Ma feeling better. Bess & I over to supper-Clara all alone. Came over home at 9.
I think this passage gives some credence to my cooking argument. Clara is clearly not alone if she's home and Ma is still in bed (And trust me, she is, she's in bed for days to come.) I think he's referring to the fact that Clara is alone taking care of Ma. Where are Pa and the brothers? Double shifts at the factory perhaps?