03 Sep Interruption from Hurricane Irene
Sitting back down to my computer today, I feel a deep sense of gratitude, no need to rush through this process today – it’s just so good to be back at my desk, reading my Dad’s letters again. I’ve missed him and this process. I’m keenly aware now of how precious each moment of my life is – this unfolding of my Dad’s war story is a sacred task I have taken on. Without power and my computer I was lost to engage in it. Many thanks to the hundreds of hard-working folks who have worked day and night to clean up the roads, fallen trees and wires, and get all of us back on line. If anything good has come from the drama that Irene brought to our area, it has been my increased awareness of how tenuous our whole system really is. How quickly our routines and ways of being can be completely changed – communications cut off. I’ve noticed so many people hugging each other, reaching out to their neighbors, really caring about the well being of our greater neighborhood.
One of the biggest realizations I’ve had is how miraculous our communications network is. If I hadn’t owned an ipad and and iphone with 3G I wouldn’t have had the ability to stay in touch at all! There would have been no way to know what was going on even just down the road (my neighbor’s roof blew off his house and I found out because a friend of mine wrote me from California that she had seen a post on Facebook about it!) Entire towns were nearly washed away 30 miles from us and we couldn’t even get out past our driveway the day of the storm for all the downed trees. The entire network went down after the worst winds occurred and didn’t return until the next morning, when it was spotty at best. I was able to find a car charger to recharge my phone, but you need to drive around to do so! The roads were littered with downed trees and wires, and many roads were washed away, so even driving was tricky the first few days. Staying in touch with the world became a great challenge!
I took my first shower at home yesterday, after 5 days of no power. Turning on the water and feeling the soothing hot liquid flowing over my body was ecstasy! Being able to wash the dishes in the sink with running water – a delight! Opening the refrigerator door and feeling cool air coming out, turning the light switch on in our pantry, a miracle! Sitting down to write this blog at my old friendly computer, divine! I’ve reawakened to the joys of my ordinary reality! So thank you Irene, for giving me this opportunity to remember how amazing my life is, just the way it is.
And now onto, the continuing journey of Rollin H. Neibauer and his war travails. We are now in the middle of January 1945.
17 Jan 1945 V-Mail
Good evening, my darling – no mail for a couple of days, in fact – there was only one ltr for our whole outfit today! Have just come from trying to see “My Pal Wolf”. RKO capitalizing on the kid – dog picture craze. An awfully cute little girl in the picture – only trouble is, we don’t know how the picture ended! Film kept breaking, and was finally given up completely. First time it’s happened to us. Most films break, or go off the sound track, or some darn thing or other. And, of course, we always wait in the dark between reels. But, we enjoy them, withal! Particularly in a place such as we have now with chairs, a stove in the room, and a solid screen that doesn’t ripple every time some one coughs.
I’ve had time to do a little reading lately. Enjoy your Woolcott book. Have also read a book of Sake’s short stories. Excellent. Also “Chad Hanna”. Good. Also a few New Yorkers. Their quality has dropped off, hasn’t it? And isn’t “Talk of the Town” losing some of its humor (sounds kind of smart alec, sometimes) or is my point of view different? Anyway, what with movies, S&S, Yank and other stuff, I keep occupied. But there are still many, many moments when I ache for you, my darling. Give Karen a big squeeze for me – all my love Rollie
19 Jan 1945 V-Mail
Hello, honey – Whole darn detachment only got three ltrs today! Oh – the wailing and moaning. Especially me. This has been a lousy day. Started to rain last night and today it has been snowing & blowing like crazy. To give you an idea of how hard it is blowing, I was riding along in the jeep and a gust of wind blew my steel helmet off! Windshield gets an inch deep with mud & snow and most of the time I have to drive with my head stuck out the side. Usually have freckles when I get back. Our roof has several leaks – drip, drip down from floor to floor. Our hall is an inch deep in water, but luckily our room is dry. This darn pen point always keeps sticking into the paper. Do you want to send me a couple of good points? Thank you. You might also throw in some chewing gum. ” ” !
Boy, these Russians are sure going to town, ain’t they? Come on, gang – I don’t care who wins it – just get this damn thing over so I can get the hell home to my wife and baby – where I belong! Say hello to Mercedes & Dolores. Give Karen a big hug & kiss for drinking her milk “for Daddy in the Army” – and huge embraces for you, Mary darling