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Notes, essays, and letters by Barbara Hartley Seltzer


a tribute to my late wife Barbara Hartley Seltzer (Feb. 20, 1950 - Dec. 4, 2012)

from the scattered notes she left behind


It's amazing how much she didn't tell me or how much I didn't hear. She never showed me these stories and ideas for possible novels, these diary entries, notes, and letters. I knew that she had written a one-act play in college and that it was produced. But she refused to show me the script, and I haven't been able to find a copy.


Typing her words to enter them here, running through my mind these scraps of writing that remain was a way to feel her presence and to ever so faintly relive our time together. It also led to one little surprise after another. There was much that mattered to her that I wasn't aware of. There's the detailed account of her trip to Europe with Ann, before we dated, and her "Pregnancy Book" notes when trying to get pregnant the first time. And there's her notes about a year of nearly continuous pain she went through in 2001 that, in retrospect, sounds like early rumblings of the problem that killed her twelve years later. We were lucky we had her with us as long as we did. And at the end, she was probably so used to pain in that area that she wasn't alarmed.


I consider her every unedited word important, capturing the texture of her thoughts, indications of her aspirations and frustrations.


Richard Seltzer

more by and about Barbara


Letter to her Aunt Helene


May 1968


I love you very much and miss you more right now than I ever have, and need you more than I ever have.


Helene, I hope you are well, and I'm sorry I haven't been writing. I love you, and you are the only girl in the life of Charles F. Hartley, Jr.


Helene, when I get married and have children, we're going to have to name our first boy Robert J. Hartley. My brother Bobby was killed in Vietnam. He was 21 years old. Either Bobby or the soldier he was aiding stepped on an enemy mine. Both were instantly killed.


Word of his death was received last Thursday, May 23. He died on May 20, 1968.


I loved my brother Bob. I lived in the same room with Bob or 19 years. We were different in a lot of ways, but very close in others. I've known for a while but I still can't believe that he is dead. He was so full of life, and really hadn't lived yet. I thought the army would have made him a man or change him a little, and I thought we could help each other later on in life. My family is in tough shape at this time. His body will arrive in about 10 days. We don't know where his remains are at this time, and all we can do is wait. I would like you to send a telegram or something to the house.  I love you very much and am looking forward to August.


Letters to Her Sister Ann


Both letters are in the original envelope, addressed but not stamped. Probably never mailed.


Saturday, March 14, 1970


Hi! Happy Belated Birthday! I called Friday night to wish you a Happy Birthday. (I know your birthday was Thursday!) and was sorry I missed you, but glad you were out having a good time. I remembered Thursdays you go to Recovery and since I remembered also that you are an early retirer (and I also had to study for a test the next day), I decided to wait until Friday to well-wish you. Oh well, I'll be home in a week and a half and can say it to you then. I have your present already picked out. I hope you like it.


How's school? Right now I'm a bit perturbed about tests and teachers. The test I had Friday in The Age of Johnson was extremely unfair. The teacher was out to get the class -- and she did! Oh well, it's over now. Out of sight, out of mind.


I'm enjoying my classes this semester. I love writing (Playwriting and Creative Writing), I love drama (Classical Civilization and Modern Dramatic Art), I enjoy reading Johnson, especially his essays. I also have Human Growth and Development which is interesting as a class, but I'm not too crazy about its subject matter.  I hope you're enjoying your courses. It helps when you're studying!


Sunday, March 15, 1970


Hello, again.


It as nice to hear your voice. Boy, do you sound busy. In regard to Shakespeare, your best bet is to consult the librarian. She will best know what books to go to. The Norton Anthology must have some information. It will be helpful, anyway. I love Shakespeare -- his drama, mostly.


How's your job? I'm still looking for a summer one. If I can't find one in Boston, I'll have to go elsewhere. I may be able to work as a counselor in Maine, but I don't want to go that far away from home. Well, whatever camp offers me the most money, I'll consider. During Easter I'm going ot make a conscientious effort to find a job in Boston, though.


I'm in the Dance Club and working on the school newspaper again. I don't know how long either will last. I'm really too lazy for my own good.


How's our room? I really think it would do a lot of good to rearrange it. I rearranged my room here and like it much better. It makes you feel like you've accomplished something when you rearrange your room the way you like it. A change is always good.


