Saturday, July 4, 2015

An Apple Pie Day

     Today was a laid back kind of day. We had no plans other than to grill steaks and perhaps light a few sparklers. Mom feels better when she has things to do. She was a fantastic pie baker in her day, so I decided we could bake an apple pie together. She can no longer make an entire pie, but she can peel the apples so this was her task. Steve asked that we make it a lattice top, and voila! Here we have it. It was a delicious end to our day, served with vanilla ice cream, of course. We hung out on the porch for the evening and Steve plucked out the Star Spangled Banner, Jimmy Hendrix style, on one of my dad's electric guitars. I liked how the sound echoed over the field and off the treeline. I hope the neighbors all the way down the road enjoyed it. Haha!
     I stole some time upstairs to continue my project of repainting one of the bedrooms. It felt good to finish up the final details of the room and I'm excited about the change in color. I love to have projects and this one has been a satisfying transformation. The room was a mossy green color and I brightened it up by changing it to a shade of yellow. It required three coats of paint to get that green covered, even using Benjamin Moore's paint and primer in one. While I was at it, I decided to repaint the trim as well.  My goal is to simplify the house by using the same shade of white on every bit of trim. Until now, each room had a different shade of white trim, depending on our whim when we originally painted the rooms. This makes it very confusing when touch-ups are needed. Now, with Benjamin Moore Dove White on everything, life just got simpler. Plus, it looks good.
     The most exciting happening of the day came in the form of a phone call. It all started while sorting through my father's things a few weeks ago. Among his things I found a note from one of my dad's army friends scribbled on a newsletter. It was dated thirty years ago. My late father's silence of his war experience never made sense to me against the fact that he saved everything relating to his service. I've been intrigued that he would speak nothing of something that was obviously so very important to him. I decided to look this man up on Google and see if he was perhaps still alive. If so, maybe he wouldn't mind speaking to me. His name and phone number were listed online so I gathered up my nerve and dialed. I got a generic answering machine and left a message explaining who I was. Personally, I hoped I didn't sound like a crazy lady. Apparently I sounded perfectly normal because his daughter returned my call today! She is as excited as I am to make this connection. Her father is indeed still alive. He is ninety years old and remembers my dad well. It turns out that my dad was a pack rat and saved everything yet talked very little about the war and this man saved nothing yet recounts his war experience all the time. His daughter and I chatted for half an hour and agreed that I would begin corresponding by letter with her dad. I am thrilled to finally have an avenue that might lead to connecting the puzzle pieces of my dad's memorabilia. I'm particularly interested to know my dad's role in the infamous Battle of the Bulge and the horrific loss of the 551st Paratrooper division, of which I believe my dad was involved. I also enjoy writing letters and this man's daughter said her father is going to love this.
     It seemed appropriate that she should call on the day we celebrate our country's independence. She and I agreed that our fathers' service in World War 2 greatly impacted their lives and shaped the way they raised us, their children, to be patriotic and filled with respect for our country, even with all its flaws.


  1. Great Post. Happy for all of you.
    Giving the 3 elders here chores to peeling and chopping...makes them happy in that they feel useful. I had to learn that the hard way after always wanting to do everything myself for ease and quickness. My mom and MIL wash and dry the dishes by hand (that is what comes natural to them from their happy days as young wives) every meal too. It takes them an hour plus when I could have it done in 10 min. , but I use that time while they are independently occupied for myself. Computer time, relax time, calling my daughter time or simply putting my feet up time.

    I participated in an oral history project once collecting stories from WWII vets. I came across many like your dad and many more like dad's friend. Savor the new friendship, Best wishes to all.

  2. That's nice that your mom could be involved with the pie making. That pie is thing of beauty! I can't seem to get the hang of pie crust - looks as if you have the hang of it.

    And what a great thing that you will be in touch with your dad's friend! Your father must have had terrible memories and just didn't want to share them - do you think? My brother in law did two tours of Vietnam and never has anything to say about it.