I didn’t actually have cake for breakfast as I may have implied.
Well … not JUST cake. Jon made our typical breakfast.
My family postponed all 2010 year-end holiday festivities until we felt more interested – so we did a lunch/dinner + gift giving thing today.
Jon received a 35 pound kettlebell – which really means we BOTH received one – so that’s exciting.
I’m not a big fan of juice – or of drinking anything but water and coffee, really – but I love coconut + pineapple and had both … so I mixed pineapple juice + grapefuit juice + coco lopez + a splash of rum. SO GOOD.
I read all 65 of the letters (previously mentioned) to Jon one snowy Sunday afternoon.
They span from 1927 – 1943 and are all TO a woman named Sara.
About 1/4 are letters from her mom – all written to her while she was away (a whopping 30 miles!) at college. One letter is from a high school boyfriend – also to her while she was away at college. The rest are letters from her husband – about 1/2 from when he was in boot camp, the rest while he was in (Army) training in Louisiana.
Her family were farmers in central Georgia. She was the oldest of 3 kids – she had two younger brothers. She was the first in her family to go to college and earned a bachelor’s degree at Bessie Tift College in Forsyth, GA (it no longer exists).
She taught elementary school somewhere around Woodland, GA after graduating (and earned $42 a month), but went back to live with her parents after she married and her husband joined the Army.
The letters from her mom were gossipy and practical and VERY interesting. Lots of information about other people, lots of questions about what dresses she needed sewn/mended, questions about when she’d be traveling home for a visit, etc.
Lots of people died because of trains – wrecks, falling asleep on tracks, etc.
The letters from her husband were a different story. They were sappy and sweet and made me cry – and extremely interesting when he’d detail his days’ activities – but eventually creeped me out a little.
He called her “my own sweet mother” as in “how is my own sweet mother?” and “I love you my own sweet mother” …. as opposed to momma, which he is how he referred to his actual mother …. and she apparently called him daddy.
They had been married for 8 years when he left for boot camp, but they did not have children.
Jon thinks this sort of terminology is common for older southern couples, but I asked my grandmother. Not common in her life. None of my grandparents or great-grandparents ever talked like this around me.
I thought it was sweet – at first – but it sort of took on a strange tone after a while.
I’m sure it was some sort of thing between the two of them … which IS sweet … it was just constant and repetitive and peppered throughout all of the letters. Quite prolific.
I can just imagine what someone might think if they read letters (email) between us … so maybe I should reserve judgment.
Jon recognized a few names as we read the stories, so he figured out that this woman’s husband (the letter writer) was his dad’s uncle (so Jon’s great-uncle?). We know nothing about him, though. We don’t even know why Jon’s father had the letters.
BUT WE HAVE TO KNOW. We have to find out the end of the story.
The letters just end while he’s in training in Louisiana.
We would really like to find out if this couple ever had children. The husband was very open about wanting to have children when he returned from the Army, so I SO hope that they had some.
We’d really like to find them if they exist – or grandchildren – to return the letters.
I’m thinking about scanning the letters, so maybe I will upload to flickr. Very interesting.
I’ve really enjoyed being semi-home.