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Sijke de Boer, Crookston (Minnesota)

Sjouke Johannes Hoogland, Leeuwarden

Engelse vertaling
Naamloos document

Frisian emigrants 59.
Sjoerd De Young and Jan Eels his widow Sijke Eels to Mr. And Mrs. Hoogland.

Crookston June 3, 1928.
Dear friends,

Well thank you for your letter, we all were glad with your thoughts about the deceased.
Well, he has gone through a lot here, first Jan got the flu and then the terrible cough, then we thought that he went out too early.
But then he always had pain when he had to urinate, so we called for the doctor.
He came and examined him and told that he had a tumor at the bladder.
During 3 weeks I never have had my clothes off because I always was with him, day and night.
But Jan could never sleep, he never had rest.
Then the doctor came again because we have a telephone in the house, so we could phone him every time. That was our luck.
Then there came another doctor and he drained his urine but that wasn't all.
That doctor said that he needed surgery, but he was not strong enough for that and also too old.
Then the children said that he had to go to the hospital and the doctor agreed with it.
Jan was there for a week and the doctor said to Sj[oerd] there was no cure for it.
There [in hospital] they drained Jan's urine twice a day and when he came home we had to

[On top of this page is written upside down] Jan was so very patient in his suffering however he always was in a hurry.
The last years that was a lot better [less].

Drain his urine twice a day but at last the tumor was growing so fast that it was as big as an apple.
Then he lived on for about 2 weeks but at last he was so weak that he couldn't talk any more.
But the doctor said he had a strong heart.
In the paper was written that he died on April 20 at half past 8.
He softly faded away.
All the children stood at the bed except Klasje [Klaasje] I also regret that.
Then the boys went to Crookston to that man [undertaker].
He collects them [the dead people] in Crookston and there they [the dead] are dressed and stay there till the funeral.
Then he was brought to the graveyard on April 24.
He was wearing his best clothes and here they do it like this.
He had a crowded funeral, because no one is announced here but the Reverend reports it to the newspaper and interested people go with us.
We had never expected how many people that could be.
Well, we came in that house where the coffin stood and there were all the relatives and then the Reverend greeted everyone.
Then the coffin goes to the church and everyone goes with it and then the Reverend preaches a sermon there.
The church was full and then the corpse is brought to the graveyard.
There stands a large building with a large room under it [cellar] and during the Winter days the coffins will be put in there because the soil is so hard.
Here they cannot make graves during the Winter days.
Jan was the last one, there were already 60 corpses in it.
On May 24 he was buried.
Then Sj[oerd], Eeltje, L. and Jon and Ger went there, we [the women] don't get there again.
Well, now I'll write what the costs were.
Jan had a coffin for 83 doll[ars], to get him from home 5 doll[ars], to dress [him] 25 doll., bringing him to the church 5 doll. And bringing [him] to the grave 5 doll. 2 diggers for 20 doll., the hospital cost 22 doll. for a  week and the doctor 42 doll.
I forgot that when he stood in that room we had [to pay] 4 doll. And then the coffin is put into a wooden cover with a lid in the grave.
Jan had a very nice coffin but we did it [as] cheap [as possible], but there are people here where it will cost 500 doll.
Well [Mr.] Perri brought flowers on the coffin.
But I miss him so, it cost me a lot of tears.
It is so empty, his chair is empty, when I go to bed in the evening it is empty, when I come

[Upside down on top of this page is written] We had to pay 8 dollars to make a grave.

On the yard it is empty, so I will not quite get over it yet.
And Sj[oerd] misses him too because he always was working.
He had no heavy work any longer because we have just 160 now.
We let go the others so Jan could stay home more because he became older.
But we also didn't know that he had this complaint.
The doctor said he had this already 10 years.
But he [Jan] always thought that he had a kidney disease.
He should have had surgery 5 years ago.
But everything is over now.
Sometimes I say life is a dream because now it looks like everything passed away, because now I miss my hold.
We were always at home.
I didn't visit the children in their homes for 3 years.
Jan sometimes went there with the buggy, but I was afraid of it.
Now each of them has a car, they picked us up.
Sj[oerd] has also one but there only 2 persons can sit in it [apparently a coupe].
Well, Gaatsche's household goes well too, they have 7 children, 3 girls and 4 boys but [the question is, can they earn] is there bread here for [them].
They are at the farm.
K[laasje] has 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls, they live 9 miles from here and Gatsch [Gaatsche] 5 miles [from here].
And Eeltje and Reintje live only 3 miles from us, they also have a telephone.
We talk every day with it.
L. and Tj. Are still with [Mr.] Perri, next Fall they also will start a farm.
Trientje is maid with [Mr.] Perri, she earns 5 doll. A week.
L. gets 65 [dollars] a month and free milk and butter and pork and potatoes and room rent.
He has saved a lot.
I had Trientje here with me when Jan was ill because I was always there.
The children watched at night and also when I was in bed for a few hours
Then Jan called again so I was so far [that] I had to sleep but it looks if one don't need it then.
Well, Sj[oerd] is with me and we will stay on the farm as long as I can do my work.
I am not getting better [younger], I am already 70 years [old].
Tjaltje's little girl is 10 [years old] now, she is growing now.
But I sometimes say: they always will be children.
Now I'll almost stop, now you know some.
There must be errors in it but that goes with it.
I sometimes feel pity for [people] when they have an ill person at home, as one have to see the suffering.
How is Jentje doing, he misses his wife, please greet him and also Joh[annes] and Jan[..] [his wife] and Ytje.
Hearty greetings from the children and Sijke, Sj[oerd] and Edna.

Well I have more.
We milk 5 cows, before [we milked] 7, but then Sj[oerd] is too busy.
We have 50 acres flax and 50 acres wheat, but it is also dry here.
We are looking forward for rain.
Well I have to feed the hens, I have 40 hens.
Please write back to me.

On May 18 we should have been married for 46 years.

[She writes her sentences fragmentarily and there is a lot of dialect in it.]