Ella and Knute were married on September 5, 1915. This book covers the early days of the marriage and the birth of three children. The first was Karl, my father, and the second was Irene Marian, who sadly succumbed at age 10 months to a flu-like illness and died in Ella’s arms. She did not have the benefit of grief counseling so she suffered both from the loss of her daughter and then it was compounded by her thinking there was something wrong with her that she was still feeling sad months and years later. Eventually she says her prayers are answered and she has another baby, Robert. I have many photographs to illustrate these pages but my computer is acting up and not letting me scan and embed photos right now. This is the first of three chunks of text I have ready. I’m enjoying having this project to work on as I shelter in my home. I hope you all are enjoying reading it too! Stay safe!
Oct. 1, 1915
Almost alone tonight. Knut is out visiting a sick man. Johanna and Einar were here and they just left so I have had a pleasant evening just the same. I expect Knut home any minute and do hope he comes soon as I am not used to staying alone in the evening now. Today I have had a fine time.
Nov. 13, 1915
Knut’s mother came to Tacoma today with Ida Strand, her granddaughter. They are now over to John Strand, but they are coming to visit us tonight. While I was over there, the doorbell rang and to my surprise the dear boy Louis came. He had been over to my house and when he didn’t find me home, became alarmed that I was away. Just then a little girl told him I was over to the other corner. Martha and the baby were along and I was very glad to see them all. As they were going to take the five o’clock boat, then didn’t have much time to stay. So nice to see any of my folks here.
Christmas Eve 1915
This is the first Christmas that I spend in my new home and a wife. Knut and I were over to his brother for supper and had lutefisk. The boys had been down town today and had bought all kinds of things for their sisters and brother and Ida. Tomorrow we are invited for dinner up to Falk’s and I guess we will have a real nice time. In the morning John, Knut’s brother, Ida, Knut and I are going to church up on 17th and J.
Knut is shaving now and when he gets through, we’ll celebrate.
New Years Eve 1915
So this is the last day of the year 1915. I have been fixing up our accounts this morning and I regret to say that it is with no small load of debt that we have to carry into the new year. But if we both remain well and strong and Knut continues to have steady employment, I hope by next year, we will have cleared up some of those old bills.
As I look back upon this year, quite a few changes have taken place. I have changed from a girl to a wife, left my school and in a way also left my old surroundings. I have entered upon a new stage of my life and I hope with the help of Providence I will fulfill my place to the utmost best of my ability.
Jan. 22, 1916
I must write I just feel so good and happy. Still I don’t now how to write about it, don’t know how to express my feelings, but the secret is that I am going to have a baby in the beautiful month of June if all goes well. This morning I am going to start to sew the tiny little clothes and the whole thing just fills my heart with joy, real rapture. And Knut, he is just as happy as I am. Several times a day we speak of it and we are both very happy over this prospect.
Marie Lawrence, now Mrs. Hoveland, came up yesterday afternoon and spent the afternoon with me. She has been married now about two months and is very happy with her husband. She discovered my condition yesterday and she came over and just hugged me and seemed so tickled about it. It just made me feel good because so many people look at things like that in a different light and pity a woman when she becomes pregnant. They do not understand the joy it brings to a woman to nourish some living little child within her. Then of course when she loves and is loved by the father, the joy is still greater.
Ida, Knut’s niece is going to leave Tacoma next Tuesday. On her way back to Iowa she will stop in Idaho to visit with her aunts there. She went with us to Seattle last Sunday and visited Mr. & Mrs. Skjerseth, Knut’s cousin. The weather was very clear and cold and the scenery was grand. The sun shone brightly on the snow capped mountains and the Sound was still reflecting the sights. We had a good time in Seattle. Ida remained and we took the 9 o’clock boat home. We met Mr. Silberg on the dock and talked with him on the way back. Now I must quit and start to work.
March 30, 1916
Knut is downtown tonight and I am all alone. I feel so lonesome and queer and wish that he was home again with me.
