Wednesday, October 21, 1981 We had a great time while Terry was here. He is really super nice (like his little brother)! Annie and Bernard Shaw came Friday night for dinner, and Saturday we went to the U.M. vs. Iowa football game and to Weber’s for dinner. PS—This will hopefully not be our final will, but it’s all I can get Alan to do for now. We will get wills, trusts, etc. done for real probably in the next 6-9 months. Tuesday, November 24, 1981 Thanks for stopping last week. It was sure fun to have someones to share Thanksgiving with, and I appreciated all your help with the cooking, Mom, plus your excellent ideas for the sweet potatoes and mincemeat pie. Now, concerning Christmas, do whatever you want to do. It occurred to me that after a month on the road you might not feel like traveling again for a while, especially with the weather being uncertain. Please remember that I am thirty-five years younger than you. I love you and I try, but at best I’m like Aaron trying to “help” bake a pie. I don’t know how you feel or think; I just haven’t lived long enough. [“Eagle” by Aaron]
So, you’re welcome to come for Christmas, but I won’t try to urge you, and I won’t think you don’t love us if you don’t want to come. Aunt Millie said she was dreading having all the kids come for the holidays. I know that nothing is ever calm or relaxed with little kids, and that the best we ever have to offer is just a little love and a lot of confusion. It may not always be so, but in the meantime, please feel free to do what you want to do, not what you think we want.
Thursday, December 3, 1981 I theoretically accept your declining to come. HOWEVER, since we’re never yet spent a Christmas apart, I really can’t bear the thought of it, so I will doubtless panic as the day draws near and may even break down and call to twist your arms a little. I promise not to go to any extra work or expect you if you’ll promise to come if you change your mind and want to and the weather looks clear. I’m going to mail your presents, but I’m not going to make any plans, so we’ll be free if you decide at the last minute to come. After all, how can Christmas be Christmas without Grandpa’s harmonica or Jon knocking a few bulbs off the tree?!
Michael, Jonathan, and I ran right out and bought up the town with your money. We got Aaron an erector set and a big flashlight (lantern) he’s been begging for. Michael will get a black prop jet, a flashlight, and some more tinker toys. (He has been the real tinker toy lover and plays with them nearly every day while Jonny naps. Yesterday he made a very clever “park” for Plain Cat with a swing set, merry-go-round, slide, etc. I wish you could have seen it!) Jonathan is getting a big set of smooth wooden building blocks and a wind up car. They will doubtless call to tell you all about them if you don’t see them. Thanks again!