Tag Archives: Canadian Hospital #8

March 18, 2017 – Thoughts on our trip – 3- France

Have to start by saying today was a wonderful day.  Temps in the 50’s and we took a hike in Rock Creek Park in DC and it was delightful.  Being in the woods, walking along a river, climbing hills and walking down them again.  The girls were wonderful and good sports.  We will all sleep well tonight.  The parents are out having a date night which we always try to provide for them when we come down.

So, now thoughts about France. We both enjoyed our visit to France. Going to Normandy was a good thing to do and I think we could have used one more day to see all that I wanted to see or maybe even two.  The hotel we stayed at in Bayeux was lovely and they were very helpful to us.  The one in Rouen on the other hand was not so nice and I would not send anyone else there who speaks English.  Or I would take a refresher course in French before returning there but would not stay at that hotel.  They were rude and the idea that a hotel in a tourist area only has staff that speak French is weird. No where else that we visited on this trip or others have we run into a problem where hotel staff could not assist us and just gave us the “No English” statement.  Not even the staff in the little restaurant for breakfast were helpful.

Seeing just one of the cemeteries from WWII was moving.  The men were so young and there were unmarked graves, they know the soldier was a Brit but they did not find their ID.  I imagine today they should be able to use DNA to figure out who they were.  We did not get to the Juno Beach as I wanted but that was because I was sick to my stomach that morning..  I think more time is needed to deal with and confront feelings as one visits the various sites.  By the time my Aunt Pat arrived in Mid July 1944 the troops had moved on as they were pushing back the German’s pretty quickly at that point.  Things were slower in Belgium and that is where Pat really experienced bombing and large numbers of soldiers coming in quickly from the front either to be fixed up to be sent home or to have their hands held as they died. And some went back to fight another day.

War is not something I have ever had to confront myself and even during the Viet Nam War I did not have close friends that I knew were there.. I might have found out about old classmates much later but not during the actual War.  And I do know if my brother had been drafted I would have taken him to Canada and left him there. No way would I have wanted him over there. It was a useless war and not one that brought about feelings of patriotism.  They were no direct threat to us so why were we fighting them.

But in WWII it was obvious that we needed to be there.  I had two aunts, and one uncle actually over there near or in the battle areas.  Also another Uncle worked with the US on developing treatments for those coming back with what we now call PTSD.  I found some articles he had written about this.  And on my Dad’s side he had cousins who lived in England fighting from the very beginning of the Brits being involved. And some lost their lives.  I never knew any of this but research has opened up those pages of the family history in both World Wars.

France was nice but either we needed longer or a different approach to our visit.  Maybe going their first and then up to Belgium might have helped give a clearer feeling about Pat’s travels. I will never know one way or the other now will I?

DSC00590

 

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May 21, 2015 – I am freezing – what is the date?

This morning it was lovely outside but I figured it would be nicer in the afternoon so I decided to finish cleaning the school house for the big event this weekend.  So I swept, vacuumed, washed off spider drippings from the floor, cleaned the window sills so pictures can look good on them, put table clothes on the tables and set up displays.  It was great. Then in the middle of all that I remembered that my grants I am scoring are due back in DC by tomorrow – so, I thought I will read the final one outside.  That would be nice – some sun and finish up reading.

WELL…. I go outside and sit in the sun and break out in goosebumps!. I mean really. It is May 21st and a lovely sunny day. Vey deceptive really it was. The gentle breeze blowing through the trees was a cool breeze. After five minutes I threw up my hands and gave up. Found a sunny window to sit in and read the grant inside.  Talk about frustrating.

So, all 8 grants are scored and evaluated and commented on as best I could do and on their way to DC. Well, actually they are probably in DC since I hit and button and they were there.  These were very frustrating just like last years.  Why don’t people know how to follow directions?  What makes them think if they move things around the way they want them that it will get them points? How dumb we humans can be.  There are bullets provided so as you write your answers if you bullet them the scorer can easily read them and figure out your answer. But no some folks combine three bullets and it is hard to figure out what is the answer to what!  I think the pain I am feeling in my neck is not from cleaning or typing but from frustration that some very well written grants with great plans will not be funded because of the way they wrote and ignored the directions.  Sad but true.

