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Medicine Creek, Neb.---
Tuesday afternoon - July 24th 1877

     I intended to commence this yesterday - but did not.  Why have I not journalized before?
     Because events have crowded upon me so that I never felt that I had time to "catch up."
     I hav'nt time now.  -- If I tried that I should give up at once.  To protect my journal against such a fate, let me turn my back on the Past. --------
     "Vidling" started for O---- Sunday afternoon.  Nothing has happened since then, only
     Mamie caught a snake in the house - really caught it, for she saw it making for a hole and grabbed it by the tail, and crushed it with her heel! And
     The cows have tried to get in the field and failed -- and
     No hogs have been seen -- and
     The "mail-man" came by - and
     Mr. Milan has gone to Stockville on the "Little Injun," and we expect him back shortly.

July - Thur. 26th 1877

     I am afraid I will keep but a poor journal, "now-a-day" if I keep any at all. ---
     Vidling came back from the Platte yesterday and upset all of our plans. -- Did not go to O---
     Went off yesterday eve -- to the Rep. Valley with Mr. Beer. -- quite an unexpected crowd here yesterday.  1st "Vidling" -- then 2nd and thirdly Mr. Beer and Mrs. Curths. (don't know how to spell the name!) - (We were all in a turmoil - and I baking biscut with box-elder wood!! - Thanks to Vidling! --)  Fourthyl, fifthly and sixthly, Mr. & Mrs. Doing and their olive-branch.
     I wonder how long I can write?  -- Write -- with such a precious, toddling "Brother" as I have to keep me company! ---
     Ah, well!  Let me try and look back! -- I have kept no written account of my life since Aug. 1875 - What events raise above the common level of that great, dead plain-leaving land-marks that no lime can ever efface? --


     Oct. 5th 1875  I married David Coulter Ballantine.  We were married at North Platte, Neb. --    Feb. following, we visited Mr. Ballantine's home in Lincoln, and I became acquainted with my new relations.  We returned after a month's stay.  That summer the sheep were driven to Lincoln.  -- I went to North Platte in July. --

     Aug. Monday night 21st 1876 Our baby was born.  The papers spoke of him as a "beautiful, ten-lb. boy."  Three weeks after we visited the Medicine - bringing Mamie with us. (She arrived from the South 9th Aug. 1876).  We stayed three days, Vidling, baby and I. --  Then we left for Lincoln - leaving Mamie with Ma.  We stayed the winter, Got back on the Medicine the last day of March.
     April 21st  Sunday night - 1877  - I lost my mother!  For one week after we came she seemed well.  Taken suddenly ill, and suffered great agony for three weeks.  But I think she died almost free from pain!  How I thank God for this thought.  And more --- I believe she died --- what can I say?  Were angel-voices whispering to her half-freed spirit the "beautiful story" she tried to tell me?

     My mother was buried on "Sunset Hill," the 1st day of May.  What can I say?  - I have lost the most unselfish friend, the truest, the tenderest, that I ever had, or ever will have.  One that was and would have been, the same to me, whether I was worthy or unworthy - always the same -- always true and utterly unselfish!  What more can I say of my loss? -- Death has taken from me, what Life can never give again.

Aug 2nd '77

     My journal promises to abound in dates and blanks. ----- I am all alone this evening - except Baby, of course - (Asleep!)
     Mamie has started out on horseback, alone, for Stockville.  Coulter (pere!) has not gotten back yet. - Will be here this evening or tomorrow, I expect. -- We have gotten on without him nicely!  Too busy to be lonely!  Too busy to think.  I wonder how many of us realize what a blessing work is? -------

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