Title: Letter from Frances Haglund to her mother, 1/2/1944, (ddr-densho-275-1)
Densho ID: ddr-densho-275-1

January 2, 1944

Dear Mom,

Had I change, had I not felt so sleepy and had I thought that there would have been any chance in making connections the day after New Years I'd have telephoned this morning. I'm burning with [illegible]. Was the tentative date of Jan. 1 the date? Helen's letter telling of Christmas, David's coming and Dad's getting the flu and staying in Mpls. Is the only news I've had this week.

If Dad let David take the car and stayed [illegible] he really must have been seick. Hope that doesn't mean that the rest

you take your turns. I know you, Mom, aren't easily affected by such, but in your condition now it might not be so easy. I hope you'll stay in bed if you do succumb.

Today we are having a slushy snow and not much of it, either. Because the skies are grey it has been rather comfortable washing, [illegible] and shampooing my head. If I can get several notes and letters written all will be well.

The other evening we had a most entertaining time watching mocha-tsuki. Mochi is a special rice with a high gluten content that is used for the special New Year's celebration. The rice is steamed in wooden trays that look much like [illegible]. The trays

are stacked in much the same manner also – about five in number above the steam vat. After the steaming process the rice is emptied into a chopping block affair with a big depression in it. Men with huge wooden mallets then press and squeeze a while before taking their turns in the pounding process. They count those[?] and each man takes his turn. As they take turns the rhythm gets faster and faster until a new crew releases them. The over-seer[?] sang an oriental song [illegible] of the turns as the men pounded. Alice says in Japan that is part of the festivity. When the rice is a sticky mass it is thrown out on a table and the women squeeze off little pieces and pat them into shape. The finished product is much like a big baking powder biscuit but doesn't have as much

flavor. We tasted a special kind with a sweetened bean paste center. It's not my idea of a delicacy but it is a must for the soup served New Years breakfast. Each family also gets a big one with a little cake on top. This is decorated with a lobster and seaweed to indicate long life and happiness. On the seventh day after the New Year it is eaten.

New Year's eve [illegible] in and appearance at the carnival. There was very little to it but people seemed to enjoy milling around eating pop-corn and peanuts. We were in bed before eleven but the New Year came in without us.

New Year's Day was a regular work day for us except that at noon we had a project-raised capon dinner. In the evening Alice and I made a short dinner call on the Lights. Thus began our 1944.

Happy New Year!