First Letter to Parents After Move to Pittsburgh

Dean and I started dating in 1979. He moved in with me summer, 1981. We moved to Pittsburgh mid-summer 1981. My parents, brother and cousin helped us move. Here’s a letter I wrote to them.

We had no idea that we would not be able to use the money we put in a bank for two weeks after opening an account and could not cash any checks that were not certified. Not only my parents try to help us out, so did Dean’s. We lived on $40 worth of change that I’d serendipitously been saving since moving into an apartment in Elgin.

The comment about pink, not blue, fingers was because of my Reynaud’s syndrome and stress sometimes made my fingers turn blue.

Also the description of my 25th birthday makes me tired just reading it!

August 26, 1981

Dear Mom, Dad & Kevin,

So — this is the second letter I’ve written. Letter #1 is stale (and besides I’ve already told you everything that’s in it).

Like I said on the phone — the apartment actually is livable now. Each room still has a lot to be done, but at least we can move. Today we cleaned out the desks and put some books away. Our next big project is making shelves for the stereo and albums and the remainder of the books.

We have no hot water yet. The plumber never showed up. I guess it’s quite a job. Ask Dick Palmer why he thinks we are having so many problems. 🙂 (Actually I think our landlady is worried about $$$)

My birthday was really special. Dean made me a wonderful breakfast of strawberries & cream, kippers, pink champagne, soft-boiled eggs, bagels & toast (this was all before we knew how poor we were 😑)

Then we went to a festival downtown at Point State Park. That’s where the three rivers come together. We watched the speed boaters and Dean “frolicked” in the fountain.

For dinner, Dean mad a roast and Yorkshire pudding. It was all very wonderful dean gave me my favorite cologne, a blue rose, peppercorns, kerosene for my lamp, a bottle of wine, and from a small garage sale, a salt shaker and pepper mill sett, directly (long ago) from Italy.

After dinner and cake (yes — he baked a cake, complete with 25 ! candles). We took a long leisurely walk around our new neighborhood.

Cinder has settled in very nicely. It’s almost as if no move ever took place.

We still have to thank you properly. I wish I could have said more in the way of thanks when you left but I was ready to cry at any moment.

Also we owe you money for gas, etc. That will be paid as soon as we can.

Well, take care,

P.S. Got the checks today.
Thanks for the loan — I feel awful, asking for the money — thanks so much.


Hi again —

Enclosed, you have found the two checks. Thanks, but the bank won’t accept it except to go into our account and that won’t be good until the 8th of September. (That’s the $50.00) Then — the $15.00 check — it’s not certified. Seems that certified means the bank guarantees the money. We even went to the assistant manager. But luckily we found out that the book store takes VISA (Dean needs books) and that leaves us with enough cash to get by. There is $40.00 in my change bottle. I appreciate your help very much. If you can’t get your money back (but I am sure you can). Send me the check back and I’ll be able to cash it and send you back one of our checks.

Don’t worry — my fingers are still pink — not blue.

I called the school district and they are sending applications for subbing. One district (Pittsburgh) isn’t accepting subbing applications until next week.


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