Rebecca Parkington and Josefina Montoya
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Dearest Josefina,              1.24.08
Oh my, a letter all the way from
Mexico City
?  How exciting!  How was your journey?  And what are you learning from your Teea Macalena?  Oh dear, how do you spell her name?  I am quite intrigued by this bell dress idea.  You must show me the patterns.  I cannot quite picture what it looks like!  Oh, I have an absolutely splendid idea…you must come over and let me draw your portrait!  You can show me your bell dress patterns, and we can sew together, and then we can have a nice big supper.
Francisca may come as well.  Would not that be marvelous?  I do not see Megan and Alison regularly, for they are the scullery maids.  However, as long as they show up, they have not been a problem, luckily.
Sincerely, Rebecca K. Parkington

Dear Rebecca,                  1/20/08
I believe that Rebecca had one about an egg being friend and I forget which one Heather had.  I am going to start making a new dress that is going to look like a bell!!  It is going to be very hard but my new blue fabric has inspired me to try it.  I’m sure that you wouldn’t make a fool of yourself in art class!  You were just as good as Kirsten and I!  How are Megan and Alison behaving?  Si, I was off for
Mexico City the other day and I am happy to say that I made it here safely, for I am writing from Mexico City!  I have already learned so much! 
Here’s your word: caballo
Means: the horse
Love, Josefina

My Dear Josefina,                      January 9th, 2008
I am so sorry for the unforgivably late reply!  I shall try and respond to my letters more promptly this year.  It is my new resolution.  Oh how sweet. What poems were Heather and Rebecca given?  No, I am afraid I have no sewing projects started at the moment…
I will start one at the next sewing circle, however. 
Here is your word in French: Le bebe
Means: the baby

Samantha, Teresa and I are about to have our first art lesson with the famous Italian painter Fillipo Caravaggio.  I am so nervous!  I have never really been very talented at drawing; not like you or Kirsten anyway.  What if I make a fool of myself?  Oh dear… I saw you ride past our house today, are you going to
Mexico again?
Sincerely, Rebecca K. Parkington

Dear Rebecca,                  2/27/07
Right now Rebecca and Heather are memorizing their poems that Samantha gave them, I really like the ones that Samantha picked for them! 
J  Are you making any dresses at the moment?  What is “fern hill” about?  We just recovered from our severe flood and we are planning on doing laundry soon.  Your Valentine’s party was really fun and thank you for holding it!  Clara has just stocked up with Easter candy, mmmm….
Here is your word: Teja
Means: Weave

Love, Josefina

Dear Josefina,                  September 20th, 2006
Oh dear, that was rather naughty of Francisca to buy something with your money, particularly because you had not given her your consent!  At the moment Samantha is down in the music room memorizing a lovely and romantic poem of the title “Tintern Abbey,” by William Wordsworth.
I am planning on starting to memorize a poem by Dylan Thomas titled: “Fern Hill.”  Have you heard of it?  Samantha and I are thinking of holding a holiday recital in which we might recite our poems.  Wouldn’t that just be lovely? 
Here is your word: Mademoiselle
Means: Miss

Sincerely, Rebecca K. Parkington

Dear Rebecca,                  September 13th, 2006
Francisca bought some coffee when we first went to the general store (she wasn’t supposed to) and then hid it and told all of us not to tell Mama and Papa.  But Papa found out where it was and Francisca got in big trouble, the worst part of it was that she used my momeny to pay for it!  My rancho is muchos bueno!  Have you ever tried deep-friend ice cream?  It is delicioso!  It is a tortilla with a scoop of deep-friend ice cream with a sugary strawberry sauce on top!  I only get it on special occasions. 
Here is your word: dulceria
means: sweet shop!

Love, Josefina

Dearest Josefina,              August 28th, 2006
I have not yet had the considerable pleasure of visiting the Merriman’s General store yet, although Teresa has, and brought back some delightful Georgian Peach tea which I enjoyed immensely over breakfast this morning.  It goes excellently with breakfast ham and
Saratoga potatoes, I must say!  How is your rancho?  You and Francisca are such an inspiration to me because you are always so busy and happy.  Our art instructor has not made an appearance at my house as of this afternoon because his/her flight from New York was delayed.
Here is your French word: Heureux
Means: happy!

