For such I will insist on calling you though you haven't answered it since the days of your childhood. I thank you for the letter you wrote regarding our welfare but aside from your dreams of fancy there has been little to worry about on the Winthrop estate. Your father publishes seldom these days, having found the world much changed since the days of his boyhood. Without the ever-present Red Menace, he finds few subjects truly worthy of a spy novel but has been considering writing a paranoia-saturated thriller -- I blame Dan Brown.
As for your mother, I have been exceedingly well. The new town doctor, a quiet young lad named (most unfortunately!) Grendel, has been teaching me about chi and relaxation and my old headaches and back pain are all but gone. He claims to have first practised his art in England (New and the real one) rather than the far off Orient, which is quite honest and rather refreshing, though his tales of "Mary and Collin" tend to be melancholy and he often asks about secret gardens on this estate with an air of sadness -- perhaps the two unfortunates fell down a concealed well, but I have not as yet pried such stories from him.
Speaking of wells, there turns out to be an old one on the back corner of the property, made of volcanized glass of all the absurd things. I have discovered several strange mosses growing on it that defy the rudimentary analysis of the microscope your dear father bought me and have sent samples off to the university in the hopes that someone can shed the light of day upon their peculiar nature.
I will reply with more information if I learn anything, but I fear I must end this letter with unseemly haste. Mr. Craven is insisting he's hearing dogs outside even though we own none. His fancies of a land of Tindalos are becoming quite unseemly in a grown man, but good help is hard to find and it is a measure of Christian charity that we tolerate the quirks of others.
Your loving mother,