DECEMBER 7, 1944
Nothing doing right now, and I was resorting to the old pastime of nail biting. Very slack now, and we are anticipating a move sometime in the near future, where or just when I na know. We are moving from our tents into the main building. Don't like that very well, as we will be all huddled together again. The tepee has a few advantages. One is that one has a slight degree of privacy. For a while I had visions of our next move being home, but I guess not.
Have just been down to the mail, and there were hundreds of packages but none for me. Can't complain though, as when I came home last Sunday night from a five day leave there were seven packages on my bed. Your four were among them. I had to open them all this year as space in the tent is very limited. Thanks a lot for yourn. Everything was lovely. The cookies were not in such good condition as last year, but were good. The pants, now I'm talking, were the payoff. They were what I have been needing. I'm a bit leery of the button. What say ye? Nice breezy ones, right up my alley. Haven't sampled the fruitcake. Got a tin can and put it in. Mice and bugs eat everything in sight and out of sight. The 'lopster' is the thing. Gladys sent me a can of Novie lopster too, but I can't somehow think she saved it all this time since she has been back. Now the 'kookumber' relish was the first thing sampled. In another package I got a package of crackers, so you know the rest. The relish went on the crackers, and was voted by my tent mate and two others the best thing in any package. We were sickish from our ride, and that just hit the spot. What a unique way of packing it too, in the bran mash. The dulse, the mints, the spruce gum, and last but not least the 'lassy' kisses were delicious. The powder, rouge, and cream come in handy too. I am now using the lipstick from your Xmas package last year. All in all, they were lovely, and I realize the job it must have been to get them ready.
Gladys sent me three packages of candy before, and this one. In this one she had the lobster, a can of sardines, and jar of chicken spread, peanuts, candies, a bottle of Blue Grass toilet water (oh, boy!) and a pair of pants. Alas for the pants. She musta forgotten the size of me behind, for they were a way too small. Caroline Eaton got a pair too large for her, so we swapped, but I know she got the better ones, or style at least. Pants is what I need more than anything else. A nurse I know who was overseas in the last war sent me a nice box too, with two pairs of stockings in it and candy, crackers, chicken spread, darning cotton and needles and Readers Digest. Nodwells sent a package-a toilet bag with soap, face cloth, tooth powder, cream and powder puff; sardines, crackers and candy. Had a package a few days before from a nurse I knew who married her wealthy patient in New York. She sent a nice box with two new books, and three boxes of soap.
All that came, or rather was awaiting me, on my return from my five day leave. We went a couple of hundred miles via truck to a beautiful summer resort (in the winter). The name of the town is Sorrento, and in peace time is quite a resort for the wealthy. The Army has taken the best hotel over for a rest camp. It was beautiful-high up on the cliffs and overlooking the bay. Our room (or rooms, as we had connecting double rooms-four of us) had a nice balcony outside. Tile floor in various colors right out over the water. Grand beds-the beds were grey and gold. A bathtub with hot, hot water, all to ourselves. Paintings on the ceilings in the rooms. The dining room was nice. The food-our regular GI food, plus some native lettuce for salad, and a thing or two like that. Had an orchestra noon and night, and native dances. The dance-the tarantella-was so colorful and pretty. The hotel has been run by the same family for over a hundred years. Of course, the Germans were in it too, and the same waiters catered to them as now they do to us. The town itself is small, but quaint. It's famous for its inlaid woodwork (woodworks). They make lovely boxes, and all by hand. I went through a place where they make them. Am sending one to Gladys, and have one for myself. Ran out of money, or I would have bought one for you. Win would have been in her glory among so many boxes, wouldn't she? Not much to do, but nice hiking up the mountains. The scenery was beautiful.
One day we took the boat to the Isle of Capri. 'Twas on the Isle of Capri that I met her,' remember? That was grand, too. That too is taken over by the Army. Would like to have had more time there, and more money. Many different kinds of trinkets, but then I suppose [?]. We went into a cave which was lovely, called the 'Blue Grotto'. Had to transfer to small row boats, two to a boat and the native rower. Had to lie flat in the bottom of the boat, and when we drew near to the mouth of the cave (which was so small I just couldn't see how we were going to get in) the rower ducked, and as the waves swished outwards, by pulling on a chain we skidded in. It was a large cavern inside, and due to some phosphates, the most lovely shade of blue along with the rays of sun through the mouth of the cave. There is a green and a white one also, but time did not permit our seeing these. I bought some flower seeds there to send you. Maybe giants will spring forth.
Altogether, we had a nice leave except for the truck ride. Such winding roads, and up hill and down dale. I got sick-had to get out. Three of us were. I thought of Nan. The exhaust from the truck was terrible, too, all the way. However I would do it again, as I wouldn't have missed Capri for anything. Being so nice now, it must be more so in summer. Oh I forgot, the hotel in peace time, I hear, was fifty dollars a day. The king of Sweden stayed there.
Haven't gotten over the trip yet. The day after returning I was still sick, and the next had dysentery and still have it. Last night-I never put in such a night with cramps and gas. Some better today but not right.
Had a letter from Clark yesterday. She said she had a letter from Helen, and they were going to move again. She guessed the Philippines. Had a note from your godmother. She said she had sent me a package: it wasn't much but I was asked to accept the thought behind it. Now I want you to do the same, see, as what I sent you people isn't much either. Hope it arrives in time. Would you like a picture? Had a card from Aunt Clara.
Bad weather-rain almost every day. Got to go places, and go off duty, so here goes. If you receive this before Xmas, I hope you have plenty of all that goes with it. Just got a new patient, so must go now.
Love to all, Frank