February 19, 1944
The check for $75, along with your v-mail of Feb. 11 reached me this morning. Need I say how delighted I was to receive them? I'm sorry to hear my mail is held up again and I'm sure you've hit the jackpot by now.
My cold has disappeared completely. My period is late this time, as I was due yesterday. I feel a bit “under the weather” as I usually do at such times.
Adele took a turn for the worse by running a temperature of 102°. Her hoarseness has cleared and is almost gone. Her nose still runs and runs. Her stomach was a bit upset and an enema took care of that. I've been giving her aspirin (crushed on a teaspoon of water) and alcohol rubdowns to bring down the temperature. She hasn't eaten all day (who could) and has been cranky, wimpery and annoyed. She lays her head in the crook of my neck and sort of moans like a grown up. Phil, dear, it's so hard to express my feelings at such times. Tension grips me. I don't have a desire in the world. I don't want to eat or walk or sit or talk. I want you—only you. I feel frustrated, lonely, helpless and darn close to heartbreak. If God only knew the extent of my yearning for you, he’d send you scurrying home. No one seems to satisfy me then, not even the Moms. I always feel that way when Adele is ill. Adele would just about break your heart (as if I had to tell you of a kid’s suffering after seeing it in England). She is reddish with fever, hot and clammy to the touch, her eyes great, pools of loneliness and helplessness, looking to me for relief of her misery, cranky, irritated, making a low moaning sound. She's fast asleep at the moment. (Thank God) after an extremely restless afternoon.
Adele is becoming so attached to me that she won't be left alone a minute. If I go out of the house with my coat on she haunts the windows, looking and calling for “Momma”! I should be flattered, but I'm not. I don't care for kids that are attached to a mother's apron strings and besides, it's not good for either daughter or mother. She adores the grandmas yet won't stay alone with them. That shows how clearly a father's love and devotion is needed for a normal child. Sometimes I'm dead sure she knows you and misses you as I do. Of course she does!
My right shoulder has been troubling me for some time. I never really noticed it as the pain was slight and seldom. Lately, however, my shoulder feels wrenched, sprained and in certain positions I get sharp breath-holding pains. At first I thought it was a cold and it may be (if you remember your shoulder). To be sure, I made an appointment with Doctor Gayl for Tues. morning, at which time I also aim to have Adele examined. I over-exercise my right arm to an extreme by the following: lots of letter writing, knitting (I used to feel it when typing continually, especially at Miss Hahn’s) and most important of all, carrying Adele. I'm sure she weighs a good 30 lbs., if not more, and I do carry her a great deal with only my right arm. At times, I feel that one shoulder is higher than the other from the weight. I had hoped her walking would have improved by now, but she does not have balance and consequently, I do not trust her to do certain things. She likes to be held and cuddled, and I do my best, though I do feel it too much for me. She's so lovable and pretty! I'm sure it's nothing at all, just overly active as I've said, and I'll take care of it—never fear. I don't even know why I mentioned it, except, perhaps that it takes space and makes a “longie.”
I have a feeling (Dr. Gayl knows so) that Adele is about to acquire more teeth. The molars are the hardest and most painful to cut. When I call him to express my fears, he reacts (or so I believe), as if it were perfectly natural and that he has many similar calls. In a way I'm glad of the fever, for a cold without fever isn’t normal, and naturally, anything not normal is not good. I feel that the fever is a crisis. Once passed you are on the road to recovery. After all, Adele hasn't been well all week.
What gets me is this: No matter how ill she is, she always remembers to say “sh” when she has to “go.” I can't get over it. I know that her “rear warmings” were not in vain and I don't feel badly about administering them. Quite the opposite—I can see where they have taught her—say what you will. You must be stern with a baby, no matter how it hurts you. Of course, this doesn't apply to all babies.
