My Rescue in China: Ping-ping awaits adoption

It’s early evening in Illinois but late morning in China.

This is the time when my phone begins dinging messages and videos from Wayne’s Pet World, the Luzhou pet shop and grooming center that currently is kenneling rescue foster kitty, Ping-ping.

“She is fine,” owner Liu Rongjie texts in Chinese. “Do not worry. Your child is well-cared for.”

Next comes a 15-second video clip of a beautiful gray 8-month old feline in her spacious, closet-sized, glassed-in enclosure.  Kitty toys, bedding, tidy litter box and a straw fish-shaped scratching board litter her plush kennel.  She is energetically gobbling up her breakfast of canned food, a luxury which she certainly never received in my home.  All my rescues ever get is generic dry food.

I re-read Rongjie’s note and watch the video a second time.

Her words of “well cared for” seem to be the understatement of the year.  This kitty is being treated like a royal princess!

Making Adjustments to Adoption Plans

What was only to be a 1-month stay at Wayne’s World, while I helped my mom move in America, is being extended to indefinitely.  I now wait anxiously to return to China which has temporarily canceled all visas of foreigners looking to re-enter the country from abroad.

The fear is that we overseas’ folk will bring the virus back to China in full force.  The country itself has managed a miraculous feat of containing the virus after strict lockdowns throughout the country, in particular Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.   In the past few months, cities have re-opened and life is returning to normal for a majority of the country.  However, a few cases are currently popping up here and there with two having been imported from outsiders, at a northern Russia-China border.

In other words, China is still very wary of overseas’ guests, thus the ban remains.  This I completely understand and am in full agreement with, although it saddens me to say so.

While my travel is put on hold, so is Ping-ping’s adoption.  This was to take place in February, after my return to Luzhou.  Unfortunately, due to the virus,  she will have to remain in the shop until I can be able to personally see to her receiving a forever home.

The Story of Ping-ping

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In October, I received a knock at my 9th floor apartment door from Granny Zhang (Jah-ng) on the 3rd floor.  She had her 2-year-old grand-daughter in tow and wanted to borrow one of my collapsable pet cages.  These I have in abundance in numerous sizes, always ready for rescues or for loaning out to others.  I’ve had several in my building borrow these from time to time for rabbits, baby chicks, kittens and even (in one instance) frogs destined for the dinner table the next day.  Everyone on campus knows I am the one to come to for such animal containment help.

I asked why she needed a cage and received a  distraught, verbal gushing in Chinese.  It seems Granny Zhang’s daughter, a teacher on my campus, had picked up a tiny abandoned kitten which she found in the pouring rain on her way back from class.   Granny needed a cage to keep the little one in.  Because I wasn’t sure which size she needed, plus was curious as to the kitten’s state, I asked to come and take a look.

What I saw in her home nearly broke my heart.  The ragged, crying thing was very tiny, perhaps 3 weeks old, and was in need of more care than I felt Granny Zhang was capable of giving. The elderly woman, however, seemed eager to try so I set her up with cage, bedding, kitty food, bowls and a litter tray in the hopes that the kitten would somehow thrive.

I left feeling pleased with myself that I had been so helpful and  relieved that I wouldn’t end up being responsible for yet another stray.

Plea for Help

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This tiny girl was not doing well under Granny Zhang’s care.

But after a week, it was apparent that Granny Zhang (despite all her good intentions) was in way over her head.  After asking her during that first week how the kitten was, her distressed, desperate reports caused me to become more and concerned:  “Very bad,” “The kitten has diarrhea.  It poops everywhere,” “It won’t eat,” “It cries all the time,” “It is getting weaker and weaker,” “I give it baths because it is so filthy.”

In other words, under her care, the kitten was in dire straights. It was obvious she wouldn’t survive with Granny Zhang in charge, who had her hands so full with a toddler she had little time to deal with an unweaned kitten.   She needed someone in-the-know how to care for a very young feline.

