Dear Diary, by Virginia Schulze
January 3, 1912 - Charles announced we’re moving from Dallas out West of the city to be closer to the lumber mill. It’s such a happy time in our lives and we are quite the social couple. How am I going to adjust? I’m not even sure why Julius and Agnes decided to go back to Iowa and leave my Charles in charge. Some say Agnes couldn’t stand the heat. I think it was just too far from civilization way out there.
February 26, 1912 - They call it Irving. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not totally void of people. There are little communities already, but none like my home here in Dallas. Now as Momma says, a wife’s place is in the home next to her husband. I guess it’s time I stop writing in my diary and get busy with the wheel.
March 6, 1912 - This is more than I hoped for. Today we packed a picnic and traveled to Irving to look at our new house. It’s almost finished. It's beautiful and the rooms are large. There’s a great deal of trees in the area, with plenty of shade for the summer. I can’t wait to start my orchard and garden. The advertisement for Irving said it’s in the center of the "best fruit and vegetable land on the earth."
June 23, 1912 - I’ve never seen more perfect Elberta peaches that grow out here in Irving. We’ve only been in this house for two months but already the trees and my garden are almost ready for picking. There are now four churches here, including our brand new Catholic church. And no saloons! It’s so much closer to the lumber yard, and I don’t have to worry about Charles making the long and treacherous trip every day. I know the chickens are happy out here because the eggs they lay are plentiful. I think this is a great place to raise a family.
November 14, 1912 - The doctor confirmed it. We are expecting our first child soon. I hope it’s a boy. If it is, I’m going to name him Charles, after his father. As generous as the sun is in the summer, the winters here have strong winds and rain. It’s not as cold as back up in Iowa City where we visited Charles’ mother. But just yesterday I got caught out in the wind without my parasol and bonnet. It was right cold. The lumber business is growing and Charles spends most of his time at the mill. He says he’ll spend more time with me at Christmas though.
December 24, 1912 – It’s Christmas Eve and I can barely fit on the stool at the spinning wheel. This baby has grown so big. But Charles will be surprised tomorrow when I present his scarf. I just need a little more wool spun on the wheel and I’ll have enough yarn to finish. The house is so very quiet today, except for our warm, crackling fireplace. The Lively’s from down the street gave us welcome with a grand fruit cake. It even snowed last night.
January 2, 1913 – It’s a boy! We named him Charles, just as I wanted. He is a healthy eater and has healthy lungs. He will grow up here in Irving and help his dad with the lumber business. He will be active with the Catholic Church just like his dad. He may even become mayor of this town. Do you know there are already 500 people who live here? I couldn’t begin to meet them all. They’re building a fine school made from red brick near us. It should be finished by the end of this year. Little Charles will go to school there when he’s old enough. I’ve already met Mr. Haley, the President of the Board of Trustees. He is a nice man and his wife makes the best peach pies.
May 14, 1957 – I found this old diary in the back of the closet. It’s fun reading how our little town began. A town of 500 sounds so small since we've now grown over 5,000. Alas, sadness overwhelms my heart because I know that my beloved husband, Charles, is not long on this earth. We have lived here in this house for the past 45 years and raised our beautiful children. It’s quiet in the house today, just like I remember on Christmas Eve the year we moved in. What a lot of changes we’ve seen in this area since then. My greatest hope is that people of Irving will know the history of this wonderful place and the loving people who helped build it. I hope they won’t forget the hardships we endured, and will rejoice in the tremendous growth of our community. I know somehow I can tell everyone our story, I’m just not sure how.