Tag Archives: postcard

The Gorilla Habitat

“The kids would have loved these guys,” she said to her husband, drawing his attention to the two gorillas sunning in their habitat. He walked up and snapped a shot with his Ansco Color Clipper.

“So would your father!” he added.

She gave him a nasty look. “That’s not funny.”

“What?”

“Comparing mother to a gorilla. It’s not funny.” She frowned but he smiled.

“I wasn’t, I just thought he’d enjoy them,” he replied with a sinister smile.

“Mother is not a gorilla.”

“Of course not, dear,” he said, pulling her toward him and holding her.

She pouted a bit and stepped out of his embrace.

“It says here,” he read to her from the placard in a lame attempt to change the subject, “Gorillas are the largest and most powerful of the manlike apes.”

“Are you going to say something about my mother’s size and power?”

“Of course not, dear. I adore your mother.” She crossed her arms and continued to look away from him and in the direction of the animals. He pulled out a list.

“So, do we continue from here to the campgrounds like your folks did? I know you want to keep with their itinerary. Says we go from here to camping near Disney World. I packed the tent…”

He walked up behind her and put his arms under hers, squeezing a bit until she giggled. He took that as a sign of forgiveness.

“Sure. First let’s stop by the souvenir shop. I want to find a post card to send the kids.”

“Deal. Lead the way, beautiful,” he said as he offered his arm.

Wildwood, 1942 (A Love Story)

Dear Diary,

I made it. Wildwood, New Jersey. The cousins’ house is beautiful, right on Central Avenue, and I even have my own room! It’s a shame I did not know, or I would have brought more to decorate with. All I brought was that one photograph of Charles, so I put it on my mirror and kiss it every morning when I wake up and every night before I sleep.

Oh, the cousins are calling me, it’s time for the beach! I’ll write more later.

Rebecca.

Dear Diary,

Frank, Beth and I were sitting outside on the patio when I met their neighbor, Margaret. They warned me she was a little weird. She lives across the street all alone, which is odd because she’s twenty-one (or so Beth says) and she works at some sort of factory off-shore. She’s a little bit shorter than I, but she liked my cardigan (it was a bit chilly, Frank said a cold breeze usually comes off the ocean at night) and asked me a lot of questions, especially about Charles. But I like talking about him, so I was pleased. She invited me to tea at her house tomorrow, and I accepted.

I still have to write Charles, but I can’t find the paper where I wrote the address where he’s stationed in Italy. Where on earth did I put it?

Rebecca

Dear Diary,

I had tea with Margaret, and we talked for hours! At first it was mostly about Charles, but then she started telling me about her life, her job (I can’t believe she really works, I thought Frank was pulling my leg). She says women should not have to depend on a man to live, which is an odd thing to say, but I guess she has a point. She works and has this house, so I guess it is okay.

We went for a walk on the beach, but Margaret does not own a bathing suit! I could not believe it. I offered to go shopping with her, but she did not seem to like the idea. She said she did not like being looked at by all of the men on the beach in that way. I always kind of liked it, but did not say anything. I did not want to hurt her feelings.

Now where did I put that address?

Rebecca

Dear Diary,

Sorry it has been a few days, but life has been exciting! Margaret has become my new best friend, and even though she is three years older than I, she seems to understand me. She works during the week, so I go to the beach with Beth (Frank goes with his friends, and usually they torment us a bit) and after dinner I go to Margaret’s to play cards. She is so interesting, I have trouble agreeing with her thoughts on life sometimes, but overall, she is fascinating. I’m supposed to leave in a day or two, but Margaret invited me to stay with her, so we will see.

Tonight Margaret took me to the boardwalk and treated me to some rides. We went on the ferris wheel and then the carousel, then she brought me to the shooting gallery. She is very good with a gun, she did not miss once! She even let me point out what she should shoot, and in the end gave me the teddy bear she won. I will sleep with it every night from now on.

