Christmas Letter, 1981

ear Family and Friends:

IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME AGAIN! December 3, and I’m exhausted, frustrated, broke, frazzled…..but I LOVE IT!….Christmas that is. It’s such a magic time of the year, but 20 cents for each stamp! Next year, if you don’t receive a card or letter, please know that I still love you, but what with inflation….ah me!

January started with the Chamber of Commerce Installation banquet for which I was chairman. It was a smashing success…not only in its own right, but because it was the night the hostages in Iran were released, and probably anything would have been a success that evening. The next day I flew to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to care for Linda and Rich’s children while they took a trip to Africa.

Nothing very exciting happened from then until Easter when my granddaughter, Kathy, (Marilyn’s oldest) had my first great-grandchild…a bouncing baby boy. He is a joy, especially since they are here at school and I get to baby-sit him occasionally. I went to California for Easter and the Monday after was cleaning my sister’s guest room where I had been staying and stepped up on a built-in sort of desk to get cobwebs off the ceiling and the whole thing collapsed with me and as I scraped my body front and back on the jagged boards I thought I was killed. I lay moaning on the floor, but finally got to a phone. The family all came running and wanted to take me to the emergency hospital, but I always take the attitude that if you wait for a day or two everything will be okay and it usually is. The next day I drove to Provo and by the time I got to Fillmore, one leg and my ribs were killing me so at 6:00 a.m. the next morning I rushed to the hospital here in Provo. I had an infection and a few other things, but I managed to recover and was soon back to my usual hectic schedule.

At the end of May I flew to Cedar Rapids again to be there when my oldest grandson, Kent, graduated from the University of Iowa, and then stayed a couple of weeks until his wedding to our darling Missy on May 30th. My sister, Donna, flew in for the wedding and we flew back to Salt Lake together. Four days after we left Iowa, Linda and Rich moved to Norfolk, Virginia where he is now conductor of the Virginia Symphony. This is a great step up in his career and they love it in the South. They are near so many interesting places, with interesting things to do. Linda is still writing music and also doing free-lance article writing. Their family is busy and happy.

The summer was a very busy one with a huge garage sale at our Ward which the Relief Society (mostly me) managed and we made a goodly sum. then on the 4th of July we had our annual bazaar during the Provo Freedom Festival celebration. Again we did well financially, and between the two really helped out our ward budget, which also helped our poor struggling BYU married students who make up 56% of our ward.

This year, for the first time in several years, I didn’t go on any overseas trips…alas and alack. But I did have a wonderful trip the end of August and the first week in September. My Marilyn and Steve both have motor homes, so they planned a trip to the South and invited Donna and I to go. We left California on a Friday Afternoon and went to Texas and the Alamo, New Orleans, Disney world, the Kennedy Space Center, up the coast to Norfolk, Virginia and visited two nights and a day with Linda and family. Then to Washington and all the points in between too numerous to mention. One of the main delights of the trip was trying to beat Steve and my grandsons at Rummy (Marilyn: wasn’t it Rook?) and not succeeding very often. Also, we had CB radios in the motor homes and they were indispensable in keeping track of each other. Also, as we crossed state lines, we would immediately get on the CB’s and sing songs about that state back and forth. When we ran out of songs, we made one up…usually with hilarious results. It was a wonderful trip.

Back in Provo late Saturday, September 6, we hurriedly called relatives and friends in the area and on Sunday evening had a celebration for Marilyn and Chris’ 25 Wedding Anniversary. We even decorated the house and raked up gifts.

I mustn’t forget to tell you that early October, Marilyn’s four children and Kathy’s husband, Mike went in Family Feud with Richard Dawson and taped a show and won over $10,000 and not to be outdone, three of my children, Steve’s wife, Cheryl, and Marilyn’s husband, Chris, went on a few weeks later and also won over $10,000. It was really exciting. If you ever watch this show in the evening, the grandchildren gave him a BYU shirt and my children sang ‘The Popsicle Song’ at the beginning of the show. This will identify them for you. The shows have not been aired yet so I try to watch every night so I won’t miss them.

Another exciting thing for my family is that Steve and Cheryl’s oldest, Jana, who is a beautiful and lovely girl, ran for Miss Arcadia and is now on the court of 5 girls. I am flying to California this afternoon and will go to the Coronation Ball where they will announce which one is Miss Arcadia. Jana is only 16 so we really don’t expect her to win, but she is having a great experience being on the court and will ride on the Arcadia Float in the Rose Parade.

Well, this sounds like the proverbial bragging that some people do in their family Christmas letter, but I hope you don’t mind too much if I share some of the exciting things happening in my family….and I’m not the least prejudiced.

Joan bought a beautiful TV, a new kitchen stove, and is looking for an oak dining table with her earnings on Family Feud. They are still working to beautify their home and all are doing well. Marilyn is still teaching 40 students and they are doing a lot of Christmas shows. She is also still working for Steve. Chris is making great progress on his new job. Three of their children are here at the Y, and Mark is doing well in high school. I’ve given you the new about Linda, except to say that Rich is flying me to Norfolk next week to baby-sit the children. He is guest conducting in Brussels, Belgium and in England and he is flying Linda to London as a surprise for her birthday December 12, and they will spend a few days together there and then return to Norfolk.

From Norfolk I’ll fly to L.A. on the 18th to take care of Steve’s Cheryl who is expecting a baby somewhere between December 14 and the 27th, her birthday, so I’ll be in Arcadia with all my families there for Christmas. Their 5 daughter are fine and growing up too quickly to suit me. We can’t help but hope that this baby will be a boy.

That’s my family and that’s my year up to now. It has been another good year with my life continuing to be busy, exciting and challenging. I hope to have either a trip to China or to Europe with Steve and Cheryl to report on next year.

I hope this finds all of you well, and enjoying this beautiful time of year when we celebrate the birth of our savior. Love and have a Merry, Klea