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Date: January 11th 1943

No. 148

Major GS Andrews, RCE

Survey, HQ First Cdn Army O/S

11 Jan 43

Dear Jean:

Saturday the 9th was a gala day. Yours of the 13, 20, and 27 Dec all arrived. Your latest before these to arrive was dated 29 Nov, so it was getting to be quite a long spell. If you wrote on the 6 Dec or thereabouts, the letter must have taken a detour, but may well show up later, as practically all of them have done so far. Other arrivals since my last letter were your parcel free Auburn with the Nescafe in it, and the chicken for Mrs M, and a pound of Dixie from Victoria, also the air mattress arrived, so I guess the Navy and Merchant Services get full marks. It is wonderful. Am afraid the mattress isn't much good anymore, as it doesn't seem to be airtight, however it will do for a ground sheet for one of the boys, but I'll have to look around here for a new one I think. Three plugs of Dixie from Capt Bowden, and some McDonalds from Hugh Hodgins. Tell them if you get a chance, thanks from me. Actually gave some of the McDonalds to one or two needy ones here, as I prefer the Dixie you needn't mention that to Hugh of course.

Actually its fine to have some in reserve, just to give away, so there are always occasions cropping up when the "other fellow's" parcel didn't come through, and to have to buy smokes here, especially on what a Private gets, is a real hardship.// I got a big kick out of your letters. Our Mary must inherit a flare for dramatics from her Mummy I think. It will be fun to cultivate this in her. I'll never forget how Dad and Gertrude used to dramatize the Bible stories when Gert as just Mary's age. They had an especially touching one where Dad took the part of goliath and Gert was David, with the climax of detaching Goliath's head after he had been knocked out by the stone, with all the appropriate gestures and sound effects. A bit shocking, but then it "was in the Bible", so it was OK. It was comical and beautiful at the same time to see an elderly man who had weathered life's ups and downs, and a little child, so thoroughly enjoying their fun.// Glad you were able to get to Swannell's after all Xmas dinner. IT was just the kind of a Xmas I had hoped you would have. Evidently mary's books hadn't arrived, but am glad the flowers were nice. If you happen to see Clyde Ballantyne in his store sometime, tell him how I appreciate his good services. Your telegram hasn't arrived yet. It's hardly worth while sending "Greeting" telegrams, they invariably get lost in the confusion. I appreciate the thought just the same.// Your adjustments in the house sound interesting and practical. I'm longing to get my workshop fixed up in the basement. Haven't seen Jack Benton for a long time, he is in Scotland Axel is doing very well. Got Mrs Swannell's letter too, tell her and Frank I will be writing soon. Glad my birthday was so fittingly remembered. Frank and I will have to make a special study of birthdays when I get back, it has possibilities. Things as usual here, with me always biting off more than I seem to be able to chew. Anyway, my health is excellent and the time goes fast. We all feel this is going to be the big year. Read "Last Train from Berlin" by Howard Smith.

Very good, LOVE TO YOU BOTH -

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