[November 1940 was cold, rainy and windy with wires down blocking traffic and a freeze on the east windows. Elinor tells the winter temperature by the bird bath freezing or not. She often talks of the wind and directions but never connects it with any other aspect of their lives. She (and Elbert) always point out and count wild geese flocks. Elbert and Elinor have respiratory infections, first Elbert, then Elinor and Elbert has developed knee pain. Elinor also talks of throwing up during dinner and she makes her first mention of having urinary incontinence, for now with leakage just with coughing. But she blames it for not being able to go to church. She states that she does not have “overshoes” and both Elbert and she get wet feet just with chores or getting the mail. She takes a “blanket coat” given to her husband by his friend Dan McCarthy and she cuts it down to make a “work coat” for Elbert. Elbert is still working in response to cards he gets in the mail from different work sites like the Shipyard and Steel Plant but he has a hard time getting there on time. There are constant car repair and car maintenance intrusions in their life including needing to cover the engine with a tarp when it is cold and frequent windshield wiper changes. Elbert doesn’t even attempt car repairs, even calling the neighbor over just to fix wet distributer “points”. In spite of weather, both of them work on annual projects, including trimming and tying up the roses which are on trellises on multiple buildings on the property. This was also the case at the homestead. November 15 starts rabbit hunting.
Although she frequently sews, its only rare that she buys cloth. One kind of cloth is called “tennis” , others include linen, and “unbleached” toweling buying as much as 10 yards at a time. She often converts seed bags to usable fabric. She buys underwear and arch supports (> 6 dollars) and sometimes work clothes for Elbert. Bonney Bell, Elinor’s niece is working and frequently supports herself by for example buying her own high school graduation ring. They use a bank but Elinor doesn’t provide much detail about it. There is a person there, Mr. Keep who sends notifications and sometimes she goes in to meet with him. Elbert sometimes gets personal loans from the bank. Family dinners, especially holidays are fairly sumptuous including for example 2 big turkeys, dressing, squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, gravy, jelly and pear over cottage cheese and lettuce, olives, celery, pickles, cream, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, custard pie, apple pie, and a 2 layer cake for 10 adults, 6 children. Sunday dinners even just for the two of them includes some primary meat dish (when needed they kill a hen for Sunday) . She cooks squash, biscuits, and apple dumplings to go with it. But she complains that Pa or Gertie usually ruin the holiday celebration and each time she and Elbert discus and plan how to not go to the next holiday gathering, sometimes planning to just be “too busy”.
Bonney Bell Harnish (born in the 1920s) is Nellie’s youngest and she stays in Ohio for most of her life after training in Elyria Hospital as a nurse. She & her sister Ella Jane and their mother Nellie have the most education and are the first females in the old Bonney family to work as professionals. Two of the elder Bonney’s daughters become nurses. The younger Bonney Bell Harnish (born in 1953) and her sister Marcella and her mother Marcella all become nurses. Bonney Bell’s brother Wesley becomes a doctor, as does his son Paul and Paul’s wife (in 2021).
Nov.Fri.1.1940. Elbert has gone to work & it is raining today. south east wind, I have washed dishes took care of chickens 7 straighten up the house & took care of my song birds. Elbert got home about 5. p. m. rained off. I picked up another 1/2 bu. walnuts in shuck. [“in shuck” refers to a nut that is moist, retaining the part of the shell (floral envelope) that normally would be dried and separated from the kernal]
Nov.2. Sat. Elbert took a cold & doesnt feel so good, head achs, I straightened up the house aired the bedding made beds & wiped up the floor, beautiful day out side and I long for more time out side.
Sun. Nov.3. 1940. Elbert took me to Berlin Hights where I attended Sun. school & church, We had communion services this morning & I sure ask for a testimony concerning my healing, and found another had been healed also. South West wind.
Mon.Nov.4.1940. Well, I picked up & cleaned up and did a little writing, Received a wonderful mesage from Miss Willitts, the Minister Rev. Doak called this after noon, we had prayers & a good spiritual talk. it’s colder tonight South west wind Elbert’s cold is bad but he worked 2 hrs. over time
Tue.Nov.5.1940./ Elbert went to work, but he is sick, his cold is so bad. Mr. Calvert picked
=19= up Mr & Mrs. Myers then came and ask we to go with them to Ceylon to vote so I went, but I went a gain with Elbert his cold is so bad, he felt sick to his stomach. poor boy. wind S.w. untill 4-p-m. when it went N.W. then it rained hard after dark. Elbert feels so bad.
