Tag Archives: spring

Letter to Mom and Dad from Pittsburgh, April 1982

This was written about 8 months after we moved to Pittsburgh. It was our first spring there.



Although last week was break, I have more time this week I worked at the store most mornings (7:00am – 12:00 noon) and slept from 12 to whenever. It wasn’t too warm last week.

I dreamed of Grandma Patrick last night. She decided to come back and join the family for an evening — telling us all how wonderful it was to be back with her husband (although he is much younger now) and Jesus. It was a happy dream. She had a glow about her.

Ah, the sounds of spring! Birds singing — cardinals, robins, and sparrows. Children playing outdoors, friends calling to one another, mini bikes racing with no mufflers below my open window (bleah!)

My flight home was really nice. I sat next to a man who was a lecturer for Westinghouse’s Nuclear Works. He was very friendly and we talked the entire trip.

Easter was pretty good. Dean and I went to a gothic church. WE had crab quiche and onion soup (for Easter??!). It was delicious.

I am thinking of getting Dean a kitten for his birthday. But I think that Cinder might devour it. Or be frightened to death. We have been letting the Siamese cat from downstairs into the apartment. Cinder usually just sits in the corner hissing and growling.

It looks like it’s going to rain. The temperature has been dropping all day. I love the warm weather. Dean and I had a picnic a few days ago. It was great! I talked him into leaving school for the rest of the day.

That night we saw Second City at CMU. It was funny. I think I clapped and yelled the loudest when they asked who was from Chicago. They mentioned some landmarks and I clapped when I recognized them — the MC made a joke about the odd person who claps for inanimate objects.

Dean liked the beer that Daddy sent for him! He drank them all by Wednesday.

Not too much has happened since I got home. I haven’t taught at all. I expect to get called any day now.

I should be doing some work instead of writing this letter, but you know me!

I’m going to make shortcake for some strawberries I bought yesterday. I suppose we will have soup and sandwiches for supper. I’m not sure. Dean will be getting home soon. I never know exactly when He will be here. He’s begun studying for his big exam next month.

So mom — have you thought anymore about my invitation? Every time I see something new I get all excited at showing you.

Dean and I drove through one of the parks the other night. We could see downtown from a hill. It was beautiful!

Well — I’d better to play house person & fix some dinner & goodies for Deano.

Cinder is finally sleeping — she gets excited hearing the birds singing and smelling the outdoor odors.

I love you all and miss you.


P.S. I’m sending back the envelope & unused stamp from your last letter!

Winter & Birds

I actually started this post last December but was so astonished and disappointed in my memory I didn’t finish it.

I wrote it after hearing birds sing one December morning last year and remembering the poem, below, that I used to recite aloud in our empty two-car garage.

I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.

‘We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,’
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.

– Oliver Herford, I Heard a Bird Sing

I thought the poem was from the “Song of Solomon” and may have actually told people it was. When I looked the poem up on the World Wide Web I discovered that it was not part of the Song of Solomon after all, but by someone named Oliver Herford.

I realize, now, why I made the mistake. The book of poetry that contained I Heard a Bird Sing also held this part of the Song of Solomon:

For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;

Now I don’t feel so bad — they are both about winter and birds and in the same book.

Photo by James Jordan