The beginning of a new year of quotes and thoughts, by Gwen

Notes from Alexis: Well, I believe I will be posting the last letter from Mom. I moved closer to them and tended to visit more, so no more letters. It is truly a loss, to not have her thoughts on paper anymore. BUT – I have decided to start sharing her Quotes from her published books. I think you will find them delightful and intriguing. I have a feeling it will make you want to read her books. So this year begins a new year of blogging and sharing the thoughts of Gwen.

Looking forward to sharing with all of you in the future.


July 1, 1993

Dearest Lex,

“I seat myself to write you this letter.” That is how the letters all started from Aunt Dolly, who sent me information from the Wootans. They were all written around 1900. I thought they were so neat.

I just gave myself a perm, and I’m all tuckered out, although it is the easiest I have ever given myself. Now about Grannie’s kitty. He has turned out to be the greatest feline hunter in Keno, maybe Oregon, maybe the world. The body count as far as we know is two squirrels, two birds, sixteen pocket gophers, who knows how many mice, and one small (very small) water snake. He brings all his kill’s home for Mom, so that’s how we know. He has just about caught all the game on the property and now goes roaming all over the neighborhood looking for more.

One of the pocket gophers he caught was big and heavy, and he was having a devil of a time dragging it home and getting it up the steps. He just about had it up on Mom’s porch when another cat came out from under her porch and snatched it away from him, and ran off with it. Mom was watching from inside her house, and she said he had the most surprised look on his face. Since then he runs all the other cats off the property.

If you don’t believe in fate you will after this next story. I offered to give J. my old computer after the hard drive went out because I couldn’t get anything for it. The man I bought my new one from would have given me $150 for it ,if the hard drive worked, but nothing without it.

J.said, “Does it have color? Does it have Windows?” I really got pissed and told him he didn’t even know how to use a computer, so what difference did it make whether it had color or Windows?

Sunday he called and asked if I still had the computer. I said yes, and it still didn’t have color or Windows. So he did a little backtracking and crawling. The thing is, J. & J. are using computers in school, and it suddenly dawned on him, he was the only one in the family who couldn’t use one.

So I decided to go in and try to set it up to use on the A drive and bypass the hard drive. I grabbed the Boot disk I thought I had used on the A drive and cranked it up.

Would you believe it – it loaded the hard drive? I just about fell over when I saw C:\ on the screen. I ran through the directories, loaded Wordstar and worked on it, and everything was fine. If I was the only one who thought it didn’t work, I wouldn’t say a word, but I took it into the shop, and they said it was gone, too. Of course, I wouldn’t have bought a new one if it had worked, so perhaps it was fate that J. got himself a computer. J. and Dad said it went on strike because I overworked it, and it wanted a rest.

I spent the day setting it up so J. could work on the hard drive as long as it works; then he can go to the A drive, when it quits again. I was still a little put out with J. and figured he would just play around with it, and all my hard work would be for naught, but he surprised me. He came over Monday night and was really impressed and eager to learn.

He has quit the J.C.’s, and I think he is bored. Even he can only watch so many cartoons. He left the computer here, and he and Je. are coming over tonight for another lesson. He was a little bowled over by how much there was to it. Of course, Je. has been using computers at the Herald & News for years, and believes she knows a lot. However, she is on a LAN system, and what she knows is only the one program. I seriously doubt that she knows DOS and Wordstar and Quattro. I think she has a rude awakening coming. I really hate teaching husbands and wives anything. They may prove the exception. I’ll get back to you on that one.

Well, Dad’s fountain is just beautiful–maybe the most beautiful fountain in the world. He has a small bit left to do; then he’ll start on the ledge and start building the waterfall. He is as nervous as can be, and has been from the start, and is very excited. I do believe it is the first time he has had a creative vision, and then executed it. That thrill we have gotten with all our projects, and which he could never understand, has now hit him. It’s a little late in life, but he has now joined the ranks. He just lives through the week so he can get to his fountain. He set up the screen tent over it so it wouldn’t dry too quickly. P. B. stopped by and asked if he was sleeping out there to keep anyone from stealing it. All the neighbors are dying of curiosity, but there isn’t much to see, as he keeps it all covered over, so it won’t dry too fast.

Well, got to run. This is my downtown library day. I’ve already lost half a week – what with computers, perms, and the house cleaning.

Take care and write when you have time.

