The days grew longer as summer dragged on and the humidity and heat sapped everyone’s energy. The war news was not good, as the Navy suffered losses in the Phillipines and ships were sunk by Japanese U-boats.
Caro knitted socks and continued to volunteer at the USO, but it wasn’t enough. She was full of anxious energy and wanted to do more to help Randy and the boys win this war. She heard that the Navy Yard was looking for young women to help build ships. Caro spoke to her in-laws about taking the job, but Mr. Jones had another idea.
“Caro, you know that my business is booming with the sudden demand for timber for building. With Randy gone, I only have Jake and old Bill to help in the sawmill. I need someone young, strong and bright to help me fill these orders. Would you be willing to help out in the family business?”
Caro was astonished. She knew that working in a sawmill was considered “a man’s job,” but the times were changing. Everyone needed to pitch in and do their part. Caro knew that Randy would want her closer to home, surrounded by their families. He would worry less if she was working with his Daddy.
“Yes, Daddy Jones. I will come work for you.”
Mrs. Jones stopped rocking and got up to give Caro a hug.
“Thank you darlin’,” she said. “ I know Randy will be happy that you are staying close to home.”
Caro nodded, her eyes bright with unshed tears.
“Now,” said Mrs. Jones briskly. “Let’s go into Randy’s old room and dig you up some work clothes.”
Caro and Mrs. Jones found two pairs of overalls and a couple of shirts that Mrs. Jones promised to alter to fit Caro’s petite frame.
Caro walked back to her cabin feeling lighter and happier than she had in months.
She couldn’t wait to write to Randy, and tell him all about her new job cutting timber at Jones Sawmill.
Causes Annette Talbert Supports
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, RIF (Reading is Fundamental),
Hands On Foundation, Dignity U Wear, Girls, Inc.