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From the Homefront Diaries of Lorraine Shatterbuck (entry #2)

(Note: From the Homefront Diaries of Lorraine Shatterbuck is a fictional diary and a WIP by Frances O’Roark Dowell.)

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October 20, 1942

Will is napping, and I have a minute or two to sneak in a few words before he wakes and it’s time to pick up Janet from kindergarten. I’ve got everything ready to make her lunch as soon as we walk through the door. Even though the children are served graham crackers and milk for a mid-morning snack, Janet is always starving when she gets home. Her teacher, Miss Lovett, is a firm believer that exercise builds healthy bodies and healthy minds. I can testify that it certainly builds a healthy appetite!

Instead of writing in my diary, I should be sorting through the box of patterns and notions Nancy Gorman gave me when I stopped by her house Saturday afternoon. Actually, I had to send Bobby and Ann over to pick the box up and bring it home–it was so full of quilting things that I couldn’t manage it and Will’s stroller at the same time.

Nancy, it turns out, has given up quilting. She’s knitting bandages for the troops instead. When Mother came over after church on Sunday, I told her perhaps I should be knitting bandages instead of amusing myself with quilts. She just laughed in her down-to-earth way and said, “You’ve done your part for the war by letting Jim sign up to serve instead of waiting for him to be drafted.” I suppose she’s right. I’m not sure I “let” Jim go–that would imply there was any stopping him! Of course we discussed it, and I have to say the thought of being home with four children while Jim is overseas fighting is a daunting prospect. But he said he couldn’t live with himself if he sat the war out and let others bear the burden, and I understand completely.

During Mother’s visit on Sunday, she and I went through some of the patterns in the box, finally landing on a Nancy Cabot block called “Flying Clouds” that we both thought was awfully nice. It’s a large block–16”–so five across and nine down will make for a fair-sized quilt. I spent some time last night after the children went to bed cutting out pieces for the first block. I hope to start stitching tonight!


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