I love reading Babu’s sweet passages, and even better her witty ones, but this next passage was not one of either of them. Passages like these remind me that this is more than just a hobby of mine, and it’s more than about just Babu’s life. This is a real retelling of her life and everyone who came in contact with her. She tells her stories but also repeats the stories that others tell her. This is what it is.
Friday, January 3rd, 1941
Mildred had purchased some potato doughnuts at noon and Ruth brought in some coffee and we had lunch in the afternoon. Mother and I visited Caroline B… She just came home from the hospital at Christmas-miscarriage. She told us about the sufferings of different people and her life isn’t so good either. We have it like heaven at home.
On Christmas. I can’t imagine.
This one provides the balm I need after reading the last one.
Saturday, January 4th, 1941
We got out of working this afternoon. Ernie and I went bargain hunting during January sales. Came home and washed my hair. While it was drying, Jake came. We took the bus up and back to Spfld. Saw “Comrade X” and “Jennie.” We spent a few hours by the stove in the kitchen. It turned very cold outdoors. But it was very sweet indoors.
There are many more passages this month spent by the stove. As Babu clearly admits: “Seems harmless but isn’t very.”
Friday, January 10th, 1941
Not much snow fell last night and by afternoon, the weather turned warm again. On the bus I asked Nellie to tell Jake to drop over for a few minutes to discuss what to buy Eddie for the farewell party Sunday. Natalie solved the problem by sending a note saying we were presenting him with a purse.
Here is the first mention of Eddie’s going away party. I combed through old passages and couldn’t exactly find out why. It becomes clear later on, and would be as expected, that he has enlisted. I am not sure what is meant by “purse.” Are they razzing him with a woman’s purse, or is this a way of saying that they put together money for him? Does anyone have any insight?