It should be a lot of fun to go into town and shop. Maybe we can have dinner and go to a movie too. We could even invite Elynor and Jane to come, if you wanted. I'd really like to pick up something feminine -- some delicate underpants, or pretty slip, or a frilly blouse. I could also use a good pair of slacks to wear for best -- velour slacks of something. Oh well, we'll see how far my $5 Filene's certificate goes.


I am watching "The Wizard of Oz" again. I missed the beginning, but it's very enjoyable. I'm also going to watch the special "David Copperfield."


Good luck with your studies (and good luck with mine). Take care. Try to get mom interesting in doing something. It would be good for her to have an interest -- maybe you could interest her in sewing clothes, or knitting an afghan, or taking a course. Mom needs something to do -- maybe a job. See what you can do. Okay?


Well, Happy Belated Birthday, again. Be good and happy. Take life as it comes and don't worry.






P.S. Keep hoping and trying. Life can sometimes be boring and troublesome, but it has its good moments too. In order to have a meaningful life, you have to make it meaningful. I know it can be very hard at times, but you have to work at your friendships, your pleasures, your job, your courses, in fact -- life in general. This is something I keep forgetting, but I'm trying to remember it. You and I both are sensitive people who are hurt easily by the world. We'll jsut have to discipline ourselves to become thick-skinned. Life can bring us some happiness if we search it out, and learn to be not offended by every little thing. I'll make you a deal. You try awfully hard and I'll try awfully hard. Together, we can do it. -- Do you think the world can take it? (us?)


P.P.S. Just finished watching David Copperfield". I learned two things from it: 1 - Value the virtues of others, not the ones they don't have. [Value the virtues of your friends, don't seek ones they don't have.] 2 - Be Strong.


I think these are valuable lessons to think about. Don't you?


1971 Trip to Europe with Ann Pennell


left Logan Airport at 11 PM, Sunday, Sept. 12, 1971

arrived Shannon Airport at 10:30 AM.

Irish time = 5 hours different from Eastern Standard Time = 5:30AM

The Pan Am plane was 2 hours late (late leaving Logan and circled Shannon for over an hour because of fog).

terrific flight

2 meals

talked with young fellow from Nebraska at airport, met Ann

mom's suitcase broken by trip. Pan Am said would fix it.

sent cable to mom "Arrived" (70 pence)

converted $20 into Irish money.

1 pence = 2-1/2 cents

1 pound = $2.48 = 100 pence

hitched to Limerick

went to Carews to fix bag (very nice -- stored some clothes and loaned another) and went to pub (apple cider) bought food for suppers (Edom cheese, bread = delicious, beans, sausages, coffee) (30 pence = 75 cents)

went to Hostel

made supper (good)

took nap

went down to kitchen for coffee (alone)

met 3 nice male travelers, talked awhile, from Northern Ireland (1 born in England) and Dublin. They were very interesting.

in bed by 1 AM


Sept. 14

up at 7:30 AM, dressed, breakfast, did Hostel duty (floor), toured Limerick (Treaty Rock, St. John's Castle, Villiers House (for poor people) and St. Mary's Church (Protestant - Episcopal)

interesting, especially the memorials, very wordy

converted $50 more into Irish money

bought 13 pound 15-day ticket for bus and rails

caught 12:00 bus to Cork, very bumpy, very friendly conductor

Cork -- tried Wimpy's -- not as good as McDonald's or Howdy's

went to St. Ann Shanfom Church (Church of Ireland)

intricate clock works, 8 bells

I played "When Irish Eyes are Smiling" on it

view of Cork (crowded city) from top

went to pub for Cidona

caught 6:15 PM bus to Kinsale

after bus, walked 1-1/2 miles to Hostel, on bay, after bus, beautiful, but isolated and quite a distance -- Fort Charles, an old ruined fort = a stone city; probably used for defense of harbour

Ann was much excited about it


Sept. 15

Kinsale hostel so cold in the morning. I kept waking up in both hostels. I hope I get used to them soon. Didn't meet any interesting people here as in Limerick hostel.

caught bus to Cork, from Cork to Limerick. Got bag from Carews (really nice people -- gave Ann a chair). Went to Bunratty Castle (3.35 pounds) = 15th century Banquet, entertainment. Treated as if in 15th century. Tried snuff (smelled like cinnamon) ate with hands. Delicious bread. 2 wines (mead and honey) vegetable soup, spareribs, chicken, sponge cake, coffee (delicious), Irish singing. On way home got ride from couple from California.

Went to pub (I -- cidona; Ann cider beer), then to hostel.