Who else would that be but the animal-loving foreigner who had the reputation of rescuing lost critters on campus and finding them good homes?

Taking in a lost soul

Thus gray kitten entered my home amidst my teaching duties, English Center activities, grading finals for my seniors (their courses ended a month before others), my Christmas open houses and the usual lesson planning.  We had every 4-hour feedings from a bottle which gave her the nutrition she needed.  Granny, not knowing better, had been feeding her raw meat which the starving thing couldn’t chew.  Nor was processed cow’s milk helping since feline newborns can’t digest it.

My little girl also had an anal infection which I was concerned about.  In a 1-day Saturday trip, leaving at 7 a.m. and returning at 8 p.m., I took her to the capital city of Chengdu for a consultation with my vet, Dr. Wang.  She was placed on oral antibiotics (which I happened to have in my emergency pet kit) and after 10 days, recovered wonderfully.

My emergency run to Chengdu, a bus trip of 8 hours there and back from Luzhou, prove successful. Dr. Wang examined our little girl and recommended antibiotics.

How Ping-ping’s name came about:  A Church in Georgia Gives Input

Throughout the gray kitten’s time in my home, I had been updating overseas’ American friends through emails about her predicament.  When her full recovery seemed a given, I put out a call for a name.  What should I name this little girl?

Bea Terrell, from Flowery Branch UMC in Flowery Branch, Georgia, took this to heart.  During a Thanksgiving Day potluck gathering of her church family, she announced my requests for naming my feline charge.  After discussions floated about among the tables as people ate, suggestions were made to somehow include the word “flower” or “branch” in the kitty’s name.

I added to this and came up with Peaceful Flower, Ping-An Hua (ping ahn hwah) or Ping-ping for short.   Her quiet disposition fit the name perfectly.

Continuing to look for a Home

Ping-ping today is still being cared for while waiting for a forever home. She completed her vaccinations in January and recently had her spay, which now puts her in a good place for adoption.  My kennel owner, Rongjie, and I have posted her picture and story among our combined WeChat groups.  We’ve asked others to pass along our  requests for a home.

Send lots of lucky thoughts her way for a family that will love and take good care of her.  While she is safe and pampered in her current dwelling place, it would be wonderful for her to get the kind of attention, affection and stability a permanent home would bring.

From Illinois, this is Connie wishing you, and Ping-ping, 平安 (ping ahn), “peace” for your Memorial Day weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in A Visit Home to Marshall, China, From Along the Yangtze, Luzhou Vocational and Technical College, Luzhou: Yangtze Rivertown, Luzhou: Yangtze Rivertown Stories, My animal rescue Stories in China, Overseas' pets, Tales of China, Travel | 1 Comment

Walk with Me: My mom’s weekly Column

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Now that the days are getting a bit warmer, dog and I are walking earlier in the morning but getting home later. That is because of all the stop and talks. There seem to be more folks about at our earlier than usual hour. Also, now that more progress on my “new” house is taking place , I feel the need to stop by to note the improvement updates. Hopefully, some time this summer I can become the occupant of that much smaller dwelling. In the meanwhile, I am still weeding at the big house, taking care of perennials and trying to resist all those lovely annuals the garden shops are now offering.

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We sidewalk walkers are enjoying the well kept yards and gardens around town. The weather hasn’t been too cooperative so far, but we have managed to get around despite all that wind and rain. The “we”are Bridget, my dog, and Connie, my daughter. Connie will be with us for some time as the visa that enables her to return to her teaching position in China has been suspended temporarily because of the virus. She is doing her teaching on line in cooperation with the Chinese teachers and may return there sometime in the fall.

Thanks to all who have asked about my house move and Connie’s return to China. It is good to know that people care about and are interested in what is going on in our lives. We all seem to value and enjoy smalltown ‘small talk.’  Besides, who among us doesn’t like a bit of local news that we can pass along?

