Letter # 32 - To review: Jan Rubingh has three sisters, Griet (married to Hendrik), Marchien (married to Detmer Dekker), and Heigiena, unmarried. Hendrik and Griet have a barge business, Detmer and Marchien have a ship.
Wildervank, 28 November, 1877Dearly Loved son and daughter,
Through the undeserved goodness of the Lord we received the letter you wrote on September 5 in fairly good health, and noted with joy your own good situation. Also that this summer you were spared from sickness. Dear ones, may the Lord grant that we together may thankfully acknowledge these blessings because this one or that one on our side is snatched away.
Aunt Derkie also died this summer. You do know that she was always weak, but it seemed that more recently she was working a bit more and it has come to light (and you should know) that she bequeathed her belongings to others and it went to their side. So we werenít really aware of all this but we heard the following: Aunt Derkie gave all her assets to her estate Ö.. a thousand guilders. Uncle Berend also gave her a thousand guilders if she remained with him as long as he lived. We heard that Aunt Derkieís estate was around Ö.. thousand guilders. Now dear ones, Iím writing you all this because otherwise you might think we were not aware of anything, but I canít write anything with certainty. We do know that everything here below is changeable and full of enough daily disappointment.
Aunt Geesie also died this spring. I donít know if I already wrote you that. I just came from Aunt Annigje; she is so weak and that is simply diminishing strength. There isnít much hope of recovery; her daughter also says that. It wonít be long with her, but she has a quiet hope and trust that she is not her own but belongs to Christ. Her life gives evidence of that.
Now dear ones, with respect to the shipping business this year, itís really sad. That was true of external shipping (to other countries - ER) for a couple of years already, but this year the internal shipping is also poor. That will decrease the number of steamships, and the war will also have an influence on it. Our Hendrik and Griet are in Rotterdam now; they have potatoes on board, and last week we had a letter from them. They were in good health and said that if we wrote to you we should send you her greetings. In the time since we had a letter from you they havenít been at home at all.
Our Marchie asked me to write a little letter from her this time. She has been really busy this summer with her little ones. She couldnít really go on board. They were all sick this summer and then one had scarlet fever in addition. The result was an inflammation of the skin. That can be for the best, but itís a real bother and very busy for her because there are four younger than your little Mettje. Apart from that they are all doing reasonably well.
Our Hendrik and Grietís Albert had whooping cough this summer and scarlet fever, too, but through the Lordís goodness he recovered and her little Mettien is doing well. They wrote that this winter they wonít be coming home. They were not able yet to unload their potatoes and then they will have dock dues.
Detmer is still at sea. He has to go with Ö.to England. The weather is up til now rather pleasant. We have had almost no cold weather. That pleases me as well because I canít face the cold very well and itís not getting any better. You know how it is here, how is it with you in the winter? Are you able to keep warm? You must write us about that sometime. We were so glad that your little Mettje can write so well; we could read it very well. She must write us again soon. Little Elsiena wanted to write you, too, and also our Marchie, but then because of all the busyness it was postponed. And Elsiena is a slowpoke.
Now dear ones, I must greet you heartily from our Marchie. Sheís hoping to write you soon. Now I have to tell you the sad news that Aunt Annechie passed away, though here last days were peaceful and calm, as I wrote you earlier.
This letter has been underway a long time, because often there are distractions, and writing often is difficult for me. I canít seem to keep it all togetherÖ.
(Remainder of letter missing).