Notes from Alexis: We live in such an easy world today of “plug and play” with our computers, what a pleasure. I also remember when I had to do all this with first an Apple and then with Dos computers. Life is easy!
APRIL 9, 1985
Well, I have spent the morning ‘PIP’ing. That means ‘Peripheral Interface Program’, but you knew that didn’t you? Of course you did. Just on the off chance you didn’t, I’ll explain. Disks, screens, and printers are all peripherals, and PIP lets me take something and interface from one to another. I can go into a software program and lift out this or that, and put it on another disk, or I can print it. Boy, is that a lot of fun, unless by some weird chance you end up doing something wrong – which is what I did this morning. (If you will notice the right edge is justified).
I went into my Wordstar software, and changed some of the defaults, and one of them was so that I wouldn’t have to check each time to see if the justification toggle switch was on or not. Then when I got ready to type your letter, I picked up the old disk by mistake, so you get this neat justification, because I am not going back and reform the paragraphs. I could do that if I wanted to, and I also have a spell checker which I will use after this is typed, to be sure I haven’t made any big boo-boos. I am writing this directly on the computer and it seems to be going okay, but I don’t know about writing books.
I finished the last of the blankets on the loom, and it was the hardest weaving I have ever done, except for the linsey–woolsey pattern. I was using all handspun yarn and I was doing all the things that I tell my students not to do. It is done now, and I am not totally displeased with them. I still have to wash them and then we will see what they look like. There is no telling what will happen when they are washed.
Well, the L’s, across the street, are getting a divorce. M. kicked him out. I never thought I would see the day when she would get that much energy, or gumption, or whatever. Boy, that guy is something else. He has charged, and connived people, into doing things for him, until he has run up all kinds of debts. One of the funny things is, that your brother was the only one who ever worked for him, who got paid. Isn’t that funny?
We would love to have all of you come down and visit. I’m glad of the notice though, so maybe I can get this house cleaned up. Once we get the loom out, then we can clean the carpet and then all these windows have to be washed. They are so dirty that it is impossible to see out.
J. hasn’t put my column in the paper for the past two weeks, so I won’t give him anymore. If he publishes the last one I gave him, then that will be it, and if not, whatever he does will be the end. I am tired of him. I guess it is true that nobody appreciates anything that they get for free. It was a good thing for me though, and I’m glad did it, but I’m through. I am going to get busy and start looking to publish my books.
I have figured out three software programs Wordstar, Mailmerge, and Word Plus. Now I am going to start trying to figure out Datastar. Also, I got a tractor feed printer, and as you will notice this letter is written on computer paper. It is awfully nice though, don’t you think? Every time Igo to use the printer, I get a little nervous. Dad built me a stand for the printer, which is necessary with a tractor feed, and when I went to turn it on – nothing. Boy, did I panic. Then I tested all the plugs and sure enough one had come loose. Wow, what a relief.
I have gained a lot of weight, and you know what? I decided that I don’t even care. I will get me a lot of ‘mumus’ like the Hawaiian ladies, and forget it. There just has to be something advantageous about being over 50, and suddenly it dawned on me; now I can just forget about weight, or anything else I want to. I can just see you hitting the ceiling. You are a child of your generation. There is no way that you can bear a dab of flesh, but what I can’t bear, is to worry about it. I am sure that not worrying, will make me bloom and look lovely.
I have so little news, that I will quit for now, but sure did love your last letter, telling me all about your handmade tile work. I am dying to see them. Do you have your pottery set up again, so you can get in there and do things?
I have started cleaning out the barn. If you can’t get to your things, then you might just as well not have them, for they are as good as lost. It is a pleasure to be able to put my hand on things when I need them.
Will close for now,