I realize that I have to send half my clothes home and get a backpack. Otherwise I can't hold out for two months. Bought records at castle. 1 for Ann's Christmas present and 1 for family. (Note: hostels = mostly cold water, no showers or bath -- usually), bunk beds, cooking facilities, service i.e. sweep a floor, and other travelers 75 cents in Ireland).


Sept. 16

Thursday -- I write this for it is hard to remember the day -- went to Adare Manor today. We hitched out and were picked up by the same couple from California who drove us home from Bunratty Castle.

At the manor (1/2 of it is still used by the present earl), we received a rapid 1/2 hour tour (the lady said a lot) and then walked the grounds -- they were beautiful -- also saw the ruins of a Franciscan Abbey and Desmond Castle. They were in the middle of a golf course! We caught a ride back to Limerick from an almost anti-American who recommended a book on the the history of Ireland from 1400 (its revolution and wars). Ann bought it. We took bus to Dublin (later realized that instead of 5 hour bus ride could have taken 3 hour train ride -- ouch!). Met 3 lovely 70-year-old women on bus. Were very helpful and gracious to us. Went to Dublin hostel (Dublin is large place) in seedy part of town. 35 pence (about 87-1/2 cents). Met 2 girls from Hawaii and played gin rummy, then boy and girl from England came over and played bullshit or cheat (a card game).

I'm really feeling grubby. I'll have to take a sponge bath and wash my hair tomorrow, and what to do with my dirty clothes! A least I'm getting used to being a hosteler (apparently I'll have to -- all over Europe -- Ann won't go anywhere else). It's a good place to meet people. I'll soon have to lay off the Irish brown bread. It's good but I'm eating too much!


Friday Sept. 17

in most hostels you're in bed by 11:30 PM. This is no exception, but here at 8 AM they clank a bell on the doors and walls to wake you up. What a god-awful noise. We're staying the nigh there again so we paid our 35 pence and are leaving our bags (hurrah). he lady tells me the )the warden's wife) that the Hartleys are from Cavan County and that there are Wilsons all over Ireland (although my grandfather Wilson was born in Manchester England). Cashed $20 more.


All Irish cities seem to have rivers running through then. Went to Am Express. Got Ann's letter from Bon. Cashed $10 more. Saw Book of Kells at Trinity College. Nothing really -- under glass. But I bought 2 souvenirs (1 on Ireland and 1 on Kells) for mom.

Irish drivers - mad. Saw a man who had been hit lying on the street. First accident I've ever seen. Irish drivers just sort of take off and "lookout".

Tourist info checked -- no Hartley's ancestors in Ireland, a few Wilson's around Dublin area, but since grandfather born in England, not important.

Went into the Central Bank of Ireland. Very large -- part of it used to be the old parliament. Shown 1 room -- beautiful tapestries depicting Irish history (Battle of Byne, etc.) and large chandelier. Saw City Hall and statues, i.e. O'Connel's and large lovely clock (I took a picture of it). Dublin Castle closed at that time but did see its chapel. Spent awhile figuring out how would leave country -- discussed at tourist info and British rail. Bought a knapsack (5 pounds). Cashed

$10 more. Ann got her letter from mr. in a record shop. Irish owner really nice -- told us several places to go for nite life -- Barry's Hotel (cabaret) and Sheiling (Irish music). He played records so Ann could hear how the music sounded and when she bout it, he only charged a pound instead of a pound 25 and also gave her a free booklet of Irish ballads and his name in case we got put in jail -- he would bail us out.


Note. I took a sponge bath tonight. Now all I have to do is wash my hair!


We went to Barry's Hotel -- American music. Pretty good band and singers very good. Just started talking to people next to us when had to leave to be home by 11 PM (drats). 1 of bad features of hostels -- door closed when we got back but we rang and got in.


Saturday, Sept. 18

Went to the post office and shipped some bags home (93 pounds). The pack sometimes gets heavy on the back but is more practical. From there we walked down to Parnell Square and saw his memorial. Then to Garden of Remembrance (to commemorate the Irish who died for their country), then to St. Patrick's Cathedral (very beautiful) and Christ's Church (a little boy asked us if he could go in with us -- he was very helpful -- even showed me the vaults downstairs. I gave him 5 pence for an ice cream). We caught 1:35 PM bus to Avoca, a small village below Wicklow. It was supposed to have a hostel. It didn't, so we had to hitch to Glendalough (our original destination in the first place, but since no bus or train goes there we chose Avoca). Grossly disappointed with Avoca. We got ride with a truck driver who not only took us to Glendalough but also up its major hill, while he dumped his load, so we could see the most beautiful scenic area around.