Write soon dear!  Sincerely, Rebecca K. Parkington

My dear Rebecca,             August 20th, 2006
Have you seen Felicity’s father’s new store?  I believe that he has done a fine job, all of his goods are of top quality which is a good sign.  Papa is roasting some freshly caught salmon for dinner tonight and I am looking forward to eating it!  I am glad that Alison is improving, I also agree that she will get some good experience from it.  Mama found a lot of yarns to use in our next weavings and I am very excited about using them.
Here is your Spanish word: Jardin (pronounced HAR-deen)
Means: garden!
Yes, I do babysit baby Peder sometimes.  He is very sweet!  Have you taken any art lessons yet?
Love, Josefina

Dear Josefina,                  August 17th, 2006
Well, as to your questions about Alison, I really cannot give very accurate answers as she is but the scullery maid, and thus is most often in the kitchen, a room reserved for the servants.  From what Mrs. Hawkins has informed me, however, she has rather an attitude problem.  Apparently she’s still having trouble taking orders without question…I think that this is a good experience for her though, she seems to be learning a lot and becoming more responsible. 
Here is your French word!  Rit (pronounced REEH)
Means: laugh!
Oh yes, the food in
Spain is simply marvelous!  I must agree, baby Peder is the most darling little boy!  Do you get to babysit him often?  Do you still do any art?  We are going to hire an art tutor. 
Sincerely, Rebecca K. Parkington

My dear Rebecca,             8/2/06
You are welcome for the recipes!  How is Alison for a maid?  Is she good?  Is she bad?  Does she listen to you?  Gracias for the party!  It was so much fun!  The food and opera were fabulous. 
Here is your Spanish word: parada!

Means: stop!
No, I have never been to
Spain, what is it like there?  Do they have good food?  Isn’t Peder Anderson the cutest little baby?  He is so sweet!  I love babysitting him!  How have you been?
Love, Josefina

Dear Josefina,                  July 10th, 2006
Thank you so very much for the recipes!  I have handed them off to Mrs. Hawkins and she is willing to prepare them with our dinner this evening.  I am so very excited!  I believe there is a slight disturbance down in the servant’s quarters because Alison wants to be paid for her maid’s services but she has not yet finished working off her trial period. 
Here is your French word: La Maison
Means: The house!

Spain is very hot most of the time.  A little too hot for me, I think!  Have you ever been to Spain?  Yours truly, Rebecca K. Parkington

Dear Rebecca,                  May 31st, 2006
I was finally able to write down these recipes and I hope you will enjoy them!  I just brought Britta and Rebecca and Heather back from
Proper School.  What was it like in Spain? 
Here is your Spanish word: cebolla
Means: onion!

You’ll be needing that one for the recipes!  If you have any questions on the recipes just call me.  Love, Josefina Montoya

Dear Josefina,                  April 18th, 2006
I am quite sorry that you were not able to send the guacamole recipe because it sounds delicious!  I believe I may have had the pleasure of tasting some whilst I was vacationing in
Spain a few years ago and I would love for Mrs. Hawkins to be able to whip some up for supper if she only had the recipe.
Here is your French word: Fenetre
Means: window!

I hope all is well!  Give my kindest regards to your family!
Sincerely, Rebecca K. Parkington

Dear Rebecca,                  4/6/06
Papa’s pimientos are potatoes spiced with pepper and other spices.  You really should try guacamole!  It tastes really good when Mama makes it!  I am sorry but I cannot give you the recipe for it right now seeing as Alexandra Chen has it.  My healing business it going fine and well except I am running out of herbs. 
Here is your Spanish word of the day: Derecha (Deh-reh-chah)
Means: right

My little sisters are fine and enjoyed
Proper School a lot!  Well, I should go help Mama!
Love, Josefina

My Dear Josefina,            3/10/06
What are Papa’s pimientos?  Hehee, daddy vegetables?  No I have never tried guacamole before but it sounds delicious!  Could you send me the recipe?  It sounds sort of Italian, like Mr. Wickon’s first name, Giacamo, doesn’t it?  How is your healing business going? 
Here is your French word: chat (Shah)
Means: cat!

