December 4, 1943
Despite the fact that last Sunday night I fully intended to write this letter regarding all the wonderful presents we received, we both got awfully tired and didn’t get around to going through the long list. So, now, if you notice different words or typing when you come to presents Lois received, well actually there will have been a change for Lois will have been writing it.
René: Mom, thanks loads for the V-mail paper, ink and lead. V-mail at the moment is not as scarce as ‘twas, but it will certainly come in handy and shall be kept as a reserve supply. Ink and lead are naturally of considerable use.
Lois: Mommie, the strap purse is simply perfect! And the little leather case is so yummy, I just love it! And I love the lipstick. Bobsy dear, the leather compact is ever so smart, and is getting good use. It is very swell with the uniform I’m wearing this year!
René: And Mom, the wonderful set of sweater, scarf, armlets & socks is really swanky. I had not anticipated having to use such things as a scarf and armlets here in Sicily, but it begins to look as if the weather is going to justify the use of such garments. In fact, I could be using them right now if I didn’t think myself still healthy enough and “rugged” enough, not to have to wear more than my woolies and field jacket when outdoors. However, actually, at times it is far warmer outdoors than ‘tis indoors. As you can well imagine, the good socks I started out with almost two years ago are no longer serving their full purpose, so that those you sent are greatly appreciated. G.I. socks are O.K. but it does feel nice to put on a real good pair once and a while.
The books are just what we needed – a swell collection. And Simon Bros. certainly did alright by us over here. They packed up their swell candy so that it would stay perfectly fresh and it arrived here in tip-top shape. Needless to say, however, it didn’t last very long once the “seal-tight” tops were un-sealed. And I don’t mean that the candy spoiled (Oh, so you knew I didn’t mean that, eh?), but perhaps it did spoil a meal or two for us as the packages arrived before supper and as we only anticipated some of the usual C-ration, we didn’t hesitate to do justice to Simon’s before supper.
Some time before the supply from Jeanie & Ruthie arrived, the supply of caramels, hard candy and those swell cinnamon balls were all “feeneeshed” as we have learned to say to Arabs and Sicilians alike when they come begging for cigarettes or caramellos.
Lois: Golly, Mommie, but the p.j.’s are swell, and so practical. Especially when the time comes that we have to be doing all our own laundry again, as in Africa. The handkerchief is simply beautiful. And soap seems to be one thing we use up awfully rapidly, and it is a handy thing to have a few extra of. Thank you ever and ever so much! You are all so very sweet to me. I certainly feel like one of the family. And I so hope it won’t be much longer in becoming an actuality!
René: We have really been swamped with packages and feel that we have been spoiled far more than we deserve. As a matter of fact, we seem to have managed to get a package, one or the other of us, every time that Snuffy has brought more than a couple of packages home from the Post Office. The boys in the mail room, in fact, were greatly shocked the one day that neither one of us got a package. They thought something was drastically wrong, but then, the next day you made up for it and more.
Truly, it’s been wonderful getting things over here, but we only wish that there was some way whereby just being home with you all for a short time could be substituted for all the things you have sent us. Perhaps it won’t be so long, however. If Roosevelt and Churchill and the others continue traveling around as they have been doing again in the last couple of weeks, well, who knows???
Loads of love, tanks oodles, & Merry Xmas to you all,