Tag Archives: parents

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! 😲

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. πŸ™‚ (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 πŸ˜‘)

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.