aturday, October 31, 1998


Dear Steven, Grandmother, Granddaddy, Grandy, and Pappy,

Happy Halloween! This is the first time in many years that we do not have a child to take Trick-or-Treating. Michael and David left this morning for a Boy Scout camping trip to the Black Diamond Coal Mines (about two hours away near Sunol). They will do a little spelunking and have a Halloween party tonight around the campfire. Actually, fires are not allowed, but they still will have a party. This is a car camping trip, so they were able to take costumes and all kinds of other stuff. In fact, they had so much stuff that they were worried about whether they had enough room in the cars to transport it all. David is going to dress as a lumberjack, and Michael will be a punk. (One of the other scouts, Chris Lum, is bringing spray hair color for the two of them.) I know they will have fun. I decided to buy a couple of small pumpkins and carve them myself so children will know that we are kid-friendly. We want to be able to hand out some of the large bag of candy we bought for the occasion. The boys will be back home around noon tomorrow. I'm glad because David has a fair amount of homework to do before Monday.

Last weekend the house was full of sleepy people. Steve returned from England on Saturday afternoon and took several naps of varying lengths that day and the next. David had returned from science camp on Friday and then spent the night with a friend. He came home about noon on Saturday and slept for four hours that afternoon. He and I went to the Peninsula Symphony alone that night because Steve was not awake enough to risk it. David and I thoroughly enjoyed the performance. Michael went to his first band festival / competition that day and was gone from 6:15 a.m. until after midnight. They marched in spite of the rain and were able to do their field show in the evening after the skies cleared. Their school won a first place in the parade and third place in the field show, and the judges complimented Michael on his solo. Michael was wiped out from the activities and slept for four hours on Sunday afternoon. Steve and I went to dinner with Mike and Lisa Hughes and then to the San Jose Rep theater on Sunday evening. We saw "Three Days of Rain," a new play to us, and enjoyed it a lot. Are you familiar with that play, Steven?

It was nice to have Steve at home during the week. He is leaving again tomorrow to go to Texas. He will be at Rice on Monday and Tuesday and then work at Ann's house on his laptop Wednesday. Thursday and Friday he will be in Dallas and returns home Friday evening.

David made the wrestling team, so he began practices last week every afternoon after school (except Friday). He is first or second alternate. (He doesnít know yet.) His first meet is next Tuesday, and they continue every Tuesday and Thursday for the rest of the season. As an alternate, he will not go to the away meets, so he will get a little break there. Of course, he doesn't want a break, but I will welcome it. He still has soccer for three more weeks, so things will be a little crazy around here for awhile.

Michael is also going out for wrestling at the high school. He begins practice on Monday, but I don't know his schedule yet. His marching season continues until Thanksgiving, so he will be extremely busy for awhile, too. He had a big project due on Friday, so he stayed up very late Thursday night finishing it, but it came out really well. His literature / writing class (what they call freshman English) is getting ready to read The Joy Luck Club, so the students have been researching China in the 1900's. Michael's project was to make a time line, but he cut out cardboard blocks and glued them onto poster board to resemble the Great Wall of China and then added the facts on top of that. It looked really good. This past week was homecoming week at the high school, so Michael enjoyed all the activities associated with that. The freshmen decorated the quad on Monday and put on skit around the theme of medieval Japan. I don't remember what the sophomores did, but the juniors had a renaissance theme, and the seniors had a Golden Age of Greece theme. Each day was better than the previous one, and Friday was a school-wide rally. Michael played with the jazz band for the rally. Cupertino won the game last night 21 to 20 in a really exciting game. Michael went to the dance afterwards and had a lot of fun. The dance was in the quad and was a casual affair. He went with a lot friends and said that he danced a lot. He came home at midnight and still had to pack for the campout, so he started out tired this morning. However, his spirits were good, so I think he will be fine.

My week was a routine one except that I got a haircut on Tuesday. Yesterday, I covered the phones in the junior high office while the staff went out on the school grounds for the Halloween parade. The office staff had made elaborate costumes and dressed as Snow White and the seven dwarfs. They looked great and made a big hit at the parade. David dressed in his dress shirt and tie and carried a tool belt and went to school as Tim the Tool Man Taylor (from "Home Improvement"). Thankfully the office was quiet. They had brought in chili and other food for the day, so I got to eat lunch there. Afterwards I finished my duties as Reflections chair for the PTA and can put that stuff away for the year. This morning I took the boys to the church to see them off on their camping trip. Steve is refereeing soccer all day, and we will hand out candy tonight.

Charlie and Bennett, you sound busier than ever. I hope that Doris continues to improve. Give our love to her and to Great Grand.

Daddy, enjoy your banding, and Mom enjoy your games. I'll send you J.B.'s and Nathan's kits this week.

Steven, I'm glad that your calculus test didn't seem very hard. You must stay awfully busy with tests and papers due so often. I'm glad that the affirmative action protests weren't disruptive to your classes or to the school in general. The Halloween activities on Wednesday sounded like fun, and I'm glad that you and your roommates participated. I know that you are having fun at the game today. I will try to get tickets to the new Tech Museum for the Everest IMAX presentation while you are home. I am getting excited about your visit even though it is still two weeks away.

Everyone have a good week!