Saturday February 22, 1941
A letter from away…
” The night is one of those peculiar to late fall rather than approaching spring. A ceiling of clouds that appear to be heavily laden with snow, and beneath a margin of strange brilliance that seems always just at the horizon. The air is cold damp and refreshing, bringing with it that urge of the unknown which we ever failingly endeavour to solve, a suggestion that life is still worth living, “though why” we can’t exactly say, nor will we ever be able to do so.
Still the call is there beckoning ever onward to, apparently, the horizon, since there seems no other destination…” Joe
An excerpt from a letter in our family archives, written by my grandfather, who never came back from the war.
Letter © J.McRae
Image © Karen McRae
72 thoughts on “Hello Alice”
An electric pairing.
It’s difficult to tell from this excerpt but it was an electric love affair also.
Very nice colors.
Thank you Antonio!
Brilliant, letter and photo both.
Thank you Jim.
What an interesting extract! After a matter-of-fact opening, the second paragraph becomes surprisingly poetic in observation, in a search for understanding, and in expression – and your photo reflects the tone of the piece admirably. It is a very moving passage, especially for those of us old enough to remember the war years.
Thank you Louis, I quite like his writing also.
This made me rather sad in a lot of ways. So beautiful Karen, thank you for lifting me up albeit in a strange way. Beautiful post.
You are welcome Jack, it is bittersweet for sure, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
This is so beautiful, Karen. Thank you for sharing this amazingly poetic family treasure. A gift on Valentine’s Day!
Lois, thank you! Happy to share it.
How very lovely Karen.. both the photograph and the extract from the letter. That letter is a very precious possesion I’m sure. Thank you for sharing.
Helen I’m glad people appreciate it, we have about 30 of his letters to Alice, they are a treasure. Thank you.
Very beautiful Karen!
Thank you Gaby.
Very lovely..what a shame people don’t really write letters anymore…
Yes it is a shame…
Wonderful post, Karen. Makes me want to read more of their correspondence. Beautifully written and the perfect photo to accompany the text. Happy Valentine’s Day 🙂
I do have 30 or so of these letters, I will likely post more.
Thanks Erica, I’m happy people are interested. Happy Valentines Day to you also! 🙂
Beautiful – this would never work in an email! Letter writing is sadly a dying art.
It’s true Malcolm, email just isn’t the same.
Amazing photograph. Beautiful letter, especially considering his circumstance.
Yes, it’s hard to imagine being in that position, his writing is wonderful. Thank you Allen.
Stunning photo. Old letters are great, aren’t they?
Yes fascinating! Thank you.
Brilliant post, Karen. Thank you very much for sharing the writing – it really moved me.
Much appreciated feedback James, thank you.
Wonderful letter and a stunning photo.
His letters are quite poetic and interesting, thank you David.
Wow! Beautiful timeless words from the past and a beautiful timeless photo from the present. Powerful stuff!
Thank you Steve, obviously I only take credit for the photo.
Handwriting is so rare these days and letter writing is a lost art but you have put them together in such a special way. Thank you.
Thank you Shari, it’s a shame people don’t write more letters.
This photo and this letter-what a comunication! Congrats on your post!
Marija, thank you so much.
“The importance to do something of moment…” – That part of the last line has me hanging on to read more, though perhaps better left unsaid. Wow – what a letter. So beautifully written, so honest, so vulnerable. Thanks for sharing your grandfather’s love. Lovely photo to accompany – the letter wouldn’t have been the same without it.
Thank you Marina, I think the letter could stand on it’s own but I couldn’t resist pairing it with that image.
This letter is so beautifully written. Thank you for sharing it.
I’m glad it resonates with others, thank you.
Something I heard recently also resonates…”the greatest casualty is being forgotten”. We need to be reminded of the sacrifices that have been made so that we can live the lives we do.
Someone could make a whole movie out of it…..
Both letter and photo are really wonderful! Thanks!
I’m happy you think so, thanks.
A very emotional post. Perfect for yesterday’s Valentine’s day. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you Inga.
That is a wonderful photo! I like all different colours in there.
Thank you Jan, the sky was so dramatic and this captures only a bit of the grandeur of it.
I love your posts. Thank you for being persistent and visiting mine. I’m following you now.I haven’t figured out links yet.
Oh thank you Carla!
Beautiful post, Karen! I just love letters and photographs from the past! They bring history to life – even more so when it is personal! You are already aware that I was Headmaster (Principal) of a school here in the UK. One day a couple of years ago, a lady came into school and offered us a really thick diary, which had been kept by her mother during World War I. She valued it greatly, and wanted to make sure it would be used and looked after, because it was a record of her mother’s courtship during the war while her fiance was away on active service. It was filled with a wonderful record of her everyday life and her love for her fiance, and was absolutely stuffed full of love letters, cards, theatre and travel tickets etc. etc. It was wonderful to read and such a valuable historical resource of one woman’s actual experiences! I loved your post, Karen, and the photograph is a cracker! Thank you for sharing a rather sad but inspiring personal part of your own family history!
What a great gift entrusted to your school! Thanks so much John.
Fantastic post Karen! What a treasure to still have your grandfather’s letter. The image is so beautiful, they both go so well together. I’ve been touched by this post.
Alicia, thank you. I’m glad others find it interesting also.
I can almost smell the futility of war in his letter to Alice. Sad account of a grey foreboding day. When did Joe pass away?
What a touching post. And an amazing letter from your grandfather. He writes so beautifully – which is only so more touching knowing about his unknown fate. Your photograph is beautiful in itself but adds so much depth and emotions to your grandfather’s letter. Such a strong combination. Very beautiful, yet full of sorrow and yearning.
What a great keepsake! Accompanied by a beautiful photo.
Oh! This is so touching. Thankyou. It’s so beautiful Karen. Dear Joe.
How sad to lose a man with such a soul and such a way with words. I’m so sorry the War took him from your family, from this world. But he runs through you, Karen. It’s ever apparent. Wonderful post!
This is such a wonderful post, Karen. Old letters were so eloquently written. Writing was an art form, sadly being replaced by IM. On the bright side we don’t have to wait a month or more between communications.
Your photo is stunning.
Wow, I have never read these!! Now I know where my hopelessly romantic side comes from!
I hear ya! 🙂
You are very fortunate that yours is a family that values such personal treasures from the past as this letter. Surely the more we know about our ancestors, their lives, and their thoughts, the more they will live on, in and through us. And your photograph is a very worthy accompaniment. Really, a wonderful post. Thank you.
Wow a powerful post. Thanks for sharing, Karen. I hope that your family was able to find closure.
Oops. That first sentence should have read, “Wow, what a powerful post.”
wow – poetry is infused in your family’s bones… amazing to think that you are both intense students (those who study) and “amateurs” (those who love) of your natural surroundings…. lovely!
Wonderful post. The letter is very moving and written so well. My grandfather also served in the war. I’ve posted an excerpt from his Flying Log Book showing photos of his aircrew.
Thank you Simon, I’ll try a find that.
Thanks Karen. Some of his aircrew were Canadian.