Rebecca

Dear Diary,

I have decided to stay. Auntie did not like the idea of me moving in with Margaret, and even went so far as to call mother! But she did not have a problem with it, so I am sharing Margaret’s place. Beth and Frank have been whispering about me, I think. But I am excited to be living with a friend for the first time. We watch the television (usually Jack Benny) and she has also has been reading to me out loud! I usually fall asleep after a while, but really like the book she’s reading me (A Lost Lady by Willa Cather) and next she says she will read me a book called The Awakening, which should be fun since it takes place in a shore town. I do not know how she knows about these books or where she hears of them, but I enjoy what I have heard so far.

Last night I woke up on the couch and Margaret had fallen asleep too, right up against me. It felt nice since I was cold. I pulled an afghan off the back of the couch and wrapped us both up in it.

I finally wrote Charles a post card, but have yet to find the address. I may have to give up and call mother.  Maybe she can call his mother and get the address.

Rebecca

Dear Diary,

Margaret and I have taken to falling asleep on the couch every night. She reads to me until I fall asleep, and then must fall asleep soon after since I wake up every morning next to her. It is nice, and while I think my cousins disapprove (they have been visiting less and rarely ask me to the beach now). Auntie has been making an effort to invite me to lunch almost daily. She asks me lots of questions about staying with Margaret. I think she is a puzzle to them, nobody understands her. Auntie asks if she talks about any men, but I have to say I have never heard her mention any, except maybe someone named Sam whom I believe she dated. She does not speak of him often, but has slipped his name into conversation once or twice. He seems to be an old fling of hers who used to visit ever summer. I am worried he will visit soon (she said it is a possibility) because I am afraid he will take her away from me. She is the best friend I have ever had, and do not want to end up watching Jack Benny alone while she is out at the amusement park with him instead of me. Maybe she will invite me.

I got a letter from Charles, wanting to know how I am. I will get his address tomorrow, or the next day.

Rebecca

Dear Diary,

My fears have come true! Margaret came home today to find a note on the door from Sam. He is here for the week! I do not want to meet him, and Margaret seems uninterested in seeing him as well. I am not bringing him up at all for fear she will tell me that she will be busy with him all week. I hope not.

I found the note and read it, he signed off with “Love, Sam” which upset me. His writing looks a lot like mine, which is kind of odd.

I still need to call home and get Charles’ address. I feel terrible about it, but I am not sure what I would even tell him if I were to write him now.

Rebecca

Dear Diary,

All of my fears were silly! Sam is a girl. It is short for Samantha. And while I have to say she clearly does not like me, I am relieved. Although I am curious what made me think they were an item before. Samantha kept giving me dirty looks, and calling me Margaret’s girlfriend like it was a bad thing. Maybe I do not fully understand what is going on here.

I decided not to write Charles. I have nothing to say and can fill him in when I go home, whenever that will be.

Rebecca

Dear Diary,

Something has happened, dear diary, something I feel I can only tell you, the keeper of all of my secrets! Last night after a heated argument with Sam, Margaret was quiet. She sat in the kitchen for about an hour, and at first I thought she was crying and gave her space, but after a while I heard a crashing sound and I ran in to find her breaking dishes on the floor! I asked her what was wrong, and she said I would not understand. I sat down and refused to leave until she talked to me, and after a few minutes I realized her eyes were teary, and I knew I had to go to her and hug her. I was surprised to see her cry, she is such a strong woman.

So I went over and hugged her, and she pushed me away a bit, and then looked into my eyes. I’m almost afraid to even write this, but I know I can trust you, diary, and need to tell someone. She kissed me, hard on the lips. I was terrified and caught off guard. I did not expect it at all. I was a bit upset.

I am not upset with Margaret. I was troubled, and still am, because I liked it. And I did not stop her.

Rebecca

Dear Diary,

I’m sorry it’s been a few weeks! Everything has happened so fast. Margaret has taught me so much. I’ve gotten rid of the few dresses I had and am dressing more like Margaret now. A woman even asked us if we were sisters the other day! Margaret likes my new style, and I have to admit it is so uplifting to not worry about what boys think of me! I spend less time in my room primping and am really living life.

Also, I got a job! Margaret helped me, and now I work in the factory with her. I do not do anything with the machinery like she does, but I have an important job nonetheless. I am in shipping, where I make sure the packages are labeled correctly and they have the right contents. I got my first paycheck and took Margaret out for dinner to celebrate. My first paycheck, I never thought I would know the feeling of ‘bringing home the bacon’ as dad always called it. It makes me feel strong.

