Oct 2, 1943
At the moment I am seated on a bench in a beautiful garden with all kinds of different trees spread about from the ordinary Elm to a monkey puzzle tree ( a tall tree like a spruce only the needles are magnified a hundred time & pointed outward, hence called a monkey puzzle, because its the only tree supposedly that a monkey can’t climb). It’s set in between two high hills, the birds & bees are all over the place & the sun beating down with all the heat of a summer’s day.
Yes! I am in the south of Holland (note to reader: Holland, England of course!, with thatched roofs. What a perfect heavenly spot to live in. Behind & below me is a large river running & winding out of the English Channel 5 miles away, & to my right is a high range of hills seeming to disappear into the clouds & although I haven’t been there I know that over the top & far inland is the famous Dartmoor Penitentiary, where many the escaped convict has gotten lost & died of hunger & thirst. I understand that during winter the heavy fogs settle over the land for weeks on England in the county of Devon & without exception it is the most beautiful county I have been in yet. To describe is hard, yet, magnify the hills at home to 3 times their size, all fences turn into hedges, roads half their width, all paved with high stone fences every now & then, flowers & vegetation generally 3 times as heavy, a few tropical trees, no spruce, but a large number of pine, a lot of quaint little houses stuck here & there in groups, much like houses you’ve seen in the movies & that to find one’s way is next to impossible.
Oh yes! Charlie & I came down here on weekend to see Henry Cotton & Joyce Wethered play off against A.T. Kyle & A Easterbrook. Unfortunately Henry Cotton took sick & Michael Scott took his place so I was very disappointed. Nevertheless we had a very nice time & saw many picturesque old places dating back to 1200.
Incidentally, the clay is very much like home, although a bit of it is very salmon colored. Only wish you were here to enjoy it with me.
Always in my thoughts. Love,
Oct 24, 1943
To-day is Sunday & yours truly is working. The rain clouds have finally dispersed & with the sun shining it is really a glorious day & as the work I am doing partly outside I don’t really mind. While I think of it, to-morrow I am mailing you a small parcel containing 2 photos, one for Mother, the other for you, also a small doll & a Scotch Plaid Apron for Barbara which you can be on the lookout for. Enclosed in this letter also will be a reapl for a Fifth Victory Loan Bond which you should secure sometime in either June or July of 1944. That seems like a long time away, but time really is flying with me at the moment & I hope it does for you also & that another year will find us very much closer together. Received word from Mother that she had already posted Christmas presents so I take it you may have also. Hope they catch up to me for Christmas.
Everything at the moment is very green or brown & together with all the hedges I really believe that England looks at its very best this time of year. Between Medical Inspections & pay parades everybody is quite busy, but as the boys all seem to like the weather, bright & cheerful, it makes a great difference in working with them.
Darling! If you could possibly manage it, would you mind getting me a couple decks of cards & send them over. Impossible to get here. My adorable one, if only I could be very close to you now & have those comforting warm white arms around my neck & those ruby red, soft tender lips pressed close to mine. Sweetheart! Every now & then I think of the days when I used to let go of the baby carriage going down the short cut into town & you used to rail me for it. How perfectly adorable you used to be when we used to sit in the porch or on the lawn at Fredia’s, so youthful, fresh & so full of vitality & life itself. I still remember quite well the number of times I used to wash dishes &, funny to say, like it. Will you ever forget that darn furnace when it used to act up on us. Yes, my sweet! All these things are very vivid to me at the moment & being so makes life just that much more bearable, because I know that when I return you & I, together with Barbara will be able to recapture all the love & home life that at the moment is so impossible for us. May our prayers bring us that much closer to our reunion.