Saturday, January 8, 1944.
Received your V-mails of Dec. 13th and 30th today. Who said V-mail was regular?? I've already answered your questions, so I'll continue—
I went shopping today and bought a few of those “many things” I previously mentioned. I bought a padded seat (cost $0.59) for Adele’s toddy chair. She was quite thrilled with it. It's rose color oilcloth with figures of ducks and little girls on it. At Betty's suggestion, I bought Adele a set of underwear. It consists of a lightweight sleeveless undershirt and pair of snug fitting panties that snap on to the shirt with three snaps in the front and has elastic across the back. It was the only pair of pre-war style in stock, and since I do not care for the “drawstring” panties, I bought the one set (cost $0.85). I have almost a dozen pair of elastic top panties but they have a tendency to slide downward and become sloppy. The “snap-on” idea is neat, nice and comfortable, and perhaps I shall be able to get several pairs with buttons. The set I bought are size 3 and looks something like this (see drawing in letter above).
I had an awful time keeping my stockings up without a girdle, so I got myself a garter belt (cost $1). It fits nicely, and boy did I need it! I also bought myself a nice peach colored cotton bra—cost $1.
I bought Adele a lovely pair of light blue corduroy overalls that had to be returned as they were too small. None of the stores have the larger sizes—they sell out before the merchandise has an opportunity to be properly arranged and displayed. I dislike Adele in overalls anyway. They aren't feminine and I think she looks like a little tramp. When she wears overalls, she always manages to get dirtier than ever. You ought to see her hands when she gets up from the floor after a good crawl. Adele is very observant. This morning, Mom put on a new apron. Whenever Adele sees anything new or wants something, she yells “wow-wow” and gets all excited. Mom had to let Adele pat it to give it her approval. Adele adores fur—any fur. When she first saw my galoshes, she made such a rumpus that I hardly knew what to do with her. She loves to pat the fur and calls it “wow-wow.” Mom takes her to the window to see the pigeons and says “perda, perda, perda” to sort of imitate the sound of the birds. Don't you think “Miss America” (as we sometimes call her) says it? She shore nuff does! In fact she walks over to the dining room window, hunts for the birds and yells “perda.” She likes to wriggle the key of the cellar door in its lock. She likes to open and shut most anything.
After darn need breaking my neck to get your letter off in time last night, the darn thing was returned for six cents more postage. No more rushing for me.
I've finished Ethel’s fascinator, all but the ruffle about the edge. It's very dainty and pretty.
Oh yes, in addition to my aforementioned shopping, I bought some Kleenex and baby foods. I also did plenty of shopping for Mom on both 11th and Broad Streets (groceries, etc.)
It was freezing cold today so I wore my fur coat. It's warm as toast. Ruth and Adele accompanied me to Broad Street. Adele goes wild every time she sees a live dog. She's so pleased and wants to pull its tail. She calls mom “bah-ba.”
Mom received a check for $34 today from the Office of Dependency Benefits that bears Jack’s name and serial number. Remember I told you there was a plan to raise the allotment for all dependents? Well, the entire matter passed on October 26, and it looks as if Mom received her share for the past three months, as the raise is retroactive. We’ll know for sure soon enough. It was raised from $37 for one parent to $50. How they figure Mom’s is beyond me. That means they owe us $18.00 for three months, November, December and January. Grand total $54.00. When I get my big check, I hope to clear off all our debts (about $100) and raise my board to $30. I don't know yet what financial arrangements will be made when Goldie stops working (probably February or March). Mom doesn't know how they'll manage (about $40 per week). What did we—(or how did we) do it??? Phil, it always struck me that you thought I cared more for savings than spending. I hope I've corrected that thought in your mind. Yes, I do like to save, but I love to spend— when we have the means. I like to know that I'm saving something. It sort of eases my conscience, especially now that we have Adele and may someday have other children.
