Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Short and sweet and some big softies

June 28, 1964

Dear Mom and Dad, Tom and Grandma,

Just me and the dog are awake and the Sunday paper isn't here yet, so I guess I'll drop you a short note.

First of all will you send me right away, air mail, directions on how you can apples with aspirin.  Send every detail.  I'm afraid I have forgotten everything (which was very little) I knew about canning.  Also how to can applesauce.  I can't use my pressure cooker, it's too small for quart jars.  But Gary did buy me a "hot water bath canner".

We've had some very pleasant and welcome relief from the heat wave.  Friday it was only 84 degrees and yesterday was about the same.

This silly dog is playing with an old shoe.  Shaking it, laying it down, and growling at it.  I never thought I would care much for a dog, but I'm kind of attached to this little mutt.  Gary says he is going to build a dog house for him so he can sleep outside at night.  But I don't know.  We had to take the dog along to the drive-in movie the other night because Gary said he was too little to be left home alone.

The pup gets mad when I leave him alone to go to the store.  When we get home he looks at me with those big sorrowful eyes and then crawls away someplace to pout, usually under our bed.

Well, I better wake the kids up and get them fed.  I'm going to try and get start early enough this morning so there won't be that rush, rush, rush at the last minute.

Love, Gary, Greta, Dale and Mary

The other night Mary was playing in their room and I called her to come eat supper.  She sits in there and says, "I can't hear you."

Thank you for the birthday card, Grandma.

Canning with aspirin?  That is a totally new one on me.  And must the apples have been rotting before her very eyes that Mom needed directions sent air mail?  Goodness!

Who wouldn't have fallen in love with Spot?  Most of us remember Grandma saying when Spot stayed at their house that he knew his spot was on the rug behind the stuffed rocking chair, not in it.  When Grandma would come down in the mornings, Spot would greet her happily from the rug, but the chair still in motion gave him away that he had just jumped down in time.

The latest on Muggsy -- I taught her to "shake" and of course, she gets rewarded with a treat when she does it on my command.  Well, she is a big ol' chow hound and thinks she needs to eat a lot.  So, a couple of times now, when she must have been feeling deprived, she sat down and raised her paw unbidden, suggesting that she should have a treat.  As you might imagine, I easily gave in.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gotta love dogs


June 25, 1964

Dear Mom and Dad,

Well Daddy, I sure am pokey about getting your Father's Day card sent.  Hope you had a happy day.
The kids got another book today.  They really get excited when a new one comes.  Everyday when Mary takes her nap I read one of them to her.  She has two favorite ones. Today I didn't have to read to her.  She went into the bathroom.  Later I didn't hear anything and when I went in there, there she was sitting on the toilet sound asleep.

We're really having some hot weather.  It hasn't even cooled off much at night the last couple of nights.  There hasn't been a bit of a breeze.  The house stays pretty cool in the morning, but along about this time (3 o'clock) it's getting pretty warm.  And about 5:30 on it really gets hot.

Dale is taking "swimming" lessons this week and next.  At one of the city pools they give free lessons to little kids.  They are supposed to learn to float and learn to stick their head underwater, etc.  He has always been so afraid about getting his face wet.  Hope he gets over his fear.  He has been going with one of the neighbors.  He's been pretty evasive about what they're doing.  I guess I'll have to go along one of these days and see if he has done what he is supposed to be doing.

Mary has been bad lately about biting Dale when she gets mad at him.  And we've been biting her back.  The other day they were in the dining room and she bit him again.  When he started yelling she ran out to the living room.  When Gary got up she laid down on the floor and started crying.  He went in to see Dale and then she ran into the bedroom and crawled under the covers.  When Gary came into the bedroom she covered up her head and said, "Go away."  She sure knew what was coming.  But Gary said he couldn't bite her, he got so tickled.

Last Friday night Gary brought home a puppy.  It is mostly cocker spaniel with some springer spaniel, too.  It sure is a cute little pup.  It is white and sort of a gold-tan.  The kids named him Spot.  Gary was suggesting some other names such as Elwood and Lyndon.  Dale said, "Well, Dad.  I can't remember names like that, but I can remember Spot."  

