Christmas 1969

Hi Folks,
Once again it is time to bring you all up to date with the “Southern Cousins, ” so to speak. Like most years, this one seemed to fly by, only faster than most.

As a group, we had a ball this year, enhanced more than a trifle by our camper trailer procured early in the year, We were all sorry not to \able to come north this year. Our summer was spent in our around central Florida in the camper. Each trip was a saga unto itself, and puts us in direct competition with the vikings. Take for example Dad leaving home the wheel for the trail arm and having to use the car jack to hold the end up, only to find out we no longer could put the bed brace down, or pulling tight the tent cover after a rain and having 140 gallons of water thus trapped cascading down on my head, or how about walking inadvertently into the ladies bath house, etc. But we have had fun; at the beach for several day, and the cabin at Brandford, FL for a week or so.

On one of our sojourns, we took a float trip down the Itsachucknee River, which is a gorgeous crystal clear river that is fed by 30 major springs in its two and one-half mile course. The trip included seven kids on floats plus Joyce (in the bow), Joyce’s mother (in the stern) and you know who in the middle of a Jon boat. The river is also narrow, so we were able to maintain either Joyce or her mother in reeds, low hanging trees and/or gooey egg masses along the shore, for the entire trip. In spite of all this, everyone had a great time.

Karen has had a good year beginning her senior high school, and (shutter) receiving her learner’s permit for driving. If the “old” man makes it until February, he’ll never be the same. Why is it, 20mph seems like 85, and all vehicles seem to be hurtling toward us at break-neck speed?

Bruce has become interested in hunting an has purchased his first shotgun, a 20 gauge.So far, the year’s bag has been two squirrels and one quail, who when plucked resembles the size of one large English pea (with legs). As they say, squirrel meat this year is running $48.90 per pound.

Diane has been launched into junior high school, is doing fine, and seems to enjoy it. She has joined the band and with her clarinet, Karen’s guitar, Bruce’s records, George watching Yogi Bear on TV and Mom and Dad listening to the news, there is a point in our hall where one can shatter glass.

George is the last one in elementary school, and it hardly seems possible. However, he seems to make up for everyone else. As usual he keeps the troops stirred up, so we run very little danger of too much peace and quiet.
Joyce is still teaching kindergarten, referring intermittent skirmishes and chauffeuring troops all over the place. When they happen, the conflicts are classic though I think it is testimonial to fantastic planning and good luck there aren’t any more.

My activities is paltry in comparison to the above. I have been rather active in both the YMCA and Boy Scouts this year, but out of that, keeping up with the crowd seems to be all I can do, and I do not do this well.

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