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Thursday, September 20, 2007

May, 1943

In the attic of the Adirondack house I find a large box full of letters that my grandmother had saved. I grab a few at random. These are all dated May, 1943, and were written by my mother, my father, and my mother's older sister. My mother was living in Bloomington then. I was two and a half. My father was a Navy doctor stationed in New Zealand. Lucy, my mother's older sister, was in Santa Barbara with her husband - an army doctor - and two young children.

Mom writes endlessly and in detail of my adorable doings and sayings. I would, if allowed, be happy to change outfits four times a day, complete with pinafore and fresh hankie. I know, apparently, all the "terms": embroidery, tuck, polka-dot, ruffle.... I refer to my long white nighties as "wedding dresses". My mother remarks they could more aptly be referred to as "wetting dresses". I announce that I have taken a bus ride to New Zealand. Who did you see there? Daddy!

My father communicates by "V-mail" (I hadn't seen one of those before). He wants a special kind of lighter. Matches are, apparently, hard to come by. My mother can't find it in Bloomington and asks my grandmother to see if she can get it in NY ("it costs about $1 I think; I will reimburse you"). Success - there is another V-mail - thanks so much for the lighter. Nobody seems to be too worried about the progress of the war. There's a lot of socializing, both in California and in New Zealand. My father suggests to his California brother-in-law that if he wants to see overseas action he had better hurry up; "we'll beat the Germans soon and then, in a few months, we'll finish off the Japs". He suggests that letters would reach him more quickly if 6 cents postage were used, instead of the usual 5 cents.

I put the letters back in the box. They've been there for over sixty years. They're as safe there as anywhere. But I can't wait to get back to them.


Blogger Annette Piper Dip. Gem. Handcrafted Jewellery said...

What a wonderful find to make! How I wish I could find a box of old letters to do with my family!!! I can't wait for you to go back either :) Please share more little tidbits when you do!

4:31 PM  
Blogger SuperMom said...

And don't forget the drawing of you hanging into your toy box. I agree; what a treasure!

6:06 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Oh what a treasure you have there. When your family is done with them you might want to give them to some historical society for peservation...for those times to be studied by others in the future.

8:24 PM  

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