Evart, Mich, May 4,1919

Dear Friend:-

I am sure you will pardon my delay in not writing sooner, but I have been so busy that I have neglected my correspondence.

School is a busy place during the spring, and I have three eighth graders to be graduated in June if they successfully pass the county examination.

Yesterday I went to Evart. It rained nearly all the way, and we have nine and three quarters miles to drive. I saw Elga Robinson in Evart. He looked well and spoke well of you.

I should like to travel as you have, and some day I hope to do some exploring. So far, I have been only about one hundred seventy five miles from home.

Last summer my mother, three sisters, five-year-old nephew and myself camped for a week at a lake several miles from here. We had a jolly time.

I can row and paddle a boat, and swim a little but I never have become very accomplished in the last art. I guess I do not practice enough.

The trout season opened May 1, and as we live at the junction of two trout streams, it is quite exciting to watch the fishermen. This morning a car from Evart was here with three young men in it. They come last night and slept in the back part of the car. It is a sort of truck used for delivery. Two of the boys were soldiers and had "overseas" caps on.

It rained so we did not go to church this morning. I hope we can go to-night as we are to have a patriotic service.

June 30th I am going to Mt Pleasant to take a six weeks training course in the State Normal there to renew my teaching certificate. I do enjoy going to school. I like it better than teaching.

One of my cousins who has been overseas is in New York. I am very anxious to have him come home. Another cousin has married a French girl, so we heard.

I have no brothers, but had seven cousins in the service of Uncle Sam. They all came through safely, so far as I know.

All of them had not gone overseas. My brother-in-law tried to enlist but the examining board rejected him because his lungs are bad. My sister was willing to have him go, because she thought she was no better to give up his husband than others women were. It was a righteous cause and we where all willing to sacrifice for it. The world looks to America as the wonder of the war, but it is really France and Belgium who deserve the honors.

May 11th. I did not finish my letter last Sunday, and then went to school and left it at home so I couldn't finish it during the week. Ill try to get it started to morrow.

Could you write your name or mark it so it would show the pronunciation?

Foreign names are difficult for American to pronounce as the sounds of the letters are different from ours.

My sister Gladys, who teaches about fourteen miles from here, was home this week-end. Dad has taken her back now and Mother went along to visit a friend who is very ill.

Another sister, Hazel, who has been working in Alma, Michigan, came home Friday for a few weeks. We always call her Billie.

My cousin, whom I said had reached New York, is home (Midland, Michigan).

He is coming up as soon as school is out so we [?] girls will be at home. I am so glad.

Flowers are quite plentiful in the woods now, blue and yellow violets, blood-root, buttercups, cowslips, boys and girls, spring beauties, adder-tongues and lilies are in bud. Perhaps most of these flowers are unknown to you. The leaves are just coming out and the grass is very green. Many of the birds are here. I saw some of the large blue herons. They are our largest birds and among the last to come back from the south.

Just what sort of political division is Mayenne ? I found it and Laval on a map. It must compare in importance in the Republic with our state. The state of Michigan is divided into eighty-three counties. Our county, Osceola, is twenty-four miles square (about forty kilometers) and divided into sixteen townships, each containing thirty-six square miles. I live in Middle Branch townships at present but my own home is in Sylvan township.

We expect to move there in October. In that location we live a mile from Sylvan M.E. Church, store, school and gleaner hall.

There are several houses in the group, too.

We have excellent neighbors, and it is a fine place to live, only eight and one half miles from town with good gravel and stone roads. We are anxious to get back there.

Next year I expect to teach a mile and a half from home. I will stay at home and walk to school.

I have had no good picture taken lately, only snap shots taken at the lake and in the woods when I was playing. They are too small and poor to send.

You said you can not write well. I think that you write English remarkably well. Europeans say it is a hard language to learn. I wish I could learn French. I took three years of Latin and one of German while in high school, but of course German is not in favor in United States now. French is the latest style Some day I hope to save enough to take a college course and then I can take up some of the studies that I like so well.

When I write a letter I make it nearly like a book, it is so long.

Very sincerely,

Verar Van Wegen