Wed. Nov.6./ I did the wash & baked 4 loaves of bread 2. B. & 2. White. I tired & ansious to know how Elbert is tonight. Cold wind , north penetrating wind
Thurs.Nov.7./ Elbert worked today his cold is on his lungs as well as in his throat & head. North West Wind today, sun shone through at noon partly cloudy all after noon. Elbert got here at 6-p-m. wasn’t quite dark. Well I sewed some cleaned & scrubbed and my left shoulder is sore and has ached all day, high wind. Elbert got a bag of scratch grain today [ingredients included in scratch are cracked or rolled corn, barley, oats, wheat, sunflower seeds, milo, and millet.]
Fri. Nov.8.1940./ Elbert went to work I have a bad cold it seem to come on to me as it did Elbert, like flu- nose runs so fast it’s hard to keep it clean Elbert come & brought the groceries & bag of mash. he feels all in to his cold is so bad Wind went south had some rain. [Mash Ingredients include: Cracked Corn, Soybean Meal, Wheat Bran, Calcium Carbonate, Cane Molasses, Alfalfa Meal, Granite Grit, Oyster Shell, Mono Dicalcium Phosphate, Flax Seed, Canola Oil, Salt (Sodium Chloride), Marigold Extract, and lots of vitamins and minerals.]
Sat.Nov.9.1940./ We neither could do much to day he went to Huron, he paid bal. of coal bill & took young Helen & Bill Dryer to town with him 5.72 for hair cut & groceries
=20=Sun.Nov.10.1940./ I wasn’t able to go to Church cold gone on my lungs, in my throat head, nice day to, and here we are inside all day.
Mon.Nov.11. felt to bad to work, myself, Elbert has gone to work & it’s raining Well he worked most of the day, think he said he lost 2. hrs.and the wind sure has been & is blowing a gale from the south west, wires were down this side of under cut Elbert & lots of others had to go back and deture several miles to get back on highway to get home, he was late but somehow I felt it might be he had to go out of his way to get there, I felt so bad, I wasn’t out side today. seemed some times like the wind was surely going to lift us up, even the birds Jimy & Dicky talked about it . Well, I wasn’t afraid, and God took care of all of us. Wind is blowing yet.
Tue.Nov.12.1940./ Wind blowing rain and froze on east windows. Elbert went to work, but I’m feeling sort of dead I swept & straightened up the house & have done the cooking right along think I’m better, but have to cough hard takes the vim out of me. not very cold. I took care of chickens today got the mail, “a letter from the Cleveland Trust Bank from Cleveland” that will have to see Mr. Keep. I did a bit of washing & cooked supper. Wind did out tonight when the sun went down, Elbert came a 6-p-m. he left his car at the garage 7 came in an old ford. going to cost him 18 dollars or more to get it fixed, but Praise God, he takes care of us, I’m so thankful.
Wed.Nov.13. Wind blew but not so hard shifted to N.W. going N.East at 4-30. Elbert worked today, got his card to
=21= go to the Ship Yard to work.
he was so tired tonight. I did the chores befoere dark, except the water & coal. Postman left Elberts work card in Soyss’s box [I believe she is referring to their neighbors the Sarrs, sometimes referred to as Czars]and only put some add’s in ours.
Thurs. Nov. 14.1940/ Elbert got up late, poor boy had to go with his breakfast and he has such a cold, he ought to have something hot in him. Nov.14. Thurs.1940. I forgot to make place for the date. can’t find the red bottoms I bought. I found the one’s Elbert got for me. it’s queer what has become of them. Well the N.E. wind makes it colder today. Now I have to feed hens & do chores. Elbert came 15minutes to 6, he got done on job at plant wind went N.West little colder froze birds water dish out side.
Fri.15.1940 / Rabbit season started this morn. Elbert went to ship yard towork this morn. I washed today & did all the chores, I’m tired. Elbert’s knee is hurting him again, I hope it’s better in the morn. it snowed a light snowearly this morn, wind N.East is penatrating, I saw a big flock of wild geese today the bigest ones I’ve seen in a good While; flying low going toward the Lake, and they looked as if they were covered with ice. Elbert got here early tonight wasn’t dark yet. Hope it will be better for him to work in the ship-yard, and that he can work steady.