Today I had a day out as I left this forenoon and came home just in time to fix supper. I first went up to Mrs. Johnson, Gertrude’s sister, and I stayed there for lunch. Had a nice visit with her. Then I went up to Hanna and was there the rest of the afternoon. Martha and Louis are staying there now but they are going up to Eatonville Saturday to visit her parents. They are going to Montana in a week or two. I hate to see my brothers leave and go so far away, but times have been so slack that they have been forced to it.
April 12, 1916
Louis was here yesterday afternoon and said goodbye. It is hard telling when I will see him again. He was going to go at nine o’clock today together with Knute’s brother, Jonas, who also is going to look for land in Montana. Louis left Martha and his little daughter Evelyn, up to Eatonville at her parents. When he gets settled down any place, then he will send for them but it would have been rather hard to take them along without knowing just where he would locate. So now I have just one brother left in Washington. Well, I hope they will do well and get on at the new place. When I think back what a nice time we have had together and how much I have been with by brothers, keeping house for them so long. But time changes, living conditions change and thus we have had to part.
I am going downtown to meet Johanna today and she is going to take me to show with her. The weather is real nice today so it will be enjoyable to go out.
May 6, 1916
I really ought to write oftener. But I am not so handy with it as I used to be. Easter Sunday is two weeks ago. We had a dinner with Hanna and Falk with their children, Andrew and Martha with the baby. Also Knut’s mother was here so we had a nice little party. Everything went along nicely and it seemed so nice to see them all with me, so seldom we are together any more. I had a card from Louis some time ago. He likes it fine in Lewiston, Mont. Perhaps he settles down.
Knut went down town tonight to pay the furnitures and then he was going to get a new bed, a three quarter size. I told him we may move into a smaller house as we don’t need five rooms for just the two of us. I would just as soon have less room. One can have it more cozy and it also takes less wood in the winter time. Knut doesn’t seem very anxious but I look at the money that we would save on house rent too.
Aunt Anne is dead now. Poor soul at last her suffering has ended. She died March 18, 1916.
Sunday, May 14, 1916
Today is a real May Sunday and certainly a contrast to last Sunday. It has been warm and sunny all day and everything outside seemed so nice and cheerful. I went to church this morning, thought I better go while I had the chance. There was a young minister from Seattle who preached.
Knut and I are going out now for a little walk, perhaps we will go down to the Park and look over the waterfront. I like to set and look at the boats coming and going and all the other things we can see as we have a splendid view from this hill.
Hanna was up her last Thursday and we spent a pleasant afternoon together. Gunvor is growing so big and is getting real cunning.
May 24, 1916
Tonight if all goes well, I will have my baby here. God help me.
May 25, 1916
Thank God for the big precious gift. A nice baby boy. Last night at 10:15. Everything went fine. Knute is so happy, real brilliant. The grandma is so proud and thinks he is such a nice little boy. It is quite a queer feeling to be a mother. I lie and look at that little baby and feel so happy to think I can keep him with me. It’s pretty hard to write and now the baby cries too so I must look at my sonny. Good night.
Sunday, May 28, 1916
This is our little boy’s first Sunday. He has been sleeping for many hours at a time so he doesn’t keep awake more than for a couple hours altogether. I think he is so cute when he looks around with those big blue eyes. He has black hair and I think he looks like his dear papa. I have been having a real nice time. Einar is here now. He came to see the baby. Now it’s after nine and I guess the baby will wake up again pretty soon. I feel so happy over this child, but I suppose all mothers do over their babies.
I better not write any more now. Goodnight.
Decoration Day, May 30, 1916
I am celebrating this year by my sweet baby’s side, and I am perfectly content and happy. He sleeps so well, almost too long at a time. Yesterday he slept from 11a.m. till 6p.m. and then was awake till about 8 o’clock. The he woke up once during the night, cried awhile and nursed and went to sleep again. Today he slept from 12 to 5. I tried to wake him up but when he sleeps, he sleeps well. We had such a hard time to get him to nurse at first but now he takes the breast pretty eagerly.
