Friday, December 13, 2013

October and Christmas Letters 1991

Hello again,

You've probably noticed by now that Greg and Dixie have forgotten how to stay in touch with their friends in the old fashioned, warm, sit-down-and-write-a-letter tradition. The simplicity of xerox machines makes it so much easier to opt for the colder form letter. So fasten your seat belt and prepare for a warp-speed voyage through the spaciness of the Goode Life. Earth date, October 16, 1991.

Why all the Star Trek garbage, you may be asking. Well, gosh it's the 25th anniversary of the show and we're both "crazy" about S. T.
No comments invited.
Anyhow, after Dixie finished teaching Summer School, we went to Las Vegas and L.A. to visit relatives and goof-off.  We had a great time at Circus Circus, Disneyland and Universal Studios. At the studios we were both chosen to act in the filming of an episode of Star Trek in front of almost 3,000 people. Greg was a member of the Enterprise Landing Crew and got to be beamed down to the planet.  Dixie was a peace-loving alien with a gigantic, brainy head.  It was fun and we got a copy of the video tape.

The other major insanity in our lives is our passion for parrots. We currently have seven living in four cages in our living room.  We're really thinking bout buying land and setting up an aviary for breeding birds in a couple of years. Now we've invested several thousand dollars and its beyond the "pet" stage.

(Although, a note from 2013. It never got beyond the pet stage with us. After investigating and learning that these, intelligent, long lived animals get shuffled from place to place and barely average a year per home, we couldn't imagine creating more in captivity.)

We have an 11 year old miniature macaw, a 5 year old green-wing macaw, two young cockatiels, a 16 week old cockatoo, and a 20 week old Amazon. The cockatiels are the smallest, about 9 inches. The green-wing is the largest at nearly three feet from beak to tip of tail.  Luckily we don't have carpet in our house and we sweep several times a day. They are noisy, messy and a lot off work and some could live another 100 years. They are also smart, entertaining, cuddly and fun to take to school with us.

Greg has started rehearsing with a choral group down in Arcata every other week-end. They will do some concerts here in the spring and then by the end of June we will fly to Amsterdam. I get to go a log for the ride but Greg and the others will be doing several concerts around Europe.  Holland, Germany, Poland are some countries I'm sure of.  The tour lasts three weeks and Greg and I plan to stay and visit friends and relatives for a while longer.

Starting this July, Dixie's School is going to become one of two in the country to go year round.  That means the staff and students are divided into four groups which rotate so that each group has three months on and one off.  That way four classes can use only three rooms and our population has really been growing since the prison opened here.  The switch has caused major upheaval in the district, especially since not all schools re switching, so a lot of families, Greg and I included, will have people working or attending on different schedules. Of course most people hate change and look for the worst - it may really be OK.

The district hasn't decided yet if special education will be on one track or stay traditional even though it's at the year round site, as we don't have enough kids for 4 classes.

(It never happened. The influx of young prison guard families, grew up in the district and the student population has dropped, leaving each school with several empty classrooms now. Looking at the idea though, I still think 3 months on and a break, three more months on, is a much more consistent, logical way for schools to run.)

On October first, Dixie was beat up by a 69 pound weakling (Charles Atlas where are you?) and hasn't been allowed back at school for the last two weeks.  She was kicked in the head and knocked out, given whiplash and a concussion and a lower back injury when she tried to help the child stand up and he went limp and dropped to the ground. So until the Dr. says it's OK to return to work, she lays around eating pain pills and going to physical therapy.

Enough Gloom and Doom. Paul, Priscilla and Lance are flying out here for Thanksgiving.  We've rented a cabin at Gold Beach, Oregon for the weekend and then they will go Crabbing while we go back to School. Dixie is planning to be back teaching by then!!

(Yikes! So far off the way it ended up.  The Dr. wouldn't release me to return to full duty until I worked two weeks on a weight lifting restriction and the School wouldn't let me return until the Dr. gave me a clear of all restrictions release.  I was ready to return in November and ended up out of school through the summer.  Still makes me angry.)

Then on Dec. 21 we're flying into Rapid City, SD and renting a car. We'll spend Christmas with Greg's family (That was the plan last year too, but we ended up snowed into Rock Springs instead)  Then we'll spend some time in Cody and maybe Laramie as well. We'll fly back to Medford, OR on the 4th of Jan. and resume teaching on the 6th. (the other thing I'm noticing here on 2013 is how much more we could afford to do on two teacher's salaries with no kids than what we have been struggling to do, on one teacher, one substitute and two kids since 1993 and 1994)

Dixie has new hobbie. It's like playing with play dough. There is a Plastic clay that comes in a multitude of colors. When it is baked in the oven at 230* for 20 minutes it makes a hard plastic. I've been making figurines of children, magnets and pins and I've actually started sling them for $12 for a pin and $25 for a figurine. It's fun but expensive and finding the time to do it is normally impossible but thanks to my injury, I have done a lot lately.

lots of Love, Dixie and Greg

                                      The Christmas Card and Letter


So many of you have expressed concern about Dixie's injury that I'll give you that news first thing.  after my run in with a student on October 1st, I haven't been allowed back in school but probably will return for the last week before Christmas break.  I've had every test imaginable and the word is that I've torn and strained muscles and Ligaments in my lower back - but no damage to spine or nerves - so Dr. says it will take a long time but not be permanent.  Now I'm wearing a battery operated "electrical Aspirin" so I can't feel any pain -
December in Crescent City is Wet, Foggy, rainy days - alternating with beautiful springlike days of cloudless blue.  Now is when our grass turns lush and green as the dryness fades and several flowers start to bloom.

December is Greg's busiest time for music. He's preparing band and Chorus for Christmas concepts - helping teachers with their class programs.

Fortunately Thanksgiving gives teachers a chance to catch their great. We are retreating up to a cabin on the Oregon Coast rather than face the crowds in a town at the mall.

All seven of our birds are on our Christmas Card, What a joke trying to get 7 birds to sit still, look at the camera and not eat each other

The cockatiels are down low in center - the cockatoo is such a clown she's a blur of motion. Greg has the big macaws - the mini macaw is on Dixie's shoulder and the Amazon on her arm.

We're flying to Wyoming for the holidays because our last couple of cat trips were miserable and barely missed being disasters but the airlines sure jack up their fares at Christmas. So we paid double what my parents paid to come out two weeks earlier.

Greg has a part in the community production of HMS Pinafore - as well as rehearsals for the chorus he'll be touringEurope with, but they've given him a break and he doesn't rehearse again til 1992.

Dixie has been playing with clay and is making Christmas gifts now.

This letter comes to you with love.  I hope it finds you well and about to enjoy a joyful, Holiday Season.

Merry Christmas


Dixie and Greg

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