Christmas Letter, 1983

Dear Family and Friends:

Thousands of tiny lights are on in downtown Provo. Twelve blocks have decorations depicting the Twelve Days of Christmas, and we are smothered in snow already and have been for days. I’m filled with the Christmas spirit and ready to climb to the attic and begin bringing down the decorations.

This has been a year filled with hard work in the yard, Church, and community service and community service, but a good one. As president-elect for the Women’s Division of the Chamber of Commerce, it has been my responsibility to select places for the monthly luncheons and get the speakers. This was a challenge, but I lucked out almost every time. We had our usual flea market on July 25, and gave the city $700 to help with more lights for downtown at Christmas. I hope I can continue on next year with the tradition of the good things the Division does for Provo. Also, as a member of the Provo Hand-shakers, a booster organization, I have gone to dozens of new business openings and other events. If any of you haven’t been to Provo for a few years, you will be amazed at the changes.

My big trip for this year was to Europe in April for the 8th time. And you may say, “What in the world can she see that she hasn’t seen before?” Well, this trip with my sister, Donna, was with my son Steve and wife, Cheryl who took their first trip to Europe, and I had to go to show them all the places I love. Besides that, I knew that since I had been there so often that we could see twice as much in the three weeks as they could wander around alone. we did see some new places, among them the Matterhorn in Switzerland.

We flew into Amsterdam and found a hotel and when settled went out to find something to eat. Steve, who is an elegant caterer as many of you know, said he was going to ’eat his way through Europe.’ This became a huge joke on the trip because that very first night we ate at ’Wimpey’s’, the English equivalent of McDonald’s. Afterwards as we journeyed far and wide we also took in Burger King and McDonald’s when we couldn’t find a local eatery that looked good. But, we did have some excellent meals otherwise.

We rented a car and took in the usual beautiful places; Heidelberg, the Grand Place or Brussels, Rothenburg, Oberammagau, Salzburg, Bertschesgarden, etc.; then over the Alps on a new freeway to Venice. Steve and Cheryl had been there once before when they flew in and spent a day and took the ship from there with the BYU Mediterranean tour to the Holy Land. In Venice they bought beautiful Porcelains. In fact, they had been buying beautiful things all along the way. We all loved Florence as usual and from there went on to Rome which disaster struck. We found a hotel and the next morning I had to go to the car for something and went dashing back into the dining room scream for the police at the front desk as I went. Thieves had smashed in our rear window and of course cleaned out the car. I know Rome so should have insisted that we take everything into the hotel. We made out a report at the Police Station so we could put in claims to our Home Insurance Companies who came through beautifully after we returned home.

This was a very traumatic experience and we spent so much time at the police station and changing cars at the rental car that the Sistine Chapel was closed in Rome and then we were glad to be leaving. That night we stayed at a darling little city of Sienna where we hadn’t been before and had a lovely hotel where the manager promised we wouldn’t have to worry a minute about our car. The rest of the trip was great as we went through Switzerland down in the green and picturesque valleys one minute and then over a high pass through great banks of snow everywhere the next. Steve and Cheryl especially enjoyed England and say that their next trip will be to spend two weeks in England, Scotland and Ireland. Donna and I aren’t going overseas this next summer and have been invited to go the Northwest and across Canada with Marilyn and Chris in their motor home. The year after that will probably see us flying off to some far country that we haven’t visited.

I have no new grandchildren to report on, I’m sorry to say, and still have only one great-grandchild in spite of my nagging on both counts. But all my families are doing well and I am thankful for our good health.

One sad note is that my friend, Vic, died while I was in Virginia baby-sitting my grandchildren there while Linda and Rich went to Europe. In his loneliness he took up so much of my time with dinners, concerts, games and playing Rook, that I have had to alter my lifestyle somewhat. But, he just sat in his favorite chair and was gone. With his bad health, going blind with his diabetes, and lonely life, it was a great way to go.

Another blessing of 1983 is that three grandsons are on missions, two sons of Joan and Dick, and Marilyn and Chris’ older son. They are in different parts of the United States and all are doing well.

This Christmas is going to be a very special one for me because my entire family will be here if they can get through the snow. Even the families from the East and Mid-west are coming. I have rented a beautiful Lodge up Hobble Creek Canyon for four days and everyone is looking forward to it with great anticipation.

As I grow older, and I am, I am especially thankful for my friends and family. I have so many blessings, not among the least is my continuing good health. I hope that this greeting finds you feeling ’tip-top and enjoying this blessed season of the year. Love to one and all, Klea