Now, as to this week’s Yesterdish.  When I was in 7th grade Home Economics class in Holland, Michigan, one of our projects was cooking up a concoction called “Eggs Ala Goldenrod.”  The name itself seems to have foreign origins but the recipe meets the qualifications as a true American Yesterdish. As exotic as it sounds, it is really just creamed eggs on toast. What a let down. However as a 12-year-old novice cook, I thought that I had achieved some culinary status just by following the recipe, let alone mastering the tricky cream sauce!

Several basic cooking skills were taught during the making of Eggs Ala Goldenrod. They included boiling and peeling eggs, removing the yolks, chopping the whites, making a white cream sauce and grating the egg yolks. The finished product was plated by pouring the white sauce loaded with chopped egg whites over toast points and adding grated egg yolks on top as the final “goldenrod” touch. Quite fancy for a 7th grade Home Economics class, don’t you think? I wonder what Virginia Claypool or Vi Shaffner, our retired Home Economics’ teachers,  would have to say about that recipe.

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Eggs Ala Golden Rod

Eggs ala Goldenrod is an old school recipe that, as most culinary researchers note, first appeared in a Fanny Farmer’s Boston Cooking School recipe book in 1886. In the 1930’s and 40’s, this variation of creamed eggs on toast was taught in Home Economic classes all over our country. It even became a traditional Easter breakfast dish for many families. Not in my family however. The only time I recall becoming acquainted with it was in that long ago class. I never much cared for hard boiled eggs anyway, and the added the golden touch didn’t help make them any more appetizing.

However, despite my opinion, over the years this fancy creamed egg recipe has morphed into a way to use up leftovers, common additions being peas, chopped ham, chicken or whatever you have that you want to disguise to get the kids to eat. There are several other second generations of this dish also. Those who were in the service may recall, not so fondly, of chipped beef on toast. It often bears another name but this is a family column so you can figure that out.

Our beloved mid -west favorite of biscuits and gravy has its roots in the creamed egg dish. Another relative is the Welsh Rarebit that my mother often served.  It is a traditional offering featuring a sauce of melted cheese poured over crackers or toasted bread. The Swiss serve something similar as a hot pot with bread as dippers. I am sure you cooks who read this have a stash of your own creamy recipes that are family favorites. Be sure to pass these comfort foods recipes to the younger cooks in your orbit. All of us need all the comfort we can find right now.

“No one is born a great cook—one learns by doing.” — Julia Child

Peace

Posted in A Visit Home to America, A Visit Home to Marshall, Illinois, Smalltown American Life, Travel, Walk with Me: My mom's newspaper column | 1 Comment

A diligently recorded overseas’ life makes an appearance

 

After years in boxes, my overseas’ life emerged from hiding in the attic and has been unfolding before me.

Since my mom’s October, 2019 announcement of a newly purchased house several streets away, the dread of clearing out my things has been looming over me. Diaries, saved letters, pictures, slides,  published articles and sentimental items from Germany, Tunisia, Japan, Taiwan and China awaited re-discovery, then decisions on pitching or saving, keeping or giving away.

How does one begin with 40 years of  documented adventures and memories?

This blast from the past was to have lasted one month.  I had planned to catalog my journals and things by country and date during my Chinese New Year break as a college teacher with the Amity Foundation at Luzhou Vocational and Technical College.  What was to be a 4-week, madly rushed, whirlwind task has now morphed into 5 months and most likely a few more added to that.  Due to the virus, I am still blocked from returning to China until the Chinese government decides to re-activate visas and allow foreigners to return.

That has left me with plenty of time to get into high gear and finally deal with all those vividly recorded recollections from years ago to the present.

Inundated with Emails

The range of my life story is staggering.  I knew I had a lot but this much?!!

I have notebook upon notebook of handwritten journals, airmail letters sent to my parents which my mom squirreled away, published essays of numerous revealing overseas’ experiences, newspaper articles I wrote for local papers, correspondence from former students who wrote to me about their lives and hundreds of pictures either in tidy photo albums (some labeled, others not) or barely seen and still in their just-developed envelopes.

