Monday, 10 June 1985

Dear Mom and Dad,

I finally got a letter from you today. I was beginning to think you had forgotten all about us. I have been waiting to hear from you before I wrote.

This will have to be a quick and perhaps short letter. I have many, many things to do before Saturday. I will explain later.

It has been very hot here until a couple of days ago. Now the weather is pleasant. I saw on TV that it is in the 90's throughout Arkansas today.

I got my birthday present from you in mid-May. Thank you very much. I already have it hanging. It makes me homesick. It came while I was sick in bed for three days. I caught a virus that was going around. For some reason I had the worst case of it in Naples. The first two days I could barely stand up. I had high fevers and was almost delirious at times.

Steven may look chubby on TV, but everyone here says he is getting thinner. He is quite a talker now. He talks constantly (even at the same time Angelique is).

The Woollys are supposed to be touring England this week. We have had several letters from them lately. Today we got a package with play clothes for Laura. We are excited about them coming, but we will probably see them before they get here.

I have dozens of slides about the Shroud of Turin. I also have a few books on the subject. I wish I could have seen the TV special.

Nola Erman had a baby girl that she named Tabitha. It is a very cute baby. She is a good mother.

The old C.O. was fired because he didn't get along with the higher powers in London who have no idea the problems we have here. It was all politics. The new C.O. is military all the way. He is exactly the kind of "yes" man that London wanted for Naples. So far the new C.O. has done nothing to make my job easier. He has actually made living here a bit more complicated than it already was.

How did Grandma do with her surgery? Can she see a lot better now? How is she doing?

Congratulations on selling one of your pictures. I guess that makes you a professional artist now. You will have to move to Paris. What has Stone Lumber Company done with the picture? Is it hanging where all can see?

You will be lucky to find a hotel in Munich during Oktoberfest season.

If Jack did not like the high mountain roads in the Smokies, he should have been with us over the French Alps.

It sounds like the Vice President's visit to Harrison was exciting.

This past Saturday night I was just about to put steaks on the grill when my beeper went off. They were paging me to come deliver a baby immediately. I wasn't even supposed to be on call to deliver babies. The obstetrician's beeper wasn't working. He finally showed up after I got the baby delivered. I still got home in time to cook the steaks. The baby was born 10 minutes after I got there.

A week ago tonight Jeannie, John, Faye, and I sang at an Italian wedding at a big Catholic church. We sang four songs in Italian. (We have no idea what we were singing.) We will never again try such a thing. It was fun once and everyone was impressed, but it sure was a lot of work. We practiced together several times in the two weeks before the wedding.

Angelique graduated from Kindergarten a couple of weeks ago. She was really excited for several days. I filmed it all with the video. You will enjoy it. She says she is big enough now that she doesn't have to take afternoon naps.

I learned today that I can go to Scotland for the last two weeks of this month. If I don't go, the other family physician at Pinetamare will; then I would have to work 12 hours a day at the clinic. It is worth going just to get away from the mess here.

I don't know many of the details yet. Jeannie and the kids will go with me the first week. We are going to try to fly into London this Saturday and find Diane and Bill there. (We have a list of all their hotels.) Then on Monday I will have to go to Holy Loch, near Glasgow, Scotland. Jeannie will stay with me a week, then have to come back to Naples. The Woollys will be here in just a few days after she gets back.

The only real bad thing about it is that I will not get back until three or four days after Bill, Diane, and Laura get here.

With such late notice that I have to go, we are going to be hectic trying to get things done. We are going to try to get tickets tomorrow.

Just this afternoon I finished a needlepoint piece of the Cole coat-of-arms. I have been working on it since March. I ran out of background yarn and had to write the company to get some more. It looks very nice. I will get it framed soon.

I am sure that there are a few other things that I should tell about, but I am in a rush. It will probably be another month before I can write again. The Woollys are leaving on 11 July.

You all take care. Let me hear from you. If things go as we are anticipating, we will be in Scotland by the time you get this. I hope we find lots to do, but don't spend too much money.

Lots of love,

Michael, Jeannie,
Angelique, and Steven

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