26 March 1985

Dear Mom & Dad,

How are things in Searcy? We are finally having some pretty weather early this month. Then we had about 9 straight days of rain -- not constant rain, but enough to drive everyone batty and too wet for kids to go out and play. The last account I had was over 8 inches of rain and that was about halfway through the rainy spell. Now it is pretty again and very pleasant. I edged the yard the other day while the ground was still wet. All those weeds came up real easy. This sandy-volcanic dirt doesn't pack as firmly as Arkansas dirt when it gets wet.

Some of those hedge-trees around the edge of the yard and our small lemon tree did not survive that extreme cold spell with the snow in January. Our landlord pulled those up the other day. I think the yard looks better without so much around the edges. Our landlord said he would replace the little lemon tree with an orange tree. I hope he gets one big enough to bear fruit within a year since we will be leaving this time next year. I doubt he will, but I thought it was a good idea anyway.

I hope I can get some pansies or petunias to set out this week. I planted 6 tulip bulbs last fall. Only two have come up so far. I don't think Italian bulbs come with any guarantees. The kids are enjoying their swing set and bikes outside now. I leave the house open all day, so all the dust just builds up in the house and it seems futile to clean it. More dust just blows back in.

I haven't heard from Kem and Brenda. How do they like Malvern? Is Kem pleased with Walmart? The kids would like to see Jeremy walking.

Steven's cowboy hat fits just fine. I had a red bandana I dug out for him a few days after that film was made. Steven wants to ride on Papaw's tractor, he said. He would certainly like to come help his Papaw do anything.

Michael's clinic had a Health Fair on Saturday -- sort of an open house type thing. The kids and I went for a little over an hour. I was frantic trying to keep up with two small children in such a wild setting where they were running around trying to see everything. One booth was taking blood pressure so I had mine taken. Would you believe mine was 108/60? I would have thought it would at least have been up to normal under the circumstances. My blood pressure has always been lower than normal. I'm not sure what that means. Michael said it was all right.

A boy from Harding, from Harrison is in Florence this Spring. He and one of his friends will be spending a long Easter weekend with us -- Thursday-Sunday morning. That should be interesting. Michael will be working part of that time. What am I gonna do with 2 college boys I don't even know?

Angelique now has an Easter dress. She has to have a long dress for her kindergarten graduation so I went ahead and made her a long dress for Easter and graduation. It is a little light blue dress with two sets of ruffles over the shoulders, fitted waist, white sheer sleeves with a little blue and pink print in it. It has about 6 yards of lace that I bought for 1 a yard at Hancock's before Angelique was born. Diane rushed me 5 yards of white satin ribbon and a zipper for the dress. It turned out real pretty.

I got another Maria knit dress for my Easter dress. It is a linen and silk lilac shortsleeve dress with a matching jacket with a lacey knit. The dress is a plain knit. I like it.

Thanks for the article about Mike Justus. We were wondering if he was going to the Searcy Medical Center or going in with Dan and David. I thought he was happy in Malvern. Are Dan and David very busy?

I suppose if Dan and David offered Michael a position with them, he would take it. But that's not very likely since Searcy is so saturated with doctors. I'm surprised Mike Justus came.

Send us some of our potatoes and corn from our lot. You can keep the peas.

Are you two over the shingles, ear, tooth pains? I had a stomach virus yesterday morning. Luckily, Michael was off that morning and took Angelique to school and entertained Steven while I slept and ran back and forth to the bathroom. I think I'm over it now. Maybe.

I'm ready to go see Paris. We've got to get our plans finalized soon. Our trip is a month away.

Angelique and Steven will be out of school the week before and the week after Easter. That seems like a long vacation. Then they will go back to school for one week and then we'll leave for our 2-week vacation. There are only one or two weeks of school left after we get back. It's hard to believe Angelique will be in 1st grade next year.

I don't think Paddington school will be open next year. So I guess Steven won't be going to school next year. There is a Montessori school at the NATO base and a childcare/preschool at the Navy base, but that's 15 miles away. I'm not sure I'm energetic enough to get him to the base twice a week. He loves going to Paddington. I hate not sending him next year. He is reading a lot of words, but he needs the social interaction. He'll miss all his friends. Maybe something else will come up before next year. Paddington's head mistress is moving back to the States after being here for many years. She is married to an Italian.

Gotta run.



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