Now I can sit down amid the hum of German conversation of the family I am billeted with and tell you I am O.K. but a hellova long way from home. Back in the other side of France I had to stay on the ball and join the conversation in French. Here I can smile graciously and ignore conversation except for an occasional “Jahr” [sic] or “danke” and “sehr gute” as they pass around the wine. There seems to me to be more beer and wine here than in the rest of France. Politeness, of course, forces me to try it all. I have sampled cognac, Calvados, schnaps, champagne, red wine, and a lot of types of beer. Have had some interesting things to eat, also, tho food is pretty scarce here. Black bread, barley coffee, apples, various cheeses and milk combinations. Some of these French breads and pastries are pretty good. They have a warm milk, coffee combination that is very good. It’s more milk than coffee, but thick and warming.
The ground was a long time freezing here, but finally it did. Now the mud is not bad and we have clothes enough to keep warm. We don’t get to wash too often. As one soldier says, if our wives lay out a clean pair of underwear when we get back, we’ll say, “What for, these I have aren’t worn out yet.” My habits of eating and cleaning, as you say, have never been good—and boy, they aren’t getting any better.
I like you letters very much, and if I don’t get a chance to write too often, don’t worry. There are a thousand things that can keep me from writing. So long for now and season’s greetings to all.
Your loving son,