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Letters from Beth Puckett to Lewis Puckett, 1945.

Beth Puckett’s husband Lewis served in the US Navy during World War II. This letter provides a glimpse into the life of this wife and mother on the home front.

Transcription: January 3, 1945

My love: I have worked like a sailor today—hard, & mean! Naturally the house was in a mess after Dirkie and Helen as I had to get it in order. Today was the first clear day in ages and I could really see the dirt! Had to wash some windows and doors and clean off fingerprints. It’s 4:30 now and I just had a bath and have a minute to rest before supper.

Mother is having the Baldwin’s down tonight and wants me to come. They are going to fry doughnuts. Right now it doesn’t sound like a charming prospect—but maybe it will later.

I have to take the car to Uke Anthony in the morning. It’s jumping as if it gets the gas in spurts. The gas we get now is slightly lousy, I guess, as everybody has the same trouble. Otherwise the old Chevy keeps running along. I wouldn’t want to start to the West Coast on the tires—unless you were there—then I’d ride on the rims or get out and walk!

I haven’t heard from Asheville since you left. I wrote you about sending them and receiving from them the Christmas things. I wrote

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Christmas day.

My Christmas will come when I her that you have your packages—and that they are in good shape. I don’t see why the heck you haven’t received the watch yet. I’m getting a little irked! And the box with the [narium?] and things you wrote for. You should have five or six packages by now, darn the mail!

I got a letter from you! I hope your new C. O. is going to be a real guy. How does it happen there are so many Carolina men in New Guinea? Or have they discovered at long last that they make the best sailors and the best men period! Was certainly relieved to hear that the Reeces were O. K. And that in 12 months I can start hoping!

You’ll never know how much I miss you, darling—especially at this time of day-when I used to know that you would be home in a little while to eat the supper I’d fixed. The most vivid picture I have of you is of one rainy night the first of April. I was my usual crass self and the kitchen was steamy and the children were bouncing around. I was standing