Archive for the ‘Christian’ Category

SUPER HELEN

April 30, 2017

helen-in-cape

I have to admit that I’m not sure how I came across this cape. I discovered it when I unrolled an Army sleeping bag. Helen did not like the Army’s fashion sense. More than once, she got in trouble for not wearing her helmet or her cap.

Who could blame her? Here’s how the Army described the clothing for Army nurses:  Cape, Olive Drab, Nurses’ – Stock No. 55-C-5910
Wool Barathea Cape in two layers, with newly designed collar and buttoned tab closure, in Olive Drab Shade No. 51      Jacket, Wool, Olive Drab, Women;  Skirt, Wool, Olive Drab Dark; Trenchcoat, Wool . . .

Adding insult to injury (as Mom used to say), nurses had to pay for their own uniforms–plus their nurse’s uniforms! Not many of my frugal parents’ uniforms survived because as soon as they were out of the Army, they re-purposed coats and jackets so they could wear them in civilian life.

SCHNAPPS

April 9, 2017

Schnapps (2)

I can easily identify 2 out of 3 in this photo: Lt. Helen Eberhart Daley, Army Nurse, and Schnapps, a true-to-life stuffed dog, whose name was a mystery to me before I read the letters I found in the Army trunk. If you’ve read this far in WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, you know how the dog got its name.

Mom (Helen) was too generous for her own good. If I complimented her necklace or bracelet, she’d attempt to give it to me. But one day when I was probably 7 or 8, I was playing in the attic and found this cute, black stuffed dog. Thinking I’d add it to my stuffed animal collection, I carried it down and ran to find Mom. “Mom! Look what I found in the attic! It’s kind of beat-up, but the stuffing isn’t leaking.”

She took that dog and smiled at it as if she’d finally run into an old friend from another life. “Take it back to the attic, Dandi.”

“But I wanted to play with it!” I protested.

She smiled again at that curly-haired black dog. “Not this one, honey. This one is special. Schnapps belongs to me.”

I thought about telling her “Schnapps” was a dumb name for a dog. I thought about pointing out that she was too old for stuffed animals. But something stopped me–maybe her expression; maybe having her keep something I wanted. It certainly wasn’t like the mother I knew.

When I came to the first mention of Schnapps in a letter Mom had written Dad in WW2, I’d already started seeing “the mother I knew” as something more–Helen, a young newlywed in a war zone, lonely, missing her husband, caring for so many injured and dying soldiers. Another dozen or so letters mentioned the dog. I finally knew why Schnapps meant so much to her.

As for the real dog in the picture, I have no idea, and you won’t find that one in the book. You’re on your own there.

WITH LOVE, WHEREVER THEY MET…

April 3, 2017

Battle Creek (2)

If you’re reading WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, you are already familiar with Battle Creek, MI. And if you were paying attention, you know quite a bit about things that happened in this hospital. Anyone know these answers??

I’m planning to post a bunch of pictures, postcards, memorabilia from WW2 over the next few weeks. Many of the items or locations are mentioned in the book. Other things are letters, etc. that didn’t make it into the book. I hope some of you will “play” along with me–not just answering the questions, but asking some of your own, or commenting, or telling me some of the vast information I don’t know!

WAR WEDDING

April 1, 2017

photo

If you’ve read this far in WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, I’ll bet you know exactly what this is. Clues: 1) It’s nearly 75 years old and still intact. 2) The cake it topped is long gone. 3) That lovely white dress really should have been another Army uniform. 3) Check out that flag–only 48 stars.  So, have you read this far?

LITERARY LOVERS’ MARCH MADNESS

March 20, 2017

I love March Madness, except for the fact that Mizzou didn’t make it this year. (We’ll get ’em next year!) So, look what someone else is doing–a Literary-Lovers’ March Madness. And LARA and I made it to the second round. LARGER-THAN-LIFE LARA contains just about everything I know about writing. And since everyone has been bullied and has bullied in some way, readers get the subtle anti-bullying theme. I don’t think I’ve asked anyone to vote for me since I ran for office at  Missouri Girls State…and loss. Round 2 ends Thursday. Here’s the link if you’re up for it: http://readthearc.com/literary-lovers-madness-round2/

BOOK RELEASE DAY!