After checking in at the hostel, we walked for groceries and came upon Patsy's tea shop -- hot buttered scones. I dragged Ann in. The prices were a bit steep. 15 pence for just tea and scones. But we ordered it anyway. (I ordered coffee and scones for 1, Ann ordered tea). Instead of the two scones and cup of coffee I thought I'd get, we got 6 scones on a plate and a pot of coffee. Ann got a pot of tea. It was tremendous. (The shop is in the lady's house, as most are, i.e. bed and breakfasts). I vowed to go back tomorrow.


Back at the hostel I played a game of rings. I finally got to wash my hair. Oh what a treat. Although difficult to do with lukewarm water and a small basin. Now I just have to figure how to wash my clothes. (I'm out now). Washing is no problem. Drying antying is.


Sunday, Sept. 19

This hostel has got to be the coldest yet. I was the first up in my room when the warden called at 7:45 AM. And that's a shock. But with only 2 basins and 12 girls (in my room; Ann's has about the same), I thought I'd better hurry.


Note: We tried to get tickets in Dublin for a play, but they were all sold out for the nite. I hope better luck in London.


Note: Last nite was freezing, so had 4 blankets. Cold throughout nite. Finally in desperation threw off. Got as warm as toast! Too many blankets doesn't keep you warm!


[Interesting: I started this diary so tersely and now I'm quite wordy. I'm really getting into it.]


Ann and I were going to spend another nite here, but the lady is so crusty -- forget it.


[According to a conductor we met when traveling between Limerick and Cork, St. Brendan was the first to discover America, before Columbus. Leave it to the Irish to do 1 better.[


Stopped in a St. Kevin's Church. Lovely, simple church. I took a picture of its altar. I should cut down on my picture taking though. I'm becoming a fanatic.


Ann and I went to the 11:30 AM mass at St. Kevin's. The priest talked of the war in Belfast and how it needs our prayers. He mentioned there isn't really an employment problem in Ireland.

We stayed outside the church for a while basking in the sun and writing postcards. Then we went to Patsy's teas again. Their scones are so good that after a couple had left, we "borrowed" a few and ate them. After all, we didn't want them to go to waste!


From there we were going to hitch but then Ann saw a shop and we went in. Ann bought a sweater for her brother and I one for Charlie. From there we went back thru Glendalough and saw St. Kevin's monastery city (ruins) and its Upper and Lower Lakes. Since we had our sacks we were getting a bit tired. We caught a ride back to Patsy's teas, then from the craft shop (Irish gifts) to Dublin. The young man who drove us to Dublin was quite nice and handsome. The 3 of us had a really good time talking and when I got out of the car, he said to Ann about me: "She's quite a character." I think he meant it as a compliment.


We tried the other hostel in Dublin. It's in a nicer district and has hot water and a bath for 2 pence. (Hot water goes with bath and not for common use). I was going to take 1 but it was too late -- oh well.


I owe Ann 4 pounds. We didn't want too much Irish currency since leaving it soon.


Monday, Sept. 20

Bought train tickets (Dublin to London). Did our laundry. Met Mrs. Hill (lady we met on bus from Limerick to Dublin). at 2:30. Ann and Ibought an Irish sweater from her -- 6 pounds each. Gave us her address if we want more.


We spent the afternoon having tea with her at a shop and talking. From there we went to Howth (on a beautiful harbor area) and got a bed and breakfast (1 pound 2-1/2 shillings). We went to the Old Shieling. The music was fantastic - mostly Irish, but unfortunately the Irish audience was so loud and got so drunk it was difficult to enjoy. I was a bit indisposed anyway. I got the same stomach pains I had had just before I left Boston. (If I ate anything it would really bother me -- it had bothered me for 2 weeks at home. The worst the day before I came. Then it went away for a week. I hope it's only temporary and won't come back.)


Sept. 21

I had the worst "growing pains" or jitters last nite. The ache was really unbearable, but as usual, 3 aspirins eased the tension and with the legs elevated it went away. I woke up this morning and felt pretty good. It was nice to be able to sleep til about 9:30 AM. I took a quick luke warm bath. We had a large adequate breakfast, then repacked and took off. We toured Howth. It's a lovely area and has a terrific view of the Irish Sea, but unfortunately it was an overcast day. If it had been a little brighter, I might have taken a lot of pictures. It's really peaceful sitting upon the cliffs of Howth, only 9 miles from Dublin, but what a difference from that crowded city!