Marie Hoveland and her husband and Emma Sorby came down to see me this afternoon. Marie brought a pretty pair of white baby boots and a pair of silk and wool stockings. I never bought any stockings so they will certainly come in handy. The baby also got a gift this morning, a silver feeding spoon from the Standard House Furniture Co. So he has gotten three gifts today already.
Knut went over the nickel show tonight to see the “Iron Claw.” Last week I went with him and then he said he would take me once more but that would be all. Well, baby did not want to wait any longer and I am glad he came when he did. Sweet little boy of ours.
June 5, 1916
Today I have been up nearly all day and I feel quite a bit stronger than yesterday. Baby is sleeping now. It is past his nursing time but it is almost impossible to get him awake. We have tried many times but when he sleeps, he sleeps soundly. Besides he is so hard to get to nurse that I almost dread each time. Today I started with him about 11:30 and kept on over two hours and still he had not started right. Of course I don’t blame the baby altogether. The nipples are rather small and he can’t get a good hold but I have a lot of milk so I have to keep on with him till he gets used to it. Nobody were here today nor yesterday and I am just as glad as I haven’t felt very strong and beginning to be up too takes a lot of strength. It is only two more days more that I will have the nurse, Mrs. Ostensen here and I almost dread to think of her going away. She is so nice and takes such good care of the baby and me. But I suppose I will manage someway, the best I can anyway.
Wed. June 7, 1916
I feel rather weak and nervous today. The nurse left me about an hour ago and I feel so lonesome and out of sorts. I hope and pray that I will get stronger soon and that I will be able to take care of the little darling baby which is entrusted to my care. The day is really beautiful, nice and warm so we have started to get real summer I believe. Knut took me up to look at a house today but as the house was rather big, I didn’t care for it.
Tuesday, June 13, 1916
Pretty nearly a week ago since I wrote in this book. I feel better and stronger now than I have done. The baby has been pretty good and has slept fine during the nights and that surely is a good thing too. There is one thing though that clouds my maternal bliss and that is that my nipples are extremely sore. It is an awful suffering every time he is going to nurse and the worse of it is that it is almost impossible to heal up while he keeps on nursing. I do all I can but nothing seems to help.
The days are getting warm now so at last we can call it summer. Knut’s mother is up here now. She is going to leave for the East tomorrow and from there she is going to Norway in July perhaps. She thinks so much of the baby, thinks he is so nice and pretty. Tears came into her eyes when she thought of not being able to see any of her own children or grandchildren after she gets to Norway. This damp climate here has been pretty hard on her health as she has asthma. Poor soul I hope she gets stronger when she gets to Norway and gets to feel contented. She gave the baby a pink romper today.
Sunday, June 25, 1916
It is now nearly eight o’clock and Knut went over to the barn to feed the horses. The baby is sleeping so everything is quiet, even the cat is lying down. I am getting to feel much better and stronger, only I don’t get out enough yet but I don’t have much chance with the work and the baby yet for a while. When he gets a little older I can take him out more. I have had him out a few times. Today I figured on going out but then it was raining so hard that I could not. He is a fine little baby. What one would call a good baby, sleeps all night, has not kept me awake a single night and he is a month old now and is good in the daytime too. He has slept pretty nearly all afternoon has just been awake to nurse a couple times and then I lay down with him and took a nap while he nursed. I put on one of his nice dresses for the first time and I thought he looked so cute in them, sweet little baby. Well I better quit. I think I heard him.
July 4, 1916
Knut and I were out together for the first time with our baby. Knut pushed the baby buggy along very carefully and proudly. We visited Andrew Rand and his family. Nice time there. Baby wants to nurse now. Goodnight.
July 15, 1916
Really the time does fly. I can’t realize that it is nearly two weeks since the 4th. Well this is our last night in this house. Tomorrow we are going to move one block west on the same side as this 1001 instead of 1101. It is a green modern little bungalow. Real cute and I think we will like it. Hope we will be as happy there as here. We will be alright. Baby is fine and dandy, growing bigger every day. Now, I must get to bed, busy day tomorrow.
