Letter # 74 - Four years have passed since the previous letter. This letter is from Janís sister Heigiena who is not married and lives at home with her mother. She has written very few letters to Jan. Heigiena is now 48 and Jan is 53.
Wildervank, March 24, 1898
Dear Brother, Sister, and children,
We have waited a bit longer with writing, but sometimes there is much that gets in the way. But we are letting you know now that through the Lordís blessing we here are all in good health and hope that the same is true for you. If it were otherwise with you we would be very sad. But we hope that you may receive this letter in good health.
It has been a mild winter here. Almost nothing froze and there was almost no snow. It was a winter such as has not been experienced here in many years. Most every day we have nice weather. Today it is rather cold and wet.
So it was a good winter for Mother. Even though her strength is not improving, she still is in good health. Her nature is not aging at all, and her mouth and speech is just as it was when you were still with us. She sometimes believes that she knows better than all of us, and sometimes that is a nuisance, but we donít let it bother us. She often wants to do something even though she knows (and experiences herself) that she canít do it and itís better if she does not do it. I also would rather that she wouldnít do it, because then I have to quietly follow her and do it myself. Her nature does not age, but she gets somewhat uneasy and also because at her age she is not to be trusted any more. For a while she was lurching quite a bit, but for some time now that has not been so severe. But she also gets tired from doing nothing. So you can understand that she has little strength. When she goes to bed at night, then she does not even have the strength to put the blankets over her.
Our Griet and Hendrik (and their boat) spent the winter with us here at home. This winter it is 25 years ago that they were married. They were also in good health, but last week we had a letter stating that Griet had a bad cough. You are greeted by everyone, and also from our Machie (that is, Marchien - ER). They also are all well.
How goes it with Dominee van Hoogen? Do you meet him at all? If you meet them then you must give her our greetings. Our Dominee is a good man, but as far as preaching goes, he does not nearly match Dominee van Hoogen.
Even though its well past the New Year, still we wish you much success and blessing in this year, and hope that you all may be blessed soul and body. How goes it with the boys? Are they planting potatoes? And where is Betje? Are you alone? You are the only one writing! You must also write us if you are in good health, Betje, and the boys, too, do you hear? Are you starting to work the land a bit these days? Here they are busy at it.
Now dear Brother, Sister, Betje, and children, now I must close. All of you are greeted heartily by all of us. Your loving sister, H. Rubingh