January 2, 1875
My dear mother is 70 tomorrow & Mary, her dutiful daughter in law has with the help of two or three of our kind neighbors, prepared her a "surprise." Kate & I went up at 10 AM to help [........ ]. The house was festooned-an elegant lunch prepared-presents set in order-old friends gathered & mother summoned from a neighbor where she had gone as she supposed on a bonafide visiting expedition by invitation.
-She was thoroughly surprised but has so much self-poise she didnt show it much. Mary said "She didn't shatter worth a cent!" Dear Mother! I thought about our Mary who died & how much she would have loved to be here today! Must arrange to have Mother with me as soon as possible. This way I don't think natural or the best though she is so wedded to that pleasant Cottage father left her, I don't know as she will ever leave it.
January 3, 1875
Trying to be "in a prepared state" for tomorrow-AM "All Day Temperance Prayer Meeting! In PM went to hear Mr. Kittridge of 3d Presbyterian Ch-at Farwell Hall-on "Immanuel-God with us." He is, to my mind, the Gospel Preacher of Chicago.
January 4, 187 5
All day meeting-not so well attended as I had hoped-but encouraging in character. Weather bitterly cold, which explains absence of many. Dear Mrs. Case has a bereavement-loss of a nephew. Dear Mrs. Rounds is, she writes, "thoroughly broken up-