14 August 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

I have spent the summer down here at work on a kind of short novel. Jack has been up the mountain side chez Elizabeth. I cannot breathe so high, I can only gasp. So they come down to me from time to time instead. He has been very happy with her, and I have loved it here. Sierre is such a fascinating small valley town, full of orchards & vineyards & funny little mountains that skip like young sheep. This hotel has a farm attached to it, too, and one can wander at will among the beasts and birds. I love farms - do you? Sometimes I wish Jack was a farmer & I was a farmers wife & wore a big apron & cut bread and butter for the children. There must be very solid joys in that.
   By the way this has been a marvellous year for dahlias. Do they grow well in Canada? We have saffron yellow, big spiked red ones, white ones and a little round bright orange kind - most lovely. As for the antirrhynms they are superb. I think I ought to have called them snap-dragons though. I'm sure that spelling is wrong. And do you grow zinnias? I wish I could see your garden. Dear little Jeanne seems to be a very fierce, successful gardener. We all as a family seem to inherit the tastes of our First Parents. [To Vera McIntosh Bell, 10 August 1922.]