Letter from Ellen McGrath to her Cousin Mary Hackett, nee Daly 
1931
 
Excepts from a  letter to Mary Hackett, nee Daly, Cousin to Ellen

Nov’ 20,’31                     

Dear girl,

    Just got your letter with the clipping of Jack’s farewell enclosed.  Also I received the two sheets of the “Cork Examiner” and your other letter.  The photos too arrived O.K.  How can I thank you for so much love and attention?  You know, how futile words are when it comes to expressing the feelings of the heart. 

Thank God, words are not necessary. We understand each other.

    Do I remember?  Do I ever forget?  I think I have told fifty professors of how I learned long division.  I have also taught it that way.  Do you even remember he figures you used: - 24)2468(

    It all seemed as easy as a pipe dream to me after that first example, and I had shed so many tears over it before.  Poor Miss O’Brien always scared me and I was so little.  She didn’t mean to, of course, but I wept with sheer fright of her.  I went to Glenroe from the age of three to seven. 

Then mamma got Ballyorgan, and I was sick until eleven.

All the rest of my school days were in Ballyorgan. 

I remember learning to write in Glenroe and I remember the lovely big girls carrying me around in their arms.  They were fond of Momma.  There were the Quane Hennessys and the Quane Duggans and the O’Donnells and the Howards and the Lees and the Doughertys and others.  I see them all as if it were yesterday.

     You are right about the grave.  Let it be till I come over there and see what I would like...

    We are not fussy.  I can live on the simplest diet, and the youngster is healthy enough to eat carpet tacks.  Plenty of plain simple food, bread, milk, potatoes, anything...

 
  My husband has travelled the world.  He was even in Ireland.  But now wild horses wouldn’t get him out of here.  He has planted his feet and sent his trunks to the attic.  He doesn’t mind if we run around but he will not budge...   

    It is generous of you to invite us...  I suppose baths haven’t reached there yet.  But we’ll manage somehow.  The child will enjoy the fields.  It will be wonderful. 

     I began this letter several days ago but I got rheumatism in my right wrist and couldn’t use it.  I am better, but not entirely.  In my next letter I should send the money I mentioned. 

   
My little girl swims like a fish in the deepest water.  When Victor comes down in the summer they play in the deep sea like fish.

    We have roses of Sharon and Poinsettias as big as a dinner plate.  I have the red and also the white, which is very rare.  Everything here grows big and fast.

    Then comes a cyclone and blows everything off the map.

    Elaine is trying to imitate a railroad engine to make the turkeys gobble.  They carry on a regular type of argument with her.  Well, won’t she blow the fire machine! Tony will be out of a job. 

    With lots of love to all of you.  Your loving cousin,

                                                                                       Nellie