I think I ought to change the subject about now. Harry is working (he’s on the night shift this month) and Mom and Goldie are at Ethel's. They had promised to go and didn't want to back out. That, sweet, leaves me all alone and I'll bet you don't know my thoughts at the moment—NOT MUCH! To hold you would be a blessing—or maybe just to hear your well-loved voice—
I must change the subject, baby, or I'll just go to pieces.
We’ve had freezing cold weather all week. Goldie visited her doctor yesterday and has gained 5 lbs. all together so far. She is halfway through her sixth month. Considering her build and weight, this is “carrying well.” She isn't small, can only wear her maternity dresses, and eats as little as possible. Nevertheless, she is doing fine. The doctor have her permission to make a trip home.
Ethel has anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks. She’ll be taking the carriage any day. I'm going to buy Adele a regular stroller carriage. Most kids use them til they are 3 or 4 yrs. old. You know, a regular sitting carriage. Its use, primarily, is to transport a child a long distance, one that his little feet are not accustomed to traveling til he is old enough to “take it.” All metal carriages are back (Thank God again), and I hope to get one. Some of them have backs that tilt to permit the child to recline if he wishes to sleep. I can't put Adele to sleep in Ethel's carriage, as big as it is, for Adele has grown and does not fit properly when lying prone.
Did I tell you I finished reading “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.” It's the sort of book you would enjoy, I'm sure, so if you can get your hands on it, read it. It's downright funny in places and I read several of the side-splitting passages to Mom and we both laughed and laughed. By the way, here are some jokes Rae told us: What can Jello do that you can't do? “Come” in six delicious flavors. An Indian, divorcing his wife, said to the Judge: I come, she come, baby come, HOW come? Eleanor Roosevelt went to a beauty parlor for a going over and when she returned her husband, said, “Why Eleanor, you look downright beautiful, I must phone the beauty shop and thank them.” The owner of the shop answered the call and the reply to Mr. Roosevelt's query of “how did you do it?” was: I grafted a piece of skin from my a-- and put it on her face. Now kiss my a--. I'm tired of kissing yours. (Don't tell this one to a Republican.)
This pen gets worse and worse and I can't get a new one anywhere around here. I'll get one one of these days, I swear. My letters look so sloppy when they could be so neat.
I ordered a box of personalized stationary like mine for Ruth (she likes it very much) for a sort of graduation gift.
Our Jack mentioned something about “a bracelet and how Mom liked it” in his latest letter. He must have sent it while in Australia, but we've never received it. Guess it takes a couple of months.
I'm just about “writ” out as you say, honey. Always leave room to say a fond “I adore you, angel, give you a sound kiss.
February 20, 1944
Back in camp—and back to the old routine. First, I want to complete the London letter. I'm trying to remember how far I got. That's right—I told you everything that happened up to the time I started to write. Well, when I finished, I stopped in the dining room at Hans Crescent and had a snack. Then I went next door to the annex and found my bunk and hit the hay. I slept ’til 9:30 the following morning, at which time I rose, dressed, and went off to the Eagle Club for breakfast. I was eating and reading a paper, when, on glancing through the movie ads, I happened to notice a new picture was showing at the Plaza. It was “Hostages,” with L. Rainer Wm. Bendix, Paul Lukas and a few others that sounded like a good cast. I decided to see it. By the time I got there, it was 11 o'clock.
