1976, July 28: Letter from Helen to P&M

One-page typed letter, presumably a photocopy of the one that Helen sent.

This was about four to six weeks into Jay’s and my one-month visit to George and Helen.

Wed eve 7/28/76

Dear Peder and Marcia -

Well, it is very difficult to find some time and energy to write letters - managed one to lonesome Paul, but didn't get it mailed today yet, so he won't get it until next week. He returned last Sat. while Linda and Jason stayed here for another week, or ten days, or possible two weeks, inasmuch as Steens (from San Diego) are going to have their family reunion at the beach the weeks from Sun. Aug. 8 on. Of course Linda would like to see them and find out first-hand about S.D. friends, enemies, situations comedy and tragedy, if any.

Very glad you sent the kids' allowances - it was getting to be extremely funny, and no-one knew the psychology, whether reaction was premeditated or natural. Anyhow, no matter who (Grandparents, Uncle David & Aunt Karen, or Uncle John & Aunt Vicki) gave them the stixpulated allowance (plus bonus), they kept saying Marcy had said you'd send it! Shows how kids remember - like elephants - and expect promises to be kept, regardless of getting the same thing elsewhere. So now all is well - I bought them wallets, as Joaquin had lost his, (probably misplaced) and Jed was absolutely right that his was no good.

We've also initiated wearing pajamas, bathrobes and slippers. They go up and put xxx that apparel on before the Olympics start so as not to be interrupted! Did you realize they are extremely interested in athletics? And don't think it is just the TV, as then they could choose some other program. They have looked at very little except O's.

Also, they have done very little reading - I seem to have so many projects planned, they may object sometime and cite the child labor laws. They've helped me at church a great deal - know the entire procedure of the newsletter from typing, thru mimeographing, folding, addressing, stuffing, stapling, counting, labeling, and mailing. They are excellent workers!

Oh yes - we plan to pull the trailer to D & K's on Friday - a shake-down cruise - and return Saturday. I don't think they much relish the ride, however. But that will be a preliminary to the next weekend. J & V plan to start out on Friday evening (after J. has had a nap) and drive all night, alternating the drivingx, so as to avoid numerous stops. Don't spose you remember our doing that while we had 4 small sons, Peder?

The boys are also trying various foods - tonight I had summer squash, and Jed said he hadn't liked it before, but it was good. However, Joaquin couldn't get the creamed codfish down.x They seemed to enjoy the Sunday brunch at a pancake house, with the zoo afterwards.

This is far from interesting - because I am too tired to be creative - so best to quit and gox mail it. Linda left Jason while shopping today, and how he loves the big boys - thinks he's one.


Typed sideways in the margin:

Do hope you've caught up with jobs that needed doing, gotten some extra rest, and perhaps saved a bit more money than usual these six weeks. An opportunity that may never happen again? Oh yes, forgot to say that Dad is retiring on Sept. 3 (unless the physical exam he is having next week presents problems, in which case he will go on sick leave for two months in the fall, and then xxx retire. So we're hoping to start out about October for our long-hoped-for trip to the East Coast, down South, etc. However, there are many, many business matters to be taken care of before that time.


“Peder and Marcia”
Peter had been spelling his name with T for decades by this point, and Marcy had been going by Marcy for nearly as long (certainly since before George and Helen met her). I’m not sure what led G&H to use these spellings.
I have always slept in a T-shirt and underwear. I suspect that this visit to George and Helen was the only time in my life that I’ve slept in pajamas for more than a day or two.
“extremely interested in athletics”
I don’t know whether this was an attempt to get Peter and Marcy to get us into sports. I can’t speak for Jay, but I think Helen was misinterpreting my interest; I like the Olympics, but that doesn’t translate into a general interest in athletics.
“child labor laws”
I know Helen was joking here, but I’m gonna add a tangential note: I think of those laws as so standard/ordinary that it’s always a surprise to me to remember that they haven’t always been around. The main one in the US came in 1938, when Helen was 30; that was decades ago by the time of this letter, but even so, I imagine that Helen didn’t take them for granted the way that I do.
“perhaps saved a bit more money than usual”
Um. See next letter.
“Dad is retiring on Sept. 3”
I wonder if this was in part a hint that perhaps Jay and I needed to be sent/taken home before that date. :)

One Response to “1976, July 28: Letter from Helen to P&M”

  1. 1976, October 12: Letter from Marcy to G&H – Peter, Marcy, Jed, and Jay

    […] assume this is related to the end of Helen’s July letter, in which Helen mentioned that George was retiring soon but might have to have some medical stuff […]


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