18 Feb 1986
Dear Mom & Dad,
I have a tea cart for you. I got it at the Sorrento shop at the NATO base. It is just too cold and wet to drive to Sorrento this time of year. It only cost $109.00. However, it does not have the beveled edges that yours has. I don't think you will be disappointed in it, though. It is a nice cart. Congress has devalued our dollar rate so much that it would have taken every bit of the $150.00 to buy the same cart in Sorrento. I'll get it in the mail Thursday, I hope.
So, anyway, you have roughly $40.00 sitting in my purse. Would you like for me to send it back to you or send you something else from here? That would buy another bedspread or a small hand carved, hand painted ANRI figurine, a Capodimonte ceramic centerpiece, a Hummel figurine, a lace tablecloth (I'd need dimensions), 2 or 3 silk ties or 2 or 3 leather belts, or more inlaid wood (i.e., music box, tray, picture). Or I could get you something from the Greek or Turkish shops at the NATO base. I could keep my eye open for a cuckoo clock. They would be more than $40.00, though. Whatever you want, let me know. I enjoy shopping no matter whose money it is!
Yes, I'm still taking voice lessons. I really enjoy it. We'll be doing a recital sometime this Spring. Michael will probably video tape it. If I do decently on these opera pieces, we'll send it to Searcy.
You say you aren't too happy with our July return date? Well, don't hold your breath. Now we are not sure when we'll get out of here. Not only have they extended everyone's return date by two months (supposedly to save money - how, I don't know), but they have also put all doctor's rotation orders on hold indefinitely! That means they are not moving any doctors in or out of here or anywhere else until more decisions are made. Military doctors are going to stop seeing dependant patients and only see active duty military personnel. They are trying to cut down on malpractice suits by sending all the dependents to private doctors on CHAMPUS insurance. That may mean we will be here in Naples longer, maybe not. It is quite possible they will let Michael out of the military earlier than his April 1987 termination date. They won't be needing as many doctors and they can save money by letting some of their extra doctors go. I told Michael he ought to volunteer to get out now and save them lots of money. If you are totally confused by all this, don't feel bad. Everyone else is, too - including us. I don't know if I need to get all my buying done before June '86 or Jan '87. Someone at the Pentagon is playing games with our future - at least until April 1987. They have to let us go by then. Just be patient. We'll be there when we get there.
Michael will be gone all next week to Gaeta. That is a small Navy base about 50 miles up the coast from here. They have one doctor there and he is going on vacation for a month. So our doctors have to go up and take his place. That is just not as exciting as taking someone's place in Scotland. The kids and I will just stay home. Michael may get to come home one night.
My car is in the shop. It is having more electrical problems. Michael says that is a common birth defect with Fiats. I feel rather house-bound with not car and all this rain! I think it has rained every day for some period of time for two weeks now. I'm having trouble remembering what sunshine looks like. I think it is driving everyone crazy around here.
I will also send a few small presents for little "Melissa Ann" to your house, too, if you don't mind. I'd love to be there to give them to Diane when her baby is born but that looks rather impossible right now. So if you can just take them down to Little Rock when she is born, I'd appreciate it. I have two presents now - one Italian, one German. I'd also like to find a cute baby girl outfit to send along.
I didn't know what to get Laura for her birthday this year. I ended up getting her a Swarovski crystal cat from Austria. I hope it gets there in time.
I've gotta get this ready to mail.
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