Sat.Nov.16./ Month half gone, but Spring always looks best to me. God Received my check today had been out on the 7th. of Nov. I baked 2 White loaves of bread 6 rusk buscuits and double batch of doughnuts and done up all the dirty dishes, finished just before Elbert got here, in his own car. He dug the dahalias this morn & half the this morn Wind N.W. snowed a gale W.S.W. 4-30-p-m. glads-
=22= it was almost 6 p.m. when he came home, his knee is hurting him so bad tonight & he is so tired. So am I.
Sun.Nov.17. 1940./ My cough is so bad and gets after my kidneys so, I can’t go any where, and I like to go to Church more than anywhere I know of. Wind was and is S.W. mostly cloudy today Elbert’s knee still hurting him he put up the storm door this morn & finished bringing in the glad bulbs then slept in the big chair a while tonight about 5-p-m he thought he’d go cash my check & get him-self some lunch meat for tomorrow & he couldn’t get the car started he went to Huron got another battery, but still it wouldn’t start I got him to go to Syrrs to see if Rue was home, but Helens brother was there, and he come & soon had it fixed it was the distributer points “were wet.” Now he has gone for meat & cash, hope he can get off to work on time in morning, Wind is South W. but mostly west. [?} Runs O.K.
Mon.Nov.18.1940./ Well Elbert got away in time and he worked all day, it’s been a warm beautiful day I received a card from Mrs. Kendall saying she got the box of plants O.K. and sweet potatoes. I shucked out half bu. of walnuts today done a dib of wash’ing took car of hens & don’t my house work & was ready when Elbert came and went to Huron with him to take the battery back, I paid $6.68 for my shoes & arch. suports at Mrs. G [blank] & bought 11.yds. of tennis.
=23= for a night gown I gave Nellie the piece I bought for myself, now I owe for this piece & my under wear yet, we came home & I changed my clothes & cooked fish Elbert had brought & the potatoes were most done when we left. We ate I washed dishes & we went to bed.
Tue.Nov.19.1940/ I finished the washing today . Wind went clear around last night to the south again this morn. Warm, quite a good breeze all day, yesterday was scarcely any breeze. Clothes dried fast today. I put the walnuts out in the sun & breeze to dry yesterday & today & they are real dry. Elbert worked all day & brought me pink, blue, & white yarn to make baby booties, and I must soon get after them. Elbert has to work tomorrow but will be home Thurs.21. Rovelts thanksgiving, but we are just going to have a plain dinner & chicken for Sun.
Wed.Nov.20. 1940./ Well it’s been a rainy morning but cleared up some didn’t rain in after noon but was cloudy, Elbert worked all day and came home safe Praise the Lord. I received a letter from Miss Mc.Govern & a few lines from Ella Jane asking us out for Thanks-giving dinner. I baked a custard pie and two apple pies and a big two layer cake in my long pan I frosted it and put nut meats on the top for Bonney Bells birth-day she will be 17 yrs. old Nov.24.1940. and is my youngest sister’s youngest daughter Bonney Bell will finish high school this coming June. 1941. and is going to train for a nurse in Elyria Hospital I like her.
Thurs.Nov.21.1940/ We went to John’s & Nellie’s for dinner I took the cake and a pint of cranberry sauce, they had a fine dinner roast turkeys 2 big one’s, dressing and squash; sweet potatoes, carots gravey and lettuce leaves with a slice of jelly half a pear & cottage cheeze, olives, celery & pickles cream & sugar for coffee & tea, pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Pa & Gertie Audrey, Martha & Merlin & three children, Jim, Jean & Joan were there & Nellie, John and three of there child-ren, Ella Jane, Bonney Bell and Johny, Jr.. Bonita had gone out for dinner with her George. [ blank] to whom she is engaged.
