Some old writing

I’ve been looking for the stories my mother wrote down and, though I KNOW I didn’t throw any out, I cannot find them.  This has been a rather depressing foray into how poor my paper management skills actually are and combined with my ever-dwindling memory, it all proves to be a winning combination of keeping piles of unimportant papers while being completely unable to find what I want to find.

I love how my mother writes and I especially love it when she’s writing about her growing up in rural New Hampshire.  It’s really a way of life that no longer exists, which is too bad because it was a good way of life.  Pray that I shall be able to locate the “safe place” I put them in.

As a consolation prize, I will start posting the Oney year end letters (which don’t happen every year…or even most years) and are mainly written by Bill.  I remember writing out over a hundred Christmas cards one year and thought there just HAD to be a better way, but I didn’t want to do a “brag” letter…  I asked Bill to give it a whirl one night, and after about half an hour’s writing, he showed me what he’d come up with; I fell off the couch laughing!  Here is the final form of that letter; many thanks to my sister-in-law Barbara Fletcher, who saved every one and sent them back to me! I hope you enjoy.


December 1994

Hello – person on our “A” list, who is receiving this very personal, individualized letter.

Well, whomever it was that said, “The more things change, the more the stay the same, ” or was it, “What a long strange trip it’s been, ” or I guess it’s, “Whatcha mean?  – you won’t serve the aardvark?”   Well, whomever and whatever it was, it sure describes our year.

Will has been enjoying – not only kindergarten and day care, but also “creative language”, and “expressive body movements”, and “behavioral bungee cord jumping”. He’s so cute when you tell him to go to bed and he looks into your eyes with those big brown Norman Rockwell eyes and says, “No way, Pig Butt!”  Happy news though, he knows EVERYTHING, and we don’t have to teach him anything else, ever! Big highlights for the year include:

  • first plane flight from Atlanta to Dulles – don’t know how he found his way back.
  • got a two wheel bike for his birthday (in November) from his overindulgent grandparents.  Thanks for raising his expectations for Christmas.
  • Spent three days in a row at kindergarten without causing either David or Keith to be put in “time out”.  You can call Mrs. Sissons for the details of that one.
  • He’s already laid down the law concerning the newcomer’s rules of behavior in his room. It’s nice to know that a newborn baby won’t be allowed to play with the Mighty Morphin’ Death Sword.

Helen has continued her vicious, dog-eat-dog climb up the retail career track by becoming the Merchandise Manager at Jo Ann Fabrics in Falls Church. Pity the poor, mangled, bloody and broken creatures who were in her way.  Now with her minions (portly middle-aged Latino ladies and slightly dizzy college kids), she’s well on her way to becoming the Fabric Goddess of the Mid-Atlantic region.  She says she makes money there, but all she brings home is a cashed pay stub and bags and bags of fabric.  Anyone who wants her recipe for chintz ragout just send a SASE and we’ll get it off to you.

Helen’s other big news is that she’s convinced herself that she’s pregnant.  She’s pretty serious about it, so we found a doctor, an “obstetrician” (read “loony doctor”), that’s going along with it.  The little bundle of joy and body fluids is due during the first week of June, so let’s all play along with it and make Dad’s existence a little more stable, O.K.?

One good result of this is that Helen has quit smoking.  Bill, of course, has been wracking his brain to find other faults with Helen to use during arguments.  The best he’s been able to come with so far is, “Well at least my hair is shorter than yours!” and  “Oh Yeah? When’s the last time you’ve sauteed the garlic?”  The king of wit rages on!

Bill’s life is currently revolving around his challenging, dynamic work, his loving, comforting family, and those increasingly crafty and persistent fellows who insist that we pay our bills.  By hard work and persistence, Bille was able to increase by 27% the number of times that the president of the company bought lunch for his department! Also, the size of his department doubled, so now he has someone other than the computer to play tic-tac-toe with.

So it’s been a pretty fair year for us here, on the fringes of being inside-the-beltway of our nation’s capitol.  Hope that God and/or the vast, empty mechanical universe treats you well in the coming year, and, as Winston Churchill once said, “Well, they may have jiggled, but at least they didn’t fall off.”

Love and Kisses Sweetie,