We were enjoying our new house and it was great except for facing Main St. with the traffic out there, and in the back of the house there were railroad tracks. And since Anna and I had the back bedroom, we were awakened every night in the wee hours when the train came by with the blinding light on the front of the train. It shined right in our eyes as it went by. Of course they always blew the horn as they were passing. We got to know the engineers on the train though and they waved whenever they passed in the daytime.
Time seemed to fly by after we moved into the new house. It seemed no time before I was eleven years old and Anna was thirteen and Anna at least, began noticing boys. They still weren’t that interesting to me. But other things were going on in our lives and in the world.
We were getting the newspaper now and Mother always read the paper and listened to the news on the radio. It was 1941 and we, in this country, were completely unaware that Japan was planning an attack on us! So when the attack came, we were so unprepared it was tragic, with massive loss of lives, and ships and planes in and around Pearl Harbor. All the young men in the country were anxious to join the Armed Services and go to fight for their country.
Our family’s lives were not interrupted that much if at all, mostly because there were no boys in the family. The rationing however was another story; it affected us greatly and it was put in place for the duration of the war. Gasoline was of course rationed but since we didn’t own a car, it didn’t bother us. The thing that did bother us was the sugar and butter rationing. We did a lot of candy making, fudge mostly, and we were good at it. Paddy taught us how to make fudge, of all things; it was his favorite and he usually added peanut butter to it. So good! And Mother made cakes and cookies and pies and they were also very good, especially the huckleberry pies. We would go into the woods near our house, with Mother leading the way and pick as many berries as we could without passing out from the sun. And depending on how many berries were left when we got home, Mother would make one or two berry pies.
So of course we would run out of the ration stamps for sugar and butter very fast and then we would have to wait until the next month to get another book of ration stamps. Well, we weren’t too happy about having to go without our goodies for that long a time. So Mrs. D., our friend in need, came up with a plan to stretch those ration stamps. And while it wasn’t exactly kosher, we didn’t think it was that bad. After all, we had to have our sweets. They actually made life worth living especially for us kids.
I am not sure exactly how we managed fixing the ration books but I know glue and scissors were involved and a “C’est la vie” attitude, which we certainly had. At least Mrs. D. and I had that attitude. My Mother washed her hands of us when she found out what we were doing.
There was another benefit about to come our way because of the war but it didn’t come about until a few years later.
To be continued.