When I’ve had an especially stressful day, relaxing in a nice warm bath is the most wonderful way to ease my mind and wash away worries and put problems aside, for at least a little while. No matter what has happened with students or other concerns in my life, I doubt that I will ever experience the stress the pilots of WW II faced during each mission.
Not only did they have to fly for hours in formations so close that their wing tips almost touched, they had to accurately drop their payload while flying through skies black with gun powder from exploding shrapnel. In addition, in the back of their minds was always the knowlege that the lives of their twelve or more crewmen were in their hands. Even after a succesful bomb run, the return flight of the seven and eight hour missions could be extremely dangerous, as the pilots were often nursing badly wounded birds back to base.
Unfortunately, Uncle Ben and other pilots stationed in sunny Italy had only freezing showers in which to relax and wash away stress. For that reason, Ben had an aversion to showers. Next to God, Margie, and country, playing cards was probably his greatest love. Not until fellow crewmen refused to play any more cards with him that Ben showered after a 29 day stint avoiding it. His mother, my Grandma Anna would have been appalled.
That seems so ironic to me because this uncle always seemed the epitome of the gentleman But, I don’t blame him. I can’t think of many things less relaxing than taking a shower in icy cold mountain water, especially when it is cold outside. Just another reason to appreciate all that the Vets did for us, and to thank God daily for the conveniences that are so easy for us to take for granted, like bathroom facilities and warm water.