December 28, 2009
Right off the bat, you would really have disliked this letter, let’s establish that. Talking about feelings was something we never seemed to do very well. But I thought it might be a way to explain why Bill and I are going to Asch, Belgium for January 16, 2010.
I don’t remember very much about Chester when Mom and I lived there during the war. I don’t even remember you coming home on leave. There is a great picture of you holding me and I don’t remember that.
You’d think that having a father come home every now and then would be a really big deal and something that a small child would remember, but No. I remember the garden where we lived at 13 Deva Terrace. I’ve even looked it up on Google Earth and those row houses are still there – apparently they command a lot of money these days. I remember the River Dee, the swans and the field on the other side. I remember our bedroom upstairs where Mom and I slept. I can distinctly remember looking out the window to the little courtyard below and seeing into the window of Belle and Fannie’s house next door where Mom used to go for tea when I was supposed to be napping. Those dear maiden ladies sent me Christmas presents for years – lovely little painted and embroidered bags (like little purses). I don’t have them any more – what a shame. I do have the lovely picture they did of “little Anne” all embroidered and with a piece of Grandma Rannie’s wedding dress for my dress and a lovely little face that Mom told me took them a long to “get right”.
You’d think I’d remember going to Canada on the Scythia II in June of 1945 – I was nearly 5 years old after all – I don’t have any recollection at all. And then you’d think I’d remember a train ride from Halifax (Pier 21) to Ottawa where we lived with Grandma and Grandpa Rannie at 19 Oakland Avenue for a while before Rob was born – I don’t. I don’t remember you even then. I do remember my “room” at Grandma and Grandpa’s – it was the little room that led to the upstairs balcony and it had a little wicker rocking chair (www.oldhickory.com/) that I just loved sitting in. I have that now and although I sure don’t fit in it any more, it does remind me of Grandma and Grandpa and how kind they were. You know Grandpa absolutely adored Grandma – he called her “Tot”, she was little – and he used to bring her tea and toast in bed every morning. Grandpa teased me and made me laugh – I remember that from that stay.