Sunday, May 23, 1999

Michael's 15th Birthday.

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

It was fun to talk to everyone today and catch up on the news. I finally feel like summer is on the way. This past week was warmer, and yesterday was actually hot. The boys are beginning to count down the last days of school although they have three or four weeks left. My thoughts, at least, are turning to summer activities.

Steve stayed in town last week and will be in town this week, too. He took off Tuesday for our anniversary, and we had a nice time together. We took a long walk in the morning before our appointment with the jeweler. We were very pleased with that visit and ordered the new rings. They should be ready in about a week. Afterwards, we ate lunch in Palo Alto so that I could keep a hair appointment. Steve took me to a new steak place for dinner. The boys declined to join us, so we had an intimate dinner together. We liked your email card, Steven, and thank you for being so thoughtful. We enjoyed our conversations with everyone else, too. I think we are all set for at least another twenty-five years.

I substituted on Monday and Wednesday in a special education class. That was a new experience! The first day was pretty wild, but the second day was fun. I realized that some of those children live in very dysfunctional homes, and their life experiences are vastly different from ours. It certainly makes me count my blessings. I am substituting again this Friday for a science class, but I declined other jobs so that I can clean my house tomorrow and do other things this week.

Linda, Lisa, and I hiked on Thursday in Henry Cowell State Park near Felton (the other side of the Santa Cruz Mountains in a redwood forest). We took a lunch so that we could hike longer, and it was a very enjoyable day. Friday was a teacher in-service day for David's school but not for Michael's. David slept late and didn't get dressed until 2:30 p.m. What a life!

Steve and I went to a progressive dinner on Friday night with our Mariners' group from church. Fortunately, none of the stops were at our house this year, and all I had to do was provide a side dish, so we got off easy this time. We had a lot fun. Our group always turns out well for food. (Our pastor says that is typical of Presbyterians.) We were all too tired to use our symphony tickets last night, but we vow to do better next year.

Michael and David continue to be busy with all of their activities. Last weekend's Boy Scout Expo was fun and successful. The troop received a certificate of participation with merit, and the scouts were pleased with that. Their tower was a good one, and the boys seemed to enjoy themselves. Afterwards, we went out for Michael's overdue birthday dinner at a Mexican restaurant. I made his birthday cake on Sunday, but it disappeared so quickly that he said he thinks it is time for two cakes. He worked all day Sunday on his chemistry project, which he presented on Thursday. He said that it went very well, and he was happy with it. Thank you for all of your help, Steven.

Michael took the Golden State Exam in geometry last week and will take the one for chemistry this week. He had two big essays due last week and one more this week, so his workload hasn't slowed down any. He played with the jazz band for a men's club in Cupertino today. His spring concert for both the concert and jazz bands is Wednesday night, so we will attend that. His director asked him to play the trumpet with the orchestra for one song, too, so Michael has been practicing with them on some days. He has to miss his French class to do that, though, so he has gone only about twice a week for the past two weeks. Michael also has been going to football practice after school for a week, so he has new sore muscles. He likes it so far, but he has not made the decision to play for sure. He sees it as a way to stay in shape during the summer.

Yesterday, Michael went with the high adventure group from scouts to practice their canoeing skills. They spent the day at a lake in Fremont and also tried out some new recipes, none of which Michael liked. He enjoyed the canoeing, though. They hope to get in two more training outings during the summer.

David played in his first piano recital last Sunday and did very well. His teacher works part time as a school music teacher and has only about a dozen students. Most are in the very beginning stages, and David is one of the more advanced players. He continues to have baseball practice two days a week and plays two games a week. After losing two games in a row, they won an exciting game last Wednesday in extra innings. They also played very well on Saturday and won handily. His season will wind down soon and then go into playoffs. I think he will miss baseball when the season is over. David spent most of today working on his Cayman Islands speech, which is due in a week or so. He made copies of lots of pictures to use in his presentation.

Steven, we were happy to talk to you today. I hope you do well on your quiz and two midterm exams this week. It seems odd that you are having midterms when Julie and Michelle have completed finals and are already home for the summer. Have fun at the new Star Wars movie on Wednesday. I'm sorry that it didn't work out for you to go see Cecile over Memorial Day weekend.

Daddy, I'm glad you had a good time on your bird trip. I can't believe it was 114 degrees one day! We enjoyed our conversation with you two today, too.

Bennett and Charlie, I am always glad to hear your news, too. It was fun to hear all about Julie's graduation and Michelle's dorm. Say hello to Doris for us.

Everyone have a good week!



Beach due West of UCLA -- April 1999.