August 10, 1916
My dear baby boy is lying sleeping peacefully. It’s now about 9:30. Knut is over to John Sather attending a committee meeting. I have had a very nice time today. Johanna and Bonnie came up. It seemed so nice to see Bonnie and have a good talk with her about old times and she really was quite a friend of the family. Peter use to go with her once upon a time and I once stayed at her house. She has a very pretty daughter, six years old. But was separated from her husband long ago. Johanna is getting so tired of her place and says she might quit there and get another job.
Peter has a daughter now named Johanna Lucille. She was born July 22 and all was well.
Sunday, Knut, baby and I went to the Vikings picnic. The morning did not look very bright but the day turned out to be real nice, not too hot nor too cold. We went to Picnic Point, very nice place for a picnic, hence its name, I suppose. I also had the pleasure to see Andrew and family there. Better quit for tonight, goodnight.
Aug. 11, 1916
Knut’s birthday today. He is 27 years old. Tonight he went to the Vikings. Bernice and I were down to the park today. Had a very peaceful afternoon.
Aug. 24, 1916
Very nice and warm day today. Almost too hot to feel comfortable outside so I pulled down the shades so the house gets cool. Our little boy is three months old today and is quite a boy. This morning he woke me up by kicking my side with his little feet, then he had turned partly around in the bed. I put him back to right way but it wasn’t very long before he had his head to one side of the bed. I had never noticed him doing that before so in my enthusiasm I had to call his papa in to the room. It certainly is a pleasure to see how much Knut loves that little baby. He thinks there could be no one like him. The baby measures now 25 inches long and weighs about 14½ lbs. Last week he received the cutest little dress from Christina. It will just come in handy because I have started to put short dresses on him now.
At last Knut and I went to Gig Harbor. We were there last Sunday and had a very enjoyable time. Martha and Andrew and the baby are all feeling fine. Bernice Strand was with us.
The baby is troubled with his teeth and he lies on his stomach on my lap and rubs his gums on my hand, on the arm or any part of the knuckles he can find.
Vashon Island, Sept 11, 1916.
Knut and I took the baby and Melvin Strand with us out to Vashon Island Saturday night. We had a very enjoyable boat ride in the evening. I sat alone outside for a while listening to the rushing of the waves and watching the beautiful sunset between the tall trees on the horizon. How I enjoy a boat ride at night; what a grand thing it is on a peaceful night. When we came to the dock at Cove, it was already getting dark. Engvarda came to meet us and we started on our way to Lokke’s house. Knut carried the baby up a very steep hill, so steep that I had all I could do to carry myself. After being fed and getting the baby asleep, Knut and I took a walk out in the beautiful moonshine. It certainly was almost a fantastic sight to see the pale glimmer of the moon through the treetops and over the fields. We walked through the orchard and cornfield. Such high corn stalks and apple trees loaded with apples. Sunday morning the children went to Sunday School and the grown ups to church. They took the minister home for dinner with them. In the afternoon we had quite an exciting time in the hay. Mrs. Lokke and all the girls were coaching Knut to let me stay and he finally consented when he was ready to go home. I have been having a fine time and the girls like the baby so well, think he is so cute and are so happy to hold him. I have been sitting in the shade of a pear tree embroidering on a machine cover.
Anna is out working but she came home Sunday afternoon and stayed till Monday morning.
Sept. 12, 1916
Have had a fine time out here and feel satisfied. My suitcase is packed full with apples and corncobs that I will cook for Knut tonight Goodbye.
Sept. 13, 1916
When I came to Tacoma, I was met by Knut with the horse and wagon. On the way up, I did not hear very good news. My poor brother, Andrew, is sick in bed and very low. What dreadful news. He has rapid consumption. John Sather had said that he had heard one lung was gone and the other one affected. Poor Andrew, dear brother, there seems to be little hope. Little did I think that the last time I was out there to see him when we were cheerfully walking down the road to the boat. No one knows the day ahead. Poor Martha and that little daughter who is just a baby. I want to go out there so bad and see him. I hope it isn’t so bad as they say.
