I am drawing a dotted line across our globe, starting from home, here, out along what I imagine is your path. I only put one or two dashes a day, small ones on our big globe, but it’s nice to do, still, still, there is progress and I can watch it. Also, it can be like a Hansel und Gretel trail, leading you back here, should you forget the way. Even though I know you can see it, or me, right now.
You must be in Manitoba by now.
I have planted the spring seeds. The spinach and carrots and radishes.
I am sending this to William, Harriet’s son, who lives in Brandon. The accountant, you remember. In case you stop there, to sleep maybe, as you pass by, if you pass by, though I know you probably won’t, and, probably, William will be confused by the name on the envelope, “Etta Vogel, c/o William Porter” and will post it back to me, but that’s okay. I’ll give it to you when you get back; put it in a pile next to the pile I’m making of the letters you’re sending here. They’re on the kitchen table, because I hardly need all of it to eat at.
I have been out to see Russel, in his field, since last week, when he suggested that maybe I shouldn’t come back for a little while because I’ve got a cough, and it could scare away the deer. So I stay away. But sometimes he comes by after he’s done looking, and we have coffee, or sometimes he leaves notes on our door as he passes by. He is well. I haven’t told him where you’ve gone. I tell him you’re out, that’s all.
P.S. I know you have gone to see the water, and you should see it, Etta, you should, but, in case there are other reasons you’ve left, in case there are things you have discovered or undiscovered that you didn’t want to tell me in person, in that case, you can always tell me here. Tell me here and we can never mention it outside of paper and ink (or pencil).
– excerpted from Etta and Otto and Russell and James, by Emma Hooper