Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

So today is Christmas here and I am 6 months off from when Dad's letters are written, he is in June and just turned 26. Here we had a good week, took the Railrunner from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, we went to the museums on Wed (free day for NM seniors - I now qualify). I was interested in seeing the photography exhibit of contemplative photos of New Mexico, some were from Christ in the Desert. Along with them were pages from the St.Johns Illustrated bible, these were also interesting though I liked the black and white pictures of NM better. Then we went to the Art museum and looked at some pictures that Tim had remembered from childhood and also some woodblock prints. In Albuquerque we visited with friends and celebrated Hanukkah. Today we went to Meeting and sang and worshiped and feasted on treats that people brought. In the afternoon we skyped with Jenny and Chris in Houston and called and spoke with Carol. For our big meal we made curry and an onion dish and sweetpotatoes, a regular vegan feast. Quite a wonderful day all around. I enjoyed dad's advice too.

June 10, 1944

6/10/44 Dear folks, Your letter came yesterday. Thanks for the birthday greetings and the birthday ‘bucks’. The darndest thing! I never thought about Wed. being my birthday at all. Thur. I was talking to one of the guys about the age of fellows and he asked me how old I was and It soaked in that I must be 26 now. Some time I’ll forget my age. Farming must really be discouraging now. I reckon that if it hasn’t rained more you have a lot more of in cornered by now. In a way I feel sorrier for the boys than I do for Father causes he stews around so when things get behind. You stew around and burn up a lot of good energy, W.L. . It seems to me that the smart way to live is to be observant and draw conclusions as to which things you can do something about and which that you cant. And then the things that interfere that you can’t do anything about should be dismissed from your mind to make room for those that you can do something about. I reckon that the conflict comes in deciding which you can do something about. I’ts none of my business but it seems to me that the boys aren’t taking too much when they only take 2 nites a week in a busy time. Of course they are a little slower the next day. Say, Dad, why don’t you take a night off once in a while. I know you don’t work every night but you think every night. Your mind is a mussel just like your arm in a way. If you don’t ever rest it it gets tired. When you think about your farming all your waking hours and then even as you go to bed too it is just like trying to hold a big wiehgt over your head for 24 hours a day. You get tired and stale. Go to those Lions Club suppers. You’ll forget your troubles for one evening. You’ll be a lot fresher and think clearer the next day. One thing I make myself do is when I go to bed I don’t let myself think about anything, not anything. I have found that I sleep a lot better if I just make up my mind that I’m not thinking about work or play or anything at all. I sleep very good and seldom wake up till 5:30 and I nearly always hit it within a few min. I came across some rules for mental hygien the other day and I coppied then down. They were in a little paper put out by one of the CPS Mental Hospital Units. 1. Neither run away from Emotions, nor yet fight them. 2. Be efficient in what you do. 3. Have an objective attitude, learn to analyze your own conduct. 4. Do not accept hurry as a necessary part of modern life. 5. Build up and maintain a confidential relationship with some other person. 6. Keep work, play, rest, and exercise in their proper relitive proportions. 7. Don’t postpone or repress unpleasant questions---make some terms with every problem as it arrives. It is better to make a mistake then to refuse to come to a decision. Everyone who does anything makes mistakes. 8. Do not regret what is over and done with. 9. Do not worry over what other people think of or about anything you cannot help. 10. Recognize that your problems are fundimentaly the same as everyone else’s. I think tat I can profit some by these suggestions and I thought I’d pass them on. I suspect that by now Mom’s eye Dr. has found time to see her. I hope it is better. I notice you typed my letter. I don’t suppose that bothered you any, did it? It is time to go to breakfast now and I am out of anything much to write anyway. So Long. Yours Bernard

