Christmas Letter, 1964

(Talk of house decorating lightly edited.)

Hi there:

It’s that time of year again, and I’m pushing Ye Olde Panic Button as per usual. I lifted up one end of the dining room rug just Saturday and swept out a few dried pine needles which gives you an idea of my housekeeping habits for the past year. It has been such a rushed one that it was sheer luck that I had time to sweep them out even now.

JANUARY: We had been knee deep in winter since November, so were used to the extra amounts of snow we were getting, but we did feel that by then we deserved a January thaw, but none came. The only exciting thing that came to me at the last of the month was a trip to the hospital. It is noteworthy in my case since it was the only time in my life I have ever been hospitalized except when my children were born. And believe me, even not it was only over my hoarse protests that if I took an aspirin and stayed in bed for a day or so, everything would turn out okay. But I finally called a doctor and from the sound of my voice he must have thought I was next in line for the Pearly Gates, because he said for me to be at the emergency entrance to the hospital in five minutes. Linda, Rich, and Steve bundled me into a soiled and wrinkled robe, my moth-eaten slippers, and quilt and into the car. As we raced through Provo’s icy streets, I looked down at the quilt and asked if they couldn’t have found something more glamorous than a black and brown wool camp quilt, but no one answered. Again, in spite of my protests, the doctor sent me upstairs after the examination and I was there for a week with strep throat and near pneumonia. To tell the truth, once I was ensconced in bed, I was glad to be there.

FEBRUARY: And still more snow and cold without letup. Steve came up to attend BYU and two weeks later went back to Pasadena and brought his fiancé, Cheryl Startup, and she also enrolled in school. Meantime, I found that it took about a month to recuperate fully, but one morning I woke up full of my old zip and zing. About that time I received a call to be at the YWMIA General Board offices in Salt Lake at such and such a time. I thought perhaps they wanted me to bring a production of some kind to June Conference and was completely speechless, awed and humbled, to have them ask me to be on the Drama Committee of the General Board. And thus began one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life. It is often hard work, such as when we go to Stake Conferences and have meetings straight through on Saturday and then stay to speak on Sunday, and then drive perhaps 300 miles home, or take a plane and drive to Provo from Salt Lake. But even though we come

JULY: (missing from mother’s Christmas letter) Mother was on Education Weeks around the northwest. Steve and Cheryl got married which she told about in the section labeled.

AUGUST: And on the first I flew back to Oakland the day after the wedding and taught my three classes. That evening the Temple was lighted and some friends and I walked over to see it. Out front sat President McKay in a wheel chair, along with President Brown, Elder Howard Hunter and many other general Authorities.

The next day we went to Fresno, and after that to Reno, Nevada. While there I got word that Steve and Cheryl’s reception would be the following Thursday so instead of home, I flew to L.A. Saturday afternoon as soon as I had finished. Chris met me at the airport and rushed me to Arcadia where my sister Donna and Marilyn were giving a shower for Cheryl. I visited in Los Angeles and attended the lovely reception Cheryl’s folks gave for the newlyweds, and then stayed for the opening the following Monday of The Boyfriend, the musical comedy that Marilyn was playing the lead in. It was a darling production. Then I took the bus home.

It was about the middle of August and the next several days were taken up with helping Linda and Rich and boys to pack, because they were leaving for Bloomington, Indiana, where Rich will work on his doctorate at the U. of I., and Linda teach a combination fifth-sixth grade. They had been living in my house all summer to take care of it. Also, at this time we welcomed Joan and Cliff and boys back from Detroit where they had spent the winter at Wayne State University. Cliff is now finishing his master’s and his junior college teaching credential.

SEPTEMBER: came much too soon. And with it the usual whirl of getting ready for school to begin. There was a challenging week with the studentbody leaders at Leadership Conference at Aspen Grove. And then school began, even though I wasn’t ready, it started anyway, and I haven’t caught up yet.

OCTOBER: And Homecoming on the 21st. I worked with the Homecoming Queen Committee as usual, AND WE WON OUR HOMECOMING GAME. Among other activities during this week was an open house for Steve and Cheryl. Her folks came up and we had a wonderful time that evening. I found that the Startups know most of my friends so it was a night of reunion for them. Cheryl sang on the Fieldhouse Frolics Saturday evening and was the hit of the show, and we were very proud of her. Cliff was also a part of one of the better numbers so we were well represented. Steve is going to school at Pasadena City College and working with Cheryl in her flower business. They hope to return to the Y soon to finish their education.

NOVEMBER: Winter coming again. But we had a glorious Fall, with crisp cool days and the mountains their usual riot of color. There is nothing too unusual to relate for November except that I am now making plans for another wonderful time for me…I’m going on sabbatical leave (Marilyn: to Cambridge in England) on the first of February, and I’m going to Europe and study, and write, and travel. I’ll live in an attic room and eat crumbs, but I know I will enjoy every minute. Donna is flying over in the summer and we will travel in a VW Variant (the station-wagon) which I am buying over there.

DECEMBER: And so, once again, that’s how it is with the Worsleys. I am so thankful for my family and all the fine things they are accomplishing, and ever grateful for all the exciting and challenging things that come into my life year after year. I keep thinking that each year can’t possibly be better than the last, but it is. And now, if I would just write the Great American Novel while I’m in Europe, I’d have it made.

I hope this find all of you well, and enjoying the blessed Christmas Season. Much love, Klea