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Datum
01-05-1935

Afzender
Sijke (Sedi) de Boer, Beltrami (Minnesota)

Geadresseerde
Sjouke Johannes Hoogland, Leeuwarden

Engelse vertaling


Frisian emigrants II-4.
From Georg Brolsma, Beltrami Route I Minnesota,
written by Sijke de Jong, widow of Jan E. de Jong
to S.J. Hoogland.

Beltrami May 13, 1935.
Dear friends,

Well it is some time ago that I sent you a letter, but the winter is over and it is so cold here that I always stay inside.
I am still with G[eorge] and K. and I start to discover that I become older, this week I was 77 years old.
Then all the children came here.
It is nice that they are able to visit me.
But my own country is still surpassing this country, nothing else but I don't know the language, which is difficult.
Things are getting better here.
There will be unemployment yet but here there are people who don't like to work, they rather steal than work and manslaughter is also not a problem [for them].
Here we had such dry years but now it is wet and cold here, so that the crops can grow, but everyone is searching for food for the live-stock.
Some people sold their straw last year and also hay, everything was going to the dry countries, for having money it is nice but people here have spent it soon because they all have a car and a tractor, which cost money.
Eeltje and Reintje are doing well, Jan lives with them, they also have 2 children.
G[eorge] and K. have 7 children, 3 grown up boys, the oldest is 18 and the youngest is 1½.
That last one came long after the one before who was 8 years when the baby was born.
Those young men will come handy for G[eorge, he has 400 acres land.
The farmer [meant is Mr. Hoogland] must figure it out: an acre is a “pondemaat” [a pondemaat is an old Frisian superficial measure which was 3678m² and thus less than an acre].
G[eorge] also has 200 sheep, at the moment they have 100 lambs which is a lot of work.
G[eorge] has  200 acres sown with wheat.
Well here they also have bad years, last year the wheat was  $1.25 cent [per bushel or 60 pounds] but the years before last year the wheat was 40 cents and the oats 8 cents [a bushel].
Then the farm could not exist,  the farmer could not live on that.
G. brought [then] 100 bushels oats to Elweter and got 8 dollars for it.
Last year they all got extra allowance on the wheat and on the pigs, which helped them out.
Then cream brought 12 cents in, milk and a dozen eggs 9 cents, then no one earned something.
But happily it will get better in the future for as long as it will last.
Sometimes it don't look good to me because mankind is very discontent.
Well J. and G.  are also doing well, they have 9 children.
The oldest one is a school-mistress and the next one is studying too, she can be a clerk, but she don't know herself what she will be.
There is also a young man of 18 years old who helps J. on the farm.
During the winter days J. is driving the school bus, then he earns 40 dollars a month.
They are much better off here than in Holland.
L and F. [or T?] are also doing well, they have 3 children.
L. has 160 acres and milks 7 cows which she owns.
You also know L. is afraid to have debts and she is just on her own but now Engbert could leave school, he is 14 years old and she also has a child of 3 years old.
Trientje is married already for 3 years but they still don't have children yet.
They live with the parents of her husband.
Well Sj[oerd] went to Montana last winter, he was working there for about 3 months near the place where your brother Klaas used to live, now he is here again.
He is with a nephew of Wietse Gorter and Edna [a granddaughter] is in Canada with her father and that goes well.
Well Mrs. [Hoogland] I read in the paper about Ytje's little girl, I feel sorry for her because when you have to miss [ a child] it is very sad and there was a lot of pain but not all of us become old.
You both are on an old age now but when one is left alone than life is not that much any longer.
When I am alone I often think about the years on the N.B.dijk [Nieuwe Bildt Dijk, a village in Friesland], but life is just a dream.
Well your brother Klaas didn't get a nice end [death].
I cut the article out of the paper about that [accident] and thought I'll include it.
And also [the article] about those 3 children [triplets] who were born in Canada. [She is probably referring to the Dionne Quintuplets who were born in 1934 and the Canadian Government stepped in and took them away from their parents.]
That woman has about 12 children now and she is 26 years old, but these 3 add up well, this month they will be one year old.
First there were 2 doctors and a nurse, but now the hospital is guarded by soldiers because they are threatened with kidnapping.
Kidnapping is not unusual here if they can get money.
Well the letter is long enough now.
J. also became a farmer in bad times, we sometimes say that the young farmers have a hard time.
Greetings for your children from all of us and a hearty greet from your friend
Sedi de Jong-de Boer.