Do you remember that Teddy bear coat my sister bought? Or didn't you see it? At any rate, you must know what teddy bear fur looks like. What I'm trying to get at is that they have teddy bear coats for kids like Adele in pink fur and blue trimming and vice versa with leggings (plain material and bonnet to match) and don't you think she’d look well in such an outfit? Rather than buy her a snowsuit, (I think snow suits look nicer on boys), I'd rather she have a coat, leggings and bonnet set. What do you say? I imagine they run fairly high. We'll see.
Incidentally, sweet, there is something I would like very much to have—shall we say, as an anniversary gift?—a pin—one of those imitation gold with zircon colored stones and earrings to match. Something large and showy to go with the fur coat. I'd love to have a wrist watch that runs (the gold one is no good and my mom has given me permission to trade it in). I'd rather wait til after the war though, 'cause that's one item I want to buy with you, baby. I'm taking “time out” to tell you, darling, that I love you oh so much—God what I wouldn't give to know the feel of your arms for just a minute! It's been so long. Gosh, sweet, almost six whole months—half a year—we'll have to get married all over again. That ought to be lots of fun, and we even have a baby to begin with. Who’ll make it two? (let's skip that—huh?—for a few years at least) I’ll want you as much and as often as I can have you, and you'll need time to get well acquainted with Adele.
Sunday, January 9, 1944
The Wyman (Chases—says Ethel) visited us for an hour this afternoon. They made such a fuss over Adele, but who wouldn't. She was wearing her little blue skirt with the Tyrolean trim, a white blouse, red socks and red bow. She looked good enough to eat. Even Ethel commented that she had lost her baby fat. Paul sat down on the step, whereupon Adele walked over and threw her arms around him. She sure does love Paul and I can assure you it's mutual. He adores her and treats her gently. Adele says “bye-bye” well. Her vocabulary: da-da—momma—bahba—wow-wow— bye-bye, pop, paper, sh, cis (for cissy)
Whenever I sit at the vanity to makeup, Adele watches me intently. She is fascinated and when I'm all prettied up, she stares and stares at me. I had been promising myself that I would wash my hair all week and finally got around to it today. (Ruth, took Adele out for me). I cut the top of my hair a bit and set it. It looks very nice this evening. Myra called me—but she wanted to know something in connection with her parents allotment. She said that she would surprise me and visit shortly. My, my! Dot called. She is having a large part on Saturday, Jan. 22nd to celebrate Harold's birthday and it was an invite. She also asked me to tell you to send her a request for gum and marshmallows. She finally managed to get some for you. Don't forget. I told her that I thought Jack N. might be in Philly at the time, and since that happens to be his birthday, I did not know for sure if I could make it. In reply to your answer concerning the T4, I hope you will get it in March. It was six months between P.F.C. and T5, so don't let them fail you this time. Don't you think you are entitled to it? I do. Besides, I could use the extra money. I didn't understand the ending of one of your letters, which read as follows: “Your lover as always” (Courtesy Sgt. Trombetti) Copyright pending. Explanation requested—
I neglected to mention that Ethel, liked the fascinator immensely. I've got a good amount completed on Moms.
Two years ago two big things happened—your recall and the change at S&D. Remember: A year ago, you were by my side, baby, and I was so happy. Today— But there will come a day—soon, I hope.
You asked me to take a picture. I will when I have sufficient funds on hand. I'd like to take one with Adele, too, so that you may have a good picture of us together. I've tried many times to get film for snapshots—it's impossible. I'd like to have a picture of Adele standing alone. I wish I had an indoor camera. There are so many candid poses of Adele that would warm your heart. I'm afraid you'll have to do with my descriptions for the time.
When Adele particularly likes the food she's being fed, she will kick her feet against the chair and sort of rock back and forth. When Ruth brought her in today—she cried. Why?—to be put on the potty, of course. It's slow, but sure. I've spanked her on occasion for going all over the rug and she is afraid to do it on the rug. She used to try to wipe it off with her hands. She plays on the keys of the piano nicely and when I'm upstairs, it seems so funny to hear that music.
I appreciate your “longies,” sweet, and try my best to reciprocate. It may not be as exciting as your experiences, but it is the news I know you would like to read. From time to time, I'll try to make up longies too. I'm not going to mind putting $0.12 on this letter 'cause it is a big one.
