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From the Homefront Diaries of Lorraine Shatterbuck (entry #6)

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

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November 28 1942

We celebrated Thanksgiving on Thursday, and I felt Jim’s absence in a brand new way. I think up until now it almost seemed as though Jim’s had one of those busy phases at the office–big project, working all hours and on Saturdays. Our family life is so hectic that it’s only when things quiet down at night that I look at the door and think, ‘He’s terribly late’–and then of course I remember.

We spent Thanksgiving at Mother’s, which was awfully nice. The children were in the big mix of cousins, which took away some of the sting of Jim’s not being there. But as we drove home, I couldn’t help but think of all those late night drives home from other Thanksgivings, the children asleep in the backseat, Jim and I whispering about funny things people said or how Uncle Milton had had too much to drink again. Just gossiping, really. And then we’d get home and lug one child at a time up the stairs to their rooms. This time it was me doing all the lugging and all the tucking in. It was terribly lonely, and I was pierced with a sudden fear that Jim wouldn’t come back and we would never have another lovely late night ride home, and it would always be me tugging off Bobby’s shoes and pulling the covers over him or helping Janet slip into her nightgown while she murmured in some nonsensical dream language.

Phyllis called this afternoon to chat about this and that. She wants to go see “Casablanca” in Columbus as soon as it opens, which probably won’t be until January, but that’s Phyll–she loves having things to look forward to. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear to me, she’s very upset about the Macy’s parade being canceled this year because of the war. Who keeps up with the Macy’s parade? Phyll, of course. She’s always kept up with current affairs, although her news tends to be more about movie stars and the latest fashion trends than important events. The hilarious thing is that she has a degree in Classical Studies from Oberlin. Phyll’s theory is that Hollywood is our Mt. Olympus and the movie stars are gods of a sort, which is why they fascinate us so. She might be onto something with that.