It has been a beautiful day & I enjoyed the ride and my dinner, but not my visit, Gertie had to tell such a big lie at the dinner table, and I can’t enjoy being with them and listening to such horrible lies, but she or pa userally has to spoil a good time before its half over. I ask Nellie for a male bird ceanary” she let me have one, but grudgingly, she is so selfish with me, I wouldn’t have ask, only Miss Mc.Govern wanted one, and I only had one singer and my old bird left, and I gave Nellie her male bird, I bought it to, just for her, and then gave Ethel a female & Nellie bird them she promised me a good singer with a cap on his head like the one I gave her, but she was so selfish she only gave me two females, that I didn’t care for and she hardly knew whether to let me have them or not, but she finally let me have a male bird today a yellow one, but I’ll pay for it by & by, Martha ask me if I was an indian giver, after all I’ve done for the lot of them Well, I’ll try never to ask an other favor of any
=25= one of them from now on, we had thought we wouldn’t go there again for a holiday dinner, but we foolishly went a-gain, Elbert wouldn’t have gone only for me. I think we should forgive & forget, but how can we ? So from now on we will be so busy or have some honest excuse, and stay away, I love them, but not , the way they love me. I don’t see any reason, to my always trying to hurt some one. So we have decide to save our nerves, and them the extra trouble. Well, it started to rain before we got home, we were on the Vermilion river road when it started to rain before we got home, we were on the Vermilion river road when it started to sprinkle, but it didn’t rain untill after we got home & we went up to Holidays gas station for gas & milk a mile on up the high-way from our road, and now its raining & a high wind blowing from the south. Bonney Bell bought and paid for her own graduation ring. I pray God Will help her to always use good judgement. Well Elbert has to work tomorrow & has gone to bed so guess I’ll go to bed also.
Fri.Nov.22.1940. Elbert went to work, it turned out to be a beautiful warm day. I washed & wiped up the floor took care the hens, I let out one pen, untill they went in and then I let the other pen out. then had to go shut them in, when they went in. then take in my wash & got things ready for supper & to go to town tomorrow. Wind went N after dinner & got a little colder penetrating cold. Elbert came we had oysters & fish. for supper & apple pie I baked 2 & 1 custard pie Wed. and baked a two layer cake for Bonney Bell’s birthday
Nov.23. Sat./ She seemed pleased with it. I finished paying for, the 3 girls sweaters today Sat.
Sun.Nov.24.1940. I saw Mr. Keep about a letter from the Cleveland Trust today & had a little visit
=26= and I stopped and talked with Wyn Grant for 15 or 20 miutes Virginia came to from work while I was there they said Gertie’s story was a lie for they didn’t talk about any thing of the kind while they were there and that they were only there 15 or 20 min. Such a World. They Were over to Georgia’s for dinner & said every one was as well as usual, said they meet Ethel & she invited them to come over to visit if they seemed real pleased about it, they also saw Ella Jane. Well every one’s talking about Jessie Wheeler she’s ingaged to be married and Mrs. Hobbs is giving a shower for a bride to be. Wyn & Virginia said they received and invitation and was going, it seems all the rest of the family but us has been in-vited. No one seem to know the man’s name but they do say he’s a widower with one son married and a 16 yr. old daughter and he has a home in Detroit Mich. I bought 6 big wash rags for 5 cents a piece and 3 smaller one’s for 10 cents. and I had a piece of goods for a house dress & a piece for a good dress and to pieces of linen toweling unbleached laid away that I will owe $4.00 for. We got home 2.p.m. it started to sprinkle rain before we left Lorain very light let up when we got into Vermilion Elbert got a pt. of ice cream we ate it before supper I didn’t have any thing to eat alday untill we got home after we ate and rested a little we feed the hens and trimed the center rambler rose on the end of the house, but didn’t get it all done We didn’t get it tied up
=27= Sat.Nov.23. so will have to finish some other time as the one’s on either side have not been trimed yet and the one Frank called his in front of the hen house has to have a new post set as well as trim-ed and none of the others have been trimed yet I hope to do that this week if the weather stays nice, it isn’t cold tonight, but been raining a steady drizzle all evening. I want to go to Sun. school & Church in the Morning; And, I’d liike to ans. some letters. Elbert bought a hen all dressed of Mrs Knettle to night and he cut it up & put it on to cook so it will be partly cooked for tomorrows dinner. Wind is South West. Now I must go to bed.
Sun.Nov.24. 1940./ Well, Bonney Bell is 17 yrs. old today, and is have a dinner & girl friends for dinner. I went to Church today & hope to get better acquainted, and to help with the church work. We took Mrs Hildabrant home & she loaned me one of Miss Willitts books called “Is Healing emotional psychology or does it actually come from God?” I have read it and Miss. Willitt’s thinks as I do. We had chicken dinner today, it was cloudy today and rather cool. I took a little more cold Sat. But trust I’ll be O.K. soon. Wind north damp and penetrating.
