May 16, 1944
Here are those two snaps I told you about. What do you think? I worked eight hours for Miss Hahn today, instead of Thursday as we had planned.
A copy of the cablegram and your letter of May 11, discussing contentment and the better things of life, was in the mail this morning. I agree with you to a great extent, but there are quite a few points I'd like to make. You say you won't try to make more money unless you can't manage on what you shall be earning. Do you think I would have allowed you to stay at S & D if we could not manage? Not on your life! We were able to manage then, but since then I've learned an awful lot, which, I am sorry to say, you haven't. In the three years of our marriage you were with me for only one and during that time, dearest, you made close to $50 per week, while working overtime and we had no trouble whatever where money was concerned. When I set that $60 figure I knew what I was talking about. Don't worry, sweet, I have no visions of getting rich, I just want to be comfortable. Do you remember what life was like when you were in the Infantry? Well, raising kids, keeping a house and doing all the housework yourself, working from early morning to the wee hours of night, feeling so tired you have to push yourself around to keep going and little recreation don't make for peace and contentment either.
Phil, you committed yourself to fatherhood, you accepted a wife - and a home, all of which depend on you and expect a great deal of you, regardless of the sacrifice. You wanted me to set a different goal for you - that you be content with me and Adele, to cherish us, to be always kind, cheerful and considerate, no matter what and to provide for us to the best of your ability. I notice that you didn't forget the "providing", for you do realize just how important it really is. Perhaps I shouldn't have said exactly $60, but I do know that it will take that much to provide for us decently, once we are reorganized. I don't give a hang if you remain a clerk at S & D for the rest of your life, as long as you provide for your family so that they may be comfortable. Good enough?
My dad has the same philosophy, and if it hadn't been for my mother our family would have been out in the street many times. If my mother hadn't gotten him out of his job at Parkway he'd still be killing himself there. It did require ambition and it would make his life easier not slaving away every night. In a way he too had ambition to stick to it so long. Yet, I've found very few people with a decent income (to allow for same saving and a few pleasures beside a comfortable home, good food and nice clothes) who are not satisfied. Those four things make for a good living, if the persons concerned appreciate them for what they are. I know we do. You've never heard a complaint from me when such was the case and you know it. You were never happy when I kept tabs on our income down to the last cent. Neither was I. When the time comes let us be sure that it won't happen again. I'll be happy and content feeling that way and if you are interested in my peace and contentment you will understand why I feel thusly. I don’t mean to set any goals for you or even to tell you what to do (I know better) but that's the way I feel and I know you will do your best to keep me feeling happy. I promise not to mention the subject again, til we can talk about it.
Sorry, sweet, that I had to "sermon" but let's forget about it, until we must do something about it, as you say. The mark below was made by Adele. I have the typewriter on the dining room table and every once in a while she stops to type. She reaches upon under the cover and gives one bang, bunching up all the keys.
May 17, 1944
I was terribly sleepy, so much so that I simply had to let this go and hit the hay. Adele had me up all night long the previous night and my eyes would not stay open. She cut through her 11 and 12th teeth and has four more to go to complete the set. Then come the two-year molars, the four upper and lower teeth in the very back of the mouth, I'm "due" this weekend and am feeling it already.
I cleaned the living room set, put camphor in it and put the covers back on this morning. I still have to camphor all the winter clothes. My bouquet had to be thrown out this morning, but Mom's is still nice.
Your long typewritten letter of the 12th came today and made most interesting reading. My Mom has asked me to apologize for not writing to you on several occasions and will her write soon. Anne Furr’s address is 1640 University Ave, Bronx, N.Y. I’ll tell my Dad to write, too. Then you go on to say how "these balmy Spring days inspire many, many thoughts of "home", Evvie" and do I have any good ideas. I shore nuff do, honey - come on right home and I'll show you. Nine and a half months is a long time!
Last night there was a report on the radio that every single U.S. soldier, sailor, etc. had been checked for identity during the day. Eisenhower, doesn't want any "spy" trouble, they explained.
Ruth wants me to go in town with her this evening and I think I shall. She wants to buy a cotton dress and I'd like very much to get myself a pair of shoes, If Adele will be a good girl and go to bed early I’ll appreciate it. When I say it's time to go to sleep - she says, "naw, naw, naw" She hates to go to sleep, so she doesn't take after you in that respect.
Delayed this long enough to make a trip into town. We didn't leave til almost 7:30 and consequently had little time to shop. Ruth was unable to find a dress during that time, but I bought a pair of bright red linen baby doll (with the ankle strap) play shoes for $2.29. Think you'd like my legs in an ankle strap, sweet?" I almost bought a lovely two piece red and white striped dress, but it was too late to bother trying it on.
I'm kind of weary rushing about and so I'll close now, dearest, with all my love and devotion and a big hug and kiss.
16 May 1944
The reason I have not written on the 14th or 15th is enclosed. Hope it repays you in some measure for the two missing letters. Don't be too critical of the names of shows, concerts, et cetera, as it is really a blend of all my visits to London. Do not feel slighted either, that it is addressed to Phil. He seemed interested, in his most recent letter, in knowing something about what I have learned or seen these past months in England. I thought the enclosed letter would, in some measure, repay him for his kindnesses to you and Adele. I'm sending it in your care, Sweet, ’cause there may be some items of interest for you that I may have overlooked in my London letters to you. On the whole, I think you will find it a more detailed account than I could permit myself heretofore. Tell Phil that I ended it rather abruptly 'cause I wanted it to make the next post.
Nothing of any note has transpired these past few days. Yesterday was my day off and I took advantage of the break by “sleeping in” ’til 11 o'clock; showering and shaving after lunch; leafing through a few recently arrived magazines; and completing Phil's letter. In the evening, being most reluctant to continue writing, I decided to “keep” this until this morning. Instead, I sat in for a session of poker with the boys. The game broke up just in time to allow me to keep our date. When I took inventory, I found I was six bucks in the good, which didn't make me mad either.
The only mail I have received from you in the past three days, Sweet, is your V-mail of 7 May, which arrived yesterday afternoon. You indicate that you wrote a “longie” on the 6th, and I'm looking forward to receiving it. I'm looking forward, too, to Ruth's letter containing the snapshots.
I think, Baby, that the idea of taking in typing to be done at home is the happiest you've had to date. Why not insert an ad in the paper? It might pay dividends. It would please me mightily if you could develop this source of incoming to a degree where going out to work would hold no attraction or benefit for you.
Glad to hear that Jackie is fully recovered from his illness.
Any day now I'm expecting to hear of Dennis Jay's arrival. I can't even imagine that it might be Diana Jean.
The best news I've had for a long time is Adele's growing tendency to sleep through the night. The thought that your sleep was interrupted so often, and so consistently, was most distressing for me. In your letters, you conveyed very clearly how aggravating it was for you, Chippie. I earnestly hope she gives you no further trouble on this score.
I'll close now with all my love to the dearest Chippies in the world, and to Mom, whose letter I'll write any day now, and to Harry and Goldie, and to all the Pallers, and to all our good friends and neighbors.