May 1912

Dear Anna,

I hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. We survived the winter with no more than head colds and sniffles and are looking forward to the warm breezes and sunshine that are sure to arrive with spring. The children are growing like weeds and with the exception of Teddy, there have been no accidents requiring more than a bandage and a little iodine. Mother Orchard's rheuma-tism has acted up a little more than usual but she takes it in stride and tells us that a little pain on a rainy day is just a reminder that she's lived to see another rainy day. Her outlook on life remains positive.

On with the news of the day…

As everyone in the modern world must know by now, the return trip for the Titanic was an immeasurable disaster. The events hit home in a way that no local resident could have ever predicted. Af-ter telegraphs by the dozens and even a trans-Atlantic telephone call, our world-traveling Grumble brother and Mrs. Watson were able to arrange for the authorities to notify us that both he and Mrs. Watson were alive if not totally well. We of course don't know all of the details but apparently as a first class passenger, Mrs. Watson was able to take her place in a life boat with nothing more than a badly sprained ankle and some cuts and bruises. Her boat was one of the first to be rescued and although apparently suffering from mild amnesia about the details prior to her rescue she appears to be in reasonable condition given her harrowing ordeal.

The details are foggier concerning our dear handy man. There's been more than one newspaper reporter at our doorstep wanting interviews and I have assured them that I wouldn't tell them the expected arrival date even if I knew, which I don't. They actual-ly yell questions at us as we go to and from our home and some of the subject matter pertaining to their questions is unsavory at best.

“Is it true that Mr. Grumble says he “fell” into one of the life boats?”' and “Is it true Mr. Grumble was wearing a lady's hat and a shawl when he was rescued?”
I am not sure what they are implying nor do I care to know. I'm just thankful they are coming back to us and am appalled at the reporters' lack of dignity and compassion. Lewis has reached his limit and has threatened bodily harm if they step from the road onto our property.

They plan to arrive in Port Orchard sometime in May and will recuperate in our home although Mrs. Watson has sent me a letter demanding that her former traveling companion not be allowed within her sight. We have had no personal missives from the him as yet. They will no doubt require as much emotional support as physi-cal and one wonders if any of the survivors will ever be able to look at the world in the same way as before. So… we wait anxiously for their safe return.
Teddy's adventure pales in comparison with what I've just related to you so I'll save it for another day. Let me just say that we owe our stay-at-home Grumble brother a debt of gratitude that will not be soon forgotten.

I'll close now and get back to the chores of the day, laundry and weeding and dinner. After all that's happened to our dear friends I look forward to the mundane.


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