Tomorrow I am going to a quilt show to see my cousin Carol Lynch.  She is showing her quilts which are gorgeous. I cannot wait to see her new ones.  Then I will get myself some lunch, get some copies made at a copy store for saturday and head back and go to dinner at the lake.  Sounds wonderful to me.  I am also experimenting to see how much of my on line time I use up watching a show on netflics.  If not so much then Denis and I can continue to watch the killing during the summer if we don’t finish it before he comes up.  We just finished season 2 and although it took forever to get there at least we know who did it now.  If I had been reading a detective novel I can assure you I would have gone to the end and read the last chapter already. It has been tempting but I did not do it. Blame it on the ADD… cannot wait for things to happen..

So on with Pats letters.  Her sister Liz is her sister Eileen who had just had a baby on May 22 – the lovely Susan.

8 Cdn Gen Hosp
BLA
June 4, 1945

Hi dears:

Tell Liz congratulations for me. I will write her soon. So glad it’s all over and that she is well.

Got Dad’s letter. You didn’t tell me if you liked the snaps I sent. Sorry Mother had int. flu. Do hope she took sulphaquanadine. Clears it right up.

I am returning to England this week sometime. Shall go on leave to Ireland immediately so if you don’t hear from me that is what I am doing.   I shall miss Holland or the Continent very much.   We have been here 11 months.   I imagine Sheila will still get over. I’ll write you my new address as soon as I know it.

Have been travelling around the country. Charles took me to Amsterdam and it’s a beautiful city.  Also to Hamburg a long trip – it’s completely wrecked. People in the former place would pay anything for cigarettes or food. They followed the jeep in mobs. Poor things.

Charles had a conference in Brussels and he brought be back three wooden boxes containing tomatoes, strawberries and cherries. The fruit was wrapped in wool and cost a small fortune, but it was so good. 1 ½ yrs since I tasted any or more I guess. He paid in our money about $20. And there was just enough for maybe three people for one meal. Amazing isn’t it.
The rats are dreadful. They eat everything in sight unless its in tin boxes. I’ve hid things everywhere and still they find it, but that will be all over soon.

it’s been raining for three weeks now. True Holland weather, that sunshine we had was a mistake it seems.

Fr. Sweeney came down for 48 hrs. Took me all over – Mary S and Molly Spahn too. They are both darling girls. You will meet Marg. She is coming down after we get home.

Love and kisses and I’ll send you my address stat. Pat
here is a blog post about a correspondent who was in Hamburg right after it fell. Interesting reading.

http://billdownscbs.blogspot.ca/2013/04/cbs-radio-broadcast-by-bill-downs-in.html

Susan is in the middle, I am on the left and Maureen is on the right..sue__moe__and_margie

May 17, 2015 – What a gorgeous day!!!

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
BLA
May 20, 1945

Hi dears:

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.
Pat
Picture of Paris 1945

Champs-Élysées; source: frenchmoments.edu

May 8th, 1945; Paris

5-15-15 – I really like the way that looks

Don’t you love it when numbers kind of line up in a special way and knowing how long it will be before it ever does that again.

Actually quite a lovely day today so I washed the bathroom floor, put somethings back in the kitchen that have been on the dining room table for all these weeks of reno. And in between I washed two small loads of wash and hung them out.  LIfe of the retired old lady.  Also started packing again. Leaving my sweetie to head north again next week. Not sure when I will be back but for sure by June 1.

Since we are going to a friends for dinner this evening I thought I would write now, after lunch as I sit watching the breeze in the green trees, I hear a lawn mower going somewhere and I wonder about when the rain will arrive. But instead of rambling I will jump back into WWII.

I find it fascinating that she isn’t more off the wall about the end of the war.  She is already looking for a new career and more adventures.  This was a woman who loved an adventure that is for sure.  Cannot wait to find out more about where she was and who she was with when I get to where I can do research.

No 8 Cdn Gen Hosp
BLA
May 7, 1945

Dear Mother and Dad:

Had your letter, Mother, telling me about Kae’s wedding. So glad you stole the show!

I’m back on the old day shift and not working too hard I might say. I am with the Canadians that we have though so I am happy and we get a lot of time off, so I’m having a rest.

