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More Stories - The Way We Were

Here's another story from contributor Hilda Graham, with more to come later on from her husband: 

"Dear Bess:
I have not been on the computer very much for some time because we have been remodeling our home as well as keeping our six month old great granddaughter Lauren.  She is a doll and does require a lot of my time.  I plan on starting writing again, as I still have many stories that I hope you and your readers will be interested in.  Since we will have been married 59 years on the 17th. of October,  I thought you might be interested in the time we had together before Eddie was sent back to the States.   Sincerely, Hilda"

After the Wedding

After our wedding day which we described to you in detail, we were ready to settle down and really get to know each other.  We had not been together enough to make any plans for our future, due to circumstances beyond our control (like a war).

Oh, how we dreamed of a perfect life as all young couples do, the things we would do, the places we would visit, what kind of a home we would have, how many children (two would be ideal).  Eddie was going into the restaurant business with his father and I would take care of home and family, we worked it all out. 

The main thing in the back of our minds was the fact that we would have to be apart for a while, as the rumors persisted that Eddies group was going to be sent back to the states to prepare to go to the South Pacific, which was a possibility.  We tried to think positive and Eddie would sneak off the base every night to be with me.  He had arranged with his friends for them to get word to him if the order came at short notice for them to ship out.  We did not live too far from the base.  The men had figured out a way to get off base undetected (they thought).  They called it the Burma Road, which was a short cut through some unsuspecting farmer's field.  The MP's knew all about it, as they used it themselves when they were off duty.

It was funny one morning when Eddie arrived back to the Quonset hut where he was billeted.  There was a mother cat that had just given birth to her kittens on his cot.  Oh, what a surprise that was for him!  He and his buddies found a box and made a comfortable home for mother and kittens.  I bet these were the best fed cats in England as all the boys would give them food.  Later we found someone in the village who took them and promised to find a good home for mom and babies.

During our first weeks of marriage Eddie and I were so happy.  I felt so secure even though I missed my family.  He would console me when the thought of being separated was almost unbearable.  Soon I discovered that I was pregnant which had not been in our immediate plans, but we were not as sophisticated as the young people of today.  Come to think of it, we were na´ve for many years <G> as we had six children and love them all.

But back to first child.  We knew that Eddie would not be there when she was born, for we knew he would be leaving England soon.  Thank God that I had a loving family and would have Mother and Father with me, but oh, how I wished that Eddie could be with me for the birth of our first child.  We were not the only ones who had to face this ordeal for there were many others in the same situation; after all this was wartime.  Every day Eddie and I thought this might be the last time we would see each other until the war ended.  We treasured each precious moment together and I thought my heart would break when the time came for him to leave.  I had grown to love him so much, and I knew this love was returned.  We knew we were truly in love and that we were meant to be together.  This love has lasted all these years.

I had meant to write a different story, a funny one which I will write in the future, but memories just kept creeping into my mind of those early days of our marriage.

The little village where we lived, the quiet walks in the woods, even though the weather was very cold, and the things we talked about.  The old donkey in a field near where we lived - we would often take a potato or a carrot for him.  He seemed to know when we were approaching as he would let the loudest neighing.  We felt he got to know us and of course he enjoyed being fed.  I guess this might seem foolish but these were some of my fondest moments.  Such simple things but such vivid and happy ones.

I am almost through with this part of my story but another memory which is so funny happened at night time (don't get the wrong idea I am not about to reveal any intimate details about our love life) <G>.  It was so cold at night that the lady we rented from would fix a hot water bottle made out of crockery which was very heavy when filled with hot water.  She said this would ward off chills.  It was so kind of her as our feet would be freezing and it was no fun getting into a cold bed.  Remember there was a shortage of coal for heating the homes.  Coal, coke, electricity and gas were all rationed.  We could not buy extra blankets or warmer night clothes.  I remember putting Eddie's heavy coat across the bed to help keep us warm.  Remember the old song "I've got my love to keep me warm"?  Well, even that did not work. 

I have strayed from the funny part. I do not think they made beds as long back then, because Eddie was nearly six feet tall and it seemed that almost every night when he stretched his legs he managed to push the hot water bottle out of the bed and it hit the floor with a big bang.  If anyone was downstairs at the time they would think a bomb had dropped.  Eddie and I could hardly contain our laughter !!  Oh, but these were wonderful times.  If you have read all this, I hope you can understand why I remember all these memories.

I really do have a follow up for later, and I promise, it is very different, although it ties in with all these fond memories of so long ago.    ...More >>>  

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