My Grandfather’s Words: Monday August 12, 1918

The weather was hot and windy all day. Towards the evening the dust blew all around.

At breakfast we had hot cakes & syrup, coffee, and an orange. For lunch we had pork and beans, spuds, pickles, bread, and water. At supper we had meat in hot sauce, tea, bread, and apple cobbler.

Up at usual hour, reveille, and then police up. Worked in corrals from nine to seven. It was so dusty, and the wind blew a gale all day. It grew until it became a regular dust storm.

There was nothing said about my being late yesterday. They may over look it this time.

I had a dear letter from Mary today. She was at Oliver’s. They were thrashing. She says the oats were turning out good. Mary helped dig out some potatoes I had planted in the spring. My God! It seems more like three years instead of just three months and three days since I left.

I have been so homesick today. It seems as if some time I might go mad. It does no good to get homesick either, but I can’t help it. Terrible thoughts come into me sometimes, thoughts that, as a Christian, I must not harbor. Yet they persist in coming. I know God has saved some and that He will keep me as He has in the past. I must endure this awful life if it is His will.

I don’t know whether Mary will come down or not yet. I could not find suitable rooms yesterday. I have had no chance to see the doctor since I talked to him. There is another vital reason that work may not be best for her to come. Regarding that, I wrote to Mary Dear at length yesterday morning. I have written  her tonight, too. I must now read awhile and go to bed.

My Grandfather’s Words: Sunday August 11, 1918

The weather was cool in the early morning, but hot in the evening.

I had cornflakes, spuds, an egg, and coffee for breakfast. For lunch we had chicken, spuds, bread, and ice cream & cake. I had supper in town. It was bread, butter, tea, and a bag of peanuts.

Up at the usual Sunday hour. I did not have to police up this morning, but got a calling down because of the condition of the barracks. It seems instead of oiling the floors as they have been doing, they are going to scrub them now. The captain came through the barracks Saturday and was very much displeased with the condition of them. He gave the room orderlies a bawling out about it. Then “The Top” gave us all a bawling out about it. It seems to be a regular occurrence here. Each man is bawling out the man under him and then that man passes it on to the next man, & so it goes.

Ralph, Bryant, and I had a Bible class this morning. I think we all enjoyed it. I also wrote a long letter to Mary Dear.

I wandered around town all P.M. looking at rooms to let. Then, went to a little church hall in South Waco. There, I had an opportunity to speak a word for the Lord. It was a Pentecostal meeting. I was certainly out of place. But I am glad that I was permitted to speak a word of testimony.

I came in ten minutes late this evening. Oliver asked when I got in.  I told him. I don’t know what we could have done to avoid it. Our car was delayed at the rail switches as we came out of town. Instead of a twenty-five minute trip, ours was a forty-five minute trip.

It was the first time I have ever been late.


My Grandfather’s Words: Saturday August 10, 1918

August 1918 from the War memorial Kansas City

The weather is hot and windy today.

At breakfast I had hotcakes and syrup, half a cantaloupe, and coffee. At lunch we had wieners, cabbage, green onions, spuds, bread and water.

The usual routine, rising, washing, standing reveille…I worked in the corrals. (Depending on the day his work would have included mucking stalls and the dirt corral, separating the herd for training, grooming, and fetching the horses water and hay.) I have nothing out of the ordinary to report about it.

Think I will go to town tonight. I’ll probably walk. I can go right after supper. I only worked till 3:30 P.M. I had a good letter from Mary Girl today. She was at home. She is thinking she will go to Beth’s for a day or two.

It was awfully dusty at the corrals today. I pushed a broom all day. So I’m tired tonight. Mary said the thermometer reached 110 degrees up there Monday. That is as hot as it ever gets here, I guess. The temperature here in Waco was at 98 1/2 yesterday. I think it is getting cooler down here.

My Grandfather’s Words: Friday August 9, 1918

The weather is windy and dusty, though not as hot as it has been.World War I memorial in Kansas City

Breakfast was spuds, a banana, and coffee. For lunch we had fish, dressing, bread, and water. At supper we had spuds with gravy, liver and onions, watermelon, and tea.

Usual time up today. I was on full duty today. I helped load horses this morning. I worked in the corrals this afternoon.

I did a washing tonight, and wrote a letter to Mary Dear. Edward enlisted in the Navy. Mary was at Will’s house canning corn.

I have nothing much to write tonight. I may write more in the morning.

My Grandfather’s Words: Thursday August 8, 1918

Weather: There is a terrible wind blasting sand onto everything.

Breakfast is hotcakes and syrup, coffee, and an orange. For lunch we had corned beef & cabbage, spuds, bread and water. For supper I had a tomato, spuds, bread and water.

Regular routine getting up and ready. I was marked light duty again & I worked in the canteen. We were pretty busy all day. The canteen was open all afternoon until eight this evening, so I was tired tonight.

I had a dear long letter from Mary today, too. She is well. She had been to Waterloo with James and his family for Sunday church meeting. They were expecting Ed back from Mason City where he had been on vacation. He was expecting to join the Navy.

I am too tired to write any more of this day.

My Grandfather’s Words: Wednesday August 7, 1918

The weather in the morning was cloudy and cool, but by mid-afternoon it was hot. Wind picked up and brought dust with it.

Breakfast was one half a cantaloup, eggs, spuds, and coffee. For lunch we had spareribs and sauerkraut, spuds, and water. Supper was hash, bread, water, and peaches.

Up at the usual time with the usual routine. I was given light duty again today. Cleaned up around the canteen and then helped sell stuff. (The camp store would have sold toiletries, and other necessities, but also ice and extra treats to eat such as ice cream, or candy.) We were open all afternoon, but closed at eight tonight. Business was pretty good.

