Believe it or not a fellow stopped and picked up the soaking wet desk chair from the side of the road. I could not believe it but am thrilled he has a new chair and I don’t have two identical chairs. The rain seemed to go on much of the day and does not appear interested in drying out at all. I have one porch chair struggling to dry out enough to be brought in the house. The others I am stacking up in a corner.. We need some new ones anyway.. I think it is time for me to splurge when I get back and go and buy a bunch of chairs..
The first going on around here today is trying to answer the question – Why do I have to go back home? I don’t want to but I have to. That sucks to be sure. Really now. I am retired, why do I have to go home? I should be able to arrive up here in April and not return until I feel like it, say maybe er November1st. I will go home tomorrow and go to the dentist and go and get my pin from the Presidents Volunteer Service Awards folks but the truth is I would be just as happy sitting up here and organization and making progress with family history.
Logic wins out but emotions are so strong to just plunk myself here and stay. OH well!!
I went out and planted some seeds over the septic fields. I hope at least some of them come up by the time I get back. I am going to put in a few more before I leave in the morning. Wild flowers is what we need that will come back year after year and spread themselves around.
I am pretty well packed up. just need to go last minute items. Even have clothes in the dryer waiting to be folded and Mike and Cheryl are coming up for something to nibble on etc. so will finish this before I go to bed. I do so love this life.
Sept 23, 1945
Dear Mother and Dad:
Well, I am satisfied at last. I have done all I wanted to. On Fri I opened up a ward to admit the Hong-Kong P.O. W’s. I did so want to take care of them and now I have a ward full. They are grim sights, suffering mostly from beri-beri, skin disease, malnutrition and Tb. They find it difficult to hear, see or walk. Their appetites are enormous. They lived on 2 or 3 meals a day of rice served either as soup, mush or whole for those four years. They had no care, no entertainment, no Red Cross parcels, nothing. They slept on straw in drafty building, worked in coal mines, were lousy and dirty and cold. Beaten up continually. Of course they can’t believe they are free at last. About 60% died in prison, mostly they just gave up. They received no “news” but did learn of the European victory. Their spirits now are very high.
We expect a lot more in, so I should be quite busy for awhile.
I spent Mon and Tues in Victoria. I took the boat Mon a.m. at 10 o’clock and arrived at four p.m. Dillon S met me. He had got me a room at the Empress Hotel. It is a huge, beautiful hotel. I think the nicest one in Canada. I shall send you a card with the picture of it. It faces the water. Victoria is as lovely as I always heard. Very much like England, very green and much more sunny. Holly trees grow and the western people are as friendly as I always heard also.
Going out on the train we met Joy and Harry Auchinole (Scottish Decent) and their two lovely children, Merle 5 and Sandy 4. They had the drawing room in our coach. So we phoned them at Harrys father and mothers home where they are visiting. They came from Toronto and they came right down to the hotel to see us, but only stayed a short time, but we arranged to go out to their place later. Dill and I had dinner in the Grill and danced till about 9:30, then went out to see them. They live in a marvelous district in the most perfect house. Dad would love it. Knotted pine wood mostly and huge fireplaces and the front and back lawns are like velvet.
They drove us home. We went out to Naden with Dill and then took me to the hotel.
Tues, Dill came down and took me to lunch in the main dining room. The food is marvelous and every room nicer than the next. Then we went window shopping for a while, then Joy and Harry picked us up and took us for a drive to see the city. Later we all had dinner at the Grill and danced till 11 then they took me to the boat. I had a sleeper so I went right to bed and slept until 7 this morning when we docked and I came out here to go to work at eight.
There was mail for me thank goodness a letter from Mother and I don’t need those rubbers and vitamins dear. The rubbers don’t fit and I have a whole lot of new vitamins.
I am so glad Frank is home and happy that Marye saved the week. I had a feeling that was a wise move.
The Centenary sounds like a huge success. Glad you all enjoyed it.
Ran into Earl Townsend one day. He was visiting someone in the hospital. He asked about everyone.
I also saw Col Hume. It was perfect seeing him again. He said he had been waiting to see me since he heard I was coming.
There are a few M.O.’s I know but hardly any nurses. However I am quickly getting to know them.
Well, dears be good and do let me know if there is any chance of my getting my new clothes soon. I should, because they were nearly finished.
How is Susan and Michael. Both fine again I hope.
I saw some lovely “bangles” out there that I’m going to start to collect for Marye. All different kinds to be worn together. Quite attractive.
There are some lovely “charms” in Birks here, but too, too expensive.
Love to everyone and thanks for the letters.
Here is an article I found on Wiki about the EMpress Hotel, again no such thing as an average hotel for our girl Patsy!!!!