April 29, 1944
Today, at long last, I mailed off the two packages (Milky Ways and Red’s things and the stationery). It's almost like summer, though there is a slight cool breeze. Almost every kid in the neighborhood is down with the mumps and Natalie is the latest. She was playing with Adele last night and this morning she had it. I don't think mumps are common in babies Adele's age, and I don't think she'll get it.
As you are well aware, today our little girl is exactly 17 months. I gave her a break and let her walk alone outside. She walked up and down the block and then around the corner alone, but by my side. She ran at times and I had to reprimand her. She behaved like a lady, to my utter amazement. She throws her hands in the air and says “hy ya.” She imitates Goldie’s every move. I particularly like the way she imitates Goldie chewing gum. She sticks her tongue out the side of her mouth and pulls it in with a chew-like motion and looks mighty funny. I'm glad to report that her sleeping is vastly improved. I have a new practice. I pick her up out of her sleep when I'm ready to go to bed and place her on the toddy. She “makes” and keeps dry all night. I catch her again when she wakes, thereby keeping her dry and saving myself lots of washing. She crawled behind the porch sofa today and backed herself out slowly. She steps up and down the step that connects the porch and living room. She is learning to be careful, not wishing to fall unnecessarily. I always ask her what she wants and she answers yes or no. When I talk about her to someone else, she listens closely, knowing very well that I'm speaking about her. I take her aside and explain things to her. For instance, we have the window connecting the two porches open and she likes to open and slam it. I took her to the sofa, sat her down and proceeded to tell her that she must not do that. She listens, paying strict attention. However, she doesn't always obey. I don't care about that as long as she obeys most of the time. What a kid! Mrs. Glassman said today, “Evelyn, she gets prettier every single day and if Phil could only see her!”
Harry called Max Durits yesterday, thinking maybe he will become a cab driver instead. Max is a cab driver and Harry wanted to get the lowdown. It seems they make excellent money today. Harry hasn't decided what to do yet.
Adele just did something very cute. She likes to talk on the telephone and insists on holding the receiver alone. She opened the phone cabinet and took the receiver off the hook and put it to her ear. I wish I could make a snap of her with it—she looks that cute.
It's just two years since we first started up with the US Army—and I shall never forget that day or the date. I guess you've heard of the decease of Frank Knox and the rumors that the invasion is due most any day. Here's hopin’ that means an early return home—perhaps in ’44. I love you so much, my own sweet Phil. It's exactly five, so here's
29 April 1944
Before I answer, your two V-mails just arrived, I'll give you a quick resumé of “my day.” Not because it was in any way different from a few hundred others—not a bit of it, but I have to fill this sheet some way and I figure it ought to be good for at least a few lines. (I guess I could “waste” another line by pointing out that all the foregoing was written with thinly-veiled intention of taking up space—but I wouldn't do that!)
There was just enough “business” today to keep me occupied, and to prevent me from indulging more leisurely pursuits, like reading, writing, drawing, etc. About five o'clock, having cleaned up what work there was, I preceded with my drawing. This time I took a bird's eye view (which pretty well explains the effect of the term “isometric”) from the opposite angle. This view afforded a better exposition of the front of the house. While it was still too square and bulky to be “cute,” it is nevertheless a “useful” arrangement. That, to my way of thinking, is the prime requisite. Looks, while important, are, nevertheless, secondary. I hope to have the floor plan and the exterior view ready for inking within a week. On completion, I'll send it on to you, so that you may know “what the devil all this talk of drawing and planning is all about.” (The quotes are my idea of what you probably are thinking as you read this.) I was busy, except for a few interruptions, until 9:45. Right now I am pretty weary and you'll have to forgive me if this letter sounds like it.
Your V-mails are dated 20 and 21 April and are briefer than usual. You speak of Jack's letter, in which he indicated a tentative “surprise.” I think you are right about the “stripes,” but it may well be that he has arranged a meeting with Ben.
I'm as much in the dark as you are about Adele's strange behavior toward Rose. An infant’s mind is almost impossible to fathom, and could the punkin speak well enough to explain her unseemly aversion to one who has shown her nothing but kindness, I doubt if she could make the reason clear. As I say, it is well-nigh impossible to say for sure, but my guess is that the feeling of dislike or fear which is evidenced by her actions, is purely instinctive and has no justification in fact. I fancy she'll outgrow the notion as she gets better acquainted with Rose. It is easy to understand Rose's discomfiture on this account and I feel for her.
You are wrong about 29 April marking the two-year point in my Army “career.” That happy(?) day will be 2 May.
Oddly enough, and contrary to your expectations, your Air-mail “longie” of the 19th arrived before your V-mail of the 20th. The guy who first said “wonders will never cease,” knew what he was talking about.
The paragraph about Adele and the rain (and her impressionistic name for it) tickled my risibilities—which is a fancy way of saying it made me laugh.
No, Sweet, none of the packages has arrived yet (the Milky Ways were last—and are “all” as Red, would say), but I'm looking forward to getting them almost any day now. While I think of it, I'll tack a request for more candy (bars, if possible) onto the end of this.
You ask about Red. I think I told you something about him yesterday. He knows a few girls over here, but he doesn't get to see them very often.
Which just about answers your two V-mails. I'm still looking for those proofs. Maybe tomorrow, huh?
And now it's way past my bed-time, so I'll say “Good-night, Baby.” I love you so very much! My usual kiss for the cherub. My love to all.
P.S. Please send the candy.