The main reason I wanted to see this one was because I always admired Louise Rainer, and it was a long time since I had seen her. I was terribly disappointed in her. She is just a shade of the radiant beauty she once was. She looks like she has been through hell. Her face is drawn and pinched, and there are ugly bags beneath her great black eyes. To make matters worse, the makeup man did in atrocious job on her lips, creating a “false” line that was almost nauseating in its transparency. Her acting, though a bit over-done, was serious and not too hard to take, but her insufficiency of charm was too noticeable and spoiled her performance completely. Outside of that, it is a fairly good picture, and entertaining in its way. Wm. Bendix, as usual, steals every scene in which he appears. When the show was over, I came back to the Eagle and had lunch. When I finished, it was about 2 o'clock, so I parked myself in a nice, comfortable chair in the lounge and preceded to catch up on the news until I must go to the station. I had only been reading about 15 minutes, when I looked up to see “Junior” Crossman smiling down at me. So we gabbed until I had to leave. The trip back was comfortable and uneventful. I still had my trusty pocket edition of detective stories with me and I amused myself by reading them. Arriving in camp, I found I was very hungry, so I stopped at the Snack Bar for a couple of sandwiches, cakes and a Coke. Feeling better, then, I started up the road towards the barracks. But the night was pitch black and I had forgotten to take my torch along, so I literally crept all the way, stepping into the ankle-deep mud at the side of the road at every tenth step. Finally, after many misadventures, I managed to gain the warmth and cheeriness of the hut. It was almost like coming home. This morning I was up bright and early 'cause I was anxious to get my mail. There were your two V-mails of the 7th and 9th Feb., A letter from Ed with his new address, a Valentine from Ruthie (and what do you say to that, Chippie?) and a V-mail from Dottie (also 7 Feb). Please, Chippie, no more V-mail! Even if you can't fill more than a page, write a letter. It's gotten so I have developed a positive antipathy for V-mail. You always seem to be in a hurry to dash off the inconsequentialities you invariably cram them with. Makes me feel I'm not considered worthy of a little more of your time and effort. I know this isn't true, Sweet, but that's the way they make me feel. I know I have been guilty in the past of the same “misdemeanor,” but believe me, I only did so when I had no alternative. I even dislike writing V-mail and make it a point not to whenever I have a glimmer of an idea as to what to write.
I read through those 5 letters I have been promising to answer, and while I would love to return some of the tender sentiments that literally melted me with their fervent words of praise and endearment, time doesn't allow it tonight, and I thought I would answer a few of your queries and doubts. The passing of Maurice Topolsky was a great shock to me. My heart goes out to his family, but I hesitate to write my condolences to them for fear of making fresh again, a pain that time will have blunted a little. I can imagine, Sweet, why you broke down at the news. It was very good of Mrs. Benis to invite you and Adele to spend some time with them this coming summer. But don't think seriously about it just yet, Honey. If I'm home by that time, we certainly will consider it—but not until then. ‘Nuff said? Then you wanted to know if I could use some razor blades. I certainly can, Sweet, although I never thought to mention it. Be sure they are double-edged though, 'cause I'm using the G.I. Gillette razor now. You might inform Dottie, too, she asked the same question.
And now, Baby, it's time for “lights out”—and I must say goodnight once more. (Wish I could “roll over” after that with the comforting thought that when I I wake up in the morning I could roll back to see you sleeping beside me—for me to kiss awake),—remember? Remember how I loved you then? That's how I feel about you now. I love you so much my Evvie!
Love to all—a kiss for Adele from
February 20, 1944
Adele's temperature dropped to 100° and she is somewhat better. I got unwell last night (one day late) and was thankful that I was able to rest most of the night. Adele had me on the “go” all day and I'm kinda tired this evening.
Harry’s place gave his section a new shift. They will work (as usual) and get Mondays instead of Sundays off. Today the new business started.
At supper time, Adele threw up all over the hi-chair and my blue wool dress. We have company for dinner this evening—Mr. and Mrs. Bader (Mrs. Snyder to you). Mrs Bader made Adele a cotton pleated skirt with suspenders of a heavy material with large blocks of various colors. The plaid consists of white, red, navy and green off-red, off-blue, off-green squares and is quite attractive. She gave Mom two guest towels. They talked about old times all the afternoon. Mrs. B. looked very well in a dark purple dress, a black Persian lamb coat, hat and muff.
Time for my, “sweeter thoughts,” baby mine, as there is little to write of today. I understand my brother Ed is being transferred and the folks are quite worried. Sure, do hope everything will be alright. He's so young—19 on Feb. 26. I adore you, sweetheart mine. A kiss from Adele and
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