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52 Spring Street, Cambridge, NY 12816
August 23, 1990

Dear Jack - Thank you for introducing me to the Shaker Museum and its report. I am serving at a church near Old Chatham and hope now to visit the Museum. I found the Report most interesting, knowing very little about the Shakers apart from the commonplace notions. 

Our gardens have  thrived. It is a whole "new ball game!" The sun strikes the gardens first thing after it rises and stays with us until near sunset. The soil is apparently ideal, although laden with inumerable stones which replace themselves as soon as they are gathered up. It is therefore a waste of time to bother with them except to move them aside in order to plant the seeds and transplants. On the positive side they act as a form of mulch to retain the heat and also keep the soil from packing to allow the rain to penetrate. We planted late, not arriving here until June 1st, but everything shot up in great fashion so that this garden is ahead of what we would have expected at Mission Farm planting at the regular time. Nadya managed to transplant many of her perenials from Mission Farm and most of them have done very well. We were able to do quite a bit of this transplanting last fall so that there is a fine variety of blooms to enjoy this summer. We also have an inumerable [[innumerable]] quantity of rabbits both large and small and bold who seem to look upon us as intruders. I put up a fence around the vegetable garden which has worked so far. Some of the flowers have been eaten, but since Johanna and John brough [[brought]] down Sasha (she spent several weeks with them while we were in the final stages of moving to escape the trauma) the rabbits are a bit more cautious. What also helped was to have our vacant lot mowed to remove a large area of hiding space. 

We are reasonably settled now with only a few structural jobs yet to be taken care of. After 26 years in one place with the commitment that went with our life there, the present change is not altogether an easy one. I am happy for Nadya that finally she has her own home and own gardens and the Church she has always missed. As for me, I am somewhat of the opinion that the best way to retire is to be carried out in a box. Our folks went all out for a final service and reception in May just before we left Mission Farm. There were over two hundred people present and the Church was more than filled. In a sense it was like attending one's own requiem! 

The forthcoming Thanksgiving will be a far cry from the ones over the past almost three decades. We certainly will miss not seeing you as I understand you will be in some foreign land at that time.

There have been some mighty changes up Johanna's way. John's brother was married last Saturday to the grand-daughter of my dearest friend and mentor, the late Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy. (It was a match brought about through the scheming of Johanna and Nadya!) At any rate, in order for the farm now to support two families, they rented the large farm across the road and purchased another herd of Jerseys and I believe they are now milking 160. They have installed a milking palour that milks 12 cows at a time and one person can milk 75 opr hour. Johanna will enjoy having a friend living near by. Margaret is on the staff of the Vermont Senator ; in connection with his chairmanship of the Agricultural Committee.

We hope it won't be too long before you manage to come up this way without having to "speed" by. The house is smaller, but the guest room quite adequate. May this find you well and in good spirit.