Yes, I got new stationery for Christmas this year, and this is the first letter written on it. Thank you for the Christmas gift. I’ve christened him Bismarck, and hung him on a narrow black grosgrain ribbon around my neck. What is it (Bismarck) carved from – bone? a bears tooth (do bears come that big?)?, a walrus tusk? I told my schoolchildren that way up north in Alaska there are bears so-o-o-o big, and that Bismarck was carved out of just one tooth. Am I a liar?
Say – this year I decorated the two windows on the front of the house downstairs and entered the Community Club’s Outdoor Decorations Contest and I won First Prize ! ($5.00 worth of it). Dad took a picture of it, and I’m sending it along with this letter. It was all in red, black, white and green. The bells were red, also the man’s scarf, ladies hat, bow, umbrella. Of course, the hemlock was green. We lit it at night with a huge floodlight. Of course, I’m prejudiced, but I liked it a great deal myself.
I have changed my mind about “the bratty kids”. When you decide that you are satisfied with life for a while, and settle down to what you are and have, and try to find the bright side of things; – people, surroundings, and work take on different values. I wanted, last fall, more than anything else, to leave a small, one-horse town of Trumbull and really go places – stop training for such a common ordinary thing is teaching, and go traveling. You know about that, though. When you and Dan left for Alaska, that was the last straw. I wanted to do big things, too; and if I possibly could have, I would have left home, town, school, and all. Of course, it was impossible. I couldn’t understand “why”, it all seemed so unfair. But I dreamed about it for a while, and then just “gave up”. It was then that I realized how very silly I had been and acted, and that I should have to “grow up”, and learn to know my own mind. So I have been quite satisfied with things as they are, and maybe, some time, I can do the “now impossible”. (I can dream, can’t I) in the meantime I can find so many little things that mean so much.
In kindergarten, for instance……. One child’s laugh, another’s hair, their small, seemingly serious quarrels… A little boy who laughs when he loses as well as when he’s winning…. And there is wonder in his eyes at all the beautiful things around – in the beginning. (No, I’m not “waxing poetic”, but it seems to me we should have more to return for all this then war!)
I just reread what I’ve written, Ced, and I’m a little ashamed of myself, but rather than waste this piece of stationery, and the time and energy I’ve spent on this “Epistle of Meditations”, I’ll send it. Anyway this is written while I’m still only 20. By the time you receive this I will be 21 – and much more mature.
The next letter to you will be interesting, I promise.
I’ll finish the week tomorrow with a letter from Dan, in Alaska, to Lad, in Venezuela.
On Saturday and Sunday, Special Pictures.
Next week, I’ll begin, and maybe finish, the story of Lad’s induction into the Army in 1942.