Quite a few of these my mom has on a thumb drive, along with her parents’ war letters, some of which I’ve shared on this website.  Thanks to my high school classmate, Pam, who spent hours upon hours, months upon months, of scanning a majority of those into my mom’s computer, we now have the ability to pull  up quite a few on a computer screen without the worry of well-worn pages shredding, getting soiled or destroyed as they are read or moved about.

Years of printed emails

Most impressive in this library of life, I would have to say, are the 3-ring binders which my mother kept of all my emails, printed out from 1997 – 2020.  These she hole-punched and labeled, beginning from my 3-month orientation with the United Methodist GBGM to my 3 years in Taiwan (1998-2001) to my 22 years in China Mainland with the Amity Foundation (1991-94, 2001- 2020).

The printed version of all these emails was done for my dad’s benefit.

After my mom bought her first computer, she taught herself how to use it.  But my dad became frustrated by the new technology.  Things would disappear for no reason.  Blinking cursors were hard for him to see.  The entire concept of clicking on icons was beyond him. The mouse was especially problematic.  He spent most of his time aggressively punching the mouse, as you would a type-writer key, instead of tapping on it gently.  The result was all sorts of strange things happening on the computer screen which only confused and annoyed him further.

My poor dad!  He completely gave up.

In order for my father to share my news with his wife, without the frustration of computer use, my mom printed out all my emails for  him to read.  After he finished, she hole-punched every page and placed them all into a 3-ring binder, in the order they had been received.

Little did she know her steadfast diligence in doing this on a daily basis, sometimes twice a day as I often sent morning and evening reports from China, would accumulate and span decades.   The result was 50+ 3-ring binders (which she cataloged chroneologically) continuing to take up shelf upon shelf space in the upstairs make-shift library room.  Even long after my father died, she continued her habit of email printing, hole-punching and inserting until this past January 9, which was my last electronic report sent from a Chongqing hotel room early morning before my departure to the States.

Time on My hands

My China updates, however,  have currently halted.  With the Covid-19 situation keeping me here in the States, there have been no emails to my mom, no more 3-ring binder additions, no more details of my life overseas.

The hiatus in entries has allowed me to get busy on compiling all those emails into labeled booklets to get rid of the cumbersome thick plastic binders.

It took me several days but I got them done, after which into the bins they went. . . .

and over to my mom’s new house, carried into the well-sealed garage, where they are now stacked neatly onto shelves.

I must say it’s a bit astounding to see my life, from grade school onward, lined up against a single wall. Wow.  All those years of sentimental things, treasured collections, nostalgic photos, and detailed written experiences of my childhood and adulthood, stuffed into 16 storage bins.  I expect no one will care much for all this long after I’m gone but, just the same, I’m keeping the entire kit and caboodle, at least until my next weeding out.

Still patiently hangin’ in there until my China return,

Connie in Illinois

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in A Visit Home to America, A Visit Home to Marshall, China, Illinois, Luzhou Vocational and Technical College, Travel, Wuhan coronavirus | 1 Comment

My Mom’s recent “Walk with me” column: Banana Bread takes the cake as COVID-19’s Yesterdish

By Priscilla Wieck

I came across an intriguing  article last week written by Jen Rose Smith, a CNN correspondent. Part of my interest in the Internet lies in the wealth of trivia I am able to access through its ever-amazing portals. Smith’s article helped add to my daily trivia count and gave me some food for thought–Banana Bread!

According to her article, there has recently been a 54% increase in Internet users looking for time-tested homey food recipes. Baking goodies seems to be a coping strategy for many who are sheltering in place. Banana bread recipes head the list. There are, Smith posits, mental health benefits to be gained by the process of making and baking banana bread. The joy and comfort gained by spending time in the kitchen help in managing stress, she writes. The repetitive movements of cracking eggs, adding flour, mashing bananas, mixing and baking are calming and soothing to our minds and bodies.