Love, Mom


All I want to do is nap, and since I love napping, all is well.

Notes from Alexis: Hibernation mode is Mom’s way of dealing with the winter. She and the bears love that napping thing.

November 16, 1992

Dearest Lex.

My gosh, there is just no news from this barren wasteland. We just truck along doing the same old thing every day. Of course, I love it.

I have finally got my project load back up to about ten, and thus have lowered my anxiety load by 1000%. I bothers me terribly to have only one or two projects going. Of course, it also bothers me if all of them are on the boil at the same time. I like to pick and choose, wandering around sampling first one and then the other.

My workload has decreased since Granny is dirtying up her house and mine only once or twice a day. Since I have now gone into hibernation mode that is a super plus. I don’t feel bad, but all I want to do is nap, and since I love napping, all is well.

I have found the loveliest quilt pattern and couldn’t stand it and had to get started. I usually wait until after January 1rst to start a quilt, but this one wouldn’t wait.

I need the little gadget that you sit on a small picture, and it throws an enlarged picture on the wall. Dad had seen one advertised in one of his woodworking catalogs and suggested it as a Xmas gift for Little J., but I was cool to the idea. Then all of a sudden I needed it, because the book has a 2 inch square pattern, which I was supposed to transfer to a 24 inch square paper. The thought boggles the mind eh? So right off I called their 800 number and gave my order to a voice-activated recording. What a trip. You know how Dad hates talking to your phone message tape. Now I have a hate for “order tapes.” It’s going to be interesting to see what I get. Dad can hardly wait, and has already started talking about getting his gadget enlarger? Whatever!

Je. called me and told me J. has given her an engagement ring and wants to get married in March. She paused and said, “That seems awfully soon.” I laughed so hard I almost fell off the couch, you can’t help but liking her.

Granny has dedicated her life to the cat, and we get daily bulletins about how cute and wonderful he is. He must also be smart since he has got her pretty well trained in such a short time. We were trying to think of all the words Hanzi knows (the dog). He’s got us trained too, and considering how dumb we are, he’s done exceptionally well.

Dad has been feeling better, except he’s got a vertebrae out of place and has a really stiff neck. He went out to Buster’s and worked it out.

The weather has been cold and dry for the most part, and Dad put the snow plow on the tractor to try to influence the gods.

Well, dear girl, I have to stop and take a nap, so will write later. Take good care of yourself and write soon.



Well, it seems I do nothing but bellyache!

(Notes from Alexis: We all wonder what hell may be like, I think Mom has found it.)

April 23. 1992

Dearest Lex,

I sat down at the table with warm sunshine spilling onto me and the table, but Granny got up to eat, and I lit out for the computer room. I can’t take the belching, farting, groaning and grunting. That way may be my fate some day, but I can’t take it now.

Well. I’m sorry you weren’t here for the circus. You would have died laughing. I decided to fix up Mom’s trailer. Dad and I both hated the couch, so we were going to take it out. Sounds easy when you say it fast. We tried it every which-a-way, upsides down and backwards, – no way Jose’.

We finally found one way that was within a couple of inches, and decided if we took the trellis off it would go. Nope, but we gained – just 1” to go…! I even took the doorknob off. The post that supports the roof wouldn’t let the door open flat against the trailer as the door knob hit it.We took the knob off and with brute strength, and ignorance, was able to get it out. We put it on our sun porch, so now we have a hide-a-bed on the new sleeping porch.

We cleaned up the living room of her trailer (not mine, it is still a mess), and it is beautiful. I am going to get a sewing table and set up my sewing machine in her living room so I can sew up those three or four quilts I have cut out. Also, I’m going to clean out that rats nest that Dad has made of the barn. I hate it all junked up, and I’m going to do something about it.

Well, Dad went back to work on the 13th, and what a hassle. First off the computers are Reynolds & Reynolds and totally different from ADP he was used to, not one thing the same. Then there are seven or eight different lines of cars, and he didn’t know six of them. Then they don’t have parts books; it is all on the computers. The same computers he doesn’t know, right?

They were so busy that nobody had time to train him. Just threw him in, sink or swim. Then on top of everything else they set him to returning parts. They have about $30,000 worth of obsolete parts that have never been returned. Now these are not all neat and tidy on shelves. Parts thrown into boxes, so he has to dig through and fish them out, clean them up, and box them, then get the computer to print out a return slip (if he can).