Thurs a.m. when I came off nites, Charles and I went to Antwerp and had a marvelous time. Visited the Corso Club and were greeted with open arms. Even the pianist and violinist came over to shake hands with us and the violinist played a couple of pieces I like standing beside our table. I had a corsage of lily –of- the- valley and I adored every minute of it all. All the blackouts and brick walls have been taken down in front of the hotels etc and it looks so nice. The manager of the Corso Club told us he had to pay 6,000 francs to have his two window drapes cleaned and repaired. That is $175.00 and to get new ones, it would have cost 50,000 francs so he had them cleaned. Isn’t that terrific?

We came back Fri to celebrate the end of war. The people in Holland were wild with joy.

Have we any Spanish books? I want to study it. When I go home I’ll take a short course in it. Then try to get a job with Imperial or Standard Oil and go to South America to some spot with them. Could you send me a book to start. I should have some knowledge of it.

If I vote it’s definitely for C.C.F. I think they are doing a good job in Saskatchewan and anyone is better than the Libs. Don’t you agree? love to everyone. Pat

March 31, 2015 –

Well, what to do with this tired body now? probably should go for a long walk.  I can just feel sleep coming on and I have not even had lunch yet.  D went and ran 5 miles this morning before I had finished reading the newspaper.  Have to wonder what the problem is here.  My check up is coming in a month and I plan to have a long chat with my doc about this and maybe head for the alternative doctor and spend $800 on a delayed allergy reaction blood test.  Or maybe I need Carters Little Liver Pills. Remember those ads. I don’t think anything can give me more energy but you never know.

I shut down my computer and started it up again and now have to find the thumb drive with Pats letters on them again.  I am transferring everything from two computers onto thumb drives so I have all my files before I shut down those two computers.  Drives me crazy.  It was so much easier when we did everything on paper. We had tons of paper but at least it was saved for the future. I figure all the pictures will just be deleted one day. I haven’t even had the time to order any pictures from our four months in Ireland. Of course when I do order them and they arrive I will probably get all depressed again.  I really miss something about being over there still.  Maybe in the winter I would have felt just like this over there but then again I wonder.   What was so special? What made being there made me happy?  And the big question is Why am I so unhappy being here in my own home? Or is it even that?  So much to contemplate.

I have been going back and forth about this A-Z challenge.  Doing ancesters is a pretty neat idea. I know something about all of them and they say don’t make the blog entries too long.  So I will start with something about a relative every day and then go back to WWII letters. I have all of Aunt Sheila’s letters as well and some fun ones from family members.  That should keep me out of trouble for a bit don’t you think?

Now I have to go and find the thumb drive with Pats letters on them and have some lunch. Will finish this after that.

15 Sept 1944

Dear Mother and Dad,

I received one of my boxes yesterday. The one with the peanut butter and honey in it and I was so thrilled. There has been no mail for five days so it was nice to get a parcel and the food was perfect.   Lib and I made toast at nite and had the peanut butter and believe me it tasted like something out of this world.

I didn’t get this finished.  Yesterday 16 Sept 44’ pm. Lib and I went into R…. and had more fun seeing the town.   I am sending you some sweet cards (painted ones) that you can save for me.   I have walked under the clock tower in one of them.  The city is old and quaint.   No sidewalks and market places and side walk cafes.   We had some iced sherbet with fresh wild strawberries at one.  “Tres bon.”  We are stared at wherever we go.   People stand in groups and just stare at us and a lot are very friendly.

I was coming out of a shop when I heard someone shouting “Patsy” and it was Ross Pinder ( a friend from Aldershot days.)   He is in Belgium now.  I was riding through when he saw me.   So he drove us home and stayed for dinner.

I bought a few perfumes to bring you home.  I am trying to collect a few things. I got some “Worth” “Tahoe” “Lucien Lalong” “Paquin” all those wonderful names you read about in Vogue and Harpers.   Wish I could afford a boat load.

We are hoping for Belgium at our next move which shouldn’t be too long away.   I shall try to get some lace. Nice eh.

Fr Sweeney had to leave – moved on.   His last nite he and I and Lib and Fr O’Leary went to dinner in a small pub.   Had the most marvelous time.   We started with “aperitifs” then had dinner with dry white wine, then canned pears which Fr S had brought along and had the juice mixed with cognac and it tasted just like cheery brandy.   Perfect mixture!   Then rum liqueurs with coffee.   Fr. S is the best host.   I am dying for you all to meet him .   You will as soon as we get back.  He is coming down for a week-end.

