Samantha Parkington and Francisca Montoya
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Dearest Samantha,                                  2-3-08
My church is called "casa de ore" or "house of prayer."  The church is located at the top of the hill near our house.  After I have gotten on top of my responsibilities, I am thinking of making a day dress out of a pinkish sunset material that I have already.  The idea for your dress sounds lovely, and I can't wait to see the fabric at the next sewing circle.  By the way, which house is it at next?  Are you planning an Easter ball this year?  Has Alison been a good maid?
Love, Francisca Montoya

Dear Francisca,                1.18.08
Your Christmas decorations sound lovely and seem like such less hassle than what we have to do every year!  I think that helping out at your church is a lovely idea.  Where is your church and what is it called?  I used to help out with Sunday school at the Pleasantville community church when we still had a building for it.  It’s a lovely feeling to devote your time for the benefit of those in your church family.
Teresa is usually very well-behaved.  It’s
Elizabeth we have to watch out for, usually.  She is so unpredictable.  I am working on drawings and plans for a new ball gown.  It’s going to be ice blue and very ruffly!
What about you?
Sincerely, Samantha E. Parkington

Dear Samantha,                          12.28.07
Our Christmas decorations are small and simple.  We have ramilletes which are stars made out of different colors of paper on sticks with pine boughs and we always put out our nativity on the mantle of our main fire.
I was thinking that perhaps I will spend some time every day helping out at my church and helping to re-adobe all of their walls.  What do you think?
I am also determined to do the laundry more often.  Does Teresa behave all the time?  Or do you have to keep a firm hand on her?  I miss visiting with you very much.  What are your latest interests?  How is the library coming along?  Are you going to make a new dress for the New Years ball?
Love, Francisca Montoya

My Dear Francisca,                    November 13, 2007
Let me first congratulate you on your beautiful prizewinning costume and hairstyle at the Masked Ball.  You looked positively stunning and completely deserved the prize.  At the moment I am sadly enjoying the last few days of having our full house before we have to remove the Green Parlor for the Nutcracker and set up all of our Christmas decorations.  It is such a hassle, and I really wish that we could have our full house once in a while for Christmas time.  When does your family usually put up your tree and decorate the rancho?  What kinds of decorations do you use?  I also hope the food rounds get done soon, as the entire town is completely out of food!  I don’t even have any tea left to sit and sip as I write to you.  Well, I hope your family is well and I will hear from you soon.
Sincerely, Samantha E. Parkington

Dear Samantha,                         
What do you think of the little girl Crème?  (I hear she is staying at your bed and breakfast.)  Right now I am trying to control Juan and Rebecca who are trying to do their chores but Rebecca keeps spilling the groceries and Juan …. Needs help constantly!  How is everyone?  I am hoping to go shopping for my hope chest platos sometime soon, but we are very busy!  Spring at our rancho means hot weather!!!  It also means time to get the goat’s wool, dye it, and make lots of weavings for the winter!  What flowers do you have in your jardin?  Well, I must help Mama with cena!
Sincerely, Francisca Isabel
Rosa Montoya

My Dear Francisca,                    2.11.07
Spring is around the corner!  I can feel it whenever we step outside for a walk around town.  I can’t wait for our garden to start popping up again with all our flowers and vines, and it will hopefully bring back the songbirds as well.  What does Spring mean at your rancho?  What kinds of things do you do to make way for warmer, drier days?  We are working on our sewing now, but soon as it’s warm enough we have to begin our spring cleaning.  We’ll empty the house and clean it from top to bottom.  (Which is quite a long ways!  Hehe!)
I must thank you and your family for finally doing the laundry the other day – I was starting to run out of things to wear so Rebecca and I both made new dresses!  Isn’t that funny?  Sincerely, Samantha E. Parkington

My Dear Samantha,                    10.1.06
I have finished my dress!  It is extremely Hermosa!  I am going to wear it to the masked ball, going to be a Brazilian lady with fruito in my hair!  What are you going to be?  Heather and Rebecca have both had their tea parties and hope proper school will start soon.  I must go and finish papas pimientos, love, Francisca

My Dear Francisca,                    9.4.06
Oh don’t worry about the stationary, I understand the sentiments of not having suitable writing papers, as I have often been in the same situation myself.  Yes, I am making myself a lovely green embroidered conservatory gown at the moment, which is lots of fun.  After that I’m going to begin my new light blue ball gown in the latest French style.  It has a huge long train with embroidered flowers tumbling down its length, a large open neck with simply mountains of lace.  I am so excited!  Your dress also looks like it will be the joie ala mode- I am very excited to see how it turns out.  Where did you get that divine yellow fabric?
Sincerely, Samantha E. Parkington