How are your little sisters?  I haven’t really thought about the festival yet… It’s so far away.
Sincerely, Rebecca K. Parkington

Dear Rebecca,                  March 6th, 2006
Right now Francisca is making papa’s pimientos and guacamole for lunch.  Have you ever tasted guacamole before?  It’s really good!
Here is your word: el pevlo

Means: the dog
No I do not have my pets walked by Megan and Alison McCann.  How are Teresa’s singing lessons coming along?  How is Mrs. Wickon for a teacher?  Is she good?  I can’t wait for the festival this summer!  Mama was thinking of having a booth of knitted blankets and a Mexican restaurant!  Do you have any ideas?  Well, I should go eat Francisca’s lunch!
Love, Josefina

Dear Josefina,                  February 9th, 2006
Well we are all feeling just fine here now thanks to your excellent healing!  I hope that Rebecca’s influenza goes away soon!  For dinner we have a wide variety of different foods, but mostly French cuisine.  I love your idea of exchanging Spanish and French words!
Here is your word: Le Courrier (Koo-ree-air)
Means: the mail
Do you have your pets walked by Megan and Alison?
Sincerely, Rebecca K. Parkington

Dear Rebecca,                  2.3.06
Heather is recovering from a fever, and Rebecca is getting over the influenza but other than that they are bueno!  What colors are your new fashionable dresses?  Pink?  Purple?  Does Teresa have a good voice?  What do you usually eat for dinner?  I am very hungry for lunch right now!  How about every letter we exchange a French word for a Spanish word?  Wouldn’t that be fun? 
Here is the word for the week: El correo ( Ko-ray-oh)
Means: mail

Love, Josefina Montoya

Dear Josefina,                  January 15th, 2006
Oh ramilletes are so cute!  Right now Teresa is practicing her singing because Suzanne Wickon is about to come over to teach her. 
Elizabeth is learning how to play the violin.  She absolutely loves practicing and teaching herself songs.  It is quite surprising!  We just got a large batch of new fashionable dresses from Paris, I cannot wait to try them on!  How are the little girls in your family?  Heather and Rebecca?  Write soon dear!
Sincerely, Rebecca K. Parkington

Dear Rebecca,                  1/11/06
Ramilletes are Christmas decorations that we put around our house around Christmas.  They are pine branches decorated with stars and circles.  I have the hiccups right now and they are making this pen wobble.  Whoops!  Right now Francisca and Clara are cleaning the kitchen, Rebecca is rolling out her bed, Heather is with the chickens that I got for Christmas, Antonio is wandering around, Mama and Papa are in the prayer room, and Juan is…where is he?  I hope he hasn’t gotten into any mischief, I had better go check!
Love, Josefina

Dear Rebecca,                  12/1/05
I am sorry it has taken so long for you to receive this letter but I have only just gotten yours!  What did you mean by Francisca didn’t enjoy it?  She wasn’t there at all!  (??)  I made RAMILLETES with my sisters last night- it was very fun!  Then Rebecca set up the manger scene while Mama read us the story of Jesus.  Yesterday was crazy!  Antonio was sticking dead fish in peoples’ hair and he actually tried to lasso me with a rope and I almost got strangled!  Well, please write back!
Love, Josefina

My Darling Josefina,                  October 16th, 2005
No, I really must say that I firmly disapprove of Suzanne’s gossip column.  Her snide remarks about your family were absolutely unprecedented and I was shocked that she could even write those horrible falsehoods about you and your sisters.  Also her nerve in not inviting you and your family to the Masked Ball! How rude!!!  I don’t really think you would have enjoyed it though anyway.  Francisca certainly didn’t.
Sincerely, Rebecca K. Parkington

