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Felicity Merriman and Samantha Parkington
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My Dear Felicity,                       1.9.08
How good to hear from you again and all your thoughts about the affects of the seasons on a person’s thoughts.  I am so glad that the new year is here now and that I can finally begin to work on new projects like my ballgown and a few other dresses, building up our library and planning more proper school classes for everyone!
I should also like to be a bit more accomplished in my cooking.  Do you have any new goals for this year?  Some things you would like to accomplish?
Are you still having the New Year’s ball?
Sincerely, Samantha E. Parkington

Dear Samantha,                          June 20th, 2007
Ah yes, the changing of seasons…I really have to say that I prefer those leading up to summertime than the months leading into the winter,  You may wonder why, and I shall tell you!
Since it becomes darker leading into the winter, I get increasingly depressed at the prospect of being confined inside the house with my many duties and responsibilities.  The summer, however, provides a larger amount of freedom as I can roam the grounds with my dear horse Penny.
(As long as I have remembered my bonnet!  Heaven forbid I should become brown and freckly…)
At the moment, my father and brother are learning to play the game of chess.  Do you know how to play it?  I should like to learn.
Well, I must conclude this missive as I have been instructed to consult my list.  I trust you and your family are in perfect health,
Yours truly, Felicity Merriman

My dear Felicity,                        2.11.07
How are you doing in the changing of the seasons?  I am thrilled with the idea that spring will be here soon.  I can’t wait to see all the flowers popping up with their sweet little faces and their beautiful smells.  I am tired of all this rain and staying inside doing tax paperwork.
It’s time to DO something! I’ve started working on our library.  I need to get an inventory of all the books in Pleasantville so I know what books we need to copy and bind ourselves (since most people want to keep things like cookbooks).
Anyway, please write back soon!
Sincerely, Samantha E. Parkington

My dear Samantha,                    1.1.07
I am in such a flutter!  Our annual New Year’s ball is this evening and mother has gone and fainted on the couch at the prospect of all the work that is to be done, leaving me in charge of the meal preparations!  I confess myself extremely vexed and am at my wit’s end waiting for William to return from the market with my groceries- Lord help him if he should dawdle!  I hope your Christmas was full of good cheer!  I was given two lovely new gowns as well as a copybook and a porcelain bowl.

I pity you indeed!  It must be dreadful to have to move every December to make room for the Nutcracker.  You are more accommodating than I should be in your position, I assure you… remember me to Rebecca, I hope she is well. 
Your affectionate and loving friend,
Felicity Merriman

My dear Felicity,                        September 14th, 2006
I have begun thinking about decorating my room more nicely lately.  I mean, the walls are just so bare and white and they could really use some nice wallpaper, and I should love to have a nice windowseat or something to make it more cozy in here.  I also need lots of new dresses.

Rebecca and I have already begun working on our Christmas presents, can you believe it?!  Yes, we have some Christmas traditions, like decorating the entire house from head to toe in festive greenery…we also like singing Christmas carols and holding lovely Christmas concerts and such.
Of course, we are still sort of developing our traditions, as our household gets interrupted during Nutcracker season every year.
Sincerely, Samantha E. Parkington

My Dear Samantha,                    August 31st, 2006
I am glad to hear that your gardener did not use backward tactics and trickery to win first prize at the garden contest.  Your garden is lovely and deserved first prize, but Suzanne’s single bush (hardly an entire garden, I might add) did not deserve second.  Aye, using perfume most certainly should be against the rules!  Oh, I do believe I know what tennis is now that you describe it, only I call it Shuttlecock and Battledore.  It is pretty much the same thing as tennis.

Today Mother found some lovely shimmery green fabric which I am going to make into a fancy gown for the New Year’s ball.  I am rather excited for it this year and Christmas as well.  Do you have any yuletide traditions?  Mother and Father let each of us children open one present on Christmas eve, we prepare a twelfth night cake (with a pea in it) and burn a large yuletide log throughout December. 
Well, I will see you tomorrow at your house for the Sewing Circle!
Affectionately,
Felicity Merriman

My dear Lissie,                           August 21st, 2006
Now that I think of it, it is quite ridiculous that Suzanne’s rose bush placed higher than your mother’s garden.  Lily does such lovely work, she should be recognized for it.  Oh and what a scandal for Suzanne to cover her bush in perfume!  That should be against the rules of the contest!  Hawkins did not employ any such backward tactics, I can quite assure you.
As to tennis, it is quite a lovely sport that was just started up as a fashionable one.  It goes like this:  Two players face each other across a vertical net and try to get a ball flying between them, using rackets to swat the bat with.
It is a very active sport and I have to wear a costume that nearly resembles pants, because I have to move so fast.
Surely you’ve heard of tennis?!
Sincerely, Samantha E. Parkington

Dear Samantha,                          August 17th, 2006
Well yes, fashions are quite different in countries across the world.  I suppose that we shall just have to agree that the French fashions differ greatly from those of the English.  Well, I am afraid that my mother was not quite so pleased as your gardener over the results of the garden contest.  You see, she feels that it was unfair for Suzanne Wickon’s rose bush to place second over her whole garden which received third, when Suzanne’s bush was completely covered in artificial rose scent.  (Her perfume, no less!)  The whole affair has mother rather disheartened.  However, I feel that your gardener readily deserved his first prize, for your gaden is always to be admired whenever I lay my eyes on it.
I simply cannot say the same about Mrs. Wickon’s bush, however.  It disturbs me that she can get away with such trickery undetected!

