Sunday, 17 Jul 1983

Dear Mom & Dad,

Well, it's good to be back home. Jeannie & the kids did fine while I was gone. Besides going to swim classes, they went to the zoo one day. Jeannie said is was very nice at the zoo. Steven still talks about it. They went with Faye and her kids.

I managed to find the plugs I wanted before I left Philadelphia. It wasn't as hard to leave the country as everyone said it would be. I was eager to get back to my home and family here.

I was able to sleep a little on the plane coming over.

When I got to Rome, they said I wasn't on the flight to Naples even though I had a ticket. The Italian airline is a little strange. Since I was checking in at 10:30 am for a 4:30 pm flight, they squeezed me in. I sat around the Rome airport a long time. I got back to Naples about 5 pm last Sunday. Jeannie was there when I got there. I was pleased that my suitcase didn't get lost, going or come back. I managed to get back with the yardstick without any problems. Jeannie hasn't even measured anything with it yet.

We came home long enough to leave my luggage, then went to an ice cream supper at John & Faye's house. Just about everyone from church was there. I was tired by the time we got home. Monday night I didn't get home till almost 8:00. I had to go downtown with a patient to get a CAT scan. When I am late like that, there is no way to let Jeannie know where I am or when I'll be home. I had to go back to the hospital at 12:30 am and again at 3:30 am to deliver babies. After that I just spent the rest of the night in the hospital.

I was so tired Tuesday, I thought I was going to die. I helped do a C-section that morning. I was glad I was off Tuesday afternoon. I came home and slept about 3 hours that afternoon. I was on call Tuesday, too, but fortunately didn't get called.

Wednesday morning I got to sleep a little later because I went to Pinetamare. It was a slow and relaxing day. Wednesday afternoon I called the lawyer who sent me the enclosed subpoena. Did I tell you I got that? When I worked in Dardenelle emergency room that one time, a 4-year-old boy was brought in who had been raped. So they wanted me to testify for the prosecution against the assailant. It would have meant a free trip to Arkansas, but it wasn't at a good time & I really didn't think the Navy would let me go. Anyway, the guy pled guilty last Tuesday and is going to jail for 10 yrs. I have no need for a subpoena. Have you ever seen one? It surely wasn't a legal subpoena since it came to me in the mail, not even registered mail.

Thursday night we went to Euromercato. That's the store that is like a big K-Mart with a mall under the same roof. We spent a lot of money. The receipt is enclosed. The "ventilatore" is a fan. It cost 58,000 lire. That was cheaper than we could buy it on base. It works well. It has finally gotten quite hot here.

Later Thursday night, we went to Ron & Rusty's house (the missionaries). They are going to Holland this week and Rusty wanted Jeannie to call Susan Krumrei in Rotterdam, but they couldn't ever get through. (Crazy phone system!)

I have been on call since Friday and it has been a quiet weekend so far. Except, yesterday I almost went to Germany. I was packed & at the hospital with orders and at the last minute I didn't have to go. A set of twin was born prematurely Friday night & they needed to go to one of the Air Force hospitals in Germany. They needed two doctors to go & I was the only possible choice so I agreed to go. Jeannie didn't like it much because I couldn't tell her for sure when I would be back. Yesterday afternoon about 3:30 pm, just minutes before the babies were to be taken to the airport, one of them died. So they didn't need me anymore. Jeannie was quite surprised when I got home. I was looking forward to getting to see a little of Germany. I would have been back home by tonight.

I went to the hospital to make rounds this morning before church. Jeannie came in her car later. I taught class this morning & will be teaching from Hebrews. Jeannie is teaching the youngest class - only Steven and an 18 m/o girl.

That's about all I can think of that we've been doing.

Jeannie & the kids went to NATO's beach on Wednesday and stayed 4 hours. They went with one of the neighbors. Jeannie kept sunscreen on the kids, but let her back burn. They had a good time. Angelique just loved it and decided she should go every day. It took Steven a long time to decide it was fun to be there.

We can understand most of what Steven says now, though sometimes he still chatters in some language we haven't figured out. He says: "Like this." "Come on." "Wait." "Right here." "This here." "Here it is." "There it is." "Mama, Daddy. Look. A cow." "My turn." The other day Steven told Jeannie, "Angelique went downstairs."

Two nights ago, Angelique read us her bedtime story. She knew at least 90% of the words and she didn't say the book from memory, either. We were really proud of her. I'm not sure what they will do with her in the first grade.

Angelique & Steven do pretty well playing together.


As you can see, Angelique wanted to write you a letter. She made me spell each word except for "Angelique and Steven."

Our nearest neighbors, the Cummings, are gone to France & Spain all this month. Jeannie is taking care of their garden. We went over there tonight to pick corn, beans, cucumbers, broccoli, beets, bell peppers. I've never seen such little ears of corn. The stalks are only 3 feet tall. The soil is really rich here.

I ate a yellow plum today. Have you ever heard of a plum that color?

We are sitting here watching "The Love Boat."

Did I tell you that the police here usually don't stop cars when they commit traffic violations? They just write down your license number, then you get a ticket in the mail. How about that? People obviously aren't afraid of getting a ticket around here, though.

I have to spend the night in the hospital tomorrow night. I'm glad I didn't have to go to Germany. I would be awfully tired.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Take care.


Michael, Jeannie,
Angelique, & Steven

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