Boy, that first week he nearly died. Then on Friday his boss had time to work with him, and teach him at least how to get in and out of some of the main functions. Now he has decided he can learn it, and he feels a lot better. There for that first week he wasn’t sure. He also sees that he will certainly be earning his wages.

Speaking of computers. Comptalk finally figured out the reason Calcastar & Formsort wouldn’t work. It seems that they were set with a top memory of 512K max so when I upgraded to 640K I went out of their range. Well, weird things do happen!

After walking around the problem of how to replace my data programs, I realized that sorting is one of the things I do really well. When I was a child, we called it ‘filing,’ so I just put them into Wordstar and got on with life. No problem.

Of course, I had lost a week and a half, all told, so I was way behind with my work. During the time off is when I conceived “the plan” to use Mom’s trailer as my rec room. Spending a day or two with her is like hell. At least Hell won’t come as any surprise when I get there -I’m all prepped.

I’m nearly through with “Shipwreck John” I have another five days indexing. Indexing makes me cross and cranky, so I am trying to think of fun things to do. Wait! Wait, I’m thinking!

Today a genealogy-computer friend is coming over, and I am going to show her how to set up her program to do Genealogy. Oh, and I’m cooking rhubarb in the crock pot. Maybe I need some yarn and a knitting project.

Well, it seems I do nothing but bellyache, and I am sick and tired of bellyaching, but like all addicts I won’t stop it until I can replace it with something better.

I have found a new author. Ann Orysdalei, ‘Faint Heart Never Kissed a Pig,’ which I haven’t read because I can’t find it. And ‘Pearls Before Swine’ which is a tad hard to get into, because she is British, but persevere because her stories are just delightful.

Well, Cheerio and all that rot.



Virtue is it’s own reward, and now I have proof!

Notes from Alexis: Back in the “Good Ole Days” when a publisher wouldn’t publish your books, the next option was to print and bind them yourself. That is what she did for the next 10 years.

(How nice to have e-books today)

March 23, 1992

Dearest Lex,

Virtue is its own reward. I have been told this many times, but now I have proof. When I went out to the pump house to get your steam trays, I found the crock pot. Dad got it with bonus points years ago. It came in the summer and was too hot to use, so after one time I put it away and plumb forgot about it.

Dad had been nagging for Boston baked beans, but it always seemed too much bother. He found a recipe in the Frug’s book called New England Baked Beans, so I made up 1/2 the recipe and boy was it good. I also made celery bread (hold the celery seeds) and what a treat. Then I made chili, and it was super good, too. We are going to try deep fried cheese, and sopapillas next. I don’t like to deep fry in the house because of the grease smell, so we will cook on the porch.

This is spring vacation and Little J. is coming out Tuesday night and staying until Saturday afternoon.

I got the book binder and wow, do I love it. It is easy as pie to use. I say that after making all kinds of horrible mistakes, but once I settled down it takes me about 15 minutes to bind a book, and are they ever lovely.

I am enclosing the new book label for you to see. I loved everything about the ones you made except the “Solo Press,” so I bought some new letters and fixed that. I am going to let Little J. make a book with the letters, and bind it while he is here.

Dad’s last day at Cascade will be the 31st. Then he will take off until the 13th when he will go to work at West One. They begged him to stay at Cascade. When they saw his mind was made up, they told him if he ever wanted to come back, to call them. He felt better about it and that there were no hard feelings. It felt good that three places wanted him.

The weather has been blowing hot and cold, and is now threatening rain, but it’s probably just a threat.

Mom said today that she felt pretty good and might try going over to her trailer. I told her that during the day when I try to nap, she wakes me up talking to the dog and banging around. So if she wanted to go over for an hour or so, it would help me. That’s the worst time of the day to be around her, that and her eating. She has started eating her dinner about 3 PM, which is when she likes to eat anyway. I’ll tell you one of the nicest gifts I’ve ever gotten was not having her eat with us.

TV has been so awful I’ve been going over & working on jigsaw puzzles, and what lovely peace and quiet that is.

Well, I’m about out of anything to write, so will close for now & get this funny book off to you. I got such a kick out of it. His writing is just off the wall, and I find myself tee-heeing all day long. I don’t like doctors as doctors, but I love doctor-writers.





Are they really a hobby or the embryo of a business?

Notes from Alexis: I love her “process” for writing a book, and you will love her new hobbies.

