April 24, 1943. Anna writes a letter to Dad opening with the traditional Polish Easter greeting “Wesolego Alleluja”. She notes that with Dad’s movement from Miami Beach to Savanna, Illinois to Salt Lake City, Utah, “You too are getting closer to home the other way around the world like Stanley. Now if you two could only get furlough and see each other because the chances of seeing us are remote. Stanley says maybe he can come home in May or June but he probably won’t like before.”
In other news from home, we get an update on Mama’s dental health and a glimpse into a wartime Easter celebration in a Polish household on the home front. “Mama had three molars pulled out last Tuesday and the week after next she will have more pulled out. The Sisters of the Resurrection sent mama a little sheep made out of butter and an Easter egg colored by hand – red and gold decorations. In spite of rationings we have a lot for Easter – Swiecone jajka (blessed eggs), Polska kielbasa, chrzan (horseradish), galareta (jellied pig’s feet) and 2 roasted chickens. We were going to make golomki (stuffed cabbage) but didn’t have enough time. We also have lemon and chocolate meringue pie. We also had Swieconka (the Polish tradition of taking a basket of food to church to be blessed by the priest).”
She says “On Holy Thursday we went visiting churches and we took Theresa-Marie with us. She didn’t cry. Mama carried her in our church and St. George’s up to the altar and the baby liked the lights and candles.”
Although Easter is always a joyous time, Anna laments the amount of preparation. Of course, this is in addition to the Lenten house cleaning that she has detailed in earlier letters. “I like Easter, but the week before was hectic. I had so much to do that I couldn’t write a letter. So much to do. Right now I am all pooped out. Holy Week has made quite a strain on me. I am so tired that I can hardly hold my pen to write.”
They also received word that Eddie (Anna’s husband) continues to receive a deferment from the draft “Eddie is in 2A (occupational deferment) until May 15, 1943 instead of 3A (registrant with a child). After May 15 – what ????” Meanwhile “Joe Miller (one of their neighbors) is going into the Army in May.”
In other news, Cousin Vincent is home on leave and had some fairly major work done on his mouth. “He has no upper teeth but he will have false one furnished by the Army. When he had the teeth pulled his jaw wasn’t even so they just cut them off – sliced off until it was even. Vincent said he thought he’d die. He was in the hospital 2 days.”
So much for news from Albany at Easter 1943. To learn more about the tradition of Swieconka, click here.