When I was growing up, baking banana bread was not a common activity in our household.  Pumpkin occasionally, and maybe a few other quick breads, made it onto our home goody menus but my mother’s main interest lay in the yeasty variety of breads and dinner rolls. I followed in her footsteps (or should I say floury hands) and have spent many a happy hour in my own kitchen kneading various bread recipes and cutting out cinnamon rolls.

Not all of my efforts were successful. Some of you may recall an article Connie wrote about the family cinnamon roll disaster that appeared in the Advocate when Joe Mc Cammon was owner and publisher. It offered quite a few laughs to readers and some embarrassment to my husband, Bill, and me. Most of the time, however, my baking efforts were fruitful. Looking back, I realize that working with yeast dough was a form of relaxation for me so I can relate to the banana bread bakers’ stress reduction choice.

For thousands of years, bakers had used yeasts to raise their breads. In early American baking, alkaline salts such as potash and pearash were used instead of yeast . This shortened the rising time somewhat.  But baking breads really changed when chemical leavening agents were developed, such as baking powder (think famous brandname Clabber Girl) and baking soda in the early 1900’s. Both of these cooking aids were widely distributed and sold to welcoming American housewives because they shortened preparation and baking times. The homemade goodies were named quick breads for obvious reasons and were truly an American invention.

But what about banana bread? Here’s what I found.

By the time the depression occurred in the 1930’s, bananas were widely available as a cheap and nutritious food. Many recipes were developed using them and thus banana bread was born. Its ingredients were available, it was nutritious, it was quick to make and was extremely filling for families on a depression diet. As I write, this I can still remember: the heavy, cloying texture of a piece of homemade banana bread. It fills us up today just as it did years ago .

I don’t have a banana bread recipe to recommend as I must confess, I have not made the concoction myself lately. However, there is a multitude of such recipes to be found in old and new cook books or on the Internet.

In her article about the bread, Smith wrote that Chrissy Teigan, the well-known fashion model, recently traded a loaf of her homemade banana bread for a bunch of romaine lettuce. The lettuce, it seems, was sold out at the stores so she baked the bread and advertised on Facebook for a trade. She got her lettuce and someone got a loaf of banana bread ala Chrissy Teigan. Her recipe? It was a basic foundation but with shredded coconut, chopped dark chocolate and vanilla pudding as add ins.

Hmmm.  How nutritious is that?

The word Yesterdish was coined for old recipes that we still use today. Banana bread is a Yesterdish.  Next week I am going to feature another Yesterdish so watch for it. In the meantime, if you go right now to your kitchen and whip up a loaf of banana bread, you will be keeping up with the celebs and thousands of others of us who are in need of comfort food in these unusual times.

P.S.   Yes, there is a National Banana Bread Day. We missed it. It was Feb. 23rd. Watch for it next year on the same date, 2021!

“The older you get the better you get, unless you’re a banana.” — Betty White

Peace

 

Posted in A Visit Home to America, A Visit Home to Marshall, Illinois, Walk with Me: My mom's newspaper column, Yesterdish | 1 Comment

Final Letter 5: The Reply from Chaplain Marvin Maris in the Philippines

From the Philippines, Marvin replies to his wife's letters
Note:  This letter is copied from the war correspondence between my grandmother (Connie Maris) in Holland, Michigan, and her husband, Chaplain Marvin E. Maris, in the Philippines. He refers to letters from his wife which have been in the previous 4 posts.  This will be the last letter in the series of 5.  Be expecting more letters to follow in future posts as I continue to read through them.

May 19, 1945  (From the Philippines)

Dearest Connie:

Read 1 letter of May 7 and 3 letters of May 9, all from you.

Interested in your reactions to so-called VE Day, Rolf’s fishing and hiking activities, Priscilla’s interest in personal pruning or is it preening, and the people you mentioned:  Winstorms, Cole’s and your schoolteacher landlady.

Naturally, Priscilla will want to read our letters.  Why not?

