Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pretty tough way to earn your Christmas money

Gene with her brother, Dick, his wife, Betty
and all the children from both families
December 2, 1960 (Friday)

Dear Gene,

How are you getting along with your sales job at May Company. [Gene took a part-time holiday-season job for a little extra Christmas spending money.] How do you get to work I'm wondering and also back home? Who does the house work or does it take care of itself some way? Pretty tough way to earn your Christmas money, but maybe when we have to earn it the hard way, we'll be more careful how we spend it.

I think everyone should be grateful that we have a home to live in and to be able to get something extra for a nice Christmas dinner that all can enjoy it together. I don't think our Lord expected his birthday to be celebrated in the manner that so many do in this US. The real spirit is lost in the way we celebrate and seems to be more of a selfish one the way so many spend their money for expensive gifts. So commercialized and ends up with so many drinking parties. So few realize the spiritual meaning.

Well, the reason for me writing, I wanted to send you Richard's letter I received this morning so you could see what they're planning on for New Year's week. Do you realize that 1960 is going out just like the end of the year did when Dad passed on? We spent Christmas together at Mona's mother's home on Sunday that year. I roasted the turkey slowly that Saturday night for the dinner. Mrs. Gillet bought it at Von's market--a nice-sized one. I made the dressing and cooked cranberry sauce. We had a nice dinner.

Pierce, Mona and children came, her younger brothers were home. Dad and I did attend Sunday evening services. Pierce took us over to Adams Ward before they left for home. But by New Years, Dad was gone and New Years fell on Sunday that year, same as this one will. And here we are celebrating the same days real soon again with Rich to join us if all goes well for the New Year, 1961.

So hope their car can make the trip. What worries me a little--where will they all sleep? I've thought for quite awhile if they did come, I could keep Ricky, Eric and Carol. Ricky and Eric could sleep on the pull-down bed and Carol and I on my studio couch. I can let it down, you know. Then they can be made up and all put out of the way, covers and all. So wonder if you can take care of Rich and Betty and the 3 smaller ones. Do you think you could borrow a baby bed for their baby? It really should be kept up off the floor all the time so won't be in a draft and so the baby won't be under everyone's feet or stepped on with so many children around. It could get hurt or sick from the cold drafty floor.

So hope you can borrow a bed or did you have one stored in your basement of Harriet Lea's. They'll have to get back to Utah over the next weekend for Rich's work and the children to go back to school. I hope Ricky, Eric and Carol can stay here to watch the parade on my TV. I wish you had Mr. Allen to fix your TV up. He was over here Tuesday evening and fixed my antenna wire that had come loose some way. Maybe the wind pulled the lead in wire from the antenna. I saw it dangling down one evening from the roof. He didn't charge me for doing it, but when he fixed the TV all up for me a year ago, I paid him. He was going to TV school and still is. He and his wife manage a four-story apartment over on Burlington off 6th Street. (Members of the church.)

Anyway, you read Rich's letter and we'll have to plan for them. Maybe I'll get a turkey and roast it so I'll have plenty to eat for them here or bring it out to your place, but I want the older children to see TV New Year's parade for they don't have one. Gene, I'll have to tell Rich I expect to keep the older children. They should take them a lot of lemons and oranges back home. I bought 4 pounds at Vons, also oleo at 10 cents per pound for them, so will save it and give it to them to take home. Should get busy and make cookies and date loaf to have on hand. I made fudge-nut cake squares for our Relief Society work day potluck lunch that we had Tuesday.

Pierce and Mona want me to come out to be there a week--from December 12th to 18th. She will have to work longer day hours now. Then Pierce will be home the next week to be with the children. I was wishing we all could be together for Christmas dinner at your house and maybe I could roast turkey for that day. Only wish Pierce could be with us too. They had a nice ham dinner Thanksgiving. Mona made it and it was so good. She had pumpkin and apple pie. Pierce can't eat eggs, you know.

Well, I must drop this so you'll get it Saturday. Anyway, we've got a lot on our hands ahead of us. I was supposed to sing with Singing Mother's at our Union Meeting December 12th, but if I go to Pierce's, I won't be able to sing with them. Do you work at May's this Saturday? Seems cooler this evening after our little shower last night. Love, Mother [Leora]

[Leora writes, "Received this today from Rich, December 2 already.]

November 30, 1960

Dear Mom,

Got your note the other day. Hope you are ok and that everything is going ok for you. Well we have had a nice snow here a few days ago and it has been slow going. The streets clear off within about a 24-hour period. It kind of gives you the Christmas spirit. The kids are doing pretty well. They got report cards the other day. Carol has been having a bit of a problem adjusting to junior high. I guess it isn't so much a problem as it is just slow adjusting. Rick and Eric too had the same trouble when they first entered junior high.

I took Eric to the UCLA-Utah game last Saturday. Rick was going to go too but went on a hike in the morning and didn't get home in time. We are still planning to come down to see you New Year's week, so don't plan too much for that week. The kids want to take in Disneyland, etc.

Betty's singing group is getting lots of singing engagements now. They are doing quite well. The group I used to sing with has dissolved, so I'm not doing any singing now. We haven't written to the folks in Princeville yet. I hadn't heard about Walt getting married to Lea Delle. I remember her. Isn't she the gal that was out to LA with Aunt Edith a few years ago?

Well, I'd better get this in the mail. I've been writing this at work, and the night crew has come on already and it's starting to go past 12:00, so I'll close. We are all well. Love from all, Dick

[Leora adds another note to Dick's letter: "Maybe I'll be able to spend Christmas day with you all. Hope I don't get the bronchitis and flu like I have the past 2 years or so.]

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