October 15 and 19, 1944: Anna writes two letters to her brothers. Most of her time is spent getting the downstairs apartment ready. Anna and Eddie started to move mom and pop’s stuff upstairs. “Eddie brought two of his friends from the shop and they helped him carry up the stove, Frigidaire and washing machine and front room couch. The rest Eddie and mama moved and smaller things I brought up myself.”
As far as getting the downstairs ready, Anna and Eddie expect to have their stove by the first of November and they will be moving their refrigerator in shortly. As far as the refrigerator, “Eddie says that it is the real McCoy good pre-war stuff that you can’t get now. The washing machine and vacuum cleaner are out and we will wait till they come out on the market again. I will have to use mamas now and then till we get our own.” Anna also writes that it is hard to find metal curtain rods, so they have to settle for wooden ones. Likewise, they will have to wait twelve to fourteen weeks for venetian blinds.
They have been spending most of their evenings getting the downstairs ready and making it their own. They’ve stripped off all the wallpaper and plastered the walls, washed the woodwork, and have been doing some painting. They’ve also been buying other things that they will need once the downstairs apartment is their own. “We bought two rugs with the pads for under them, lamp shades, hassock, end tables and linoleums for all the floors. Our hard earned savings are sure melting away and fast too. We still need things like shades and curtains and pillows and blankets and kitchen stuff…all I can say is that you boys won’t know the place when you come back…”
Anna reflects that she is already starting to feel the joys of having their own place as she writes, “It feels so good to have the house for yourself and to have peace and quiet… Everybody seems so much happier and gayer. We don’t get much done but anyway we are content to be happy. This year Christmas will be in our own home.”
Eddie spent the weekend outside. On Sunday he was “out fishing with his father and the gang from the shop. Yesterday morning he went out about 4 A.M.. duck hunting before he went to work and he got nine ducks. It was so funny the way he layed [them]…one by one on the floor and stood looking at them so proudly. I expected his buttons to pop off. …that is the biggest batch of ducks that he shot since I’ve known him and that is almost five years.”
Anna mentions that they took a package for Stanley to the post office. The workers at the post office told them that “packages sent to service men overseas are still hanging around the Post Office because they don’t have any room on the ships to take them. So that is the reason why it may take months for you to get that package and the Christmas ones. Who knows maybe you will get them both at once.”
In a few days, Anna will be 25 and Terry will be two. Stanley sent a package for them. Anna writes to thank him for the package and details that “I didn’t tell Terry what was in the box but she just took it for granted that it was candy and sure enough she guessed right. The package came last Friday. …Mama thought that I was nuts because I ran downstairs right away to open it. …boy, what a big box it was packed in and with all the paper around it so it wouldn’t move. …The candy came in a wooden box with four feet and it was made of light wood and it will make a nice adornment for my vanity because the furniture is light too. Just think every time I look at the box I will think of you.”
Before wrapping up the letter, Anna advises her brothers that with all the work involved in getting the downstairs apartment ready, “…if you don’t hear from me but once a week don’t worry or feel bad about it because that is the best I can do at present…”