I had a good letter from Mary dear this morning.  She is still at Jim’s and will stay yet a while. She mailed the letter Sunday. It reached me yesterday after three days on the road. One wonders sometimes, why it takes so long for a letter to get here. There is not much to write today. I was too busy in the canteen to think very much.

My Grandfather’s Words: Tuesday August 6, 1918

Weather: HOT

We had hotcakes and syrup, coffee, and white grapes for breakfast. For lunch there was roast beef, spuds, gravy, and water. For supper we had lima beans, lemonade, and bread.

Up at the usual time and am on sick report. I stand retreat and reveille just the same. I haven’t been down to the doctor’s yet. Don’t know what he will mark me this morning.

Went down to the doctor’s. He marked me light duty. I helped out in the canteen most of the time today. It is not hard, but one must hustle part of the time. They rush you for a few minutes just after eleven o’clock & then again at five in the evening. I rather like it in there tho. However, the hours in the evening are bad – 4:30 until 9. So one could not go to town very well.

I had a letter from Mary Girl again today. Dearest is well, but says Aunt Frances is not so well. She hasn’t been able to get out for the church meetings for a week or two. Mary says that it may be that she must take care of Aunt Frances yet. That may be what the Lord would have her do. I don’t know. The Lord knows best. We have been praying that He may show us the way so clearly that we can not be mistaken.

I wish I could make an allotment to Aunt Frances, too. If she gets worse I am going to see what I can do. I am responsible to take care of her, or at least I feel that I am. So God willing I will try and fulfill my obligation.

My Grandfather’s Words: Monday August 5, 1918

The weather was cooler this morning, but hot and windy by mid-day.

Breakfast was an orange, two eggs, coffee, & fried spuds. For lunch we had spuds, pork & beans, and water. Supper was beef stew with rice, bread, and lemonade.

Up at usual time. Slept pretty good last night. I dreamed of Mary Girl. I had such a dear letter from her yesterday. Answered it & it will be posted this A.M. She wrote me of G. Wetzlichs sister and sweetheart coming down here to see him. I wish I had known they were here. I would have tried to see them. Honey Girl may come down here yet. She is not clear just what is best & I am not either. We are asking the Lord to make it plain to us.

I was to have seen a certain doctor yesterday regarding work for her in the nursing line. I have written today to Mother, Ben, Mr. Dean, and to Honey Girl.

I had another dear letter from her this afternoon. She is still at Dunkerton and is enjoying the quiet out there. In the letter she had included a flower, and best of all, a photo of her that is so real. Apparently, James snapped her when she was reading a letter from me. She seems rather absorbed in it, so she was not aware when the Kodak was snapped. It caught her so naturally reading as if so interested. Of course the letter is from me & I know it is interesting to her, my dear wife.

The Germans are still retreating, according to the Waco paper. I am glad. I pray it is His will that the war ends very soon.

I had a cake & a jar of jelly from Aunt Frances today, too. It is very good. Ralph received a cake from his girl today, too. He gave me a slice. I am still on sick report, though my ribs are not quite so sore.

My Grandfather’s Words: Sunday August 4, 1918

The weather is fair and HOT!

Available at breakfast: hotcakes & syrup, half a musk melon, grapenuts, and milk. At lunch we had chicken stew, noodles, fried green tomatoes, cake and ice-cream, spuds, and lemonade. At supper we had chicken stew, potato salad, bread, and sweet corn.

Usual routine. Up at 6:20 had a bath & felt pretty good. Went down on sick report, was marked for quarters again, was sorry too, as I had planned to go to town to see that doctor regarding nursing work for Honey Girl. I am suffering considerably from prickly-heat, which has broken out on various parts of my body. It is very unpleasant, causing one to itch fearfully.

I did not do anything worthwhile today. I just lay around and read, and sweat.

The water was turned off sometime in the evening so we had no water for supper or for drinking. It was turned back on around 7 P.M. We were without for about five hours. It made it very unpleasant for a time. One would not last long here without water. I was fortunate enough to have access to some, which the civilian laborers had drawn into the water cart. As to ice, they had a little left when the water was turned off & I drank some of it.

Ralph and I talked awhile in the evening. Then I took a bath, got into clean underwear. I went to the reading room & read until nearly midnight. I know I had not aught to have done that.

This reading mania, for it is nothing else, is with me like drinking is with some others. It seems I go on a reading spree every once in a while, just as they go on a drinking spree. May God help me to overcome it.

My Grandfather’s Words: Saturday August 3, 1918

The weather promises to be hot again today.

Breakfast was corn flakes, milk, coffee, and spuds. At lunch we had roast pork, spuds, water, bread, and prunes. For supper we had lima beans, spuds, spaghetti with sauce, and bread.

Usual time of arising, am going on sick report this A.M. My side is sore. Went to the doctor and he marked me barracks for the day.

I had a fine dear letter from Honey Girl today. She is yet undecided what to do & the way is not clear to me yet either. She has not started to work up there yet, so she is just uncertain what the Lord’s will is for us. Sometimes it looks as if it would be better to wait awhile. If the war gives any indication of being over this fall & it does, something will be more certain. I think though, that I might be released before long to go back home. But one doesn’t know. I will just keep on asking God to guide us. He will I am sure of that.

I just lay around today – did not do a useful thing. Have not even read a portion of the Word yet. I just feel mean. There seems to be nothing here to do except stagnate. I read a book of Kipling’s called Plain Tales From the Hills. It isn’t very good, not good enough to waste a second reading on. For the most part it is just a series of tales about foolishness & folly in India.

"Have something to say and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret of style." (Matthew Arnold)

Melissa Algood- Author/ Poet

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