Jan 22, 1992

Dearest Lex,

I woke up this morning and thought: I have to tell Lex to stop drinking wine. When I was 25, I had to give up all alcoholic beverages because they gave me such horrendous headaches. I have never liked beer or wine, but I did drink cocktails now and then, but it got to the point where I was having my hangover fifteen minutes after I had my drink.

The thing about wine is it is all chemicals. There may have been a time (back in Ceasar’s day) when wine was made from grapes, but no more. Now it is all chemicals, as I found out when I tried making my own. We watched a program that told all about it and boy; it was enough to scare the pants off you. My advice is to keep off the wine for a month and see if the headaches stop (but, of course, keep up your other programs). Headaches can, and often are caused by more than one thing and sometimes the mix just becomes too much.

I keep checking on S.F. and her new “Gallery” opening.  Dad heard this guy on the radio, who is the photographer that is going to open the gallery with her. I drove by to see it. All her files of index cards had been moved out, and there were a ladder and some buckets. Two weeks later, ditto. She gets all this great media attention, but then doesn’t know what to do with it, and nothing ever comes of her endeavors (notice I didn’t say efforts). Not that I think there has ever been a plan or purpose to anything she does.

I haven’t been able to work on “Shipwreck John” for a week, I will go in today and work on him. I have discovered I have an MO (modus operandi). First, I have to have a name. This is just a working name, and I am perfectly happy and prepared to change it later if it doesn’t fit, which I did with Henry.

Next, I have to do a cover, which I am also prepared to change. Nevertheless – ‘Hello’, there has to be a cover. Now there is a real ‘sure nuff’ book that merely needs to be written and put between the covers. This was true with all my books. It’s as if I have to have something concrete to hold in my hand before I can believe there is a book in the future. I read about writers who write every word in their head before they touch pen to paper or finger to key. Not me. I only have to have a name and cover, and I’m off and running.

So, therefore, there is a “Shipwreck John” but no Dorsett or McGuffin yet, (but getting close), because I haven’t taken the major step of the name and cover. Still too much research.

I now have a hobby. A hobby being something that never can be turned into a business, right? I collect. What I collect has doubled in the past week. I now collect two things. First, I started off with purse wallets, and as you know I have a nice collection. You only saw half of them because at the time I was a closet collector, but now they are out in the open in a box.

My second collection, which I have only just now recognized, is moisture absorbers. You get them in every bottle of pills, and they come in all sizes and shapes. But what to do with them? They lay around on counters and in drawers, and there is the thought underneath; ‘Maybe I should keep them’?

I see things clearly now. A museum of moisture absorbers! Someday in the future, it will attract tourists who will come from all over the universe. Well, that isn’t too far-fetched right, if people would go to see a giant stuffed mouse, why not moisture absorbers? Of course the purse wallets may also be in the same class, however, I keep thinking someday I may actually use one, so there is that to consider. Are they really a hobby or the embryo of a business? Worry and fret. Nothing in this life has been ever simple.

Well, I got all my stuff out of the drawers and into the shoebox to get ready for taxes and that’s step one. Step two is to list everything on a sheet of paper. Step three is working with the form. I am particularly eager to get some money back because Dad gets more disillusioned with his job every day. J. had nothing good to say about J. T. (the new boss and owner of  Honda-Chevrolet dealership) right from day one. But I reserved an opinion until I had met him, which I did at the Xmas party. He made me no convert. He is a slippery eel. He will look you right in the eye and with great sincerity say, I don’t lie. All the time the hair on your neck is standing up. Last night Dad said he was going to start actively looking for another job. It takes him a while to get moving, and he won’t make a move until he is sure, but then he never looks back. So we’ll see.

Well, granny is her usual self. I have had some revelations that I will tell you in person as they are l-o-n-g stories, but anyway, it has helped me cope with the situation.

My chest is feeling better, but I only have half-day strength, while having full-day jobs. About the only way I can manage is to just lie down. Fortunately, I can do that, but I want to get with the program, have things to do.

Well, sweetheart must close as ‘Shipwreck John’ is calling.



I even forget to be thankful for electricity and “self-come water!”

Notes from Alexis: She is a powerhouse of “doing.” Books for genealogy that require enormous “Index’s”, hunting stories, and dreams, fill the winter days.

