14 Aug 84

Dear Mom & Dad,

We are all fine here. The weather is wonderful except for swimming. We are not using the fans. It is even chilly at night. It is hard to believe it is mid-August. It is very different from last summer. (Maybe the winter will be mild, too.)

It finally rained last Thursday. Actually, it poured. There were lots of flash floods everywhere. Jeannie was driving home in it & her car stalled just as she got on the exit for Lago Patria. Someone (Italian) pushed her to the top of the hill & she coasted on home. She wrapped towels around & over the kids & they all ran into the house.

I was on the base at about the same time. It got so dark that the street lights came on. If it had been Arkansas, we would be looking for tornadoes. The sky even turned a little green, but not quite like in the States. There was even a hail storm. It looked like a river going down the street in front of the base. The area around Squeeze Alley turned into a lake for awhile.

I got my car fixed last week. It cost about $100. They replaced the hydraulic brakes and put new shocks on the front. When I went to pick it up, they said that my motor wasn't any good. I thought, "So what?" It has over 99,000 miles on it. Then they said one of the pistons wasn't firing. That was hard to believe since I surely would have known if it were "missing." Of course, they wanted to fix it (meaning new engine, I suppose). I said I couldn't leave the car any longer & I would think about it.

Well, believe it or not, the car missed 4 times driving home that afternoon. But since then it has done fine. Beats me! I don't expect it to last forever, though.

Friday night Angelique went to a friend's birthday party, then spent the night there. We couldn't believe she has gotten big enough to go spend the night at a friend's house. It was strange not having her here that night. She really livens the place up around here. It didn't bother Steven in the least.

Saturday we went to the beach (AFSOUTH). We couldn't swim. They said the water was too polluted that day. The kids played in the sand & along the edge of the water. We stayed there 2 or 3 hours, ate lunch there, and came home. wading pool in our front yard - 11 Aug 1984

We got out our wading pool & filled it with water for the kids to play in.

They are on their last week of swimming lessons. The water was so cold today that Jeannie didn't even get in the pool. She said you couldn't keep the kids out.

I preached Sunday. We ate lunch with John & Faye at Bagnoli Joe's. Sunday night we left the kids with the Sigles while we went to see "Yentyl," Barbra Streisand's latest movie. It was showing on the base.

We really enjoyed the book, Star Trek III, that you sent. I read it all by the day after it got here. Jeannie read it in two days. John read it the day I loaned it to him. Lots of other people are dying to read it. It is the best Star Trek story I have seen.

Jeannie wanted to go somewhere the weekend of our anniversary. We are going to Sorrento this Friday night till Sunday morning. It is probably a bad time to go. It is the height of Italian vacation season. Lots of shops and even restaurants are closed this week. I suspect most things will be open in Sorrento, though. The traffic will be horrible. Our hotel is on the beach and has a swimming pool.

The kids are going to stay at Faye's house. They are both real excited about it. The Sigles are excited, too. I hope everyone is still as enthusiastic when we get back.

The kids are enjoying your cartoon tape. Steven was quite confused when it showed that Bugs Bunny was coming on, but then Charlie Brown came on instead. I erased the opening part to Bugs Bunny to solve the problem in the future. They were dying to see Pac Man and thought they wouldn't be able to wait till the end of the tape to see it.

I finally got the cassette tapes from the Athens lectureship that I paid for in April. They came yesterday.

Angelique is excited about starting school in a couple of weeks. We know most of the kids that will be in her class. We dread paying Paddington every month for 2 kids.

We are really looking forward to going to the States. Steven talks about it all the time.

I have reservations at the Americana Hotel in Kansas City. It was my first choice, the closest to the convention center, and the cheapest. I still don't know if the Navy is paying for my trip. If I had waited till the government gets its mind made up, I would end up at the most expensive hotel and the farthest away.

Did I tell you that Lanney & Cheryl had a baby boy a few weeks ago? We got a videotape from Diane & Bill yesterday that had pictures of him. Kem & Brenda's baby is about 3 1/2 months old now.

Jeannie's mother quit working at Harding so she could watch the baby after Brenda went back to work. I'm sure part of the reason was so she could get out of that tiny apartment into a real house every day. She is there during the daytime if you ever need to call her. Kem's number is 268-4019.

We got a letter from Jeannie's mother yesterday. She said Jeannie's aunt had had an intracranial bleed & was in a coma. From the description, I doubt that she lives, if she is even alive right now. She is one of Velma's sisters.

I ordered a disk drive for my computer from Sears. I hope it will hurry and come. I'm tired of having a computer that I can't really do anything with. Also, the kids are dying to do something with it.

Jeannie's parents are taking her and the kids to Harrison on Saturday, 13 October. Will they be able to spend the night at your house that night & drive back on Sunday? Actually, they may not want to stay the whole weekend, but I need to know.

Oh, we will want to visit with Richie & Becky Poe while we are in Harrison.

It is probably too much to ask my sister to visit, but who can we expect to see?

I don't understand what the National Guards have that they have to hide from the IG. Fill me in.

Do you have Becky's address yet?

I don't think I have Bonnie's address. Tell her I haven't found anything new about HAWKINS. I have found a few new things about HARP.

Did you notice the new bookcase in the video tape?

It sounds like you got a brown recluse spider bite. You should have been in the hospital. Sometimes people feel weak for weeks after a spider bite like that. Are you well yet?

I doubt the bug sprays had anything to do with you being sick. But of course, it's possible you were sick from 2 things.

You needed more steroid. The Medrol Dosepak was too weak for your problem. It works well for poison ivy. (Nothing by comparison, huh?)

Tell David Stills to stay out of the Navy. The Air Force is a good choice. There are a lot of Christians in the Air Force and they don't put you on a ship. Also, all their bases are newer. They don't build bases in volcano craters either.

How is your new refrigerator doing? What brand is it?

I asked the Navy to tell the Harrison Times about my promotion. Keep your eyes open for it. Send me a copy if they ever get it in there.

Jeannie gets packages from Diane. Don't worry that you don't send anything to her. Actually, she enjoyed the Star Trek book as much as I did.

We have no idea when Jeannie's folks are going to get into their house. Surely by October. I did send you their new address, didn't I?

I would sure like some blackberries. It has been a long time since I ate any. Send us a cobbler.

I will probably get a letter from you right after I mail this.

Do you get "Electric Company"? We need several. We have plenty of "Sesame Streets," over 60 hours. We need Electric Company to help Steven learn to read. How much trouble would it be to send 12 episodes of Electric? (Be sure your tracking is centered on your VCR. If it was for the cartoon tape, then our machines aren't very compatible. Or it may be that my VCR is getting worn out.)

The enclosed $3 is for the Star Trek book.

Is there anything you want us to bring you in October?

I can't think of anything else worth telling you.

Love you lots,

Michael, Jeannie,
Angelique, & Steven

P.S. I hope you have a Happy Birthday.

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