Friday, August 6, 2010

Frances resolves to stay fit

Frances is starting to feel the sloth of winter in her body and resolves to do more exercise in the spring.  We are now at the end of March, right when Atlanta is at its prettiest, so she is feeling the need to get out and use the car less.  She is taking the girls to Stone Mountain, which has since become a tradition in our family.  I remember quite well my first climb, in the 1970s, with my grandfather (Maj. Gillham) leading the way up the side of the mountain with his walking stick and canteen.

In this letter, Frances makes a distinction between a laxative and a cathartic, which according to Webster's are practically synonyms.  I suppose in the general usage of the day a cathartic was the stronger of the two.

March 26, 1946

Dearest Angel,

Tonight Elizabeth and I walked up to Ponce de Leon and Highland.  We watched the people bowling up there.  In fact we tried to ourselves, but we couldn't get an alley.  We sat and enjoyed watching.  It is the first exercise I've taken since I've been here.

Every time I go out, I drive in the car.  I am getting sedentary and flabby.  I have a terrible fever blister on my lip (glad you can't see it!) and the family are starting to put the pressure on me to take -- not laxatives -- but cathartics.  I will take one tonight because I have reached this stage, but I surely will watch out and not get to this stage again!

What I need is a climb up Fujiyama in the snow.  Mt. Le Conte would do in a pinch.  I shall try Stone Mountain with the children Sunday.  I guess I'll have to take Martha, too.  Sunday is a hard day to leave her here.  Everyone wants to get up and do on that day.

Mother Kai is better.  She gets up and sits in a chair now.

No, you had not told us about the nose painting custom of the Japanese.  We think that is certainly unusual.

Darling, I realized I had polished several of the pieces that were supposed to be bronzed, but they look nice and bright.

I had the second meeting of the Girl Scouts today.  I hope Emily appreciates my efforts for her.  She and Monty are most anxious to go to camp this summer.  Monty uses Emily's Brownie suit for her meeting and Emily is looking forward to a scout suit.

Emily is going to join the church at Easter.  She is going to a little class at the church in preparation for it.

How do you feel after your shots?  I hope you are better now.  I wish I could be with you, darling.  You are such a dear.

I love you mucho heapo.


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