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Pieter (Peter) van der Wal, Meadow (South Dakota)

Sjouke Johannes Hoogland, St. Annaparochie

Engelse vertaling
Naamloos document

Frisian emigrants 46.
Pieter/Peter van der Wal [and his wife Pietje van der Feer] to the Hoogland family.

Meadow, [South Dakota] Dec[ember] 31 1922.
Dear friends,

It is about 2 years ago that we wrote you and now on the last day of the year, after most of the work has done, my thoughts go back to Holland to family, friends and well-known people.
Some of these three classifications are still alive of course and can be found where they were when we went to America.
But we would be surprised  when we should come there again, I think we would feel as if we were  in a foreign country.
Also during the two years since we heard from you a lot of things happened of course which caused changes.
Now mother is not longer [living] at the dike, we don't hear much news, now and then a decease and that is almost everything.
We had an abundant year here but the prices are not high enough to call it a year of profit.
Although the prices are rising and the general expectation is that the people who are not being pressed by/for the money and not have to sell therefor, will make it right this year.
Nevertheless a lot of them already delivered their wheat totally or almost totally because they were forced to pay off.
After the threshing there always is a time that there comes too much grain on the  market and after it is out of the farmers hands, the prices are rising.
We still have most of the crop and because of that we already made 25 cents more for a bushel, that over 1800 bushels wheat makes a lot of difference.
But I think that it will become higher, till 1 dollar a bushel.
Some [people] harvested wheat for 59 cents [a bushel] isn't that bad luck?
The costs to produce it is the same.
Things are totally wrong here, people who were seen as well-to-do people now they don't posses anything and bankruptcies are the order of the day and others go to the bank and give up.
However it is expected that the readjustment will come soon.
We hope it will happen.
At the moment there is a lot of hope for oil wells.
Once there was drilled 35 miles from here and there are high expectations because everything gives reasons for good prospects.
If that will be the case, land rates will rise soon.
Which will suite us very much, the land here is very well it is not easy to find better land but climate conditions are not the best, it is too hot here during the months June and July.
We all are healthy.
Jan the oldest [son] is home now because it is very busy.
I am sorry that we cannot do better for him but one cannot hire a man and I trust him, as my own son, like getting grain because one is 3 days from home with 4 horses.
Otherwise he would have been to school for another year.
But now, when he is home, he may be will stop it at all.
Fred is still going [to school], because he is 5 years younger, he has a good chance to finish it.
And Pietje and I, well we are healthy but we become older.
My hair is gray and it looks like Pietje also becomes not quicker and younger.
Nevertheless we have a bright household and we enjoy life a lot.
How are you and the children doing?
Did Ytje visit Klaas?
After we heard Jaantje should be deceased, how are the children {Jaantje's] doing, were they all married?
How did it go, did Jan Eels' son also go to America or not.
Four years ago I was in Northern Minnesota where I met Jan Eels.
I was there with my sister Janke, because her husband was very ill in hospital with appendicitis.
The old man [his brother in law or ….?] really is too old to enjoy it for the reason that he'll never learn the language.
The youngsters were bright and however they were here not for a  long time yet, I think they will manage.
But it is always hard to start but wherever I had my business it seems to me that the Hollanders have a better reputation than many other nationalities.
Well, hoping for an answer and wishing you and yours a happy New Year, I name myself your friend  Peter van der Wal.
Forgive my writing, the paper seem to flow out.

Dear friends,
Piet leaves it to me now however I don't have a lot to write about, I'll let you know that I am still here.
How is Ytje, does she still have complaints? What a pity that it affects a person like this.
It is New Year again and soon one can see that the days become longer again.
Well, for my work it will be a pleasure, because a day has gone before one can finish the work.
One day I have to bake and the other to wash and 2 times a week we churn these days.
We churn the cream and afterwards the milk goes to the calves and pigs.
We have 3 new milk cows and I think when there will come more [cows] we'll start to sell the cream, because in that case one cannot get rid of the butter or one has to exchange it for shop wares.
Which is possible when one has a bit but not if one has more as needed for shop wares.
We don't have a big house so we think to add some when we stay here.
But sometimes we think about selling it, then there is no need for that.
The [weather] here in western S. Dakota is a bit inconstant and [we have] to deal with drought many years.
But when it is going well then it is mostly amazing what we can raise on it.
The garden fruits were wonderful and that is why I canned a lot of it or preserved it.
Many people do that here like carrots, beans, onions, cucumbers. 
A lot of food is kept this way and there is no need to buy it.
Fruit the same and pork and beef and young cocks and so on, but most of the work is done by the women.
Last week we slaughtered a pig of 300 pounds, I made 70 pounds lard of it.
The back and the ribs and hams and shoulders into salt and the other made into minced meat in rolls.
Now I have to make soap out of the cracklings and then everything is done.
I didn't do that before but everyone starts to make there own soap, so I have to try it too.
So you can see there is not much time for me to sew.
When I do the stockings and socks and the darning it is not a problem.
One can buy everything ready made, everything one need in the household.
Help is scarce and expensive.
So one has to do the best he can because one just can be at one place at the time.
Now hoping that you may receive this in health and wishing you a happy New Year.
Greetings Pietje.