24 Nov 1983
Thursday Night

Dear Mom & Dad,

I've been trying to get a letter started since Sunday, but it's already Thanksgiving. I've been running about 5 days behind lately. We're fine. Angelique just got over a drippy nose - no fever or aches or pains - just a runny nose. Now Steven seems to have picked it up.

I guess that's to be expected since our radiators aren't working yet. Our landlord has been working on them for a few weeks, but they'll run awhile and then quit. We've been using a couple of kerosene heaters meanwhile, but I sure don't like them. They irritate my eyes and nose.

Well, Thanksgiving dinner was fine. We had about 25 people from church over. Faye cooked the turkey. I fixed 9 pounds of ham, broccoli & rice casserole, baked beans, rolls and rocky road cake. Everyone brought food, but I think I had enough to feed them all.

I mixed up the dough mix Monday and was ready to throw it out. It just didn't seem right. Plus it wouldn't rise -- of course the house was in the low 60'sē. I decided I'd give it a chance, though.

Tuesday I mixed some up for supper. I got the dough to rise by putting it in a warm oven. They were okay, but not quite as good as yours. I wonder what was different. I went ahead and made them up today. Everyone said they were good. I only got about 50 rolls out of the whole batch. Doesn't yours make up more than that? Maybe when you come in May we can mix up a batch together and I'll find what I did wrong.

Do Rex & Barbara make Allan give in to Christian or does Allan feel obligated to do so because he's a big brother? Is she very bossy?

A few of the trees have started changing colors here. I don't think they all lose their leaves here. On our trip to Rome a few weeks ago a lot of the trees had started changing up there. It gets into the mid 40'sē at night here now. I hear it's been cold there in Arkansas.

Since there is no Christian Church here, we have a few who worship with us. They stay rather low key and don't cause any problems. I can understand their appeal for instrumental music, soloist, etc., but how does Barbara explain women elders? Maybe Barbara needs someone to challenge her on that issue. I can't believe she'd think that was scriptural.

I'm surprised you got the Christmas package so soon. If I remember correctly, we mailed it 4 days before you got it. The postal system must really be fouled up to have let that happen. Anyway I hope everything got there in one piece. Did I tell you there were a few gifts for Dan & Alisa in there? Did Daddy's belt fit? I've worried about that ever since I bought it. Did you figure out how to reverse it? Did the boomerang have some significance to it or just because he didn't have one?

I can't imagine Kem & Brenda with a girl. Surely it will be a boy. Did Brenda take all those baby things? I assume she's not going to quit work when the baby comes. What kind of arrangements has she made - or has she?

I'm glad you got the autoharp. Hang on to it.

I haven't been real crazy about the idea of you all building a house, but I guess you have a good excuse with the pool hall coming soon. A red-neck town like yours would sure support a pool hall well. Maybe the people building the pool hall would want to buy your house. Where is the lot and how big is it that you thought you'd probably take?

Michael is asleep right now so I can't ask him about the Med Center's cost to low income people for delivery. Someone somewhere does it, though. Maybe your worker didn't qualify because she is a college student.

Every now and then Angelique gets the urge to write one of her grandparents. She'll walk into the room with a pencil & paper and say, "Momma, how do you spell _____ (whatever)?" Then she tells me she's writing a letter.

Steven can spell his name, but won't do it for very many people. He can spell "go" and recognizes a few words like dog, bus, the end, Jesus, & sometimes pizza. He's really into popcorn lately. Promise him popcorn and he'll do anything.

Steven has several families at church "wrapped around his little finger." They all make over him and giggle and play with him. I think that's kinda hard on Angelique. I try to remind them of that occasionally. If she wouldn't talk their ears off, she might get more attention. Of course, Steven is the only one of his age group that is at church regularly, so I guess that's why he is so appealing.

We took the kids to see "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" tonight. They really enjoyed the movie and the popcorn.

I seriously doubt we'll come home at all while we are here in Italy. We really need to see as much of Europe as we can while we're here. So -- you go ahead & get your passports and plane reservations, etc.

It doesn't make a lot of difference if someone waits till 1985 to come. There are advantages & disadvantages either way. We're reserving May for you this year, so you come on. If Diane & Bill need to wait till 1985, that's fine. Or they can come on this year. We would probably be able to afford to so more if visitors spaced their visits out, but then people tend to not come at all if they delay too long. So either way is fine. Actually everyone should come both summers and just settle the situation there.

I'm very tired after feeding 25 people today. I'd better get to bed.



P.S. We went to Ercolano (Herculaneum) Saturday. That was an ancient town destroyed by Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD just like Pompei. We were with Professor DiAmbrosio and the Navy Officers Wives archeology group. They allowed us to go into the restricted area where they are still excavating. We were extremely fortunate to be allowed to do this. We saw several things that tourists won't be able to see for many, many years -- a Roman boat still intact, about 26 skeletons of people that were caught on the beach trying to escape in boats, and a beautiful Roman bath house. It was really a nice, pretty day to enjoy Roman ruins.

Come see us!!!

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