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Writing to people, retiring and more IRS fun

so I am finally writing again. I took a couple of weeks off. Dad seems to miss getting letters from his brothers and sister. My sisters and I now correspond by e-mail, except we did send out some Christmas or seasonal cards. Tim made a nice linoleum block print that we sent to people. So I am now retired, mostly official on Jan 1st. I will go tomorrow to clean out the office. I think I will be aware of it in January when school starts up and I do not go in. I will need to find some work but am not sure exactly what. I have had some more conversations with the IRS. In speaking with a lady who is looking into systemic problems it came out that if one files and does not pay it is not frivolous but if you file and do not pay and enclose a letter explaining your religious, moral or ethical reasons behind your not paying then this action is considered frivolous. What a strange world we are in. If I am simply greedy or do not have money to pay that is okay but if I am a thinking person who is acting based on reasoning and take the time to write this reasoning out and send it along with my form which has been filled out correctly then my actions can warrant a penalty. Seems a little backwards to me. So in two weeks time the last US troops will be out of Iraq. It is kind of interesting to me as I reflect on my last 7 and a half years of full time work that it corresponded with the Iraq conflict, that I am now retiring at the same time as the troops finally leave and we can quit adding names to the Iraq Peace Crane Memorial. What a busy time this has been, working, protesting, parents dying and Jenny leaving home. People ask me what I will do and I basically want to spend some time as Dad would say 'thinking about it' before I decide what to take on or to let go of. I like the open door and the open road before me.

June 3, 1944

6/3/44 Dear family, Say! My family must be all home but me now! I’ll bet that sort of fills the place up. Do they make lots of noise? I remember what a din used to reign when we were all small and use to scrap and run from one end of the house to the other. Do you suppose you will ever get back into the old groove Dad, of listening to Fred Allen then writing to me while the hour of Charm is on? Tell Henry I hooked Our radio up and all I got was a howl. I shall get on of the radio guys to pry into it soon. You hope I enjoyed me stay. You bet your boots I did !! I guess I enjoyed it so much that I didn’t think of saying much about it. I though it was about the right length too. I reckon that youn’s are in the fields by now or nearly. It looks like it should quit raining sme time. I was in good shape when I got back to camp. I reached here about 5 that afternoon. Sat. Just 27 days furlo. My pal out here in the office that was trying to get reservations said he got turned down on some others and figured that they had gone to giving the streemliner to Military men before the date to open it to the public and then there wasn’t much room left. I suspect there are quite a few officers moving west. I suspect that some of the western armu camps have been cleaned out and sent across. I know that the camp up here by Salem has been emptied. I wish they would say what they are doing so a guy could make plans accordingly. He got turned down on one guy that he ordered for on the first day they were open. So there must be a colored gentleman around some where. Oh well, I didn’t do bad. It only took me about 16 hours more on the road. I would have started at 11 at night instead of 5 in the morning. That darn train ran late till we were nearly here then it made up time till we were only 15 min. late. I’m sending a box of books home that I have aqumulated. I’m getting tired of storing them and somebody there may like to read some of them. One of them is Living Prayerfully by Kirby Page. I thought it was good and you may want to use it for a devotional book. That is what it was written for but it reads well too. I fooled around about my voting business and never did anything about it. In some states an out of state voter has to vote in the primary to qualify to vote in the fall election. Dad, who should I write to to find out what the score in in Iowa on such things. I don’t know, maybe you could find out more by asking one of those guys over there. Of course they would want to know what I was doing out here. And if I wrote them they would just assume I was working out here which I am, but under the orders of Selective Service. What’s your advice? I’m not particular whether I vote in the june primary. I don’t know who is running for stuff. I havn’t followed it as much as a good citizen should, but I am doing better than I used to. I want to vote to get in the habit I guess. I really think I should too. What can you do to help me? Harry don’t need to think that because he is happily in love he don’t need to write to me at all. Maybe not so often but I’d like one once in a while. All of Warrens brothers write to him I think. At least more of them that mine do. Evelyn is almost as bad as Charles. I think it is good for people to write to people. Besides that isn’t a bad way to learn to type. I’m using a new system in my letter writing. I’m getting up at 5:30 and writing a letter before breakfast. It is quite and I make good time. Love and stuff to all Bernard