Today I had a terrific urge for you physically—so I took a nap. Xmas and New Years left some effect on me. I know how to rid myself of those feelings, though I do not wish, as you do, that I could satisfy them. Talk, talk, talk—don't worry, we'll be able to do whatever we choose when this is all over. Every heartbeat of mine is for you, sweet Phil, every second and minute is you coming closer to
January 8, 1944
I just finished a letter to Jack N. which I am routing through you as you requested a while back. And now I'll get on with the “more” I promised you yesterday. First, about the “four Mrs. Strongins.” A very good snap of all of you, but it was your sweet smile that moved me most. I think you look exceptionally well, sweet, and not one bit “peaked,” as in some of your recent pictures. Mom looks just the same, bless her heart, and Goldie and Gloria leave nothing to be desired. Incidentally, now that the secret is out, I feel safe in commenting on Goldie's pregnancy. I don't know why everyone was so surprised. I know I wasn't. After all, those things are more or less expected of married women, aren't they? What did you expect me to say, Sweet, beyond congratulations to Goldie and Harry and the earnest wish that Adele's cousin will be as “geruten” as she is? As nominal head and veritable “patriarch” of one of the two branches of the Strongin clan, I take an extra satisfaction for the fact that our brood is increasing by leaps and bounds. I almost feel the urge to say to Harry and Goldie “well done my children.” I know the practical disadvantages of another baby in the house are causing you some concerns, Sweet, but I believe by the time the “new one” is born, we will have found a solution. So don't fret yourself over a problem that is only, as yet, incipient.
You drew a very clear picture of Adele's first unassisted steps, and consequently I can't feel that I have been entirely deprived on this momentous occasion. I daresay by the time you read this, mere walking will be a commonplace to Adele and her doting constituents.
I must confess that the details of our engagement night were but dimly remembered, until you recalled it in your letter of the 23rd. Yes, baby, I certainly do think I got hooked “good.” As a matter of fact, I can't conceive how I possibly could have got hooked better. Sweet of you to remember the details, darling.
What do you mean you “entertain no hopes of seeing me in 1944?” I don't know what lies beneath your pessimistic outlook, but I assure you only 50% of “us” feels that way. I have every hope of seeing a great deal of you in 1944. Are you still afraid to hope, darling? I must admit my hopes for peace by Xmas were dictated by my desire for an early end to the war and the need to reassure you, but I will be very much surprised if the European phase isn't over in 1944. Even our leaders, such as General Eisenhower, are not averse to committing themselves that far (if we can believe the newspapers).
Glad you like the sketch by Laz, Chippie, and thanks for the compliment in this connection. Glad, too, that you are through with the dentist—until April. Don't wait for me to “push” you then.
Honey, I've thought time and again about my former reluctance for dancing and I could kick myself for every time I turned you down, but I have seen the error of my ways, and I'll never neglect you that way again. Forgiven?
I bet Mom was tickled when she officially became an American. She certainly has a lot to be proud of. Not everyone can lay claim to being both Russian and American with sons in the American Army and nephews in the Russian army. Incidentally, I recently noted that her hometown (Bobriusk) is just beyond the advancing Red Armies, and by the time you receive this will probably be once again in Russian hands.
Last night, after I finished writing to you, I indulged in a game of “stud” with the guys, who were clamoring for me to get in the game all the while I was writing. They should have saved their breaths, ’cause it cost them exactly ten bucks before the evening was out. Oh well, one must be sociable, dontcha know?
Today I made out my own furlough together with four others, and I'm waiting for the 11th when I take off. One place on the form reads “Authorized to visit ______.” Lord, how I wished I could plunk Phila. right on that line!
That'll have to be all for now, Sweetheart. How long is it since I've kissed you? 5-1/2 months? Then it's high time I resumed the practice. A long sweet kiss for you, darling, the same for Adele and my love to all. My best to the neighbors. I love you, my Eve.
P.S. Tell Ruthie to send the package.