Christmas Letter, 1982

Dear Family and Friends:

Can it possibly be December 1st? Outside it is like January, with heavy snow ad more to come. Days like this I almost decide to ‘sell my cow’ and move to California. But snow or not, it is time to write and wish all of you a happy Holiday Season with all the trimmings.

And, Hold on to your hats! Here comes the yearly Worsley Travel Report, and this year I have another fantastic trip to tell you about. Would you believe Mainland CHINA! And it was marvelous. My sister, Donna, and about twenty others under the guidance of a Chinese fellow from Salt Lake and Hong Kong left Los Angeles about the first of April. We flew directly to Peking for four days and while there saw the Forbidden Palace; building after building of magnificence, the Summer Palace, the People’s Square with large picture of Mao on the front of one of the buildings. Also Mao’s tomb is on the Square, but was closed for repairs. We all the Ming Tombs, beautiful parks and buildings and best of all THE GREAT WALL. All my life I have wanted to see this magnificent structure and it was everything I had ever dreamed it might be. As we were approaching on the bus and also leaving, we could see the wall going over the hill, mountain, streams and the proverbial dales. Magnificent! I walked to the top of one of the lookouts, seemed miles but I guess it wasn’t. They had to drag me away.

Then from Peking to Si’an, a lovely city with many interesting things to see, but the main attraction is the ’digs’ a few miles outside the city. I have to keep using the word fantastic because no other one fits. In 1974 a farmer was digging a well and hit upon the terra cotta figure that turned out to be one of thousands built in about 210 BC by a Chinese emperor. How in the world they have been preserved there in the ground is a miracle. This emperor built his magnificent tomb and the figures are warriors, horses and chariots protecting it. His tomb has not yet been opened but when it is I will want to return to China. There is a large domed building over the ’digs’ with dozens of restored figures, horses, etc., lined up row upon row. At the end of each row they are still digging. No two of the figures are alike. What a beautiful sight.

On to Shanghai, where they told us there was no pilot to fly us to Quilin until a couple of days later. We had the option of either cutting our stay in Shanghai one day short one day or taking the train to Quilin, or flying to Canton and then to Quilin. We immediately opted for the train and it was a great experience in itself. We got on at night and the next day traveled all day through the Chinese countryside. In the day we spent in Shanghai, we decided that we really weren’t missing anything to cut our stay short. But Quilin was another beautiful little city where we got on a boat at 9:00 a.m. on the Li River and spent all day going past the spires of rock mountains now covered with green. This sight is hard to describe but if any of you saw Marco Polo on TV and saw the scenes toward the end, they were taken on the River Li near Quilin. A beautiful day! Our bus met us at a quaint village and took us back to town. There we discovered that had we opted to take the plane to Canton and from there to Quilin, we would have been on the plane that crashed with 102 people aboard near Quilin.

We flew several times in Chinese planes and that was a never to be forgotten experience, and one we would want often. But the buses were very nice and the people darling. Very friendly and curious. Wherever we went, a crowd would gather just to watch us and smile and be friendly.

We spent just a few hours in Canton, but it was enough…just a large city and then took the train to Hong Kong which Donna and I love. We spent four exciting days there and then flew home.

I have had to leave out so many interesting things we did, and place we saw because of space, but it is a trip I would recommend highly to anyone. We even enjoyed the food…not all of it, but we tried everything and most of it was good. We were treated great and loved our young Communist guides. They were always helpful and kind and, of course, all want to come to the U.S.

Tourists are still a novelty in China and they roll out the red carpet for them. But, I would advise anyone to go as soon as possible before the country is Westernized as is the rest of the world and they put a McDonalds on every corner, not to mention 31 varieties, and The Colonel‘s Chicken (Kentucky Fried Chicken) etc..

My year has been sort of ordinary other than this great trip, but in August my grandson David, Joan’s oldest, was married in the Jordan River Temple to a lovely girl from Springville, Laurie. I set tables for 60 people here at my home for the wedding breakfast with the assistance of my son, Steve, the caterer. He did a beautiful job and also did their reception in the Springville Art museum. All the family were here except Linda and her troops, and we had a great time. I have three grandchildren here at the Y now and two more will be here in January.

All my family are in good health and doing well. Steve and Cheryl had their sixth girl, Elizabeth, four days before Christmas last year. They are adding and remodeling on their home until it will be almost the size of the Taj Mahal, well, maybe a little smaller. Joan and Dick and Marilyn and Chris are still hoping to get their homes all finished up (remodeling) soon. Linda and Rich are still in Virginia, but Rich is looking around. The orchestra is doing great, but the politics of the situation is not pleasant, and it is terribly expensive to live there. Besides this I think that they feel the isolation from the rest of the family and hope they get closer.

As for me, I am well and happy. Terribly busy, but I surely don’t wish for time on my hands. I joined the ‘Hand-shakers’ this past year. They are a group of on the ball people who boost Provo and it has been a new and interesting experience for me. I’m still on the board of the Women’s Division of the Chamber of Commerce. In fact, am President-elect for next year, but told them that when this year is over I might ‘elect’ not to be president. Our presidency in the Relief Society was finally released a couple of months ago and they immediately asked me to teach the Cultural Refinement lesson, which I have said for years would be my favorite job in the Church. Especially since I have traveled so much and loved to learn about other countries and cultures. So then, what are we studying next year? Literature and the arts. Oh well! I like literature also

So this is pretty much how it is with me. I wish I could sit down with each of you and have a visit, so I would know all about what you are doing and how it is with you.. May this find you enjoying good health, happiness and a joyous Holiday Season. With my love always, Klea