Dear Mom & Dad,
Things have cooled off some here and the weather is pleasant again. We even had a little shower Monday.
Michael and I went to Rome for two nights for our 10th anniversary. Mid-August is the peak of the Italian summer holiday season. Almost everything closes that weekend and everyone goes to the beaches or the mountains. Rome was practically deserted. We managed to find enough open restaurants, shops and museums to keep us busy. We found some beautiful Capodimonte ceramic four seasons plates. That is about all we bought. Everything else was either too expensive or too junky. We spent about an hour (it was air-conditioned) in a Gucci store, but couldn't find anything I couldn't live without. We saw the Fountain of Trevi and the Pantheon that I had not seen before. The kids stayed with Faye Sigle and had a ball. Have I told you all of this already?
The next week was a quiet, relaxing week -- well, as much as they can be around here.
Angelique started to school Monday. She hopped right up on the bus and came back bouncing off the walls and telling us how great everything is -- the bus, her teacher, the playground, etc. She knows three of the other girls in her class. Two of them went to Paddington with her and one goes to church with us. She won't be lonely.
They spent Tuesday and Wednesday testing half of the class to see what level they are for reading, math, etc. Angelique is home today and tomorrow while they test the other half of the class. I'm eager to see how they place her. She says she didn't do any reading for her teacher, Miss Angelo. I'm not sure they know she can read. Oh, well, I guess they'll find out sooner or later.
Steven really missed Angelique Tuesday. (Monday was only a half day at school.) He wandered around all day trying to entertain himself. When she got home Steven hugged and kissed her and told her he really did miss her. He starts to school next Wednesday. He will have Faye Sigle as his teacher again.
Friday I start voice lessons with Charlotte Lantry at the University of LaVerne. Charlotte is an American who has lived in Italy for (maybe) 16 years. She is married to one of Italy's big opera stars. She has sung in many operas herself. I've signed up for 8 weeks.
Michael will have to start staying overnight at the hospital every 6th night. The new commanding officer has decided none of the doctors except the Family Practice doctors are capable of handling everything that might come into the emergency room. Michael is really fed up with this new C.O., this hospital and the Navy. They just keep finding more and more for the Family Practice doctors to do and less and less for the other doctors to do. Everyone has developed a bad attitude at the hospital since this new C.O. came late this Spring. We are ready to get out of the Navy!
How did keeping Brandon and Justin go? Is Justin as active as Brandon? How's Jeremy? Did Kem make a decision about the Searcy job with the Pearsons?
I don't know when I'll get up to the bedspread factory again. It is way up in the mountains -- it would be easy to get lost. I need to go with someone again before I go by myself. Diane and I looked for you a bedspread when we were there, but didn't find anything we liked in your size. Diane thought we should get you a queen size since your bed sits up so high. Is that what you want? Do you have any particular colors in mind? I'll look next time I go. They get them in at the Navy Exchange occasionally. You could come pick one out yourself, you know.
Can you send a picture of your house and yard? It sounds nice. When will you get the shutters up? White ones?
We haven't heard anything else on our stolen car. The Italian police have still not cleared the case so we can't get another car yet. Michael found a 1979 Ford Fiesta that he has put some money down on. We can't take legal possession or ownership on it until the case is closed on the Volkswagen. Neither of us like being a one-car family. It is hard to get groceries in the house when you can't get to the store.
Our neighbors, Ann and Bob Cummings and boys, moved back to Washington state last week. We will really miss them. The new neighbors seem nice, though. They have a 13-year-old daugher who says she would like to babysit. His folks are from Switzerland. She is from Atlanta, Georgia.
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