Life is perfect these days. Tomorrow I am going for 48 hrs to our “officers rest club” that will be fun.  I am wearing my “blues” for the first time in France.  What a thrill! will write all about it. Love P
ANd here is a site about the Clock Tower.

http://wikimapia.org/2104015/The-Great-Clock-French-Le-Gros-Horloge#/photo/43029

city clock architecture france Clock tower historic Normandy rouen

March 30, 2015 – Twin boys play day – freezing cold on the northern French Border

Today I got up early, now that was a miracle.  Went to the lab and gave them some blood for a test and then filled my gas tank for $16.00 – wow that was thrilling. Got .90 off a gallon, thank you Price Chopper.  Then I ate some breakfast and got myself ready to head out.

Went up to Halfmoon to visit friend Susan who I have not seen in ages. She babysits for her adorable twin grandsons. They were adorable and so busy which of course is a good thing.  Wonder how I ever used that play pen. Their house is just one big playpen for cute little kids.  The kids are just over a year but climb on everything and just keep going. Such fun.

I came home and went through all the mail and paid bills and made some donations so if I get the table cleared we will have room for the four of us to eat when we get back here from DC.  That is going to be so much fun. Oh and I made my plans to head south. Going to visit family then going to see the lovely Sarah starting in the “Miracle Worker”.  Should be a grand week. Then I bring the girls up here for the week. Such fun.

That was my day, how was yours?  My goal is to get up early every day since I will have to do that when the girls are here. Might be starting something new.  Been working on the A to Z challenge.  So many wonderful names to pick to write about. Even figured out some misinformation about my A person. Going to see if I can find out more about him tomorrow before I start.

And here is the continuing story of Pat’s adventures in northern France.

10 Sept 44’

Hello dears:

My hands are fast becoming stiff with cold but I shall be very brave and get this written (ha-ha).  About 11 p.m. the temperature really drops very low.  I wear two sweaters, my battle blouse, a sheepskin lined flying jacket (a loan from one of my Air Force friends) and when I sit down I keep a hot water bottle inside the jacket and a blanket over my knees and I am still cold.  And I don’t sit down much.  We are very busy.  The casualties from the seaport towns are very bad.   The Calgary Highlanders were practically wiped out the other nite.   Entered a town which the “Recon” had said was vacated, walked into machine gun fire, lost everyone – wounded and otherwise.  The other western units are also taking a terrific beating but then that is nothing new for them.  Its been the same since D-Day.  The boys tell me grim stories about it all which doesn’t help my morale any.

We had a perfect time yesterday. Fr. O’Leary told me be would take me to R…. that Lib could come along.  Capt (Fr.) Sweeney was taking us.   So at 9:30 a.m. Capt S. picked us up in his jeep.  He is perfect.   Young and very clever.   He is with Arm’d troops.   The sun was out for the first time in a week so we had a perfect drive.   They took us all over the city.   We went into the Cathedral where “LaSalle” was baptized.   It was bombed badly but still beautiful.   The French people told us “L’Anglais bombs” and smiled.   This with wild gestures.  They said, “le Bache bombe”,  I guess they didn’t like the Germans but who would!   We saw a monument where Joanne d”Arc was burned at the stake. We went to “Perfume” shops where I got a few little gifts for you.

Fr. Sweeney stopped at a corner where flowers were being sold and bought us armfuls of marigolds, dahlias, astors.  What a thrill!  Then he took us to a side walk café and we had drinks of rum.   Very good and potent stuff.  Then we drove home at noon and passed a convoy of Canadian soldiers, such a ride, we were so thrilled to see them and they rose and whistled.   The French people come up and shake our hands and we give them issue candies and cigarettes etc and they throw us kisses.   What a day!   I get so thrilled and happy. Fr. S has never met the other Fr. S in Ottawa but has heard of him.   He is from Toronto.

Sorry this is full will write more later. I never have enough space and mother will never understand this. Pat.

