happy, only the other day I got my right hand thumb crushed, which means a sore thumb always on hand. Kind of bothers even at this [typing of the letter].
Thanks a thousand for your cheerful letter, that beautiful Christmas Greeting Card and not the least the big box of shelled Wallnuts. Boy they are nice and good too. But as we were sampling the nut meat we had to exlaim: O what patience, to set there and do all this work for us. Seams we can still hear Will gitting advice as to how to avoid breaking up the nut meat. [Will Enders?]. At least Will you know I am on your side and take your part. yet of course we would not trade with another masculine gender on this globe for all they got. But of course we must not tell our young ladies that!!!
Seams that even my thumb feels better now that I can get this off my chest. Would it ever be a treat to get together again one of these days and talk things over [he is no doubt missing the fellowship of beloved son-in-law Bob Ginther, and son Art too, both killed in the plane crash Jan. 9, 1947? His dear friend Frank Kirby in Oregon also passed away, not to mention his brother Sever who passed in 1945, and Severt Stadem in 1947 just a couple months after Art and Bob--Ed.]. We'll be looking forward to that. Please write again soon, then perhaps we can do a little better next time.
May the Lord bless your family get-together. Greet the friends we meet out there, especially Grays.
[In ink writing]
[Written to Pearl on the back of the Ender's mimeographed letter copy]
As you see we're not through with the travelogue yet and might not get clear around. Excuse this kind of Christmas Greeting. Run short of cards too.
I got my thumb between the log chain and the car bumper as I was unhooking [was the car stuck and he needed the horses to pull the car out of a snowdrift?], when the team jerked ahead, took the nail, cracked the bone, had to sew the flesh and skin back in place. Does not pain hardly any, and supposed to go in for Pennnercellen shots every day. Art Skogland is here [helper at the Farm until Papa's hand heals?], and I does most of the chores.
Sure are having winter now, snowing and 10 below this morning. Am still waiting for your contribution to the Taylor scrapbook [this letter was forwarded with the Enders letter to Pearl in Washington]. May be at the box today, as we did not get to the box yesterday [some very bad weather evidently kept them from their own mailbox, it seems!]. Hope Darrell is not having setbacks and posibly will be out by spring [he is in a hospital receiving mental care, which involved many electric shocks]. Got to get to town to take Penn. shot now.
With Love, Papa