Letter to parents from Pittsburgh: October 1981

This letter was written two months after moving to Pittsburgh.

October 13, 1981


Got my Pennsylvania [teaching] certification today. I still have to take a class for my special ed certification though, but I can still sub which I should be doing next week.

Not much has happened otherwise, since I last spoke with you. We got a battery at Sears for the Hornet. Luckily it was on sale.

I got a strange phone call the other night. It was from a friend from the Manor — he used to give me rides home when I worked late. We had everyone convinced he was my older brother. The strange thing was that I haven’t seen him since before I went to England. I was really surprised. He said that he got my phone number from you…?

Dean and I went to a zoo last Sunday. It was ok, but I don’t really like zoos. After the zoo Dean drove the wrong way home and stopped at a park. He had a picnic all planned in the trunk. It was wonderful! A great surprise. ☺️ We ate on an outcrop of stone that formed a large area. Similar to things at Wisconsin Dells.

We picked up some acorns for our friendly squirrel. I put them on the windowsill inside the bedroom. This morning I heard a noise and saw the squirrel scratching at the window, trying to get the nuts. I put some outside but he hasn’t taken them yet. Cinder is keeping watch though.

The people downstairs have a huge Siamese cat who climbs the fire escape and stars in our kitchen window. This upsets Cinder as you can imagine!

My fingers haven’t turned blue or felt numb since I’ve been on the new medication.


Dean is studying in the other room. Every so often I hear a string of cuss words come from that direction. I guess he’s having a hard time with a problem

We bought a roasting chicken last time we went to the store. We decided to have it today. I’ve no idea how to roast it, but I’m sure we’ll manage. I’ve discovered that cookbooks are actually helpful.

The squirrel I mentioned earlier has really gotten bold. Today when He saw me open up the window he came right up to me. I got scared and dropped the acorn, though. But I think he’d take it from me.

Dean thinks he may not go to his Wednesday classes the day before Thanksgiving and therefore be free on Monday evening. We are driving the Chevelle home and leaving it at Dean’s folks’. We will then take a train back here, or a bus.

We saw Private Benjamin last night. It was pretty silly. Her wedding dress at the end was pretty though.

Is Grandma still there? Hi, if she is.

Well — keep well,


P.S. City life is great! Three weeks ago there was a murder a mile or so from here and last week a man held up an electric store two blocks away — two doors down from where we do laundry! One man got shot there! 😲

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