I'm glad we bought the sweaters. It's getting colder.


Upon the cliffs of Howth, 2 men from Irish TV came up and took our picture for Irish TV tonite at 10 PM. Unfortunately, we'll be on our way to England then and won't be able to see it.


We've met some really nice people today - a shop keeper (woman) in Howth directed us to the cliff walk; from the bus back to Dublin, a man showed us the way to get a #10 bus to Phoenix Park. He was a professor type who dealt in history. He said the Irish are very polite to you but are fierce in fighting (i.e., wars) and that nothing is gray to Irish -- it's either black or white, right or wrong. He believed in white supremacy. On the bus to Phoenix Park, these women were very friendly, asking of our trip and wishing us well.


Phoenix Park is big -- the largest park in the world. At Wellington Obelisk, a man watched our packs for us while we saw the monument. It was interesting. As we looked up at the monument, cows came up. It would never happen in Boston!


A man came up (72 years old) and talked to us; showed us to our bus and even invited us to his house for the nite. We graciously declined. He was quite a character, but quite nice. He was vs. Japanese.


(The man who gave us a ride on the truck - my first truck ride! -- thought I was Japanese. The man I met in Phoenix Park thought I was from India or Alaska -- I looked like it, I mean -- and agreed that I looked Japanese. Everyone says Ann looks Irish.)


We went to St. Stephen's Green finally. Although it was a gray day, I really appreciated it. It's a beautiful park. The Irish have very neat parks with loads of flowers. It was beautiful.


We caught the 7:30 PM to Dun Laughaire and from there the boat across to Heysham. We sat with a Canadian, who bought us coffee, and an Irishman living in England. Post-card-wise I'm way behind! Still on the boat, bought a sandwich and coffee. Figured out why sandiches are so cheap - 10 to 14 pence, mostly 12 pence (30 cents - because jsut 2 pieces of bread and smallest slice of whatever having!


During the whole trip (i:45 PM to 4:30 AM), people kept trying to lseep and someone would play a song on the jukebox and wake them up. Boy were they mad!


Caught train to Heysham. Ann says that's in Wales!


We arrived in London at about 9:30 AM (about a 4 hour ride). CAshed $20. Got 7 pounds 81 pence. (We got better in Ireland). Found out it's a 25 pence service charge!


In Euston Station (where we landed), they have a facility called a Superloo, where for 5 pence you can wash up (they provide towel and soap). For 20 pence extra you can shower. And for 25 pence extra you can take a bath.


Ann and I washed up and changed, after an all nite train trip and being in the same clothes for over 24 hours. It was quite welcome. We put our bags in a locker and took off.


We went to Leicester Square 1st. Just outside the station, we saw the Wyndham Theatre with Abelard and Heloise, starring Corin Redgrave and Ciaran Madden. We bought tickets at 40 pence for that nite's performance -- for 1st row balcony.


From there we wandered in Piccadilly Circus, went to American Express, railway service (to inquire about unlimited travel in British Isles -- too expensive). Then to Tourist Info and Student Accommodations. We decided we'd do better if we went to a Hostel.


We tried to find the one at Earl's Court Station and got lost on underground -- finally we found it. It was full up -- so we followed a few other hostelers to the temp one on Carter Lane -- capacity 360 people. We got temp beds for 50 pence per nite (which are cots on floor -- fortunately we ended up with beds). We were nervous about being late for the theatre so dashed out. (Unfortunately I discovered I began my monthly problem -- timing is everything.) We got to theatre and I had just enough time to dash into ladies room. (I'm becoming a connoisseur of ladies rooms -- mna rooms in Irish, fir = gentlemen.)  So far, in Ireland and England, the toilet paper has been thin paper, almost like wax paper without the wax. It seems like a gross subject, but when I travel, I begin to appreciate the little things in life. (Viva la Charmin - American toilet paper!)


Abelard and Heloise was fantastic. I bought a program (10 pence). We rushed from the theatre, picked up our packs at Euston  Station and rushed back to the hostel. WE were a bit late but fortunately got in. With no sinks with the toilets and unable to find the washroom or anything in my sock (i.e. where I put my sleeping bag, sheet, etc.) in the dark, it was a bit of a hassle, but I survived.


