Excerpt from Letter to Catherine Parr Traill in Lakefield, Ontario:
January 3, 1881
My dearest sister
I hope that this may meet you happy and well on your birthday. I begin a few days in advance, for fear I should be prevented in writing to you on Saturday. How I wish I could spend the day with you and dear Kate in a long friendly chat, but it is in vain to crave after pleasures placed beyond our reach….
You will be glad to hear that dear Robert has been promoted to a higher position, on an increase of 300 dollars per annum. It is a government appointment as General Freight agent of the Intercolonial railroad but his residence is to be here in Toronto. I dont know if we are to move again, if we do, I should not like to go any distance. I would rather come and board with you in the dear cottage by the bright waters.
I did not go to Vickers since my birthday, until yesterday, and I found the walk greatly beyond comfort. Young Katie is much better, but the weakening effect of her disease (sunstroke) has made her very thin and stolen much of the charming blush pink of her cheeks. My own Katie gave me a nice cup and a breakfast shawl for a birthday present. Things very useful and much wanted. My dear Nellie gave me a new ink stand and pretty cards and how lovely some of the cards are. We may give up flower painting altogether now it will soon be a thing of the past.