117 Station St
Belleville Feb 2/18
Dear Cousin Ida,
Well its so long since I have written you I am almost ashamed to write, around Xmas time I was so busy I couldent seem to get the time & every day since brings its work, nearly every spare moment I have I write to my boy, I write him two letters a week & Laura writes the same, & I send him a parcel every two weeks & sometimes every week, but poor kid he didnt get a bit of mail from us, from the 1st Dec untill Jan 13th, & on that day he got 25 letters & 2 parcels, they had all gone to France & came back to England, he is at Deepant, Fariborough but expects to be moved to Lydd in a short time, & will go to France some time in March, he is with the 71st Canadian Siege Battery, the largest guns, he says their camp is fine, they have spring beds, electric lights, & two fire places in each hut, but he dosent like England very well, he didnt have a pass for Xmas or New Years, & he felt quite sore, so he will only have his pass before he goes to France.
Did I tell you that Laura corresponds with a girl in London,(she got the correspondant through the schools.)well when we knew Eddie was going to England, Laura told the girl, (her name is Grace Webber,) about it, & Eddie also wrote to her, so they invited him there when he had his first leave, & he went, he said they gave him a royal welcome, & nothing was too good for him, they was so delighted to see him, he said it was just like going home, & he is to go there & spend every pass, there is just the Father, Mother & daughter, the Father & Grace works in the Post Office, & they are of the better class, have a very nice home Eddie says, Grace says Eddie is just as she pictured him, & he is a lovely big brother, Eddie leaves all his extra clothes there, then when he needs any, they send them to him, I cant tell you how pleased I am, that he has a nice place to spend his time when he goes on leave.
Laura & her husband are here with me, he has exemption as he is a shell inspector, but of course you never can tell when things will change, Laura is feeling fine this winter, & enjoying all the sports, they both like skating & Hockey matches, & go real often, I dont get out very much, for I havent been feeling very well, & by the time I get through the store work all day, I am all in, business has been extra good, you see it is all Grand Trunk trade, & they draw big pay & spend it all, they pay twice a month now & that makes it better, I have four boarding cars I supply, & they each have from seven to eighteen men a piece, so their orders are large. I spent Xmas out to Harry Arthurs with Mother, he is on the old place you know, & Laura & Harry went up to his Fathers at Paris, Martha & her daughter -in-law spent a few days with us last week, they are all well, but I dont see them very often. Bertha & her Husband are fine, & their baby is the only baby so they think, they sent me his Photo for Xmas, & he is a beautiful child, I am alfully anxious to see him, I would like to go over next summer, but I dont think Laura could get along with the business, but when I do go, I intend coming to visit you too, for I just feel, I would like a long talk with you, you always seem more like a sister than a cousin.
I have just been reading your letter telling about the Memorial service held for poor Earl, my heart just bleeds for you, no one knows the sorrow, only those who has a boy over there, I got a letter from Alden this week saying they had a visit from the Chaplain who buried Clare, it would be a certain amount of comfort to talk to a person who had seen him, I think.
You said you had sent Addie's baby's picture, but we didnt get it, did you get the one we sent you, of Eddie, Laura,& I, also one of Laura & Harry, be sure & let us know if you got them.
Hasent this been a terrible winter , I have been lucky for I got my coal last spring, but so many have been without & most of people are useing soft coal, it is a little warmer today & is snowing hard now.
Well Ida I think I have done very well, even though I did wait a long time, write whenever you can I am always so glad to get your letters
Best Love to you all.
Your loving Cousin