Oct. 4, 1916
Again another year has passed and it is my birthday. Today I am really 23 years old, getting pretty old. Have had a fine time this afternoon. I have really had a birthday party. Mrs. Hanson, Mrs. John Strand, Mrs G. Olsonn, Johanna and Mrs. A (Amelia?) Olson were here. I served chocolate in my chocolate set for the first time, ice cream, sandwiches, cake and grapes. I got surprised with two pretty presents, a fine gravy spoon from Mrs. Hanson and a silver picture frame from Johanna.
Knut went to night school tonight. He is learning cabinet making and is going to make me an ironing board first. Well I must quit for tonight.
Nov. 19, 1916
I just feel fine and dandy. Have been up to Hanna and seen her little son, he certainly is a cute little baby. How sweet those little ones are. I held him for quite a little while. Hanna seemed to feel fine and was real happy about it. The baby was in a basket on a table, a regular little baby basket covered with blue, but I noticed he had a pink blanket so that was for a boy all right. He reminded me of my little baby when he was that age.
Knut was home with the baby so I couldn’t stay so very long. The nurse had to leave this very night to take another case so they called up Johanna to come up. Einar and she came up while I was there and Einar took me home in a Maxwell. He was all dressed up in a new overcoat and new hat and Johanna has gotten the loveliest set of furs–black collar and muff. He said it was her Xmas present but she could wear it before. Johanna was up here last Friday and she never knew that Hanna had gotten a baby but Knut told me. He had heard it from Mrs. Johnson.
The baby has a cough so I will have to steam him tonight. He had been good all the time while I was away and Knut had even changed a diaper on him for the first time.
Jan. 12, 1917
Just thought I would write a few words in this diary before I went to bed. Today I really have had just a fine time and I feel so good. I had to go down town and buy the baby some shirts and then pay on my sewing machine, so I started out early in the afternoon. I dressed up the baby in his newly washed coat and cap and thought he was quite a pride to have with me and he certainly was. Wherever I went people noticed him and talked to him. First I went to Stone-Fisher and bought him two new shirts, one band and one pair of stockings. From there I went to Rhodes Brothers where I went up to see my old friends, Grace Andrews and Alice Edgar who are at the cashiers desk on the 3rd floor. Alice was busy taking stock report so I did not speak to her, but Grace and I had quite a chat. She was glad to see the baby. Grace told me that Carmen worked in the office on the 4th floor so I went up there. It was nice to see old friends back again. Then I took the car and went up to see my old friend, Mrs. Reddish. She wasn’t home but the old mother was and made myself at home. The baby was enjoying the barkings of a dog. Well, I must get to work as I have so much to do.
March 30, 1917
I am kind of worried tonight. Looks like we’ll have war in a few days. Oh, I stand to think of that my dear Knut will have to go away——. Baby cries. Got to go to him.
March 31, 1917
Oh, I almost feel sick. The baby has had sore eyes for about a week, first the left was inflamed then the right. Now his left eye is all right but his right is worse than the other was. There seems to be a little pimple next to the iris, then the right side of the cornea is red like a clot of blood. Oh, it worries me so. I kind of hesitate to take him to the doctor too. They don’t do much and probably would make it worse. I went down ad talked to Mrs. Emilie Olson and she is going to phone up Liens drug store and get some special eye water that she has used for her daughter, Selma, and she says it is very good. Well, if it is not better by Monday, I am going to take him to a doctor.
Easter Sunday, April 8, 1917
The baby’s eye soon got well and is all right now. My I have had such a good time today, really I have enjoyed myself so much as I haven’t for a long, long time. Friday night Andrew and Martha came from Gig Harbor and they have stayed here since. Today Hanna came up with her three children and Johanna came with her. Ervind Kvistvick was here too. There were a couple other boys invited but they failed to come. We had a nice dinner and after dinner, we took a walk with our babies. Johanna and Hanna bought ice cream cones and it tasted mighty good, then she bought a brick for supper. We all enjoyed ourselves. I went over to the car line with them and Ervind too. He carried Hanna’s baby. Andrew is going to Idaho to Chris tomorrow night. He went back to Gig Harbor to tend to something now.