March 7, 2017

with-love

It’s here! And as if that weren’t enough for me, it’s getting two starred reviews–Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist. I’ve waited so long for this. I thought about dozens of pictures I could post, along with witty, but poignant things to say. But here I am, speechless and grateful, hoping that you like my story.

Check out giveaways at https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/38952.Dandi_Daley_Mackall  If you’re on GoodReads, will you add the book to your favorite lists and to your shelf as to-read? Thanks!

WHAT’S IN A LETTER?

March 6, 2017

These are only a few of the WW2 letters I inherited from my parents, Army doctor and Army nurse, newlyweds shipped to different countries for the duration of the war. They wrote each other 2-3 times a day and prayed for mail call and the (too often unreliable) delivery of their most precious, vital, real connection–their letters. It was all they had to help their marriage survive. They wrote on whatever was at hand–V-mail (infuriatingly short), bummed stationery, and even abandoned German paper, though only when necessary. One letter was written on a small, brown paper sack. They had worked out a clever code to foil the censors and to arrange rare rendezvous. (Took me a while, but I cracked their code.)

I fear we’re losing our letters to texts and emails. I admit that I rarely write letters, though I’m delighted whenever I receive one. Think of all the great historical and literary collections that wouldn’t exist if their writers had I phones. I can’t even imagine writing WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE without my trunkful of letters. Tomorrow is the official release date for the book!

I’ll be answering questions on Goodreads all week. Please join me there, okay?  Here’s the link: Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/38952.Dandi_Daley_Mackall

http://www.dandibooks.com/with-love-wherever-you-are/

 

IT’S MARCH! In 6 days…

March 1, 2017

WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE officially releases and should be in book stores on March 7. After so many years dreaming about this book, it’s still hard to believe it’s real. God is just so good. I thought these pictures may help you envision some of the moments in the novel. Helen in Rennes, Frank in Marseilles, then on a battle field in Germany. Frank is on the castle in Heidelberg, Germany. Helen is on her way to meet Frank.

If you’ve been reading these blogs, thanks so much for your interest. I would LOVE to hear from anyone who’s reading WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE!

http://www.dandibooks.com/with-love-wherever-you-are/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/38952.Dandi_Daley_Mackall

WARTIME COOKIE JAR

February 25, 2017

cookie-jar

This Little Red Riding Hood cookie jar sat on top of our refrigerator for as long as I can remember–longer, in fact, before I was born. I loved it, but only because every now and then, it would fill with wonderful cookies. It was a landmark day when I was able to reach it and pull out my own cookie, instead of standing on a chair to get one. But the old jar became much more than a cookie holder when I read one of Dad’s war/love letters to Mom: “Darling, you’ll never believe what the guys got us for our wedding gift.”

You guessed it. Dad’s war buddies bought Little Red Riding Hood. The gift meant so much to Dad that he carried it on his lap when he took the train to meet his bride-to-be on their wedding day. And they took it on their honeymoon. The cookie jar, minus cookies, has moved from the top of our fridge to the top of our war cabinet. Wouldn’t it be great if we all asked for the stories that go with family heirlooms? And we can pass along those stories to the next generation…and the next…and the next….

http://www.dandibooks.com/with-love-wherever-you-are/

 

ARMY NURSES

February 21, 2017

gals-600-2

These are the nurses Mom (Helen) came to know and rely on–well, most of them. Can you pick out Lt. Helen Eberhart Daley? She’s front and center and seems to give off her own light. Next to her (on her left, our right) is her best war buddy, Naomi. Although I never met her, I feel as if I know Naomi. So many of Helen’s letters and war stories included her kind friend. If you read WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, I think you’ll come to know her a bit too.

http://www.dandibooks.com/with-love-wherever-you-are/