November 7, 1991

Dearest Lex,

Well, the mole has finally surfaced and is blinking into the daylight. In other words, I have finished the “INDEX” for Henry Tuthill – 16,562 data entries. I tell you it’s worse than taking inventory or weeding onions. I really dread an “Index” and this one took two weeks, and this with the greatest index software imaginable- SKY3. It does most of the work, but still…!

Consequently, I hardly know anything to write about because all I have been doing is the index – day and night.

However, one or two items. Dad’s job situation is getting “curiouser and curiouser.” First the company that bought D. Chevrolet out came down and told L. (Dad’s boss) that they wanted him and all the crew. They said they would build a new building out by their old one and in the meantime; they would rent the building from D. Chevrolet, and they would stay where they are until then.

Then another dealership talked to L. and told him they want him and the crew to come and run their parts department, and would build a new place for them. So all is in an uproar, especially since Co. 1 heard that Co. 2 was dickering. So all is speculation. L. had Dad and P. Z. (the other main parts-man) over last night, to discuss it all. In any case they are leaving it up to L. He always seems to land on his feet, so we’ll see what comes down.

I’ll tell you a couple of dreams because they were so funny. First: Dad had a nightmare up at the hunting camp. He dreamed a big hairy monster attacked him and was biting his finger. He screamed out loud and woke up everybody. O. got up to see what was going on and realized Dad was dreaming, so he stoked the fire, and that woke Dad. He swore his finger was still hurting after he woke up. It sure stirred the guys up and gave them a laugh.

Second: I dreamed that I was baking Oreo cookies, but I couldn’t decide whether I needed six cups of flour, six cups of cocoa or six cups of cornstarch. But the real problem was how to get that design stamped on them. I tell you it is probably a good thing we aren’t able to take the top off our heads and look into the inner workings. What we can see is strange enough.

No, they didn’t get an elk, and the trip was too much. It snowed on them going up, and after they had got there, the temperature was zero practically every night, warming up to twenty degrees in the daytime. They camped in two feet of snow, and all had a grand time. They gave up and came home a day early, vowing no more winter hunting.

Today I will probably go to town and work up my title page for my latest book. Do you realize this is my ninth book to publish, with three more in the works. It staggers me when I think of it. Remember that dream I had where I saw a stack of my books but could not see the titles. Good thing. What do you suppose I would have made of ‘Descendants of Henry Tuthill 1612 -1650” or “Guide Through DataStar/ReportStar?”

You know we need to win the lottery or something as I am about to outgrow my two cubby holes. I really envy your nice big room to lay out your materials and go off and leave it.

I tell you, I am sick and tired of having to move something, so I can do whatever I am doing, and then twenty minutes later have to put it all back. What a waste of time and energy.

See what I mean about doing the index? It makes me cross and cranky and besides that I feel so sorry for myself that sometimes I even forget to be thankful for electricity and “self-come water.”

Well, sweetheart, I don’t know much but am getting ready to print the “INDEX” so must close for now.




Going into a wounded quail act, whenever she thinks someone is looking.

Notes from Alexis: Grandma is back home after a heart attack, and everyone seems to find ways to put up with each other, in a rather funny, sad, way.

July 11, 1991

Dearest Lex,

Well, further news from the battlefield. I sincerely meant to call, but then I found that almost impossible, so am writing instead.

Mom came home from the hospital a week ago, and now has settled in on our couch forever. Dad got a bonus, so we went right down and got another recliner. Our idea is that we could take out the couch in her trailer, and put in the old recliner, and then she would have a comfortable place to sit in her trailer.

Meanwhile, we brought in a new one and set it beside the old one, and put the exercycle in my office, where I like it very much. I can quit working when I get tired and tense, and go over and ride for a few minutes.

I made the mistake of telling Mom that the old chair was hers, and we would put it in her trailer when she went home. She refused to sit in it at all because she never plans to go home. She did eventually sit in it a couple of times and the dramatics would have won her an Oscar. It was obviously so horribly uncomfortable, so painful for her, that only a monster would have forced her to suffer in it. It would have been funny if it hadn’t been so sad.

The first week was very hard because she takes medicine at all hours of the day and night. I had to be awake at 10 & midnight to give them to her, and I was so tired I wanted to go to bed at 8pm, so I had to set the alarm. Dad gets up at six every morning and gives her that dose. Since then, thank heavens, she has taken charge of her medicine, and I can go on to bed and get some rest. She sits up most of the night reading and sleeps most of the days, which suits me fine. Speaking of medicine, the first batch cost $208 which almost gave me a heart attack.