Dear Francisca,                          8.16.06
My dear, your new signature is quite beautiful!  I do admire your lovely handwriting.  Did you ever have any tutelage in piano skills at all?  I thought I’d heard either you or Josefina say you’d taken lessons from someone.  I am trying to re-learn all of my Chopin sonatas now that we’ve purchased a new grand piano.  It’s a really beautiful one and has a wonderfully deep, clear tone.  If you wanted to come over and play on it sometime, I’m sure you’d be more than welcome!  Did Josefina tell you about Pleasantville’s concerto competition?  You should begin practicing in case they hold it again sometime soon.  I am going to be ready this time and place better than before!  Did you read the latest gossip column?  Was it not perfectly scandalous?  Sincerely, Samantha E. Parkington

My Dear Samantha,                    6.1.06
For the last few days I have heard nothing but happy chitters from Rebecca and Heather about how wonderful
Proper School was and discussing it while they embroider on their samplers.  Heather has yet to memorize her poem, but I am sure she will do it with enthusiasm.  And how is your life faring?  Right now I am writing to you at the same time as I am flipping and cooking some tortillas.  It is very complicated.  Do write back!
Love, Francisca

My Dear Samantha,                    4/7/06
It has almost been a year since my arrival in Pleasantville.  Mama and I are planning an Easter feast, it is going to be a lot of work!  What is a bicycle?  I have never heard of it before.  My little sister enjoyed proper school quite a lot.  Right now she is begging to Mama for some lace for her sampler.  Rebecca enjoys singing and dancing, more than Heather.  I hope to hear from you soon.  Love, Francisca

My Dear Samantha,                    3/15/06
I enjoyed your Valentine party very much!  Did you enjoy my Carne de Vaca?  Your deviled eggs were superb!  Do you speak any other languages than English?  I am teaching the girls Spanish.  How is your dress for
Elizabeth coming along?  Are you going to have a stand at the festival?  I have never gone to a festival before.  I wonder if they will have a raffle again.  Well, I must go and make guacamole.
Love, Francisca Isabel
Rosa Montoya

My Dear Francisca,                    3.9.06
My goodness, you must do a lot of cooking around your house because in every letter you mention food!  Hehe.  I do love food, though so I don’t mind.
 Right now Teresa is trying to learn how to ride a bicycle.  It is going quite well, although her balance is sometimes a hard thing to deal with!  I have just finished planning out my
Proper School lessons.  I am so enchanted with the whole idea of teaching -  of guiding those young minds through fun and challenging activities that are actually going to help them for life.  I have planned out all of the activities and assigned everyone their new recitations.  Who of your sisters most enjoys singing and dancing?  (of the few that are going to attend my school.)  We are going to have quite a bit of fun learning the common Pleasantville ballroom dances and the manners which must be observed while executing them.  Oh I do love dancing, don’t you?  Well, I must go oversee supper.
Sincerely, Samantha E. Parkington

My Dear Francisca,                    1.14.06
Yes, Christmas was a very busy affair, wasn’t it?  We finally got our house back after the Nutcracker and our builders were finally able to make our front porch and parlor so now our house is very cozy because everything is nicely enclosed.  I’m a bit confused.  Why would you need a priest to come to your farm?  Couldn’t you just go to church?  There are lovely Christmas eve services held here in town, you know, with singing songs and
midnight candles and things.  Was the priest from Pleasantville?
Anyway, that is marvelous that you get to teach your sisters, although I thought I’d successfully taught them myself a few years ago.  Or are you teaching them Spanish?  Well, I must adjourn now, Hawkins is ringing the bell for Sunday brunch!
Sincerely, Samantha E. Parkington

Dear Samantha,                Jan. 2nd, 2006
I am sorry for not writing sooner, but you see I have been very busy because we had to make the house perfect for Christmas evening when a priest came over, and it was a very great honor that he could come to our house that night.  I just got back from the New Years party, it was lovely!  Mama is letting me teach the girls to read and write!  Well, I am sorry but I have quite a lot to do.  Love, Francisca

My Dear Francisca,                    October 13, 2005
I’m dreadfully sorry about how long it has taken me to write back to your letter!  I have been spending so much time helping out with the various Pleasantville charities.  We’re putting together these sweet little Christmas baskets for all of the poor people- to give them a bit of Christmas cheer.  At the moment I am trying to remember what our famous turkey recipe is so we can bring it to the Masked Ball later on this evening.  It is going to be such fun!  I am all dizzy with the excitement!  I can’t wait to see you and your sisters and all of your masks.  So what is new around your home?  Have you been doing any ballet practice?  Because the Nutcracker is almost upon us.  We’re determined to make a gingerbread house this year, we used to make one very year but have only recently really gotten settled in this house, so we’ll start this year.  I love gingerbread houses, don’t you?  Please write back soon!  Yours, Samantha E. Parkington

Dear Samantha,                          8/19/05
How are you?  I had lots of fun at the sewing circle the other day!  What is your favorite flower?  I would visit you but for all of the chores I must do.  Right now my little sister Rebecca is collecting ripe strawberries from our garden.  We are going to make a strawberry pie tonight; Clara is going to teach us all how, you see we only bake fancy bread for dessert so Clara is going to teach us!  Your life sounds very peaceful.  Allison just moved out of our house to live downtown on the bottom floor of Rose’s apartment, they are planning to start a pizza business.
Well please write back!
Love, Francisca Montoya


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