Oh I could never take up swimming, mother simply would not allow it.  We are only allowed a bath once a month, after all!  And what is tennis?  I have never heard it mentioned before.  My dear Samantha, you do not realize how lucky you are to have such freedom!  How I envy you!
Love, Lissie

My dear Felicity,                        August 13th, 2006
Well, the only explanation that I can think of to explain this discrepancy would be that your Williamsburg fashions might be a little bit behind the current world agenda for la mode.
After all, Pleasantville hasn’t even got the news yet- only
France, for that’s where it all begins, of course.
Oh yes, wasn’t that garden contest a wonderful affair?  Hawkins is still grinning in pride everywhere he goes around his gardening practices because he got such a wonderful certificate and ribbon and such for winning first place.  How did your mother do?  I never did hear the full results.
Well, my dear Felicity, you really should take physical education or take up swimming or tennis if you long to be active.  They are too much work for me, though. 
Sincerely, Samantha E. Parkington

My dear Samantha,                    July 31st, 2006
It surprises me to hear about shorter and smaller skirts being fashionable, for ‘twas but yesterday that my father informed myself and my family of the fact that the fashions in
Williamsburg call for long, full skirts.  In fact, the fuller the better!  (A fact that my father advertises at his store in Virginia.)  I really can’t imagine being allowed to leave your bedchamber in a gown that reaches above the ankles, as you say.  But I suppose there is no one to keep you from it.  How very lucky you are!  My mother would never allow me to do such a thing.  Oh how I would be delighted if I were allowed to run free in breeches.  Skirts can be so restricting!  I do despise having to ride Penny side-saddle.  It is dreadfully dull and also succeeds in keeping Penny at an extremely slow pace!  Jumping fences is absolutely out of the question… at the moment Mr. Bill Polar is residing in my bedchamber, as he judeges the town gardeners, so I am forced to retreat to the kitchen.
I hope you are well and happy!
Yours, Felicity

Dear Felicity,                             July 10th, 2006
How excellent to hear from you again.  We just returned from a lovely vacation to
New York, which was very excellent and I bought a few lovely new dresses and more jewelry.  I have also started to sew a few pretty dresses from a catalogue for Teresa.
She will always be quite well-dressed if I can have anything to do with it.  It is very fashionable to have stripes on dresses these days, and skirts are smaller and shorter now than ever before. 
Why, my new dress reaches above my ankles!  Can you believe the things designers get up to these days?  I admire the designs, however, because they allow us women to actually be able to move with more freedom than ever.  Now we could even run if we wanted, without tripping and falling!
Well, please do write soon!
Sincerely, Samantha E. Parkington

Dear Samantha,                          6.1.06
Yes, the baby shower did turn out rather nicely, I think!  I made a soft gray blanket for Lara, which I do hope she finds useful.  It bothers me that it is so hard to write at the top of this stationary!  The adhesive makes it rather difficult.  My father is going to open a general store downtown soon.  It is going to be wonderful!  He will sell many things; tea, flour, sugar, salt, fabric, spices, soap, dolls, ribbons, teasets, and many other accessories.
I would ask you how proper school was going, except that I have already heard excellent reports on it from both Nancy and Rachel.
At the present, I am working on a yellow gown with brown accents.  I plan on making my next one out of blue floral print fabric.  Are you sewing anything?
I hope that you and everyone in your house are in excellent health! 
Love, Felicity

P.S. A rather sloppy portrayal of my sun bonnet.

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My dear Lissie,                           5.17.06
Oh how your letter made me giggle!  It is such a lovely image to see
Nan skipping around doing the Virginia reel.  Of course, that dance IS very much in your time period, so it must be quite appropriate.
Yes, I believe that sewing circle IS at our house this week, if we have it.  The last one was the baby shower at your house, which was a wonderful effort by your mother.  I think that Auntie Lara appreciated it immensely, because it was all work that she couldn’t have done in time and would have had to be doing NOW, while her new baby screams for attention!
Besides, it was also a lovely chance to visit among the families and contemplate the reason why we were all there – the little baby!
He is such a darling, I’ve never seen such a good little baby.  He’ll be a wonderful young man when he gets bigger.
Here is a picture of
Elizabeth in the music room.  I made her look rather like a monkey, I’m afraid!
Sincerely, Samantha E. Parkington

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Dear Samantha,                          April 4th, 2006
I am sorry to hear of Teresa’s many accidents!  It sounds like she is alright though, so my mind is put at ease. 
Nan and Rachel just got home from their first proper school lesson which they both seem to have enjoyed immensely.  Rachel has already begun to memorize her flower fairy poem and Nan cannot contain herself from hopping around in the Virginia reel as she does her chores. 
I hope to see you at sewing circle this week!  Where is it to be held?  Your house?
Best wishes, Lissie