But anyway, I am tired of bellyaching. I have always said all she ever wanted to be was a kangaroo in her mother’s pouch, and now she is one. She is happy as a lark. She’s here in the house, waited on hand and foot. Couldn’t be happier. Hence, too, is happier. It has been so funny. He really does take care of her—-follows her to the bathroom and sits outside the door until she comes out, and sleeps all day and night with her. The two of them are good company for each other, and he takes a lot of the guff off of me, I’m sure.

One of the things that has bothered me the most is the oxygen. She qualified to have Medicare pay for oxygen, so they sent out a compressor for the house and a portable tank for the car. The compressor sounds like a refrigerator that runs all the time, only about four times louder. Most of the time I’m out of the room and can’t hear it.But if I sit in the front room and try not to listen to it, I have to turn up the TV three or four notches. You can probably hear our TV a quarter of a mile away.

She also qualified for the visiting nurses, and they have been out two or three times a week. Mostly it is just a farce, but it makes her feel better and it’s free, so I just count it as keeping three awfully nice ladies gainfully employed.

Rehab turned out to be even more ridiculous than I had expected. R. from Rehab scheduled me for a session and she explained about the heart and the medicines, the names of all of them, and what they were for, on and on, and on. Then we got a 15 minute video showing happy people walking and having barbecues after heart attacks. Then she scheduled another session, which was a repeat of the first with a 2nd video, and would you believe a third session! I was fit to be tied.

When Mom came home the nurse set out a schedule of all the medicines and times. I numbered them and put the numbers on the bottles. She takes No. 1 and No. 4 at such and such a time, etc. and that’s all any of us need to know.

We can’t go to a drug store and buy the medicine without a prescription, and you can imagine what we would be told if we called up the docs and said she needs some Lasix or Captopril, so it’s all garbage. But then every time the nurses come out they go through the whole song and dance, minus the videos until Mom made some comment. The nurse was a young gal about your caliber, that is sharp, and she said, “I see you are about maxed out on meds.” Since then, Mom has shown them her paintings, and her rock collection, and everybody’s happy.

I have been able to get back to the computer and the books, but going out to do research has proved difficult, as has shopping. It doesn’t seem a good idea to leave her more than an hour or two until she has been cleared by the docs. So I have been going at night when Dad is here, which is hard for me, because I don’t function too well at night.
The big problem is there isn’t always someone up at the Family History Center at night, during the summer. Mainly because most people have other things to do, and they have a hard time getting librarians lined up. Which would be fine, only I ordered three films BHA (before heart attack) and I need to read them before the time is up, or I will have to pay extra.

If it isn’t one thing it is another, right? Speaking of that how’s the job situation? I do hope your business and the job hunt all works out Ok, as I’m sure it will, but meanwhile back at the ranch. Right!

The reason humans are the dominant animal is because we are so adaptable. I can’t get over how quickly I adjusted, especially once I could get back to the books. I am still tired, but each day I feel a little better. Those books have certainly saved my sanity.

Little J. came out and spent the night and day, and got to see Grandma. We know how worried he has been. We explained about the heart, and this and that, – whatever an 8-year-old can take in, and we think he feels better.

She goes into her wounded quail act whenever she thinks someone is looking, but hops around pretty frisky whenever she thinks no one is watching. Little J. got to see that too, and gave me a look that told worlds. Dad has been listening to me bitch for five years, but hadn’t believed me, but now he sees her more and knows the score.

We have been eating like kings out of the neighbor’s garden because none of them will touch veggies that their Dad grows. I look at that household and I tell you the truth, I would keep the wounded quail, rather than move over there. There is an old saying: “If all the world’s troubles were hung on a tree and we could have our choice, we would end up choosing our own.” So true. I have a lot to be thankful for, and so far I don’t have more than I can handle. If that day comes, perhaps a solution will present itself.

Thanks again for coming down. You were a tonic and just the support I needed. Dad is really good with her, but he doesn’t always say the things that need to be said. Sometimes just getting to talk is vital, and I don’t think men understand that. My, I feel better already, just by dumping the garbage on you. From now on the messages will be, “Same old thing, as long as the situation holds steady. Write when you get some time and energy, and I’ll do the same.