Dear Rebecca,                            September 9th, 2005
Do you like Suzanne’s gossip column?  I certainly do not.  Seeing as I was basically mentioned in every sentence!  I am enjoying art class a lot seeing as I got an A+ the other day!  In the next scene in drama we have a big scene together.  We should definitely practice together!  Waaa!  I only have 3 more pages of this lovely stationary!  Well, Buenos Notches!
Love, Maria Josefina Manuela Montoya

My Darling Josefina,                  8/29/05
School starts tomorrow!  I am so very excited!  Isn’t it wonderful that Mrs. Millman is doing art class again?  Why did Clara make herself a hula dancing skirt?  I heard through the grapevine that she is in the hospital?  That is dreadful news!!  What happened to her?  Since you’re usually so busy school will seem like a nice break then, probably.  I got my fashionable dress today!  It’s lovely!  I would wear it to school, but I’ve decided to only wear it on special occasions.
Love, Rebecca K. Parkington
P.S. Snowball is fine!  He says: “Thank you for asking!” (In doggy language.)

Dear Rebecca,                  August 16th, 2005
I don’t really have any free time!  It seems when all of us finish our chores it is dinnertime, then prayers, then bed.  And then the next day we do the same thing!  Did you know that in the next movie I am the star?  I love your stationary, it looks very Mexican!  Right now Francisca is cooking, Mama is dusting jars, Alison is curling Rebecca’s hair, Heather is gardening, and Papa, Juan and Antonio are in the fields with the goats and Clara is making a hula dancing skirt for herself.
Samantha should open
Proper School again!  I must say that in this household everyone’s manners have gone bad except Papa, Mama, Francisca and me!  And Teresa could learn the National Anthem again!
Love, Josefina

Dear Josefina,                  January 4th, 2005
I am so very sorry that I haven’t written, but you see I’ve been very busy working on our mansion!  We just got our windows installed and I moved my room down to where Teresa’s used to be.  It is so cozy now!  Remember how we were beginning to send poems?  Well, enclosed is a poem called “The Waterfall,” which I wrote just for you.  Don’t you have a waterfall on your Rancho?  Samantha and I have a wonderful idea for our birthday party.  But I’m not going to give it away, I’ll just tellyou this:  You’re invited of course!
The Waterfall – by Rebecca Parkington
A soft tinkling is heard
like a singing bird,
but a bird it is not,
for it is the tinkle of a tiny stream,

A stream flowing into a river,

A river that gleams.
But as this river continues,

It suddenly drops off a ledge,

And is thrust into sunlight. 
It sparkles and dances like a rainbow,

Before blowing into the ground

Where it joins together,

Forming an even greater flow

Of swirling, twinkling water. 

Love, Rebecca K. Parkington

Dear Josefina,                  January 3rd, 2005
How lovely to get a letter from you dear!  What are ramilletes?  Goodness gracious!  Dead fish?  In your hair??  How awful!  You should try to teach Antonio some manners! Perhaps when Samantha begins
Proper School again he could attend.  Samantha is practicing her opera singing right now.  Hehe.  The New Year’s ball was so lovely, don’t you agree?  It was so delightful to chat with you and your sisters!  We are getting a new addition to our house installed soon, the front porch and front door!
Love, Rebecca K. Parkington

Dear Josefina,                  Feb. 13th, 2003
Oh, how lovely to hear from you!  Your stationary is very cute. 
J  Thank you for writing to me.  I’m sorry that your house is messy, maybe if I come over I can help you clean it!  Why do you have to dump your foot in milk????  Isn’t it lovely that the mail is going again?  I heard that the Larsons are opening a food stand, isn’t that a great idea?  Well, say hello to Dolores for me!
Sincerely, Rebecca K. Parkington

Dear Josefina,                  October 24th, 1999
Hello!  What are your brother and sister’s names?  Guess what?  The school is having a Halloween party!  Maybe you guys could come!  There is going to be a haunted house and everything!  How is everyone in your part of town?  Laura got walls, a roof, windows and a door!  Maybe you could come see it on Tuesday!  Well, I’ve got to go.  Sincerely, Rebecca K. Parkington


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