Sara Kerfoot's Letter

Drim, Glen P.O.
Kilmacrenan, Co. Donegal, Ireland
Feb. 26th 1936

My dear Susan,

I must thank you for being so good + kind to
remember me at Xmas. It was surely a great surprise. I feel(?)
so very grateful. You saw so little of me when home + its my(?)
regret ever + always that I did not see you far oftener + have(?)
some good talks. Will I live until you come to Ireland, I'm(?)
in my 81st year. I hope so though old people are a great trouble (?)

I am picturing your around Phila. visiting your friends
but your time is very short + "time flies", but it will be __
little change, + help you, but wont rest you so much for
I suppose you'll have many to visit. I hope your health is(?)
quite good. You had severe stormy weather, snow, frost,
blizzards + I suppose when its cold its cold in earnest.

The papers gave a terrible account of it, + so many deaths
from cold too. Indeed our Winter was the coldest + the
worst I remember in my 55 years in Donegal + the frost
started very, very early + so severe, very bad before about
Xmas. Roads like sheets of ice + very dangerous. I got a
cold vefore Xmas, so spent my Xmas in bed the first time
in my life. It was even colder in Jan + beginning Feb here
frost + snow. Thank God we survived all but every one
felt it , + many deaths.

The Scarletina was here, there + everyplace + some young people(?)
died + schools all closed. Those children all had colds
Tommy an abscess on his ear. Ellen swollen glands. Nurse
said she was run down. I tell you, Fannie had a hot time +
she had a cold herself too. Then it got around that they
had scarletina, + would not be allowed to attend school
until after St. Patrick's Day, with complaints some good
neighbours made to the Dr. The poor children are to lose -
of course they don't mind. Geo. would like to be at school
but Eddie + Manus for want od sense would never think
of it so they will have a hard time to pull up for the
time away.

About Sept. we had a visit from "Old Jose" dressed
in silk + covered with beads, sparkles + jewellery + so
many shining slides in her hair they would way(sic) down
a hay stack on a windy night. She was passing (and)
called. I was sick + upset for weeks after. When I'd think
of the style of her. No wonder God sends the storms,
people like the "Old Jose" would go mad.

Then to make things better we had a new arrival
in Oct. not with my wish indeed. so that meant more
trouble but little May is there anyway! Winie (?) paid
us a visit then though I suppose not so easy when she
has no bus(?) + Curran must be watched, attended, so
she has her own trouble. Its the way with everybody.

I believe Anne and baby are with the mother. The tinker
was quite good enough + if the Fox had a tinker it would
settle her but she wull never get even a tinker.

I had Annie (Neil) Coll + her sister-in-law in for a short ___
yes. Annie was getting teeth out in the dispensary + Mary (illegible)
has been bad with blood poisoned hand + was in hospital -
a cut of a rusty knife + it was thought the arem would
be taken off at one time.

Rodden (?) the Smith was married yeaterday to a returned
Yankee. I believe she is Gallagher from over theresome
place. Neil Duffy's wife is expected home in May (?)
I'd say she was another of the many fools if she __
as they say 200. Well, well, such is life.

Wee George was very good to me during the winter
getting me turf + sticks, putting ona fire + taking out(?)
ashes, etc.

So much to be done. We'd need a Knitter(?) + patches(?)
for this crowd if it could be got through. I try to(?)
do my best. I am too old and get tired, my fingers go astray/asleep(?)
and then I have no power of my hands. I can't expect
much anymore + its no joke to keep them all minded.
Its a great drain on a woman getting through a
crowd of children but its a labour of love I suppose

I hope you found Teresa looking well after her
trip to Ireland but a few months go in so quickly
that its scarcely worth the expense + passages are so hard(?)
for those 6 or 7 days. Still a change of air + scene helps one.

They tell me sometimes Lizzie intends visiting Ireland this
summer. I hope she does + surely its time Mollie took a trip(?)
before she gorgets how to get down Barnes Gap.

I had a letter today from Phila. from a grand-daughter __
18th inst.(?)She said the ground was frozen + covered with snow.
Very hard to drive cars, skidding etc. the sun shone that day
and they thought the worst was over, but snow again + freezing
that night I am sure you all would be glad to see all away(?)
and weather normal.

Nellie + Mickey Kelly + family are very well + escaped
all sickness during the winter. Mickey was here lately to __
me, and Winnie was here Tues. afternoon (Shrove Tues) to see me.
I spent this winter home here in Drim. I have not seen M__(?)
for some time she lives farther away so with storms __
could not face.

Poor old Peggy is living still but I have not seen her
for some time. Likely she was barefoot all winter but
she was a healthy strong woman + the best soul that ever
lived - too good if anything

Now I will wind up this preamble or you may think
I am rambling or doting. The children are all well now but I
am pained looking at them going around from School. Geo.
would like school + be a bright boy but Eddie + Manus
have hard work to try to pick up something. They have a
young girl teacher now + its as well. Mrs Kerr retired but
she took things very easy - too much bother to exert herself.

Now. May God bless you with good health, good luck in
your work, save you from accidents + give you every
pleasure to make life pleasant.

Joined by all in every good wish for your welfare
and happiness.

I am very sincerely yours,
I always regret I saw so little of you Susan dear,

Sara Dennison

The letter was accompanied by a poem (or song?) called The Road to Creeslough

Here is a scanned copy of a copy of the original letter (warning: it is very big - 5.6MB)