My News:

  1.  A soldier killed by explosion of undetermined origin (booby-trap, shell, grenade?) buried yesterday with military honors.  Name:  Graves, Capt Reilly had a coffin built.  This is a luxury
  2. Built a chapel seating 40 people in an upper room house for headquarters.  Other services in gun sections, tents and open-air
  3. Saw a well-known public figure riding in his limousine today.  He must feel satisfaction with the progress of the war.
  4. Everybody has little red pimples (prickly heat). We did not suffer with this in New Guinea because we got more sun baths and skin was in better shape.
  5. Soldiers all upset by the newly announced point system of discharge.  Just another one of those wild rumor subjects
  6. Lt. Callahan’s court martial today.  The playboy who went AWOL two nights after our historic landing and lost a jeep while drunk.  What does an officer have to do to get cashiered out of this army, anyhow?

I will write the Winstroms a letter of appreciation if you say so, my dear.  Tell Rolf I have caught perch, sunfish, speckled bass, blue-gills, dog-fish and bullheads and even one big snapping gurgle but never a sheepshead.  Cut it open; there is a white stone in its head.

Your old man, M.E.M

(Marvin Ellsworth Maris)

Notes from above

—“Saw a well-known figure” :  This most likely would have been General MacArthur, who was in the Philippines at the time of Marvin’s letter. Due to security reasons, I’m sure he wasn’t allowed to give a specific name.

— “the newly announced point system of discharge”:  On May 10, 1945, two days after the unconditional surrender of Germany to the allies on V-E Day, the War Department announced a point system for the demobilization and discharge of Army and Army Air Force enlisted personnel.  The Advanced Service Rating Score was a scoring system that awarded points to a soldier and was used to determine who were sent home first. At the end of the war in Germany and Italy, a total of 85 points was required for a soldier to be allowed to return to the States. If you had less than 85 points, you could expect to continue to serve in the Army and most likely be sent to fight the Japanese.  A few weeks later, the points were lowered to 75, probably soon after Japan surrendered.  Enlisted women were able to return after 44 points.

Points were awarded as follows:  

  • + 1   each month of service,  Sept 16, 1940 – May 12, 1945)
  • + 1    each month overseas, Sept. 16, 1940 – May 12, 1945
  • + 5   each award received:  DSC (Distinguished Service Medal) , LM (Legion of Merit), SS (Silver Star), DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross), SM (Soldiers Medal), BS (Bronze Star), AM (Air Medal), PH (Purple Heart) 
  • + 5   campaign stars worn on theater ribbons
  • +12 for each child under 18 years old, limit of 3 children

— “Two nights after our historic landing”:  This might refer to the pictures below, labeled and posted in my grandfather’s journal:  March 14, 1945. He illustrated his journal with not only photos but his own drawings.

My grandfather’s drawing to illustrate the invasion route, from New Guinea to the Philippines.

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Upon entering Manila, the devastation wrought by the Japanese was a shock to all the Americans who arrived, including my grandfather.

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This photo was included in Marvin’s letters from the Philippines, most likely taken during the months of May – September, 1945

Posted in Travel, Uncategorized, Visit To The States, World War 2 Letters, World War 2: VE Day Correspondences | 1 Comment

Letter 4: My grandmother’s news and observations, Day After VE Day: May 9, 1945

This is 136 W. 18th Street in Holland, Michigan.   I imagine my grandmother writing  the below letter from the first floor of this bungalow where she and her children spent the war years.  She rented the 1st floor.  The owner Jeanette (a retired school teacher) lived on the second floor.

Note:  This posting is Number 4 in a 5-letter series, taken from the war correspondence between my grandmother (Connie Maris) in Holland, Michigan, to her husband, Chaplain Marvin Maris, in the Philippines.

Wednesday Morning, 8:15 a.m.    May 9, 1945

Dearest M.M.,

The kids are slowly getting ready for school.  Rolf is still at the breakfast table and Priscilla combing her hair. She’s going from one extreme to the other and combs her hair at any moment.

Rolf hasn’t gone to that stage yet. In fact, he would just as soon be dirty.