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My dear Felicity,                        3.9.06
Well, here I am again trying to catch up on all my wonderful correspondence with my lovely friends.  I’m happy to hear all your news about your family and your household, how busy you must be without dear Sunny to help you out!  At the moment I am sitting out on my front veranda and observing Teresa trying to learn how to get onto a bicycle that we bought for her.  She is really having the hardest time, first stepping up and then losing her balance, then trying to make it all right again by raising the other foot just so…only to come crashing down again because the first foot has slipped off to allow the second a little resting space.  Too bad!  She will get the trick soon, I think, because she is trying so many times. 
Elizabeth asked for a skateboard, but we decided she would be better with a scooter of some sort.  They are less likely to crash, I believe.  Here is a picture of Teresa falling off her bike.  Poor darling!
Sincerely, Samantha E. Parkington

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My dear Samantha,                    3/5/06
I fear it has been a dreadfully long time since I last sent you a letter.  I am truly sorry!  Lately we’ve just been working on our house and sewing and cooking.  Yesterday, Father repaired our barn and built a privy.  Mother started her flower garden as well. It smells so beautiful!
Rachel made veal balls and dressed eggs for supper and it is on the table now so I shall have to leave off here and go sup.
I hope all is well and that your family is in good health.
Love, Lissie
P.S. Do you remember how we used to draw pictures on our letters?  Why don’t we do it again!

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My Dear Felicity,                       1.15.06
Oh yes, I would be very pleased if the sewing circles began again for I was thinking of starting a sewing project!  I’d love to make some lovely dinner napkins or a landscape painting or maybe an embroidery of some sort.  I got this stationary for myself as a Christmas present, do you like it?  It reminds me of gardening.  Did you hear that there is going to be a front garden contest?  I think there is a prize, too.  I’d love to enter the contest- I’m so very excited about planting our
Spring Garden this year!  I’ll have to plant lots of roses, of course, but I would also just LOVE to have a lilac tree, as we live on “Lilac Avenue.”
Will you and your mother be entering?  You always seem to be a gardening family.  Speaking of which, how IS your family?  And your house?  I’d heard you are working on it!
Sincerely,
Samantha E. Parkington

Dear Samantha,                          January 6th, 2005
Thank ye for the kind compliment to my butterfly mask!  Your mask was beautiful as well, and so was your gown!  I had such a lovely time talking with you at the New Year’s ball.  ‘Tis sad that we hardly see each other anymore!  Perhaps sewing circles shall start again soon.  I certainly hope so.  Actually, I am pleased to say that Rachel is not getting out of hand anymore, in fact she has taken quite a turn for the better!  Since she has stopped spending so much time with Sonja and more with Teresa and gotten rid of her fashionable things, she has gotten so much better!
Love, your friend, Felicity

My dear Felicity,                        10.16.05
Well, what an evening that ball was last night!  Mrs. Wickon chose a brilliant location for it, wouldn’t you agree?  I wasn’t even aware that that piece of land was out there, I thought we owned all of the land along
Lilac Avenue, but I guess not.  Oh well, whoever’s land it was, it was perfect for the occasion.  I must tell you that your mask was my favorite of all those gathered there -  what a beautiful idea to have a butterfly mask.  Did you enjoy it?

Oh your fashion must be just lovely!  Gold is such a divine color.
So how is your family?  Rachel is not getting TOO out of hand, is she?
She seems fine whenever I come over for tutoring.  Maybe you just need to become her role model, rather than Sonja or someone.
That could work, possibly?
Love, Samantha E. Parkington

Dear Samantha,                          August 29th, 2005
You sit on your roof and drink lemonade?  That sounds quite dangerous if you ask me!  Of course being adventurous is “fashionable” if you ask Rachel.  I seriously don’t know where all this nonsense is coming from unless Rachel made it all up.  Guess what, my fall fashion is going to be gold!  I think it will be lovely, if it ever gets made. 
Nan is making a big fuss upstairs because Rachel moved in where Megan’s room used to be.  Oh dear, it’s extremely quiet up there now… I don’t think that is a good thing!  Nan snores when she is sleeping… 
Love, Felicity

Dear Felicity,                             July 31st, ‘05
Yes, I can’t pretend I didn’t notice that your sister Rachel has changed overnight…she looks so much older now!!
We never had our house inspected because the plan was called off before Mr. Murphy got around to hour house.
J
Right now I’m sitting out on my roof where I can see my front garden very well.  I like it up here, especially when Hawkins brings me lemonade.  Right now Rebecca is at the dress shop being fitted for the summer fashions!
Sincerely, Samantha E. Parkington

Dear Samantha,                          April 10th, 2005
Goodness gracious, spring cleaning takes a lot out of one!  Inspired by your idea, my family has decided to have a garage sale, which is proving to be a lot more work than I expected!  Yes, I’ve been teaching Elinor how to play the flute for quite a while now, and Britta Larson as well.  Although it is a rare occasion when they show up at their lessons, they have become rather good at it if I do say so myself.  I do hope you get well soon!
Much love,
Felicity

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