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Chapter XVI - A Fresh Start

When Tony had enlisted in the Coast Guard I felt it would be months before I would see him again. I felt as though a cloud were darkening my sky.

On Sunday morning of the same week he had left, the sun shone warm and brilliantly in the living room. There was a knock on the door and when I opened it, there was Tony smiling in his brand new uniform. I could not believe my eyes. There stood my son smiling, happy and very young. The dark cloud had disappeared and the sun shone warm and comforting again.

"Tony," I exclaimed, "how come you were able to come back so soon? Tell me everything!"

He responded to my question, "I am stationed in Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, New York. Because of my experience in carpentry, I received the rank of first class petty officer. Maybe I will be able to come home almost every weekend."

I was happy again.

We moved to our new home on the first of June. Tony helped move. In fact, the whole family helped. My married daughter cleaned the house, windows and all.

On his first furlough Tony immediately decided to change the kitchen. The kitchen was partitioned three ways. The main part contained the sink, stove and a place for a table. Attached on one side was a breakfast nook with a long table and a bench on each side. The other side had a pantry. Tony knocked down the partition that divided the nook and the pantry. The result was a big sunny kitchen. I was delighted with the result. Of course, the work took many of his weekends.

Once the kitchen was finished he started on the attic. Six rooms were not enough for my family so he turned the attic into one big beautiful room with four windows and a cedar closet.

When this room was finished he started on the basement.

When all his work was done the house was transformed into a beautiful home.

My husband had taken care of the outside and his work had produced a new green lawn. The following summer he planted a beautiful vegetable garden.

I took care of the inside furnishings.

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