December 2 and 6, 1943. A couple of letters to Dad from his sister Anna back home in Albany. Now that Thanksgiving has passed, the Advent season is being observed and preparations for Christmas are underway.
Anna starts off expressing more relief that the letters from Stanley, who was just sent over to England, are starting to come on a regular basis. Anna is hoping that all the letters she has been sending to him finally make it his way. She observes, “He don’t tell us much and I know that he can’t but it is good to know that he is safe and sound.” Anna has been sending V-Mails to Stanley, typing them single spaced so she can fit as much news as possible within the limits of the V-Mail form.
It’s been eleven months since Dad has been called up, and Stanley has been in for more than a year. Anna writes, “Gee how time flies. Here it is already Advent and in a couple of weeks it will be Christmas.” They are planning on having a tree, but there is concern that with the baby now being 13 months old, walking, and increasingly active she “will know more about the tree but we will have to keep her away from it because she will probably pull all the balls off…” Anna was going to buy new lights for the tree “…the kind that have the bigger lead lights and bulbs on it and the whole set doesn’t go out when one light does…”, but her husband told her “…not to bother…after the war they would be cheaper.”
They’ve already started their Christmas shopping. Anna writes that Myers, the big department store on Pearl Street, will have Santa and Mrs. Claus again this year. She is considering taking the baby to see him “and I bet she would like it because he is all dressed in red…” Aside from hoping for snow, Anna continues with another Christmas wish, “I hope this Christmas when they sing ‘Goodwill and Peace on Earth’ it will come true soon because the world is awful weary and is waiting for it impatiently. If there was a time when thousands craved it these years of war have made the need more strong.”
Anna does mention that “…the war seems to be favoring the allies but it still is slow and sure. When Italy surrendered to the allies we all thought that the war was ended but the Germans certainly fooled us and they will certainly fall when we least expect it.”
Even though the Santa and Mrs. Claus will be back at Myers this year, Anna writes that things just are not the same downtown. Let’s go back to December 6, 1943 and let Anna tell it:
They went to the Post Office to send packages to both Dad and Stanley. However, they hit a snag with Stanley’s package. “…they wouldn’t take it at the Post Office because…the deadline for sending packages overseas was October 15. Daddy tried to tell the guy that Stanley was shipped across last month and we only got his address this past week.” She vents, “That just goes to show you how much a soldier means to them… He is just another jerk in the Army who is supposed to die for his country if necessary but when it comes to doing something for the soldier, well that’s different – they have certain rules by which they must abide in order to send the poor guy a package from home which would mean more than all the junk they will hand out to him and hope that they make him happy.”
On other news:
- Anna’s husband, Eddie, got a 50 pound pig from a farmer friend. “Now Eddie will be eating pig till it comes out of his ears…”
- The baby is now eating only three times a day. That means no more 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. feedings.
- The choir director stopped by the house with Oplatki, apparently selling it as a fundraiser for the choir. Mama bought some which she will be sending to the boys for the holiday.
Before wrapping, Anna sketches a tableau of what the evening is like at the Murawski home on Orange Street. “…mama is ironing the weekly wash and I am typing and the baby is sleeping and dreaming of angels and Eddie is listening or should I say sleeping by the radio. With the baby asleep the house is a very dull place. I’m telling you honestly that if we didn’t have Terry I guess all four would go crazy. We would be chewing the rag constantly but with her around there isn’t much time left for fighting. She is also keeping up morale on the home front.”