Thursday, 17 May 84

Dear Mom & Dad,

We got your package today. Everything got here fine. Thanks for the presents. Jeannie says we need some more sandals for the kids. What you got is exactly what we need, except that in a couple of months the sandals will be too little. Can you get another pair for each kid? This time get size 8 and size 10. We didn't find a price tag on them. The check is for $35. I hope this is enough for all you sent, plus 2 more pair of sandals. Also, please send one more 2 1/2 inch hook & eye.

The little hook & eyes worked fine. I already have them put on. Now the screens won't blow open during a strong wind. Thanks.

The paper cutter will be put to good use. The cake pan was exactly what Jeannie wanted. My last Cross pen refill ran out yesterday. Your supply came just in time.

I hate to keep asking you for things, but ...

Can you send me one of those square coin holders (for one single coin) with the clear plastic circles in the center? I need it for my Greek coin. It is a tiny bit smaller than a penny.

Jeannie says we need Care Bear birthday things for Angelique, if you can find such a thing. We need paper cups, plates, & napkins (about 16 of each). Also, if there are any cute decorations that go along with it, we want that, too, for Angelique's birthday. Let us know what it cost. Also, how much are the little Care Bears? (I think they are about the size of Strawberry Shortcake.) We need a Tender Heart bear. We do not have them over here.

And, we want a copy of May 84 issue of National Geographic. Can you find us one?

I'm sorry this letter is so full of requests, already.

We are all well. The weather has finally gotten nice. We are in short sleeves most of the time. The kids play outside for hours. They would just as soon live on the swing set.

Liternum -- 13 May 1984
We often saw these ruins of the ancient Roman village of Liternum as we drove along the 4-laner, less than a mile south of our house in Lago Patria.

The earthquake we had at our house on the 7th (Monday) was interesting. It occurred about 7:50 pm. I was sitting in the rocking chair, reading. Jeannie was washing dishes. It was very different from the tremors in Pozzuoli. Remember how shaky they are & noisy. This was very quiet & was a rocking or swaying motion. It made you feel a little seasick. It lasted about a minute. It really felt strange for the rocking chair to be rocking in a different direction than usual. Jeannie said the sink was hitting her. It took us a few seconds to be sure it was an earthquake. It did NO damage to our house - it rocked it very gently, but rocked it a lot.

The earthquake caused lots of cracks at the clinic. And here we all thought it was safe to work at Pinetamare.

There were several mild aftershocks for a few days. The only one I noticed was on Friday while I was at a restaurant at lunch with Jeannie and her Italian class. Jeannie didn't even notice it. Mostly, I just felt a little seasick for a few seconds. I didn't notice the motion, except barely.

Three members of the Inspector General's team were at Pinetamare on Tuesday afternoon last week. I didn't get an afternoon off that week. The IG himself came out on Wednesday afternoon. Compared with the hospital, our clinic looked like roses.

Last Friday, Jeannie and I worked from 4 pm to 8 pm putting together the swing set for the kids. Part of the problem was that it didn't really fit in the back yard. Saturday afternoon we moved it to the front yard. It is easier to watch the kids out front.

Saturday I was at the clinic from 8 to 3. We had an open house and health fair. It turned out very well.

I preached Sunday morning.

Oh, a week ago Sunday, the girls at church gave Nola (the girl baptized at our house) a wedding shower. They had a good time for 4 hours at Faye's house, but Nola never showed up. Can you imagine? She forgot. They got her a lot of nice things. She got her presents last Thursday night with just the Sigles and us. She was sure embarrassed.

Nola & Brett were married (Italian style) last Saturday. They got an apartment not far from here. Her mother insists on a "church wedding," so they are having an American style ceremony this Sunday afternoon at Carney Park. Ron, our missionary, is performing the ceremony. Since it is outdoors, we hope it doesn't rain.

Jeannie started potty training Steven on Monday. He is doing very well. He really feels big.

We watched a very good movie tonight that Diane sent. She didn't tell us the name of it, though, & the first several seconds are missing. It stars Ed Asner & Mariette Hartley. She dies & comes back as a ghost. It was really cute. Have you heard of it? What's the name?

Come see us again. What do you want to see besides Herculaneum?

We love & appreciate you. Thanks for sending us things.

Lots of love,

Michael, Jeannie,
Angelique, & Steven

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