From Wikipedia here is a paragraph about their action in SEptember 1944. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Calgary_Highlanders

“On 6 July 1944, one month after the Normandy landings, the regiment landed in France. In Operation Spring, the Calgary Highlanders were part of the Battle of Verrières Ridge, along with the Black Watch, in which the regiment took heavy casualties. The unit saw extensive action in Normandy, marched through Dieppe with the 2nd Division in September 1944 as liberators, then moved on to the fighting for the Channel Ports. By the end of September the regiment was in Belgium and forced a crossing of the Albert Canal, northeast of Antwerp.”

picture of the cathedral at Rouen today

March 29, 2015 – we have sunshine today and some tears – WWII it was raining

I woke up this morning later than usual because we stayed up late last night. First watching a couple of episodes of the Killing – Love the scenes of Seattle. So many places I remember.  Then watching the nailbiter ending to the Notre Dame vs Kentucky basketball game. I think I am done with the March Madness at this point.   The NBA training teams are winning and I just cannot get excited at teams whose coaches make more than all the professors in their colleges and kids that probably are not getting an education but are just prepping for the NBA.  It is all so corrupt I cannot stand it.

But I did finally get up this morning and went to Palm Sunday services.. It was funny at the end. Father Tom had to get over to the other campus to say Mass at 11 and the Choir was singing verse after verse of some very lovely piece.  He tried to signal them to stop it but they kept going.  So at the end it made a beeline out of there to his car only 25 minutes late for the next service if you count his travel time across town.

Then it was time to read the newspaper.  D went out for a 10 mile run.. the half marathon is at the end of this next month and he is making progress getting ready for it.  He looks so great – as the young girls would say “hot” in his new very svelte body.  So glad he is such a healthy fellow.   Me, I read the paper and hung curtains on the line to dry.  But then I saw it. Sadly the Fantasticks is really going to close this time.  It has been playing at the Snapple Theatre on Broadway for a bunch of years and before that since the 60’s at the Sullivan Street Playhouse.  That is our musical.  During the year we started dating and decided to get married D was still acting as was I. He must more seriously since in his heart he wanted a career in the theatre. I suppose teaching might fill some of that dream.  But he played one of the fathers and I went to most of the rehearsals with him.  Then all the performances.  I will never forget the woman sitting behind me one night going on and on about his gorgeous blue eyes.  I smiled and was so happy they noticed them since I knew how beautiful they were and still are for that matter.

Since that time we have seen the play at the Sullivan Street Theatre, at the Snapple where we purchased a poster signed by Tom Jones who wrote the play/music and who acted in the revival. And we have seen it in many other venues over and over again.  The music was part of our wedding ceremony and we love it to this day.  We even saw it at Niskayuna High School..

So, that put a sad tinge on my day but it is beautiful out and I read this letter from Pat to her brother Maurice and his wife Jean, their daughter Maureen, my good friend, was born in August that year and this is her letter to them about that and what is happening in the war.

8 Sept 44’

Dear Jean and Misty:

Congratulations my pet’s on your new daughter, isn’t it wonderful!   Everyone says how beautiful she is.   I am so happy for you both.
I never answered Misty’s letter but I loved getting it. I thought it very cleaver and got a big bang out of it. I wish he would write me again but I know how busy he is and you too with your new infant.

I hope the family have been getting my “ordinary mail” letters fast.  You have probably read them.   So I shall not repeat myself.  Life is a trifle grim lately.   Being on “nites’ and the weather is cold and it has rained constantly since we arrived.   The boys put the tents up so fast that they leak all over and trying to keep the pts dry is a problem.   Last nite there was a great wind blowing and one tent gave way.  The pegs won’t stay in the wet ground.   What a time, and no lights, and I have never been so cold before, and to add to it all, our food is dreadful.   We haven’t had bread for a week and you never realize how essential it is until you don’t have it.   Especially for breakfast.

Oh well, I find it really quite amusing but amazing.  Today when Lib and I were sleeping our own tent nearly blew away and the rain beat in our faces.   But I hear we are going out on a “rest period” 48 hrs.   We don’t need it but it will be wonderful.   To an officers club which is really something.   Orchestra and bar and silk sheets.   I am so thrilled with the idea.   Fr O’Leary is taking Lib and I into … tomorrow.  I hope to get some perfume to bring home to you all.

Dick is about 30 miles away.   Drove over last nite for a few minutes.   Perfect of him but he expects to move again soon.   What a fast moving war!

Give my love to Fergie Joe.   I miss him a lot.   I knew him for so long.   Give Brenda and Maureen a kiss.   Have a happy time my dears and thanks for both your letters Jeannie.   Wonderful to hear, believe me.
Love Patt.