Letter # 55 - There is more to this letter, but I could not find it. Jan’s first wife Jaantje has passed away. Some huge disappointment has occurred in Jan’s life. Perhaps a housekeeper stole things. Mother Mettje’s warm heart and love is evident. Jan has received an inheritance of 355 guilders.


Wildervank, August 2, 1882

Dearly loved son and little daughter,

Through the undeserved goodness of the Lord we have received your letter of July __ in fairly good bodily health, and from it noted with gladness your good health, too. However, we also noted your sad experience that, as you wrote, you have been so shocked and I can believe it ….. a strange maid could do that and it would be very costly. I can feel it all and sometimes that is hard for me. We all often share in your situation, my dear. What we have to go through sometimes! To our eyes it’s all darkness…..but the Lord creates light out of the darkness. So my dear ones, we can go to the Lord with all our necessities…..if he requires it from us, but only what he gave us in the first place. Let us constantly ask him for that which we need for soul and body. But we must also be reasonable in this, and I trust you know all this, and then we must use our understanding. I know that sometimes our affairs seem so difficult and then it becomes again….. I know enough about it.

How does it go with your….. family? Do you have advice and help these days or are you just left to yourself? Oh, how I would like to be there with you, but in the month of July I became 69, and then I was fearful that I would not long be of much help to you. If I could be as I at this moment sit here now to write, then it wold be all right; the Lord has given me in the days good bodily health, but I am not strong. At times I have a great desire to come over to you, but you know well all that would have to occur for that to happen.

How does it go with your land? Do you have many charges on it? If that is a lot you will have to pay so much, and if the percentages are so high then out of a hundred there won’t be much left over. Did your wife not have any brothers? Are they married? We don’t hear much about that. You should write us some details if you can.

I do hope that you are not too discouraged. Would you like to come here with your children if you could get good return for your goods? Everywhere the employment is full, but those who want to work can sometimes find a living wage. Seafarers aren’t doing well and if they can’t make it they often become merchants. And so it goes with those who can’t become farmers, they can begin with work in shops. Dear ones, you would have to search for something and also in this may the Lord give us counsel and wisdom.

The Dominee came over briefly. He went first to his own family. He’s coming to Wildervank again. We had a letter from our Griet and Hendrik. They were healthy. We must greet you for her. At this time Detmer is home with our Marchie. She wants to write sometime and then she gets so busy and then it doesn’t get done. I must greet you for her. Friday we sent a letter and I hope you received it.

Now, dear son, Grandfather received for you an inheritance from Uncle Hendrik Rubingh, the sum of 300 and 55 guilders. You had written him that I should receive 60 guilders, but it is still all solely from Uncle Hendrik. Now I’ll write what we have done. We sent over an exchange for 200 and 83 guilders 36 cents. The charges at the telegraph office amounted to ….. guilders 25 cents. So from this there remains over for me 27 guilders 59 cents. I am writing you this so that you can account for everything. Our Heichiena went along to the post office, as Grandfather’s representative she could do that for him, but she gave the money in my name and he wasn’t present. But he must get a receipt that he sent the money to you. So he would like it if you sent him a little letter stating that you had received the money from him.

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