Saturday, February 06, 2010

A Blast from the Past

As I mentioned in my previous post, my desktop died on me last month. So for now, I am using my mother's old laptop, which is performing better than I expected. Since it's her old laptop, it has a lot of her old files from when she was writing...I had transferred as many of those files as I could to this laptop when we purchased it. See, originally, we got the laptop when Mom was moving to a retirement place in Albuquerque. That didn't work out well at all, but her desktop was due for replacement anyhow, and she kept the laptop when she moved back home. Some of those files had been transferred from older computers when she had upgraded to her last desktop...I think the laptop was computer #3 or #4 for her. Anyhow, one of the files I transferred, which I just recently discovered, was a letter she had written me when I was attending school to get my aircraft dispatcher license, over fifteen years ago now. Here is an abridged version of what she wrote:

September 13, 1994

Dear Chuck,

I was happy to hear that you got to Fort Lauderdale and were in your apartment with your roomates. Did you have a good time in Panama City? It must have been fun getting with your old buddies. And now you have your head in the books, learning all that dispatching material.

Britt stopped by and mowed our lawn last week. It helped Charlie out because he was down in his back and of course he wouldn't dream of letting me mow the lawn, even though I offered to. That's a man's job, he thinks.

Bentley wants up in my lap; he's got his paws in my lap, so I will pick him up for a little while. Now's he down and going to get on your bed. I know you miss him. He misses you too, and I should take him for a walk this afternoon.

Bentley was my family's old Yorkie, he lived a long life but eventually had to be put to sleep in 2001. I still kind of miss him.

I've been right tired since that SWW Writer's Conference this past weekend. I didn't sell any of my articles or get any large book contracts, but I enjoyed being there and it was a huge success. Now Sherri has nominated me for vice-president of the organization. I feel that that will be easier than serving on the conference committee. At the end, we were writing letters, filling bags, running every-where and enjoying the mass confusion. Mrs. Mixon came to the conference from Durango where she lives now, and she said to tell you hello.

Mrs. Mixon was my 5th grade teacher.

Also, when I called to say that I would be at Pat's 60th birthday party at Kathleen and Greg's house, Kathleen asked if you were going to come. When I explained that you were in Florida, she said, "Oh, we'll miss Chuck, because he brings lots of life to the group." I was sorry to disappoint her.

We haven't talked to anyone in Denton since you were there, but we will and find out what you did. As you know, Kathy called to see when you were coming in. I take it you made the connections, even if their house was a bit on the torn up side. I know Lisa was glad to see you, and Kathy was looking forward to it too.

I'm getting lunch ready for your Dad--bacon and tomato and cheese open face. He told me this morning I should get this letter to you from State Farm. Also, a guy from Kelly called this morning to talk to you. I told him you'd be back the end of Oct., so he said to have you call if you were interested in working.

So long for now, dear Chuck. Please call before Sat. to catch us. If you miss us, we'll be back by Sun evening. I'm sure C. doesn't want to miss his studying for Bible Class or ANY football games.

Yes, my Great Books Monday night class did make and we met last night. I'm supposed to go to another one tonight, and I elected to stay home because I have not read King Lear and don't feel like it. I'm taking a nap.

Reading this letter is fun but also kind of makes me sad...since some of the individuals mentioned in it are no longer with us, like my father. Life goes on, though.

I did delete one or two paragraphs regarding relatives and made a couple of minor edits, but for the most part everything I quoted is verbatim.

I had worked at a rather dreary factory job the summer before I left, to save money for living expenses while I was in Florida, so I was looking forward to leaving Albuquerque and going to school. While that last job I had was not much fun, I enjoyed living in Albuquerque for the most part...but I was so anxious to move on with my life, that I don't think I appreciated how good things were at the time. Still, I suppose it's natural for kids to not want to live with their parents forever...and probably a good thing, for both the parents and the kids.

I had a good time in Florida, studied hard and made decent grades. It took me a while to find a job after class ended in late October and I got my license since I had no airline experience, but I persevered and started my first airline gig in February of 1995. With the exception of a two-month period in late 2002 when one of the airlines I worked for went out of business, I've been in the industry ever since, so I guess it's been a good career choice.

Hope everyone is having a good February!