House-cleaning pause for some reading

During the snow/ice pause to our normal lives, cleaning of the house has continued.
Carl has been working on the majority of pulling things out of old hiding places.
Then he brings me the latest pile to go through.
The piles this week have only proven to slow me down – because they are old letters.

Letters from old boyfriends (yes), roommates, friends, relatives, and most from Mom & Dad. I have read (reread?) many of them. Thus the slow-down.

Much of the letters report the weekly comings and goings of our lives.
Sort of like some blogs.
Birthdays, weddings, passings, retirement and a divorce or two.
Dinners, movies, plays, college experiences, bike trips, visits. You name it, it was reported.

Some of my memories have been reinforced, and more than one corrected.

I have to share a few things here – just because.

My Dad can be such a card!
From one letter dated Sunday April 18th, during a year in which Jane was at MTU

I hope this letter finds you alive and well. We assume your housemates would inform us in the event of your death.

References to my lack of timely writing are a theme throughout the pile.
Sunday 6/6 included an exchange between Dad & Jane.

 Dad: Jane doesn’t have a job yet and is as happy as a clam.
Jane: Hi – are there any jobs in Col(orado)? And is there room in your apt.? I’m not happy, as dad says, because no job – no money. No money – not so much fun. Oh well …
Dad: P.S. I give her all the money she wants, but still she lies.

Sunday, July 11

We’ll be going to Stratford next Thursday with Betty and Duke and Don and Katie to see some plays. That will give Jane some practice taking care of herself, the house, the cat, and the greenhouse. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to pray, if you have the time.

From a Tuesday June 19 letter that was right about the time of my Dad’s retirement.

Dear Former Daughter,
It’s a pity about your being cut out of my will, but what the hell, “easy come, easy go.”

The preceding sentiment followed my hiring “Eastern Onion” to have a “fairy godmother” crash Dad’s last class (as a high school spanish teacher), with a Happy Retirement song and dance. (I can’t remember if I did this on my own or had sibling help.)

Sunday, Sept. 7

Cabin story to be entered in permanent archives: Sat 8/30. First breakfast in the new kitchen. Dad fixes toast and notices burnt smell due to bread crumbs. After breakfast Jane cleans up while Mom & Dad go to Don’s cabin. When we return the toaster is out on the deck and Jane is grossed out. It seems she decided to clean out the toaster and found a dead mouse hung up in the guts. He was more than a little charred.

Included with a letter was the following program dated Friday November 3, 1978, 8:15 PM at the Music Auditorium.

Michigan State University Department of Music presents
ANNE FINLAYSON – flute
In a senior recital. Accompanist Taks Pizanis

For those that want to know, Anne (KW) played the Sonnata in E minor by Bach, Concerto by Gordon Jacob, Grand Solo No. 1, op. 57 by Friedrich Kuhlau, Density 21.5 for flute alone by Edgard Varese, and Prelude and Scherzo by Henri Busser.

On the roommate/suitemate/college buddy level there was the following from Sam (Archaeofacts) written late January 1983 from Jackson, Michigan

 
I dread looking for work in unknown places – no more archaeology – so am getting more and more serious about going back to school – maybe something technical that would include employment. I am glad I did archaeology, but I don’t have the cutthroat mentality it takes to get by in these days of Reaganomics and shrinking economy –
I have hope – something will work out.

I do believe it did work out.

Many letters included bits about transitions. School, work, boyfriends and girlfriends, kids. In other words, everyday ordinary life.

What I really realized is how much I liked, really relished, getting letters.
And I know I was not the best letter writer, but I must have written some to have received so many.
And don’t anybody feel bad if I did not quote them. The pile was enormous, and I just pulled out a few that struck me at the moment.

Now – back to cataloguing books.
ASHLAN – Rey has gone through the list. Your  turn.

4 Responses to “House-cleaning pause for some reading”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Hilarious!! My grandmother used to write me letters; she had utterly gorgeous penmanship. Most people(especially young ones) couldn’t read it these days. Anne F!! I know her!!

  2. kayak woman Says:

    Love it! I was reading this stuff out loud to npJane (who is sitting in the same room with me here at the Squatter’s Paradise) and we were cracking up and then I hit my old senior concert program and I kinda went “ulp”. Lots of fun though. Thanks!

  3. Sam Says:

    Eeesh. Those Jackson days were grim. You don’t even want to know. BTW, where were you living when I sent that?

    • jay Says:

      I was still in Ft Collins, CO, living with Carl & preparing to move to Seattle to look for a job. Had just finished my thesis.

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