In this edition of the Gamble Letters, Alice is writing to Maggie about how it is to spend a long winter in Minnesota near the turn of the century, the 20th century, that is. What is pleasant to discover, is that while she makes clear she has a lot of work to catch up on that summer prevented her from doing, she was still making time to learn new pastimes...to enjoy herself.
January 25, 1896
St. Vincent, Minn.
I received your letter some time ago but of course I put of answering it as usual, it is a very bad habit I have, putting things off. We are having a beautiful winter. The days are just like spring. But I expect February will make up for it. There is not much going on around here of course small events would not interest you; since you do not know the people. I wish it was summer again I am tired of winter already, there is so much work. I always think in summer that I will not have much to do when winter comes but I always get left. I am learning to play the banjo. I can play pretty well now I am just learning myself, there is not anyone around here to give lessons. I am learning to paint, and crayon too, but it is hard work without a teacher. I am going to do you a small crayon picture. I can send it in a paper I am just beginning you know, but I thought perhaps you would like to see some of my crazy workings. Did I ever tell you that Samuel plays the violin very well? The babies are all well. I thing now that Lizzie's youngest baby is going to be the prettiest of them all. Little Maggie calls her dear wee Allie. I like her the best of them all now she has light brown hair and blue eyes and a beautiful complexion she will soon be walking. I think Sammie is going to school he is getting on very fast. Ellen is at home yet. It is getting late so I must stop writing please excuse this crazy letter talk, hoping to hear from you soon I remain as ever
Your affectionate niece,
I suppose you will think I am quite giddy by my letters - but I have not patience to write much or very nice.