There have been a couple of new babies in the neighborhood.  Dale and another little boy were discussing the new brother and sister.  They decided that they didn't want any babies, but Dale said he would like a big brother or sister.

Mary is so disappointed that she can't go "wimmin."  Oh, do you know that Mary goes to "Dunny Scoot"?  That's what she calls Sunday School.

I got a birthday card from Bill.  He wrote on the card that he was going to Norway for a month.  Didn't say if he was on leave or if the Air Force was sending him.

Say when you come out, is there any way you could make room for my card table or is it too big?

Sure is something about Winside being on direct-dialing.  Thought it would be years before they got on that.

When I was at Aunt Helen's she said something about Jean taking care of three foster children.  Is she still doing that?

Thanks for the picture of Tom.  I still am amazed at how big my "little" brother is.  

Guess this is all for this time.

Gary, Greta, Dale and Mary

What a nice family I have.  This is the first I ever remember hearing that I was a biter.  I suppose the fact that I eventually outgrew it was probably to my benefit as far as future embarrassment.

I can't lay hands on a photo of Spot at the moment, so instead I will use a photo of our brand-new doggie, Muggsy.  She is a real sweetheart (so far) and a bit of a goof.  She snorts when she is awake and snores when she isn't.  Pretty much my canine equivalent.  This photo shows her "I know you have a treat" face.  Note the blurry tail.

Monday, November 10, 2014

All the bases covered

June 9, 1964

Dear Mom and Dad,

Well, here I am, late again.  Hope you had a happy anniversary.

We've been having winter weather.  It really rained yesterday.  But it was really needed.  Snowed up in the mountains.

Took Dale to the doctor yesterday for his physical.  They strongly recommend that all kids have a physical before starting school.  I'm very glad to say he is healthy in every way.  Mary was amazed by the whole process.  Dale had to strip to his shorts and she wanted to take her clothes off, too.  After

the nurse took his temperature she said, "My turn, my turn."  The doctor was real nice.  Talked to Dale all the while and put him at ease.  The kids both got the Sabin oral vaccine.

We had a nice letter from Aunt Ethel.  She said they had gone to the Alumni Banquet and saved Gabe from getting the flowers again.  Have they quit sending out cards about the banquet? I sure would like to get back to one of them some day.

Ever since we got back from Aunt Irene's I've been going in circles.  Seems like I'm busy all day, but I still don't get anything done.  I should be doing some real good cleaning of closets, shelves, drawers, etc.  But never seem to find the time.  Guess I'll just have to set a certain day to start and do it no matter what else needs doing.  Can't say I'm looking forward to it very much.

I'm getting an itch to do some sewing again.  I have a shirt for Dale and a dress for Mary (the same material) all done but.  But haven't felt like finishing them.  I haven't even done any work on my afghan lately.  I don't know what I do with a day.

Sure hope it clears up today.  The kids are just about out of underwear.  I can hang clothes in the basement, but it takes about 24 hours for things to dry.  Especially things like underpants.

I'm afraid my visit to L.A. sort of ruined my weight losing.  All that delicious food and easy living and I gained back nearly everything that I'd lost.  Not that I had lost much, but at least I had made a start.

We got a letter from Bill last week.  He didn't have too much to say, but he sounded in better spirits than he must have in your letter.

Nancy said Lloyd was home.  Is that for good or just a leave?

I didn't get to see Ramon while I was in L.A.  Just happened that he was out to sea at the time.  After all the weekends that he's been in and then he has to be gone just when I'm there.

Tom is coming along this summer isn't he?  Judy and Trina wanted to know.  They said they were going to try and save the bus fare and come up while you folks are here.  I sure got a bang out of those two.

Raymond said he was coming, too.  To see Dale.

Well, I really must get to work.

Love, Gary, Greta, Dale and Mary

Mom sure got a lot of things talked about in this letter.  From what she said (not my interpretation at all), she may have been avoiding things like cleaning by writing an extra long letter.  I know that is what I would be doing.

I am guessing the Raymond that was coming to see Dale was Raymond Jones since Mom would have probably referred to Uncle Raymond as . . . Uncle Raymond.

The photo was developed in 1964, obviously from a visit to Nebraska.  I'm using it for two reasons -- it is likely close in time to the letter and it is one of my absolute favorite photos of all time.