England 40 Years Ago — October 4, 1981

If you’re not in the mood to read about one John $, you might as well put this down right now. Absolutely nothing unusual or extremely interesting happened this week; all that is written in my calendar book are incidents with a little imp.

John $ all of a sudden just stepped off into space and down the whole flight of stairs, never touching anything with his hands! He does this now from time to time, but when he’s in a hurry he flops onto his tummy and zooms down.

He is a great one for imitating whatever he sees. If one of the girls chokes at the table, he promptly tries, too. If someone spits out a bit of fat, $ partially chows and spits each mouthful thereafter. However, he doesn’t always get things in the right order. By imitation he has learned to wripe (that’s a cross between wring and wipe) his feet on the mat inside the door. One really rainy day he walked in, wiped his feet, and walked out again. Five times in a row he ran around the hall, carefully wiped his feet, and ran outside again. Guess it helped keep house dirt off the stoop!

$ loves to peek in kitchen cupboards to see what he can see. He found some old hard candy that had cemented itself to the shallow candy dish. Before long he picked it up and tried to extract one piece. Impossible. It didn’t take long for him to figure out what to do – he held the dish and licked the whole mound of sweets. I stalked him with a camera round and round the kitchen. He would grin so wickedly, give a quick slurp on the candy and put the dish down again so I couldn’t get photographic proof of my tale.

$ licks hard candy
Candy smeared on the face

Have we mentioned that Lisa is continuing her flute lessons? She started at Micklefield, but Dunottar doesn’t offer instruments other than the piano. We discovered that her teacher lives in the next town, Tadworth, and made arrangements for her to have a lesson on Saturday mornings. John took her and picked her up last week, but yesterday she walked home on her own. It took her about half an hour.

Kate has her group violin lesson after school on Thursdays. It lasts half an hour. I can pick her up and still have time to spare before Lisa is released from school.

This morning I went to St. Peter’ s by myself. It was dedication Sunday; we renewed our baptismal vows as a congregation and after the service processed around behind the church to the grave of the founder of this church where some prayers were said and the Doxology was sung.

John is taking the girls to London to meet Loraine [John’s whiz of a secretary in NY] at her hotel. She flew overnight from NY and is supposed to have time to get settled in before they get there. The plans are for them to go to one of the big churches for Evensong since this is the only Sunday Loraine will be in this area. She leaves on a bus tour of Scotland tomorrow and will be with us in Walton on the 13th for a few days. We’re looking forward to that.

We think of all of you often and appreciate your letters.