I have moved into the main bedroom with Margaret.

Rebecca

Dear Diary,

I could not ask for anything more. Life is better than I ever could have hoped! I am in love, I have a great job, and I have never felt so strong and independent. And I have Margaret to thank!

I asked her the other day what we were doing, and she explained that people all over the world are like us, but that they are forced to live in secret, which made me realize we too are keeping it a secret! She never holds my hand in public, and we only kiss in her house. I did not realize until now how hard these choices would make my life. But it is all worth it, I am in love with her, and she loves me (she told me last night!)

Work is great, I love it. I’ve been doing the food shopping since Margaret never has a lot of food in the house, and we have been cooking together. She has no idea what she is doing around the kitchen! I have been trying to teach her, but mostly give her easy jobs like cutting the vegetables or shucking the corn.

All is well. I am happy.

Rebecca

Dear Diary,

I am home now, and miserable. I’ve never felt so horrible in my life. It all started early this morning. There was a banging on the front door, and I jumped out of bed, my heart racing, and found my father at the door. He burst through, pushing me out of the way and waking Margaret, who came out in her pajamas.

He called her all kinds of names, words I have never even heard before, and she started trying to punch him. She gave him a shiner, but he refused to hit her back, he eventually just grabbed her wrists and pushed her onto the couch. Then he grabbed me and dragged me to the car, telling me to stay there while he gathered my belongings. I sat in the car out of fear. I feel stupid. I did not even get to say goodbye to her.

I could hear him yelling, and her yelling about how I was an adult and free to make my own choices. She followed him out as he carried my suitcase, hastily packed. Father got in and started the car, and she began yelling for me to get out of the car and stay. I started crying, but could not disobey my father. I waved goodbye and mouthed “I love you” to her, and she stopped chasing the car. My heart broke as I watched her get smaller out the back window.

I have not even left my room in the ten hours I’ve been here. When I opened my suitcase, the teddy bear she won for me that night was right on top, and I grabbed him and held him as tight as I could. My family has not said a word to me. My mother would not even look me in the eye, and did not even send up any food. Peter snuck me some cookies he had hidden in his room, and he told me he loved me, which made me cry more.

Now I am writing, and formulating my plan for tomorrow. There is a factory that hires women nearby, since there’s such a shortage of men ever since the war started. I will go there and try to get a job, and then I will start looking for my own place, save up money, and someday get back to Margaret. Wish me luck, diary.

Love,

Rebecca.

since i met you

This work can be purchased HERE.

Created with my Brother Charger 11, my imagination and an old post card set I found from 1949.

Hank’s Troubles

This story is based on a real postcard I found from 1949.  Make sure you read the actual postcard at the end of the story!  Enjoy!

Maxienne was cooking frantically in the kitchen, trying to watch all four burners at once, stirring, ladling, adding ingredients, chopping others, all with little Charlie crawling around her feet.  She tripped over him on the way to the counter to chop more onions.

“Really Charlie, I cannot wait until you’re napping again.  Tu est un menace!  At least your little sister sleeps during the day here and there,” she exclaimed in her heavy French accent.

Once chopped, Maxienne rushed back towards the frying pan, slipped on some sort of wet spot on the floor, regained her balance, and dropped all but three pieces of onion into the pan, the rest falling towards the floor.  Charlie looked up at the sound of the loud sizzle as they heated.  He smiled and started looking for whatever fell.

And at that, Charlie’s little sister, Mariette, started squealing from her crib, apparently awake from her nap.  Maxienne wiped her brow with a nearby towel, sweating from the heat of a New York City August.

“Hank?  HANK?  Mon dieu!  Could you please help in here, s’il vous plait?”  She waited, hearing no response.  “Hank?”  She turned the burner under the pan down and ran into one of the five rooms in their new apartment, looked around, and realized the room was empty.

“Ah!  This place is too big!”  She ran to the next room and picked Mariette up, running back towards the kitchen, causing her to sweat even more.  As she ran by the closed door she said, “Merci, Hank.  Thank you for all of the help!”  Not waiting for a response she headed right for the kitchen, where the pot full of sauce had started to boil over and splatter onto the kitchen wall.

