An Apple a Day, Cornhusking, Polio, and Baby Boys

apple front fin

apple back fin

Palo, Ia. Nov. 13, 1916

Dear Merl: Just a line to let you know all well as usual. Every body busy getting ready for winter. Bert’s have a new boy baby. Schools in Fine-mont (?) Twp. closed on account of the infantile paralysis also small pox in neighborhood. I can see rabbits in orchards. Our men are about through husking corn. Are you sliding on your sled. Send best regards to all. Write soon. Lovingly, Alma Edwards (?)

This postcard from 1916 is terribly touching. It is written in November, and as the winter approaches the ‘men’ have almost finished husking the corn of the harvest. Our correspondent looks out upon her orchard and surprisingly sees rabbits! A vision filled with hope, as is the new baby boy in the neighborhood. But all so fragile . . . for the schools are closed due to not only one, but two! diseases we don’t worry about too much here today: smallpox and infantile paralysis – which is polio.

The note ends with a question about sledding. A whisk down a hill, on a toy made by our powers of imagination, some wood and some steel! And in the final address, a call to action: Write soon! and the letter is signed . . . Lovingly,

A postcard best left to speak for itself. We can eat an apple a day but sometimes that’s not all it takes.

And while we may not have the answers to everything,Β  a spiced mulled cider can certainly keep our hands warm while musing on it all.


Spiced Mulled Cider

Heat cider to just below a simmer with your choice of flavorings stirred in: cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla, orange zest, lemon zest, almond extract, rosemary.

If you really need thinking time, whipped cream can be added on top.


17 thoughts on “An Apple a Day, Cornhusking, Polio, and Baby Boys

  1. Alma’s simple words are touching indeed.
    One of the very first Broadway shows I ever saw in NYC was “Pippin”, my favorite number being “Corner of the Sky.” I suspect that Alma should have appreciated the lyrics as well.

  2. Ha! My first Broadway musical was ‘Hair’. My mother took me. I really don’t know why she felt she had to do that! But anyway.

    Yes, those lyrics are gorgeous. πŸ™‚

  3. I guess we should should remember that the “good Old Days” involved alot of hard work (husking) and some scary diseases – with no cure and no immunizations at that time (polio, smallpox).

  4. Loved the postcard and the written message. You can sense the fear of the two diseases and the hope with the new baby. Thank you for sharing the message along with the postcard..

  5. What a wonderful post. I love how you really show all the wonderful things about the postcards, and the details of the writing. I love to find postcards with writing on them, it tells such a story…

    Have a great VTT and a wonderful weekend.

  6. I like your postcard–I have been hoping to find some old apple postcards to go with my apple thingies. The message is interesting too.

    The old Thanksgiving postcard I posted today was mailed on Nov. 15 (the year is blurred but looks like 1916). It mentions winter and going skating now.

  7. How touching!!!! The things people had to live day in and day out with….oh and by the way “twp” stands for township usually…… Thanks for this post!

  8. You did such a lovely job with this post. I really enjoy your writing style. The story comes to life. Bravo! Thanks for sharing.

    Stop on over and if you like what you see, don’t forget to click the “Follow” button so that we can stay in touch. Also, just below is the “Subscribe” button, 100th subscriber wins a wonderful Give-Away Prize! And by subscribing, you will enjoy receiving any blog updates hot off the press. By doing so, we can share one anothers creativity! Have a great weekend.

  9. What often strikes me when reading the messages on these old postcards are the similarities between ourselves and the writers (though such very different lives externally so often in terms of culture and customs).

    I’ve loved the start of getting to know you all better, through our sharing through blogging. What a great group!!

    Yesterday I got so busy that I couldn’t visit everyone in return, but hope to do so today. πŸ™‚

    Thanks, for visiting!

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