Letter # 57 - This letter is from Janís sister Marchien, author of several of the earlier letters. She is now 41 years old and has apparently just moved with her children into a house in Wildervank, rather than living on the boat with husband Detmer, a seafarer. Three years have passed since the previous letter and Jan is now married to Hendrikien Walkotten.

Wildervank, June 7, 1885

To Jan Rubingh and Wife and children

Dear Brother, Sister, and children,

Your welfare is my heartfelt wishÖ.with the family may find yourselves with the same privileges. May we gratefully recognize these blessings, but that is where I so often fall short. I received your letters in good condition on first Easter.

Dear Brother, you write that because you were so busy you postponed writing somewhat, and now itís the same with me with moving. That is a big job, and especially so with such a large homemaking, and Iím alone. I have our children, who can help me, but it was so cold this spring, and Iím also not so very strong all the time. Ö.Our little Berend Geuchien in ten days will be 9 months old, and he doesnít eat anything and thatís another reason.

Yesterday I received a telegram from Detmer that he was in England. He came in with ballast from Scotland. Now he had embarked on another adventure. He wasÖ.. but where to I do not know. I find that out when I get a letter. Thursday I also received a letter from our Hende and Griet. They were in Oudekerk, but where that is I have no idea. Now they wanted me to write her in Dordregt. Henderik is healthy again, and they didnít mention anything about the little one. Itís the same with Henderik as with me: really thin. However, Detmer and our Griet are looking much better. Our Griet complains a lot, but she did that earlier, too. Dear Sister/Brother, you complained a little as well. I hope that we may soon get news from you that we may congratulate you on the birth of a dear little one. I surmise that because I know that time so well, and if everything goes well then be so good as to write me a little note. Dear Sister, donít consider me pushy if I write that way. I wrote just as though I am talking with you for a moment on paper. I would love to see you togetherÖ.

Mr. Wiltkamp went over there last spring, and last Thursday I received greeting from her with the news that they had come over well. He is a teacher at Jebbigje Kuipers. You will know that better than I could describe. This spring again many people went to America. Perhaps our Mother already wrote that.

Jan Meijer died last spring; he lived so long at Kuikís. Our Rev. van Hoogenís wife is also really feeling poorly. Now dear brother and sister, Iíve written you all about this and thatÖ..We live in the house of Venema where Okke Bronk used to live. He made the house look really nice, and it is a big house, just right for us. I just remembered that Albert Huisman and his family and Aunt Zwaantjeís Klaas are also in America.

Now dear brother and sister and children, you are greeted by the whole family, and greet your family for me, and you are also greeted by your niece and nephew. Now that Iíve wished for you the indispensable blessing of the Lord, for both soul and body, I am your loving sister, M. Dekker.

(P.S) Dear Uncle Aunt and nieces. I am in the house with mother and donít go to school anymore. I pull my dear little brother around in the wagon every day. And our Elzina must help mother. Do you have things to do, too? Nieces, I greet you all. If you can, would you write us back soon.

Mettina Dekker