Monday, 15 July 1985

Dear Mom and Dad,

It was nice to get a letter from you recently. I thought you had forgotten me. You are getting worse and worse about writing, even worse than me. As you said, you would rather be painting; well, I would rather be playing with my computer.

Actually, I get to play with my computer while I write you a letter. Try painting me a letter. Maybe that will help you write more.

The biggest news from here for the moment is that my VW was stolen this past Friday. It was missing when I left the clinic about 2:20. It is the first car ever stolen from in front of the clinic. I still can't believe someone wanted to steal a 9-year-old car with over 102,000 miles on it.

The worst problem that it causes is that I cannot buy another AFI-plated car for about 6 weeks. We still haven't figured how we will survive without two cars. The kids start swim lessons next week for 4 weeks. I am sure we will work it all out eventually.

The door handle was broken off the door. It was the only thing left. I am glad there was nothing in the car that couldn't be replaced. The most important thing in the car was a nice toolkit, but it will be easy to replace.

We certainly do not expect to ever see the car again. Now we have to be extra careful with the one remaining car we have till the police close the case in 6 weeks. What a mess!

We had a very good time while the Woollys were here. We are ready to stay home for awhile now, however. After a trip to Scotland and then two weeks of the Woollys, we are tired of travelling. We thought things would get back to normal, then the car was stolen. I guess that is "normal" for here.

I had a very good time in Scotland. They have as many problems as we have here, but it was refreshing to get away to some new problems. After Jeannie left I went to several different restaurants and to a movie. Otherwise, I just worked seeing patients. They have crazier patients there than we have here. Perhaps it is the constant rain.

You should go to Scotland some day. Take June and Billy Joe with you. No, we did not see the Duke of Argyll (Campbell). The castle was interesting though.

Jeannie and the kids picked up the Woollys at the train station in Naples. They seemed to figure out how to get around without too much trouble.

Before I came home, they went to the beach, to shoe alley, to Euromercato, the shoe factory, and the crystal factory. They were able to get a two-week pass to the base. Jeannie and Bill picked me up at the airport on Saturday night. Bill was shocked and amused by the "campfire girls" [prostitutes] near the base.

Bill never could figure out how anyone could drive in the traffic here.

Sunday after church we went to the amphitheater in Pozzuoli and to Solfatara. Then we went to the aquarium.

It was Sunday night before I knew for sure if I was going to get leave. The other doctors did not come back from the aircraft carrier for another week.

Monday we went to Capri.

Tuesday we went to Sorrento. We bought a grandfather clock that was delivered a few days later. We really like the clock. It gives the house a new personality.

Wednesday, I spent all morning on the base getting things done. Bill stayed home with the kids. Jeannie and Diane went shopping with Ann to Abruzzi to the bedspread factory.

Thursday, Bill and I were sick. Bill was throwing up in the morning. Jeannie and Diane went to the Vomero to shop while Bill and I slept. Thursday afternoon we went to Carney Park to the fourth of July carnival. That night Diane was throwing up.

Friday we went to Pompei. Jeannie, Diane, Angelique, and Laura climbed to the top of Vesuvius on Friday afternoon. The ski lift is not working any more.

Friday night I was informed that the rest of my leave was cancelled. (Then the doctors on the carrier came back to work the next day.) I was very disappointed.

Friday night Andrea, our babysitter, spent the night here. Saturday the adults went to Sorrento where we got on a cruise ship. We went to Capri, Positano, and Amalfi. Lunch was served on the boat, but Jeannie, Bill, and Diane were too seasick to eat. Diane and Jeannie got off in Positano to shop for 2 hours. Bill and I went to Amalfi to swim, then the boat picked up the girls on the way back. Jeannie's club arranged the trip. There were quite a few other Americans on the boat.

Sunday Laura wasn't feeling well so we came home after a long-way-home drive.

Monday I went back to work. Everyone else went to Building L at AFSouth. Tuesday I took the Woollys to the National Museum in the morning. They went to the pool that afternoon with Jeannie and the kids. Wednesday Jeannie and Diane went to the Caserta market. Thursday everyone stayed home. I got off at noon.

We took the Woollys to the airport that night. When we left we found the car had been towed off from a poorly marked no-parking zone. That was interesting. It didn't take long to get it back.

Then the next day the other car was stolen.

It sounds like you had fun in St. Louis. We saw lots of the things you did. We really enjoyed the Botanical Gardens in St. Louis, too.

By the time you get here we will be ready to travel some more. But until then we hope to stay close to home. Dad's ice cream cake - 30 Jun 1985

Angelique won [a Father's Day] essay contest while we were in Scotland. [With her "I Love My Father because ..." entry,] she won an ice cream cake that we ate when I got back. (The Schukar boy [the other kindergarten winner named in the enclosed article] lives next door to us.)

I am enclosing a paper about the phone service in Scotland that I thought you would find interesting.

I have enjoyed the painting you sent of Pilot Knob. I like it more and more as I see it more. It is hanging between our room and Steven's room.

Jeannie got her birthday present while I was gone. I had to ask her about it after I got your letter. We were too busy while the Woollys were here to talk to each other.

Tell Becky you might sell her a painting if she offers the right price.

The Italian girl at church that got married asked us to sing at her wedding. That was certainly a crazy thing we did.

We look forward to your coming. I want to go to Paestum. My leave was cancelled before I was able to take the Woollys.

Bill played with my computer most of the time he was at the house and I wasn't.

I cannot think of anything else to tell you. What do you want to see after you get here?

Love you lots,

Michael, Jeannie,
Angelique, and Steven

table of contents | previous letter | next letter