I spent some time with my girlfriends a few weeks ago for a ‘crafting’ weekend. It is not really about crafting anymore but more about being together and enjoying each others company. We read, play games, laugh and have a wonderful time. Some of us do tackle things that we couldn’t normally do at home, like working on photo albums, special projects or catching up on movies or books.
I have a shoe box sized bin full of negatives that belonged to my grandfather. Being a bit of a photo junkie myself I really appreciate all of his organization! I am working on slowly converting all of the negatives into digital photos. (To give some scale – Up to the first vertical stack is over 500 negatives!) During this process I am learning a little bit more about the man that he was and watching him evolve into the man that my grandmother knew and fell in love with.
I also have copies of all of the letters that he wrote home to his family from overseas during WWII. He was stationed all over – France, Germany & England. During our girls weekend I was reviewing his letters and found some negatives that correspond with the dates on the letter!
This letter was special – dated April 13, 1945. He was writing home to wish his father, my great grandfather, a Happy Birthday! (He was born on April 13, 1889 in New Brunswick). What a fun thing to find! At this time my grandfather was stationed in Strasbourg France, and labeled his letter “From Across the Rhine”. In this digital age each letter that I read is a gift. He talks about going to church, where he is staying and my personal favorite – his natural surroundings.
“There’s a nice fence all about the place, a nice lawn with new green grass, a yard full of flowers, and a neat little garden on one side. The white and purple lilacs are beginning to blossom and they smelled real nice this evening when the air was musty. A few bleeding hearts are in bloom along the walk, a pink-flowered bush sits next to the fence over near the sidewalk and the flowers all along the house are about to break into bloom, they’re bulging now. This is a small town, very pretty with lots of trees, wide roads, and hilly terrain. The destruction of warfare seems to have passed and left this little place in very good condition.” Until next time …