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Boukje Dijkstra, Redlands (California)

Sjouke Johannes Hoogland, Leeuwarden

Engelse vertaling
Naamloos document

Frisian emigrants 61.
Mrs. K. Schuiling to Mr. And Mrs. Hoogland.

Redlands Oct. 27, [19]31.
Dear brother in law and sister,

Receive with this our thanks, from all of us also from the children, for the sympathy in the sad loss of our beloved husband and father.
For all of us it is a terrible blow, nevertheless we hope to carry our grief patiently.
It is as you wrote: it is not done to us by people.
We miss him so, and it was so unexpected.
If one is ill, then people live in the hope of recovery.
The children also will miss their dad so much, he always was helping them with advice.
He also experienced a lot here in America and always was ready to help the children or to give them advice,
Last Summer we got the farm back, which we first had bought in Ripon.
That's why Klaas often had to go to Ripon and often made the trip on his own.
This time he was planning to go on Sept. 15, which was the next Tuesday, but on Sept. 12 we got a letter from the doctor from Modesto that he thought that Geertje needed surgery.
The doctor needed a certificate signed by Klaas, otherwise he was not allowed to give her chloroform or ether [anesthetic drugs] because she is not 21 years old yet, not be of age we should say in Dutch.
Then Klaas thought, he also could go a few days earlier.
Thus they left on Saturday afternoon, or better in the evening.
He and two other women from  Redlands, who liked to visit relatives and friends in Ripon.
One of those women was able to drive the car very well so they could alternate each other.
Klaas rather drove at night through the mountains, because in the dark you can see the lights of the oncoming cars from far.
They already had passed the mountains for a long time, it was only 2 hours driving from Ripon.
At 7 in the morning the accident must have happened.
So it was broad daylight, besides it was not a dangerous or busy road.
The undertakers said Klaas died of a heart disease before the accident happened.
That was also written in the papers.
Even the wounds he had didn't bleed, they said.
A wound at his arm and a wound at the back of his head, they said.
It looked like he was sleeping when he laid in the coffin.
It was a big funeral, over two hundred persons.
The funeral was in the church in Ripon.
Every Hollander in Ripon and Modesto was there and also a lot of Americans.
Klaas was respected and loved by everyone.
He always had a kind word or greeting for everyone.
Also here in Redlands the sympathy was great.
Happily Geertje is much better as the doctor said, without surgery so is so far that she will be recovered in 5 or 6 weeks, the doctor hopes.
She cannot and is also not allowed to work then for some months.
When she will be strong enough to make the trip to Redlands she will stay with me.
After the funeral I stayed in Ripon for 3 weeks but had to go home then.
Life has got such a shock for me so it has not much value for me any longer.
But I hope and wish that I can take care for Geertje and give her support.
When we can sell this house we rather should have a house in Ripon, closer to the children, I should like that.
But there is no market in houses these days.
Here it is not like in Holland, that houses are sold by auction.
If they are sold here, most of the time a part of the price is paid in cash, the rest in annual payments, that is why we got that farm back.
The one who bought it couldn't pay off any longer.
However he before was a substantial man, he lost everything during these bad times.
Some years ago Geertje had an accident with the horses and the hay rake,  then she got an inside wound which was so badly ulcerated that the doctor didn't expect that it would recover without surgery.
After that accident she also was under the doctor's care for a long time and now it was badly ulcerated again.
She is still with the people she was working for.
The Lady or woman won't miss her.
When she was ill, the other married children wanted to take her with them but were not allowed to do so.
They could visit her as often as they liked, but she [the Lady] liked to look after her herself.
She has servants enough to do the work, she said.
Geertje did so much for her and her mother, so now it is her turn to do something for G[eertje].
She has a very good home there, nevertheless I will be happy when she is here with me in Redlands, it is so lonely for me now.
However I have a lot of friends here.
I sent your letter to Geertje and then the letters go to the other children, they visit her a lot she wrote.
Sometimes she writes a Dutch sentence in her letters but she cannot do so, mostly it is totally in English.
Then I have to read a sentence twice sometimes, but that doesn't matter.
I wrote the children that they have to write to you too, some of them are able to write Dutch.
Thank you for the photo's. I think it is a nice one  and also a nice little boy, I think you both look good.
I cannot understand that it is 20 years ago that we have seen each other for the last time.
You weigh some more Klaasche, I am still the same, I weigh hundred and nineteen pound.

[At the left side of the page is written] Receive this with a lot of greetings.
Your sister Boukje.

Now it is half past 7 in the morning.
At half past nine the postman comes and then this must be in the box, but I forgot to write something.
The women who drove along to Ripon, one is almost recovered, she had broken both her wrists and a small wound at the head, at first she was unconscious.
I visited her a few days ago.
The other woman died in the accident.
That man has an 18 years old daughter, now she takes care of the household.
Could we just talk to each other that should be better than to write.
Your letter did reach us, however a few days later, our old address was on it 544 S 4St., now it is Colten ave and Kansas St.
We rented the house on the former address.
This house we bought in February this year.
We thought to live here quietly our last years with some hens for the occupation.
We have 200 hens.
There are over 50 trees on it, a plum [tree], a peach-, a cherry tree, the others are orange trees.
There is a lot of traffic here with the cars and trucks it is a busy road.
I take care of the hens myself at the moment, it gives me some distraction and I am able to do it.
A man comes to clean the hen houses and to water.
I am sorry that we have no photo of Klaas, he never was willing to have one taken.
The children always thought to make an unexpected picture of him, but that didn't happen.
Again a lot of greetings for all.