September 1977

I (Bob) slacked off during the summer. So, Marge gets to tell her story about her summer.

Dear Everybody,
It is hard to decide just how to describe our trip.

It was a bit scary the first day, driving to Petersburg, VA, but it went well and I gained in confidence. Then the next day the problems started. We got to Lake Marion, SC, and the refrigerator wouldn’t work.

Also, I got water in my ears in the swimming pool and could not hear. It doesn’t sound like much now but it was very discouraging. I think if it had been Petersburg, I might have come home, but I was halfway by then and went on. All my meat defrosted, and some milk spoiled, but when we got to Corvilla, it started to work again on electric, although the gas refrigerator still doesn’t work.

I was feeling very capable, having gotten to where I was going so as to get there before the July 4th weekend. Also, there was a convention at Corvilla over the Holiday, and that was the frosting on the cake for me. I met a number of fine people from many places; some of them came and had lunch or dinner with us and helped eat up all my defrosted meat. It was good to meet other Christians and to hear about what the Lord is doing in other parts of the country. On the way home, we went by Atlanta and spent some time with some of the folks we had met from there. Then, after the convention, the Spanish class started. Some of the people who had said they were coming didn’t and so Erskine Holt, my friend who had arranged the classes, and who lives at Corvilla, asked if the girls would like to take the class too. I said sure, but I couldn’t pay for it. He said that was OK, they had agreed to pay the teachers a set amount and they really wanted more students. So Ingrid and Louise also learned to speak Spanish. They both did extremely well, lasting the whole month, except we sort of lost Louise the last three days when we hit subjunctive. Our teachers were a man and wife, both teachers. He teaches at the University of VA in Lynchburg, VA and she in a Lynchburg High School.

They were superb. I also learned to cook some Mexican dishes, and we are enjoying that too. I am somewhat frustrated at the moment about using my Spanish. After a great deal of search, I found no Spanish 2 classes that were not credit courses in a college costing the earth. I have volunteered to work in the local branch library that serves the Spanish-speaking population here, but I dont have any contact with people and that is not working out too well. I don’t want to study more, but rather to speak the language. There is one other possibility that someone suggested to me today. I’ll tell you all about it if it works out in the next letter.

Several very good things came out of my trip. One is that both Bob and I gained a greater appreciation of the things the other did. I realized the amount of ordinary type coping he does. Never having done it myself, I hadn’t noticed before. Bob has never been alone, really, before and of course he had to wash clothes and dishes, and feed himself and amuse himself with nobody here but Rajah cat. It was also a very exhilarating feeling, to have set out this long trip, and done it all myself. There was a book title from some years ago that said it – Yes I CAN!

When I had begun to drive the trailer last spring, we had some personality clashes – no, rather role-switching clashes. We had expected there might be a period of adjustment needed when I got home, but there wasn’t. I think, myself that it was sort of like this. When I first started doing what usually Bob did, I felt like a 5-year-old saying Look at Me! I can tie my shoe!. Don’t you tie my shoe, I can do it myself! But now that I’m grown up, I don’t get defensive if someone offers to help me or do something for me. Now there is no question but that I can do the necessary things with the trailer, I don’t have to do it. So there was not any problem after all.
What I had not counted on was that there would be a lot of catching up to do around the house, as well as getting the girls ready for school. I had brought several books home from Florida and Atlanta to mend that were in pretty bad shape, and am just now getting to them. Oh, perhaps you will recall that last spring I was going to take a bookbinding course; but at the last moment, it was canceled. Wheee, it is being offered again, and once again I’m registered. The Library agreed to pay the fees, and the class should start next Monday. I!m really looking forward again, to it.

grapes vineyard vine purple grapes

Photo by Pixabay on

Bob was given some grapes if we would pick them, and the girls and I did, as Bob went to a ham radio conference. He is making two baskets into wine, and the third I have made into grape juice. Consequently, the house is full of fruit flies. On that jolly note, I think I shall stop.



About R. F.

I am a retired Professional Engineer who spent my working life in the electric utility industry. I am now a volunteer instructor at the University Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV).
This entry was posted in Coopersburg PA, Marge Writing, memoir, Summer vacations. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to September 1977

  1. ingridmg2014 says:

    Another blast from the past. I kind of remember the trip to Zephyr Hills, although mostly in vague terms. I did *not* remember the drama with the refrigerator not working. 😉 I do remember it was very hot and humid, and of course I remember the Spanish classes–they were long and intense! It was a lot of learning but the Peniches (the instructors) made it fun as well as educational. (Louise may remember the “Big Brain Award” and “Josefina”!) It’s interesting to read now, all these many years later, what Mom had to say about how the two of you learned to appreciate things that the other did during this time of role reversal. A side benefit of the trip, I suppose.

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