Friday, April 27, 1917
One event follows another. Johanna has been staying with us a little over a week and we have been having a nice time. She has been getting ready to get married. Today Einar came in through the back door and surprised us. He had left Livingston a day ahead of time as he wasn’t expected before tomorrow. The two were certainly glad to see each other. They left here a little before twelve o’clock and were going to Seattle to get married. So today the seventh and last one of us will be married or I know by this time she is already if everything went as planned. Well, God bless their future and I hope they will be very happy together.
May 6, 1917
My God, I pray this war may soon end beore many have to go and be shot. I am so worked. Reading about this draft. Oh, I can’t stand to think of Knut having to leave us—oh, I hope he does not have to. I wish something would stop this war mighty soon.
Sunday, May 8, 1917
Knut and I had a real cozy day together. This afternoon we went out for a walk and then he took us up to Mr. Andrew Olsen. They have three small children, Olive 3, Owen 2 and Arthur was a year in April, but he doesn’t crawl like Karl does, just sits still on the floor. Our baby had a fine time playing with Olive and it seems so nice to see him play and laugh. He raises up now and stands by things but I don’t think he will walk before he is about 14 months. Knut went over to Nick Anderson with some tickets and I suppose he won’t be home for some time yet. It seems so strange now that Hanna ad Johanna have both left Tacoma. I certainly miss them. Seems so strange that I can’t take the car and go up there any day I want to. Now since Knut started to work down in the shipyard and doesn’t come home for lunch, the days seem so long, but of course he comes home earlier too in the evening is it isn’t so bad.
May 24 1917
Dear baby boy of ours is a year old today, quite a little chap, and mama had a birthday party for him too with birthday cake. I must write down who was here so when he gets bigger he will know who was at his first birthday party. Mrs. Sand with little Idene (8 mo.), his christening partner, Abert and Nora Sand also. His Auntie Anna with little Norma and Carlot. Then Mrs. Hendriksen with little Margaret (8 mo.). Mr and Mrs. Ezra MacFarland with Albert, 4 years old. I had invited Mrs. J. Strand but she was so busy house cleaning that she didn’t have time to come. Oscar and Melvin came up so we were quite a few. Knut works till 10:45pm now for a while. Leaves here for work at 1:45pm and I have his midnight lunch on the table. Karl got a pair of stockings and a rumper cloth from Mrs. Hanson and a pair of cup and saucer from Nora and I am embroidering a collar so he will have on a new dress.
I have been looking for a letter from Hanna. Funny she doesn’t write to me.
Sept. 8, 1917
I surely have been worried today — the baby has had bowel trouble and I don’t know whether he is getting better or not. I gave him first an injection this morning and later I gave him ¾ teaspoon of castor oil. He doesn’t seem to be feverish and he plays. He has had just a little strained oatmeal quick and this morning he had a little milk. It is the first time he had had such bad bowels and it naturally scares me. Of course we haven’t been careful as we ought to have been with his diet. He has liked fruit very well and he might have had too many apples but I know if he gets better why it won’t be any chance of him getting sick on that account.
Sept. 13, 1917
Knut called Dr. McCuary tonight. I have been trying to cure the baby, fed him Barley water and as I thought he was getting better, I tried to feed him a little more milk and today he seems to be worse. His appetite has been poor all day and he wouldn’t eat hardly anything for supper and then right as we were eating, his bowels moved rapidly and that made the fourth time today so we thought we better call the doctor and now we are waiting for him. Poor little baby of ours it seems like he has gotten so pale and thin lately. Oh my God I dread to think —-. I hope he bets better pretty quickly.
Sept. 24, 1917
Little Karl is 16 months old today and quite a few things happened. Knut went down to St. Paul Mill and got a good job. $4.00 a night. Of course it will be lonesome to be home alone in the evenings but it will be inside so hard to work out in the rain for him all winter. Johanna and Einar came back from Montana to stay here today. They thought it was too cold for them over winter. Now I just have Karl to sleep with. Good night.