This is a nice sunny day.

Had to leave this and go supervise Rolf’s cleaning! While gone, Priscilla read this.  She’s getting nosy so I can’t leave anything around any more. She didn’t used to be interested but now she’s too interested!

I’m undecided as to what I should do today exactly.  It is trying to try to get the kids off without getting cross.  Only 26 more days of school in this school year.  It hardly seems that we have spent a whole year here in Holland.

The news is on but I don’t think it’s anything new.  The Germans are still trying to fight by bombing Prague.  It won’t get them anywhere as the Russians won’t forget.

People seem to think that Japan is going to quit now instead of us having to batter her to pieces before she gives up.

The commentator speaking now interpreted Truman’s talk yesterday as saying that Japan will be willing to come to terms before rumor says that Japan has offered a conditional surrender if we promise not to occupy Japan itself. If we let her go, however, won’t she try all this again?

Perhaps all this is true but if we accept this, what can we expect? However, if we don’t, Japan will not lose faith.  Is Japan afraid of Russia?  All the commentators’ ideas are not mine!

The mailman will be coming and I want him to take this letter along so I’ll close now.  This being only an apology letter for my grammar. I’m getting worser and worser, too bad!

All my love, Connie

 

Posted in Travel, Uncategorized, Visit To The States, World War 2 Letters, World War 2: VE Day Correspondences | Leave a comment

Letter 3: My grandmother’s 1945 VE Day events from Holland, Michigan

Note:  This posting is Number 3 in a 5-letter series, taken from the war correspondence between my grandmother (Connie Maris) in Holland, Michigan, to her husband, Chaplain Marvin Maris, in the Philippines.

V-E Day, May 8, 1945

V-E Day, May 8, 1945: Tuesday

Dearest Chaplain Mine:

Well, the day is done and I’m sitting in bed, cozily garbed in my men’s flannel PJs (which might not be worn out when you return!), trying to figure out the day’s events.

At 8 a.m., we heard Truman’s proclamation.  He was fine.  It was a deeply moving speech and very spiritual.  Immediately following, we heard Churchill who talked over twice as long and said less!  All day, we heard broadcasts from all over the world but Russia — and this afternoon, King of England spoke.  He had a trying time and his stuttering was almost audible.  Tonight, we heard the lighting of the statue of Liberty — the first time since we were at war — Then I went to church.

We had a very nice service. It was quite formal and very reserved and quiet, a prayerful service, not a jubilee.

After service, I went with Jeanette to her sister’s and had coffee and now here at home, in bed I am.

Whilst listening to the radio, I washed curtains, vacuumed rugs and got supper of egg soufflé, pop overs and fruit salad, being how the stores are all closed.

Priscilla went to the movies and Rolf played around all day — it didn’t mean much to him except a day off from school.

We could wish the war in Asia over, too.  The paper carried an article today that the governor of Michigan was asked to find more Army chaplains here.  300 more needed immediately.  Well, I’ve no more chaplains to give to my country!!

Russian Molastof is to speak now.  Stalin just announced the German capitulation.  Molastof is speaking in Russian and I can’t understand his.  He is speaking to the SJ conference.  They are going to translate it, I hope!

I heard the translation — no promise of any help for us. I don’t suppose we can expect any, can we?

It will be a greater day for me and us when VJ Day comes.  Then it will be a year, I suppose, before you do get home.  I’m keeping busy — chin up and time will go fast.  We’ve been apart a year already.

All my love, Connie

Note: My grandmother’s reference to the Russian “Molastof” was actually to be spelled Molotov. Vyacheslav Molotov,  (b. 1890, d. 1986)  was a Russian statesman and diplomat who was foreign minister and the major spokesman for the Soviet Union at Allied conferences during and immediately after WW II.  “SJ conference” refers to the Soviet-Japanese War conference.

Posted in Travel, Visit To The States, World War 2 Letters, World War 2: VE Day Correspondences | 1 Comment