16 May 1853
Somehow I am lonely lately - I feel very old every day, and when morning comes and the birds sing, they dont seem to make me so happy as they used to. I guess it's because you're gone, and there are not so many of us as God gave for each other. I wish you were at home. I feel very sure lately that the years we have had together are more than we shall have - I guess we shall journey separately, or reach the journey's end, some of us - but we don't know. We all love you very much. I don't believe you guess how much home thinks and says of it's only absent child - yes, Austin, home is faithful, none other is so true [three lines erased].
You must'nt mind what I say about feeling lonely lately. It is'nt any matter, but I thought I would tell you, so you'd know why I did'nt write more. Vinnie and I thank you very much for your letters - we always thank you, and your letters are dearer than all the rest that come. Vinnie did the errand which you wanted her to, but the stage did'nt come over from Northampton at noon, and she could'nt send till today. She sends her love to you, and will write to you very soon. Susie says her letter was safely delivered, and she seemed very grateful - she has not yet received your week before last letter - she thinks someone here has got it. Susie and I went to meeting last evening and Father went home first with Susie and then with me. I thought the folks would stare. I think Father feels that she appreciates him, better than most anybody else - How pleasant it is, is'nt it?
She is a dear child to us all, and we see her every day.
We had a very pleasant visit from the Monson folks - they came one noon and stayed till the next. They agree beautifully with Father on the "present generation." They decided that they hoped every young man who smoked would take fire. I respectfully intimated that I thought the result would be a vast conflagration, but was instantly put down.
We are very glad Joel is better, and shall be glad to see him. Take good care of yourself, Austin - now the days grow warm, and dont study too hard. I want to have you tell me how soon you're coming home. You must think of nothing but coming.
While I write, the whistle is playing, and the cars just coming in. It gives us all new life, every time it plays. How you will love to hear it, when you come home again! How soon is the recess? We are anxious to know, and you must come home, of course. You must write us pretty son, and tell us when you are coming - so we can anticipate it. Mr Dwight has finished preaching, and it now remains to be seen if the people ask him to stay. We are all charmed with him, and I'm sure he will have a call. I never heard a minister I loved half so well, so does Susie love him, and we all - I wish you were at meeting every time he preaches.
The term has commenced, and there were a great many students to hear him yesterday. We all send our love to you. Mother says she shall send your stockings by the first opportunity. Have you received the pacakage sent by Wm Kellogg? I have written so very fast, but I hope you can read what I write.