Mon.Nov.25.1940./ Well it was cloudy untill 10-a.m. sun came through cold & white cloudy most the afternoon. I finished the stitching on my silk dress & did a little on one house dress & hemed 5 hand towels, the cleaned up my sewing & filled the stove with coal, empted ashes fed hens & locked the coop and opened car shed for Elbert, carried 1. pail of water.
=28= from cystern and one from the well & got my supper started Elbert got here a 5-30-p-m. he brought Helen Syrr from Lorain and her groceries, and he paid 10 more on his repair bill, on the car he has paid $25.00 now & got 19 more to pay. Well I dont know what I will do in the morn. I ought to sew & I ought to wash the wind has been north east all day I have not felt very good today, neither has Elbert. but he worked all day & is sleeping now.
Tue.Nov.26.1940./ Month most gone my how time seems to be flying past. Wind went N.East. 10-30-a-m. tried to rain 11. raining, 12 light snow! 2-p-m. snowing and hailing, haile size of shot come so hard could hardly see house next door, eased up at 4-p-m. , wet crusty snow. I got my feet soaked going out to do chores & get the mail, I’ll have to have some over shoes soon, Elbert came with wet feet and his coat and sweater wet Hope he keeps dry today for he don’t seem to get rid of his cold. I cut of the old blanket coat “Dan. Mc.Carthy gave Frank” for Elbert a work coat, got it most fixed and run out of thread, black thread, hunted every thing through but can’t find a bit, such luck. I washed out most of the clothes this morning & then did the ironing, then did some sewing Wind gone S. West fog horn is blowing and sounds so loud Rained a little enough to coat the car shed doors with ice. But I Praise the Lord he has taken care of us alday.
Wed.Nov.27./ I’m so tired tonight I found a little thread .
Nov.30. I fix a piece of facing for a hem on the bottom of E’s. coat & got to button holes worked over, got two more to do & the pockets to replace. I tied the threads on five new towel ends done the chores took care of my carnarys & cleaned & fried two white fish for supper, cook some irish potatoes & a big piece of gray hubard squash. I made biscuits & apple dumplins last night for supper.
=29= Wed.27.1940./ Well it is wet and cold out snowed some today I wash the meat & got it boiling “lamb shoulder” for tomorrows supper, E. is out trying to fix his wind sheild wiper, so guess I’ll go see if I can hold the light for him. Well he had it done by the time I got there, but I held the flash light while he put the canvas over the radiator to keep out the cold air. the new windsheild wiper works good. Wind went west this morn, went South sometime this after noon and North West tonight quite cold. & I’m tired tonight Elbert hurt his back today. I bathed it with Linement
Thurs.Nov.28./ Elbert has gone to work, he isn’t feeling very well, has a cold, seems to catch a little more every day, and his back and legs and stomach trouble him all the time. Cloudy untill 2-p-m. sun came through for an hour or so, damp penetrating S. West wind, spits with rain, then a light snow, just wet enough to be slippery, Elbert met Jessie up town & she told him what a superize she got Wed. night. Mrs. Hobbs gave a brides shower for her, there was a big crowd [blank] people or more, all classes, Tommy McGuire & his wife & Mrs. Morris Grant & Virginia, and Audrey & Martha gave a set of dishes , she received a heap of very beautiful gifts, they didn’t invite us. I finished the washing this morn. & sewed, made myself a night gown, Elbert brought black thread, fruit, and nuts & yeast cakes. He’s just dead tired tonight but I did all the chores.
Fri.Nov.29./ Ma’s birthday she would be 84. yrs. old. I wanted to have some of her pictures printed one for pa & Gertie and one for each of the other children but I have to depend on E. to take me place so I didn’t allway get done the things I’d like to do, but maybe I’ll get it done yet. It’s trying to rain, snow wet & slopy Well I’ll took care of the chickens & mixed the bread in hard loaf.
Fri.Nov.29.1940./ =30= Wind south going S.W. tried to rain turned colder Elbert came tired and hungry I did all the chores.
Sat.Nov.30.1940./ Cloudy day it has both rained & snowed to-day & tonight wind went N. East & back today to S.W. I finished E’s work coat today, it does tire me to sew on any thing so heavy any more. baked 2 white & 2 brown loaves of bread yesterday, was so sick I threw up before I could leave supper table but am better today & hope to get to Sun school & church in morning.