ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

War Stories Chapter 13

Updated on March 27, 2013


War Stories - chapter 13. (Home alone - again.)


We spend a lot of time listening to the news broadcasts on either the SA Broadcasting service on medium wave, or the BBC on short wave. Occasionally we even pick up Radio America - Africa Services, and some other stations speaking either German or some Asian language that we presume is Japanese.


Fierce fighting is taking place in Europe and Britain, the war in North Africa has moved into Italy. Thankfully, on the home front “terrorist activities” have all but ceased. South Africa is fortunate in that it is not being attacked by foreign nations and because of the demand for raw materials to keep the war machine going in Europe, the export of iron ore and coal has increased. Industry is also booming as the need for basic items such as uniforms and army equipment increases. Many of these new industries are using women workers, as most of the usual work force is otherwise occupied, digging trenches in the desert in Egypt, or fighting in the mountains of Southern Europe.


Somewhere in this mess is Hub and also Albert, our older brother and Jessie our little sister. Information is hard to come by and when it comes, is heavily censored. Then Dad hears that Albert had been awarded the Military Cross after he led an attack on a German gun post and saved many of our soldiers from imminent danger. Albert is the eldest in the family and the consummate soldier. He fears nothing, is cool under pressure and just the kind of person you would like to have leading you into battle. We are all very proud to hear this, but also know that if there is danger beckoning, Albert, or A as he is referred to, would be the first to volunteer. Hardly a strong recommendation to secure one’s safety in these already dangerous times.


On the home front at Fontainebleau, strange things are happening in my life. Little Johan is beginning to cut his teeth and take his first steps, much to the delight of Mom and Dad. Dad had returned to being a farmer and builder and the new house is just about complete. The bricks are being manufactured on site and the Italian prisoners of war, led by Giuseppe Francisco, are building a house of a quality unknown in these parts. They have even begun to plant some grape vines that will probably have little chance of survival in the harsh winters on the high veldt.


Then I realized that I am pregnant again. The short visit by Hub had been passionate and fulfilling, but now I feel the same symptoms that I last felt in North Africa. Would I again have to have our child without the presence of my beloved husband? At least I am not alone as Helen is also in the same boat, so to speak, and everyone is holding their breath and taking bets as to who would give birth first. According to the doctors it is going to be touch and go.


Today a parcel arrives with a post mark from Jerusalem. Hub had been able to visit Palestine and while in Jerusalem, he bought a copy of the New Testament. It has a carved wooden cover. Inside he inscribed a message to our first born and then posted it to me. How I love him for this thoughtful act and how I will look after and treasure it for Johan until one day he can appreciate it.


Life has developed a rhythm of stability here on the farm and I am kept busy helping Mom around the house. Looking after the little boy and running the home with its everyday activities is keeping us all busy. There does not seem to be as much time to feel the loneliness that I had felt when I first returned.


The words of a poem I learnt in English classes at Girls High, just a few years ago, keep coming into my mind; “Sleep and rest, sleep and rest, Father will come to thee soon”. I now find meaning in some of the poems we had to memorize under the watchful eye of Miss Beckman. These words come from the poem by Tennyson called “Sweet and Low”, that at the time had seemed rather meaningless, but now brings comfort to me as I recall it and it comes alive in my longing.


With my second child growing inside me, I am ready for the war to end and ready to start my own life with Hub. The “War” is now in its fourth year and we all are tired of it. When will it end so life can return to normal, if something like that does, in fact exist?


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Johan Smulders profile imageAUTHOR

      Johan Smulders 

      6 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Thanks for your comment

    • Just History profile image

      Just History 

      6 years ago from England

      I am really enjoying these series and pray for a happy ending

    • Johan Smulders profile imageAUTHOR

      Johan Smulders 

      6 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Thanks for the compliment!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You might be able to turn this into a book, Johan.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)