“Damn!” She said, lunging for the knob on the oven.  Mariette squirmed in her hands, wanting to get down.  “Fine, you want down?  You can go down!”  She rushed the three feet to their living room and put Mariette on the couch, surrounding her with pillows.  At this, Charlie started crying.  “What now?”

Maxienne turned in time to see the onions were starting to burn, and quickly pulled the pan off the stove, a little oil jumping from the pan and onto her hand.  “MERDE!” she yelled.  Meanwhile, Charlie was still wailing as if in pain, so she lowered the sauce and ran to him, swiping him up in one fluid motion, spinning right back to the stove where she quickly stirred the pasta so it wouldn’t stick.  Then, her attention turned to Charlie, she tried to investigate why he’d suddenly started crying.

Something was lodged in his mouth, and as she fished it out, he bit her.  “Damn!” she yelled.  “Hank!  Would you PLEASE come in here?  Get out here and help!”  Still no answer, she went back into his mouth, fishing out one of the chunks of onion.  “That’s it, Charlie?  That?  It’s onion…it won’t kill you.”

Charlie, relieved to have the taste removed from his mouth, still frowned at her.  “Perhaps some milk,” she said, heading for the refrigerator.  She reached above it first, pulling down a package of French cigarettes, and quickly popped the package so one jumped into her mouth.  She pulled a glass and the bottle of milk out like someone who had done it a thousand times, and he had a sip of milk before she’d even put him back on the floor.  Charlie calmed, she leaned into the burner and lit the cigarette, the beads of sweat on her face reflecting the fire.  She turned her attention back to the stove, stirred the sauce, noticing it was a bit thick.  “Merde!” she said to herself.  “Hank!  I think I burned the sauce!”  She tasted it.  “I think I can save it,” she yelled again.  Still no response.

Maxienne checked the pasta, scooping a piece out on a wooden spoon and picking it up carefully between her freshly painted nails, and threw it against the wall.  It stuck for a second before falling off.  A few more minutes, she decided.

At that, a knock came at the door.  “Hank!  I do not suppose you could get that?”  She waited, expecting to hear the door of the bathroom open, but still nothing.  “Ah!” she growled to herself in anger, quickly drying her hands on the towel hanging from her apron.  She checked the onions, quickly threw the meatballs into the pan, jumped back from the sparks of oil that spurted from the pan, and ran towards the door, drying her hands yet again while watching the future meal over her shoulder.

She opened the door to find Pete, their door man.  “Hey there, Mrs. J!  Got your mail!  Sure smells good in there!  What are you making, meatballs?  Gravy smells great too!”

“Would you like one, Pete?  They’ll still be a few minutes at least…”

“No no, ma’am.  Thanks all the same though.  Let me grab these too for you!”  He picked up the empty milk bottles from the floor by the door.  “Can I help you with anything else?”

“Can you get my husband to give me a hand?” she asked with a sly smile.

He laughed.  “No can do, ma’am.  But if there’s anything else, let me know!”

“Merci, thanks Pete!  Maybe I’ll send some down for you when it’s done?”

“Thanks!” he said as he walked away.  She shut the door and ran back to the kitchen.  Flipped the meatballs.  Stirred the sauce.  Checked the pasta.  It was done, so she grabbed the potholders and emptied the hot water into the sink, watching some ashes fall from her cigarette into the pile of noodles.  She put down the pot, took out the ashen noodles, and threw them in the garbage.  Then she took a moment to tap her cigarette into a nearby ashtray on the kitchen table and wipe her brow of sweat yet again.

She put the sauce on low in time to notice the kids were quiet, checked on them, and found them asleep in the living room.  She sighed, relaxed for the first time all day, and dropped the meatballs one by one into the pot of sauce.  She put the lid on, dropped the pots into the sink, and sat at the table.

“Hank?”

“Hank?”

She pulled out a small box of post cards and the suitcase typewriter Hank had bought her for her last birthday and took the lid off.  Carefully putting the postcard under the plastic holder, she tapped her cigarette ashes into the tray again.

“Dinner will be ready in a few, if you’re hungry,” she yelled to Hank once more.  “I’m going to write a postcard to Lil.”  Still no answer.

She relaxed a bit more, sighed, and started typing.