Saturday, 24 Nov 1984

Dear Mom & Dad,

I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.

We went to Ron & Rusty's on Thanksgiving. Most everyone from church was there. We spent the whole afternoon there. Jeannie fixed cheese cake by your recipe. It was the most popular dessert. Steven liked it, too. We told him it was Grandma's cheese cake. He probably figured that you sent it.

I am at the hospital covering the E.R. today. It has been quite busy, but not with anything that's an emergency.

There have been very few tremors for the past few weeks. I suppose it's building up for a big one.

For the past two weeks, I have only been working 6 hours a day. Several of the staff at the hospital have been reassigned to Pinetamare. Our wonderful, calm clinic has turned into a zoo. The hospital now only has half as many beds as it did before. It was barely a hospital before. Now it is even worse. Anyone who has to stay in the hospital more than 3 days is suppose to be sent to Germany.

Another big change is the way schedules are made out. They have all but done away with Family Practice here. So there is no longer a Family Practice call schedule (which is fine by me). I was on too many schedules as it was. I still have call but it is limited to OB. I will only be on call one or two weeknights per week.

I now work at the clinic from 8-2 or 2-8. I alternate clinic schedule with Neal Ragan (the doctor from Arkansas). One week I take the morning shift, then the next week I take the evening shift. We share the same office space since the two of us are never there at the same time.

I am a lot busier while I am at work. It is nice to get off at 2 pm, but horrible to work till 8. Once it gets dark, it feels strange to be in the clinic. I can't go home for lunch any more because I don't get enough time off to do that.

Tell me about your trip to Becky's.

Our trip back to Italy was just fine except that we couldn't get the car started at the airport in Rome. That was an absolute nightmare. Mechanics don't work on Sunday in Rome & most of the gas stations are closed. I found someone at one of the limousine services who was able to help me. He got it started. We didn't leave Rome for about 3 hours. We were tired!

We did not have jet lag. Are you interested in trying the "jet lag diet"?

We sent you Xmas presents about 2 weeks ago. I certainly hope they get there in time. We sent Becky's to her house, I think.

I finally got my Volkswagen out of the shop after 5 weeks. That was 2 weeks after we got back. It was hard having just one car for so long. The Rabbit just recently rolled over to 100,000 miles. The new engine runs beautifully.

Pompei forum toward Vesuvius - 6 Nov 1984 millstone in Pompei bakery - 6 Nov 1984

A couple weeks ago we went to Pompei to take pictures of the kids, hoping to find a good one for Christmas. We think we picked out a really nice one. I hope it turns out well.

Pompei frescoes - 6 Nov 1984
Frescoes depicting myths from the Theban cycle in an oecus room in the House of the
Vettii in Pompei. On the left is Pentheus being tortured by the Bacchants and on the
right is the punishment of Dirce who was tied to a wild bull by Amphion and Zethus.

I need to get busy and come up with a Christmas newsletter.

The first week in December, Jeannie is planning to go on a shopping trip to Germany, Austria, & northern Italy.

For 10 days in mid-December I have to go to La Maddalena. That is the little island where Gordon Patterson was stationed.

It will be a strange December.

I may go crazy without my computer for 10 days.

I did get my printer. It arrived while we were in the States. The guy at the company I talked to was crazy or confused. If they really did send a second one, I will easily be able to sell it over here.

They can't keep computer equipment in stock here.

Ann Cummings is suppose to be in Brindisi (U.S. Air Force Base on the Adriatic Coast) today. We told her to buy us a computer monitor if she could find one. (That's like a T.V.)

All four of us are very much enjoying the computer. I am spending hours and hours on it trying to learn everything about it that I can.

I still haven't learned how to use it to type a letter.

We are sending Diane & Bill copies of several programs. One of the programs is a computerized Christmas card. I will probably send you a copy of the "Christmas card" on the next videotape we send. Anything that I can do on my computer I can record on videotape.

You will be here in 4 months. We look forward to your coming. Please let me know the exact dates.

Take care.


Michael, Jeannie, Angelique,
& Steven

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