Sept 28, 1917
Well, Gertrude left Tacoma today. I went down to the train and said goodbye to her. I am sure Peter will be pleased to have her come home again after being gone three months or more. Gertrude stayed with me a week about 3 weeks ago and Wednesday, she came and stayed till Thursday. It was so nice to see Peter’s little girl, Lucille. She is such a dear little tot and she and Karl played real nicely together. Johanna and I went out to her sister, Mrs. Johnson, for lunch. Of course, I had to hurry home to get Knut’s supper so I left right afterwards. I came home just in time to get his supper and then I left to go down to the Milwaukee Depot where she was going to leave. It surely was some rush but I made it. Lucille was so nice, was waving her hand to us. Well, I do hope they come back here to live as Gertrude would like it very much. Goodnight.
Oct. 4, 1917
I don’t know what time I’m getting up this morning. The clock stopped last night and I put it ahead at a guess and this morning I woke up at 4 o’clock but I felt rested and the baby was wide awake so I got up. Yesterday Johanna came down and told me they have gotten a house near Norstads and told me the address – 3606 I St. I think. I hurried and went up there for a few minutes. It’s a real cozy little place. My it seems nice to be able to visit Johanna in her own home. Today it is my birthday and I can’t hardly realize that I am 24 years old. The baby is bothering me so much I can’t hardly write. Well I better quit and get to work for today.
Nov. 6, 1917
It surely is not very often that I write in this diary, but I thought I better scribble a few works before I go to sleep. Today is Tuesday and I have been very industrious, washed clothes and ironed them and tonight I scrubbed the kitchen floor and washed the baby’s sweater. Tomorrow Johanna and I are going out to Mrs. Hansen, Knut’s sister, to visit with her for a while. Knut and I are having a good time on Sundays and Mondays so I have something to look forward to. The evenings are rather dreary and long but I will not complain as long as I can have Knut with me at all —— —–. I don’t dare to think of the future and the possible effect of them on me. Goodnight.
Nov. 12, 1917
Knut took me down town to day and bought me a nice dress. We went to several stores but we finally did decide on a soft shade of blue wool crepe dress. I could have had a silk dress as well for the money but I thought I could have more wear out of a woolen dress. Poor Knut he spent all his bonus money on me, he certainly was good. We paid $18.95 for the dress, the most expensive dress I have had so far. The baby was down to Strand and he had been fine all the time. Had played with Perry’s wagon and other things.
Mr. Adams, the mail carrier that lived down in the next block died yesterday from a hard attack of pneumonia. It doesn’t seem like anytime since I saw him.
Sunday Night, April 21, 1918
Well I think this is the last Sunday we spend in this house but I don’t care our own little house is nearly ready and it looks awfully cute too. It is just 2½ lots away from here in the same block. Our number will be 1015 E. Morton Street. Knut got the lots a little over a week ago and ordered the lumber the next day. Last Sunday we had Mrs. Johnson, Mr. Benson and Knut’s brother Jonas to work on the house and they got the frame up and nearly all the rustic on and during the week Knut put the rest on. Today Fred and Andrew Olson, Hjalmar Olsen and Ervind Kvistvik, Jonas Strand, Mr. Gus Hager and Knut shingled the roof and put in the floor. They worked hard too nearly till 8 o’clock tonight.
The people who bought this house are getting after us to move out but we can’t very well as long as we have no place to move to. And I guess I feel awfully weak today and I don’t know how it is going to end.
April 25, 1918
Well, here I am still in bed and I am going to stay too till Sunday then I’ll get up. My dream is shattered, the vision of a little girl or boy next fall is gone and I feel disappointed. But I hope some day we will get another little baby and I don’t care what it is– a boy or a girl. Somehow I feel God punished me for wishing for just a girl. But never again shall I utter such a wish, whatever God gives me. I would lots rather have had a little tiny baby on my arm while I was lying here than without. It was a little boy and well—maybe that’s the way it should be but anyway, I can’t help but feel disappointed. I suppose I was foolish for straining myself working, doing this or that but I felt well only I was tired at night. Someone said they hinted I had caused it myself but they can say whatever they please it doesn’t matter in the least. If I hadn’t wished for a child it would have been different, but I longed for another little baby. Someday I hope my wish comes true when I get good and strong and I hope I never have to go through this anymore.
