January 2, 1919.
Dearest Bess, –
It is not characteristic of me to neglect you as I have done during the last month. No doubt you will think the cause of my not writing was that I was on my way home but instead it was the opposite. I could have written more since I came here but did not for every day I thought that mail would come. The day was a long time coming but it finally came. Yesterday I received eight letters and today two. The letters from you were nos. 40, 41, 42, + 44.
Well this mail is as surely enjoyed for I had received none for a long time. Bess your letters were enjoyed so much that I hardly know how to begin to answer them. Every time I read one of your letters I love all the more. You surely must have learned to know me for you know exactly what will please me. I wish I knew how to please you so well. Mama amused me by sending me news thru you. She knows that your letters have been coming more regularly than hers was her reason in doing this. I received a letter from her telling the same. The family that she was writing about are some of our nearest neighbours and very dear friends. Miss Laurie is an old maid and I have been one of her favorites since a kid. Don’t you admire her taste???
Mother’s letter contained sadder news than the death of the old man. No doubt she wrote you of the death of Ima’s sweetheart. This was a shock to me as he and I have been great friends all of our lifetime. He had been going with my sister since they were kids but Ima always pretended not to care especially for him. I received a letter from her today and she related this whole story to me. I was indeed surprised to learn that they were engaged. She was surely hurt and I can sympathize with her. Now you can see what a task i have for when it comes to writing letters of sympathy I am out of place. Those two deaths call for four such letters.
It is perfectly natural for me to be more anxious for letters from home than from anywhere and still they are the ones that bring sadness. Of course there is where my friends are and death is a thing we must expect. Last night when I received the letters I read those from home first and could not help but shed tears. I then read those optimistic letters by you during the Armistice was signed. They amused me so much that I would have to stop reading to laugh. You people mean well and we appreciate the deep interest you take in us but you have such little ideas as to what this army and this war is like that we cannot help but be amused. I am sorry that you expected me back so soon for you are apt to be disappointed. NO doubts I have said many things that cause you to expect too much. I want to return just as bad as any of you want me to but there is nothing to do but wait patiently and that is what I am doing. There are some pretty good rumors now but I won’t write them for fear that you do not understand General Rumor’s orders as well as I. Surely I will surely be back by summer and maybe before.
I was just a wee bit disappointed tonite at mail call for several of the 3x4x9s came and mine was not among them. Stanley beat me as his came this afternoon. I carried it up to him and the box was in very good condition. He hasn’t opened it yet but is as soon as he comes off duty and I cannot wait it seems for I know there must be some Abel’s in the box. If there are no beans the poor kid will be disappointed. He couldn’t open it in the ward for all the patients would want some and of course it might not agree with sick fellows??? Stanley is having to work hard now as he is on duty twelve hours per day. I have it soft. I usually go off on the truck for supplies and have to work only a few hours and ride the rest of the times. I am more than anxious for my box for I know its contents will please me. I cannot express in words my appreciation of the interest that our girl friends too in that box and can hardly wait until it comes so that I may be permitted to thank them. All these things make me think how well please I will be to live in dear Easton.
Williams had told me of E.H.S. defeat. That was too bad and still I admire P’burgs pep.
And you think you don’t want any cooties. We are about rid of them now but maybe I can find a few to carry back just to give you an idea what they are.
Well little girl I’ll make a New Years resolution and write to you more. You are very dear to me and I long for the opportunity to prove this to you. Be patient and cheerful as you always have and happiness shall come our way soon. Give me best wishes for a glorious New Year to all of my friends and to the family.
With lots of love and kisses, I am as ever, Jess.