February 23, 2015 – Lots of writing time & WWII story

Last evening I went to Denny’s and joined a group of writers who meet there on Sunday evenings to write.  If I had been staying as long as the rest of them I would have been able to get a full hour or more of writing in but this was a pretty social evening and they only got through two 20 minutes sessions of writing and then I really had to head for home.  But I got two short stories written.

Then today the woman’s writing group I belong to met at my house.  The feed back today was very positive about the story that I read to them.  And some helpful input as well.  So I thought I would just post one of those stories on here tonight.

Just to update you on what my topic is that I am writing about. My Aunt was a nurse in WWII. I was given all of her letters from WWII after another of my aunts died.  I transcribed them all thinking  I would just get that done and then send copies off to all my cousins. But then I realized how special the letters are and what great stories could be written based on the letters.  Since starting this project a struggle has been going on in my brain as to whether to write a historical novel, write a fiction novel, put the letters together in a book with notes on the various people and the pictures that were in her scrapbook.  Still deciding which direction to go with this but for now I will keep doing some writing and researching her hospital group and the folks she was good friends with.

The Apartment

Waking up to a knock on the door and all of us girls were startled. No one ever came to the door and banged like that so early in the day since we all worked different shifts and everyone who knew that this was not okay to come around the apartment unless invited. Maggie dragged herself up and went to the door. She asked who was there and the voice answered that is was a Lt from the 2nd army. Hearing that we all sat up and then jumped out of bed and into robes.
Maggie opened the door and let the fellow in. His name was Lt Robinson and was very serious. When he started to speak our mouths dropped open “You have three hours to clear your things out of this apartment and move them over to the hospital for reassignment.’ We all asked at once “Why do we have to leave here?” We loved that apartment, it was lavish and well equipped and so much better than the tents we had been living in in France.
But orders are orders so we all quickly dressed and while the others started packing up the food I tried to call Charles to see if he could bring a jeep to help us move. As soon as he heard the tone of my voice he knew it was serious and said he would be there in an hour and would bring some help.
The five of us girls ran around like mad women trying to get our things together. We had trunks with our field uniforms and food and little bits of furniture we had found to add to what was in the apartment. As we looked at it we figured we probably would not be able to take any of that with us so we concentrated on putting the important items in the trunks and then filled bags with our extras.
At 10 am sharp Charles at the door. How lucky were we that he was available to help us out. He had brought along a private who helped us get the trunks down the stairs and all the bags into the jeep. He figured he would take two of the girls with the first trip and then the rest of us when he came back for the final items that were still upstairs.
After Liz and Maggie left with Charles, Pvt Spencer went back upstairs with us and we went room by room to make sure we had everything that belonged to us. I hated parting with the bedside lamp I had bought at a little market in Antwerp but it was clear that there was no room. I had even thought that if it lasted through the war I would take it back to Canada with me so it was sad leaving it. All our final belongings were now sitting on the curb waiting for Charles return. It took them about an hour to get all the first load unpacked and for him to get back to us.
All loaded up with the few remaining items and the three of us and Pvt Spencer Charles headed out to the hospital. It was not far but as we drove away we looked back at the gorgeous building we had been lucky enough to be living in for these four months. It had an ornate façade which was probably why the Nazi general wanted to live there as well. So nice of him to flee and leave it for us poor little nurses. Finally I turned around and looked ahead and realized something was going to happen or why would we have been moved out so quickly. Maybe the Germans were moving back into this territory or we were pushing forward and were going to move into Northern Holland. Oh well, this is war!
They put us up in a very old hospital building which was no way as nice as the apartment but also was not a tent out in a field so we decided to count our blessings. We were getting ourselves settled that evening when we heard the sound of planes flying overhead. We had blackout shades on all the windows so our building looked evacuated. Crashing booms started all over the city and some of the girls dove under their beds. As usual I headed for the window to see if I could peek out. One of them yelled at me and told me to stop it before we got ourselves bombed. So I just sat down to wait for it to end.
Once it ended we all just crawled into bed and those who were on duty at midnight headed out to the hospital. When the dawn rose and we headed to the hospital it was so quiet we wondered what had been hit last night. When I walked in the door of the hospital Maggie ran up and hugged me. I was like “what is this for?” She replied “last night our apartment had taken a direct hit and was just gone.” How did they know that was going to be a target? How lucky were we that someone seemed to know ahead of time what was going to happen. Did God intervene? I would have to get hold of Charles and find out what the story was, he would know.
We all went to the mess to talk about what happened. We were in shock and the realization hit us that if we had stayed there we would not be here today. All of a sudden I looked up and Charles was standing at the door and I jumped up. I ran across to him and he picked me up and hugged me. He whispered in my ear that he could not have survived if anything had happened to me.

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