May 2, 1918
It is now 10:30pm and today I have done quite a bit of work—have washed a lot of clothes by hand and have ironed quite a bit and tomorrow I must have Knute help me to wash some clothes out. We won’t be able to get the sink in for a while over in the new house so I am anxious to get it done before we move. I ironed Karl’s coat and hat in the dark nearly and never scorched it a bit and it looks awfully nice. Karl is sound asleep and I am going to sleep now myself. I am getting along fine, getting better quote fast I think.
May 24, 1918
My or rather our little boy is two years old today and he had a birthday party this year too. Mrs. Hanson, his auntie, was here with all the children, Johanna and Mrs. Strand, Mrs. Hendricksen with her two children, Margaret is 20 months nearly and the baby is 3 months, then her brother, Mr. Erikson was here too. Mrs. Strand’s children were here too. Karl got a pair of black stockings from Aunt Johanna and a pair of white from Mrs. Hanson or Anna tante so we call her.
June 8, 1918
Now we are having the eclipse between the sun and the moon. It is getting so dark and it is only about 4 o’clock. The moon passes between the sun and the earth I understand. Karl is sound asleep and I feel sleepy myself so I will lie down too.
June 10, 1918
Tonight I don’t know I feel kind of sad and queer. Seems to me Karl is no more a baby. I cut his hair yesterday and I don’t know. He looks so different today. So much more like a boy that it just makes me think of him growing away from me. In a way he looks cute, but still now I almost wished he had the curls on. Dear little tot. He is now in bed waiting for me to get to bed. Night, night.
Peter’s wife came down to see me this evening. She is out here for her health as she is so bothered with her heart back in Detroit. The little girl is just fine and dandy. She is getting so pretty and I think she looks more like Peter than she did last year. I am going to write a few words to Peter this eve.
June 12, 1918
My dearest brother Peter,
Your wife and baby were down to see me this evening and they were both looking fine. That little girl looks so much like you, Peter, and she is very sweet, I think.
It will be two weeks tomorrow since I first knew that Gertrude was out west. It was on Decoration Day. I kept thinking of you and Gertrude all afternoon and I finally decided I better try to find Mrs. M. Johnson to see if she had heard from you people. I phoned her up and she met me by the carline.
First I asked how her baby was. She told me it was dead, that it only lived seven weeks. When we were through with that I asked the first thing how Peter & Gertrude was, that I never had heard from them since Gertrude left for Detroit last year. Well, she wanted to know first how Andrew was. I told her that I was out to see him at the Sanatorium and that Dr. Quivli said he was improving but that he had to consider how long he had had it—about 2 years. That he was improving but he had to be quiet.
Then again I asked her how Peter and Gertrude was and she told me Gertrude was out west and had been here for the baby’s funeral but had gone back to Spokane. That the baby was with her and Gertrude hoped that you would come out here in the Spring. That she came because her heart bothered her.
Well Peter, I can’t describe my feelings when I came home. I thought of you alone there in Detroit and your wife and baby out here. Dear Peter, I just wished I had the fare and could have gone to see you so I could talk to you. Poor boy you must be terrible lonesome, you that always loved a home so well. So this evening Gertrude with the baby and Rose’s boy came to see me in our new little three room house that we just built.
I talked to Gertrude for quite awhile and she showed me her letter she got from you today. She told me she would be happy to live in just one room if you could come out here. Peter, dear, you have no idea how times have changed out on the coast since you left. Louis got back from Montana two weeks ago Saturday and is ready to settle down now. He has bought 2 lots from Mr. Hager alongside yours on Bismarck and is planning to put up a little house. Martha and Evelyn are fine. I went out to her folks and saw them yesterday and stayed overnight.
Louis is working in a shipyard painting and gets $6.60 a day. He works nights. Knut works nights at the Mill and they both get home at the same time, 1 o’clock. Louis stays here at night because he can’t get out to Summit so late. It surely seemed good to see Louis and his family back again and I wish you were out here too and I am sure you could make a good living here now because it is a great demand for painters as well as all kinds of workers.