Christmas and New Years 1943/1944
Well, companeros, another Christmas season has come – and I will be glad when it is gone – since I can’t be with my babies – but we’ll look forward to next year. These remarks will literally be scattered – since this book is just about full. the next big event on my calendar is Rosie’s birthday – and I have fond hopes of being differently situated by then – and I still have hopes of being home on my 40th birthday. Perhaps it is partly stubbornness (you know me).
But if I am the only optimist in camp I will still be optimistic. Thank God I have not lost faith in God, you guys, and my country. I am writing a couple days before Christmas – and we are hoping to get some extra chow through the mess – and also are “sweating out” Red Cross packages, which we hope will give us a much needed boost. The stuff which came last January, together with B1 shots, helped a lot of us through beri beri – although my feet are not normal yet. I think some good normal living would put me back to [unknown] in a few months. I am not feeling badly – and am holding my own at about 150 lbs.
We are getting some of the Christmas spirit here – what with improvised decorations, a Christmas Eve program, etc. I will have a Christmas service at 9am Christmas Day.
But my thoughts are many kilometers from here – and I am wondering what kind of Christmas you are having. I hope no others will be away except me – there always has to be one black sheep – but He is the one who is prayed for the most — and I feel that I have been the subject of many prayers, for which I want to be worthy. I wonder what the boys are getting for Christmas – and have made a list of some things I would get you if I were there — and will get you after I get back – as long as the “dinero” holds out. This list includes some very nice things which you have wanted and should have had long before now. Some of them will give us a start in furnishing our new home which I confidently expect we will build out beyond recreation park – and the one permanent investment which I want to make with my forced savings is the purchase of a lot. If I stay in the Navy (which i am thinking more about – subject to your approval) I would like for us to have a home in L.B. for us to anchor to – and retire to – later on. If I don’t stay in the Navy – I have been wondering why I couldn’t get Moore Memorial and stay there (but not in the parsonage) the rest of my active days. I believe there would be great possibilities there. We’ll have lots of things to talk about when we get together – which will be heaven.
Hope you have been getting my cards I still hope to hear from you – we are expecting some mail with Red Cross packages. So for the 3rd year – a Merry Christmas and next year – surely we can say it in person. – your Daddy – Earl (cont.)
New Years 1944
Well, precious people, another year begins away from you – but surely it cannot end that way – it just isn’t right to be away from guys like you – but I hope to make it so before too long. We haven’t received any Red Cross stuff yet – but it is expected this month. It has been almost a year since we got the one previous shipment – & more than 2 years since I have heard from you – but I know it is not because of any fault on the part of the folks at home. We really need a boost in this way of food – although we got some extra rice & some meat at Christmas time. The regular food ration is barely enough to keep body and soul together – even without heavy work – and of course we have far from a balanced diet. But I seem to be holding my own at about 150 lbs. And feel o.k. except no pep – but I have a lot to be thankful for – only by the grace of God did I come through last year. So I feel now that nothing can keep me from getting back to my precious babies – and I am still hoping to be home by my birthday – the next big even on my calendar is Rosie’s birthday. (turn to p. 100)