Dear Friends, I hope the weather is as lovely where you are as where I am. It is perfect out. Not too humid, not too warm, 80’s. and very peaceful. Made our reservations for a hotel for the NY City Marathon. So we are set. Will take the train down and stay two nights. One day to visit family and packet pick up and the race and some time with the little kids and then home again.
Today at Church Father Bob talked about love your neighbor as yourself. I love that…. It is hard to do but really it seems worth the try most of the time. I have left organizations that I believed in their cause but the people were so angry and any one who disagreed with them. Not just like, those people don’t thing the way I do so I can I reach out the them to help them see my point of view, but they were the “they are evil” kinds of thinkers and of course they got no where in changing hearts because of their anger. I feel sorry for people who think like that. I think that is why this new Pope Francis appeals to me so much and to many of my friends. He really takes what Jesus said in the bible and is trying slowly to put it into action. Thank goodness he reversed the order to the Nuns to stop doing their good works. I have such wonderful friends who are nuns who are amazing women. And they would make great priests of given the chance. I would love to see that change in my lifetime. But only through some very loving change of hearts, not a dictate. This Pope might be able to do it if he lives long enough.
I just saw on FAcebook that my lovely young friend Amanda got a scholarship. She already had at least one good one but she deserves the best. We met her family through the loss of their Dad. She was four years old. Her older sister was very concerned that with their Dad gone who would play Santa on Christmas eve since Daddy always did it. Our mutual friend Sister Betsey called me to see if Denis would do it and of course we said yes. So for the years until Amanda no longer believed every Christmas eve around 6 pm we would head for their house and Santa would bring them some small special gifts. It was just a special short time every year in our house. Making Santa come alive and allowing these three kids to continue that tradition for themselves. And getting to know each of them and their mom has been a gift. These kids are so lucky to have the mom they have. She is tough and strong inside and as sweet and adorable as could be outside. She did what she had to do to keep their lives as normal as possible through all the hard times. She is just so high on my list of people I admire you cannot imagine.
I had no intention of writing about this but I saw that on facebook about Amanda and it made me cry. I have not shed a tear over anything in a long time and this is not sadness, it is joy I think. How lucky am I? Just so lucky to have these people in my life.
So for family and others who want to hear about Aunt Pats adventures – here you go.
8 Cdn Gen Hosp
May 20, 1945
This will be a long letter because I have just had a heavenly week. I spent it in Paris!!!!!
Last Sun. I was swimming and picnicking in the Vougt (?) Lake, having a grand time. The next day in Brussels, the next in Paris. It was most unexpected, there was only one allotment so the matron gave it to me.
I was driven to Brussels and went to the RTO to see if I could get a berth on the train (it takes 10 hours to go down). I just got there when in came a friend of mine who is the Can A.T.O in Brussels (Air Transport Officer) he insisted I stay in Brussels over-nite and fly down in the morning. I couldn’t have agreed more so we had dinner at the lovely Rendezvous Club and the next a.m. he picked me up at nine. Having breakfast alone, Hugh Gibson walked in so we had it together, then I saw Cam Gray and Norm Delarue and while talking to them Mac Diamond came up – I didn’t remember him very well but he asked for Dad etc. Of course I adored flying down and seeing the city by air was terrific. Flying takes 1 ½ hrs only.
In Paris I did and saw everything. Every minute of my three days was well spent believe me.
I went on a tour of Paris and a tour to Versailles. The former was wonderful and the only way to really see the city. I can’t tell you how lovely and spacious Paris is and you could never imagine anything to equal it. On the tour I saw the “Arc de Triumphe” and “grave of the unknown soldier”. The Eiffel Tower which is immense and beautiful, the av. Champs Elysees, the most beautiful street in the world. Napoleon’s tomb which is a building of gold and marble which contains his tomb and his brothers. Saw the tombs of Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, and Voltaire. The biggest thrill was visiting the Sorbonne. Was in the chapel, where Cardinal Richelieu is buried. Sat in the amphitheatre in the doctors chair Madam Curie was interviewed there etc.
Went through the Louvre and Luxembourg and Toulieres Gardens. Saw the Bois du Bologne and the Bartaille and Notre Dame which is lovely and the Hotel Dieu.
Versailles was lovely also. Went through the Castle. Marie Antoinette’s bedroom etc. The gardens and forest where they rode, the fountains and grounds are still lovely.
One afternoon I went to “Paquin” fashion show. Sat in a complete grey room, broadlooms, drapes, lovely lights and mirrors, the fashions, my dears, were exquisite, the models beautiful. I know what my new wardrobe is going to contain.
My nite life consisted of going to a cabaret called “Bal Taberin” quite something and definitely an experience also we went to the “Folies-Bergere”. That too was Paris nite-life. I might say..
I didn’t buy anything. I did all that on five pounds – all I had and anything I wanted to buy was at least 5,000 or 6,000 francs. Unbelievable. A purse cost 7,000 – $150.00 in our money. I bought Dad a small present which I will send immediately. Just a souvenir of Paris. It incidentally was not included in the five lbs.
I flew back to Brussels – was met by Dan went to dinner etc. The next day came up here. There was a letter from Dad. Glad you got to Buffalo, a letter from Connie and Ferg. Ferg’s course sounds wonderful. Also the children. Glad the “shoes” were a success. Funny how such a small thing pleases them.
Had a note from Frank – 1st Division is miles and miles from here so he hasn’t been back. Of course I knew that and didn’t expect him.
I wish Mother wouldn’t travel by herself – anywhere.
I don’t’ know about my future but somehow don’t expect to get home very soon, haven’t enough years in the service but then I may. I don’t want you to be waiting though.
Am waiting anxiously to know how Liz is. Poor dear, how wonderful it will be to have over. It’s been a long, long winter and spring for her.
Well, must stop. How is Madeline? Haven’t heard in ages and I write her often. Will write Connie and Ferg soon. I adored the pictures. Everyone loves Michael. Thinks he is the cutest thing yet. Had to show my god-child to everyone of –course.
I’m off swimming now. The water is so warm and lovely.
Love to everyone and thanks for the letters.
Picture of Paris 1945