A Research Guide for Students by I Lee

Diary of Carl Kaas:
How I Met My Spouse

Diary written by Carl Kaas, edited by I Lee
for English structure, grammar or spelling only as needed.
Carl and Marg Kaas
Carl and Margaret Kaas

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Diary Entry Date: 22 September 2010

Hot lips, a cold heart and hard to control exploring fingers are a very touching combination, especially when you are in your late teens.

I had a friend who informed me that he had a sister who was available.

Soon after meeting, we became boy-and-girl friends. She was very nice, so we enjoyed each other's company for many months. Then she started to talk about marriage. Oh my golly, that put me on a totally different track.

After a while, it made me think very seriously and I asked myself: "Do I want to spend the rest of my life in the arms of this female?" There were no annulments or divorces before the last World War.

When I told her of my decision to call it quits, it was impossible to describe the damage and broken dreams I created which broke her loving heart. I never realized that she was so deeply committed. For a long time, I felt like a murderer, and I made a vow never to get into a situation like that again. I kept my word, because once again when I was engaged in a similar situation, I had learned my lesson and when it got too close to the "I DO" stage, I got cold feet and sprinted off over the horizon.

My best friend had five sisters, three around my age. They were all very nice, so I ogled all three and even made a date with two of them at different time periods. Number three was a little different. She was the best looking, the smartest and in my opinion, a little more sophisticated. So I never tried to fool around with her because I was sure I would be turned away and thus saved me the embarrassment of feeling like I were crawling under the porch with the hound.

In our country, Holland, it was the custom at Christmas and especially at New Year's to send all kind of crazy cards to your friends. One year, among these cards, I received the following poem (translated from the Dutch it sounds like this):

FLOWERS DRY OUT,
ROSES GET THIN,
BUT OUR LOVE HAS NEVER BEEN.

There was no name and no return address attached to this card, but it sure aroused my curiosity. I figured that it must have come from a female, but who? After weeks of prodding, I had a hunch that it came from the 3rd sister, the one I thought was unreachable. When I confronted her with my findings, she finally admitted to sending it "But only as a joke". I was overwhelmed with my discovery but at the same time told myself to be very cautious, which I was.

I knew her brother and sisters were spirited, loyal, honest and dependable people. They were always ready to give a helping hand to others, and were fun to be with.

So she was fantastic in every way, but I still had to make sure that it was not infatuation that got me all worked up about her. At the same time, I could not grasp what she saw in a lowly plowboy like me.

The War was coming closer and we were in the battle zone. Nobody could tell what lay in our future. So, no plans.

But what I learned was the feeling she developed for me, by putting her life on the line. She was working in the city about 3 or 4 miles away. One Sunday afternoon, she knew I was at her house waiting for her, but there was no more transportation: no cars, no busses, and no bikes. To save some time, you could take the dirt road for a short cut, but being in the war zone, the Germans had it mined. A rope was put across the dirt road with the sign: "MINES". My girl knew very well what that meant, but she threw all her caution to the wind. She stepped over the rope and hurried home where I was waiting. At that instant, when I realized the significance of this death-defying deed, it sealed my conviction that this was the girl I must protect for the rest of our lives here in this cruel world.

When the war was won, we went on a 55-year honeymoon.

This was how I met my wife in a few short words. The 55-year honeymoon was a story all of its own. It ended when she was diagnosed with a massive deadly aneurysm in her brain.

Documents showing photos of Margaret and Carl Kaas around January 12, 1945.
Note: Carl's name at birth was Cornelis Gerardus Kaas.

Documents showing photos of Margaret and Carl Kaas in 1945

Margaret and Carl Kaas
Date of photo unknown

Hand-colored photo of Margaret and Carl Kaas - Date of photo unknown.

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