Sunday, 4 Dec 1983

Dear Mom & Dad,

This has been a good week with few exceptions.

The Cummings have gone to the States for 6 weeks. We have their VCR and are making copies of a lot of tapes. It is keeping us busy.

We finally got a hole drilled through the wall in the kitchen by the stove. So now we don't have to have the bombola (tank of gas) sitting in the kitchen floor any more. Jeannie says it seems that something is missing in the kitchen since there is a little more room.

The landlord finally got the radiators to working. A repairman came to the house several times. There were several problems with the heating system, probably because it had never been used. One of the biggest problems was that there was a lot of water in the bottom of the tank.

Italian telephone -- 2 Dec 1983 Friday, we got our phone! So far, it hasn't rung and we haven't called anyone. Since it costs so much to call the States, we will rarely do it. You can call us direct by dialing 011-39-81-867-7747. Remember, we are 7 hours ahead of you. (It is 7 pm here, at noon in Arkansas.) For sure, call us while Becky is in Harrison at Christmas. We are really excited about having a phone. It will make being on call a lot easier.

Yesterday, we went with the archeology group to the Roman baths at Baia (about 20 minutes from our house). We about froze to death.

It has gotten quite cold for here. It is only about 40° F but there is a real strong north wind. Fortunately, since our heat is working, it is staying comfortable in the house. That means, the mid-50's in most of the house and the low 60's in the living room.

Pinocchio from Siena -- Christmas 1983 Today after church, we bought a Christmas tree from some Italians on the side of the street, not far from the Navy base. It cost $25, which we thought was reasonable compared with what we've paid in Little Rock and Fort Smith. It is 9 feet tall and is against the front wall between the front door and the fireplace. I bet you couldn't put a tree that tall in your living room. We got most of it decorated while the kids took their naps this afternoon.

We brought all our decorations with us from the States. We have acquired several others since we got here, including some large lights that say "Buon Natale," a half dozen small wooden Pinocchio's, and four very beautiful hand-painted Anri's.

The kids are really excited. Angelique gathered up several toys and placed them around the tree, then told Steven they could "play Christmas."

We will truly miss you all at Christmas this year. Remember that some day we will be together again.


Michael, Jeannie, Angelique, & Steven

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