Sept. 23, Thursday

The next morning we signed up for another nite. Then we went to St. Paul's Cathedral. The most beautiful church I've ever seen. It was built by Sir Christopher Wren. It's a church that seems like it was built out of a true love of God -- as if God's in the house and not just a house for God. We bought some post cards and a book on St. Paul's.


Found in St. Paul's Cathedral, London -- quite a moving place -- "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might, for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave, whither thou goest."


(laurrie or laughrie -- Irish and English truck.)


From there, we went to Dr. Samuel Johnson's house (5 pence for students). Ann and I were both impressed with it. It's quite large and in each room is a piece of wood like a fan with the info of the pictures on the walls and the people who knew Johnson on it. Much of the info Miss Knapp had told us in the Age of Johnson class.


We cashed $30 more -- 25 pence service charge -- $2.49 rate. I guess we'll have to resign ourselves to a service charge (none in Ireland). We then went to the Strand Theatre to see No sex, Please -- We're British. It was really funny -- a farce on pornography. Michael Crawford was excellent as the poor, bumbling, slow-witted friend who had to help Anthony Valentine (fantastic as the husband -- quite reactive) and Linda Thorson get rid of some pornography they didn't want. It had a lot of slapstick and was really good -- especially Michael Crawford.


We went back to the hostel - talked with a few people. (Jimmy FitzPatrick from Dublin and David from Scotland).


Jimmy FitzPatrick

67 Caravan, Site I

C.E.G.B. Powerstation

Didcot, Berkshire, England

Buckingham St., Dublin, Ireland


David Rushent

32 Luggie Bank Rd.


N. Glasgow, Scotland


Then we ran out to hear son and luminere in St. Paul's Cathedral. It was just a story of the history of the present St. Paul's Cathedral with the voices of Alec Guiness, Ralph Richardson, and John Neville - with lighting effects. It was interesting in itself but not worth 50 pence - but since it was for a good cause ("Help Save St. Paul's Campaign" to help fix its foundations). It was okay.


Friday, Sept. 24

Ann and I paid for 2 more nites here. It's good to have a place to stay. We found hot water. It's like gold.


Today we went to see the changing of the Queen's Horse Guards. It was a pompous bore. Then we caught the end of the changing of the guards at Buckinham Palace (George Villiers' townhouse, originally! That's why it really doesn't look like a palace.). There was more action there, but there were so many people that it was hard to see. Oh well, so much for royalty.


We then went to Westminster Abbey. I never realized the bodies were buried in the church. I didn't like it. We also saw Big Ben nearby. We then booked for a day tour of Shakespeare Country for Saturday -- 4 pounds 50 each -- ouch. We then rushed to see the 5:15 PM matinee of Canterbury Tales -- a musical comedy. I really like it -- especially the performances of Marc Urquhart (quite the good- looker), Billy Boyle, and Jessie Evans (as the Wife of ath). I want to get the record when I get home.


Just outside the hostel, we met 2 Africans living in England. They took us to a pub just down the street. They wanted to take us out Monday, but we told them we had other plans.


Jimmy and David were going to leave the next day, so we exchanged addresses. Ann and I both wished we could have spent more time with them, but we were always on the go and so weren't they. I think they would have liked to have spent some time with us too, but both had to leave London from lack of funds. It was nice meeting them and I hope we do again. I'll write anyway.


Saturday, Sept. 25

Got up at 6:30 AM. Ann and I went down about 7:30 and Jimmy and David were there. We all said goodbye. Ann and I rushed to the underground and got to the tour bus at 8 AM, just when our tour began. We took off, stopped for coffee and cookies and 1st went to Oxford (Jesus Church), then to Warwick Castle (quite interesting but too many of us to be able to see or hear everything). From there we went to the Porridge Pot for lunch. The Yorkshire Pudding and the Treacle Sponge Cake with Custard Sauce were very good.


Ann and I got a little lost, but we met up with the tour group at the restaurant. Unfortunately there were 2 tour groups. They just sat us down with the other group and we didn't know. As time went on we began to worry, but everyone said don't worry, they'll call for our tour. They didn't. We missed our bus and had to go to Stratford with the other group. The woman guide was a witch about it.


At Anne Hathaway's (just a cottage) we caught up with the other tour and I got the coffee I'd missed before - but we missed seeing Shakespeare's place of birth. (I bought Ann a post card of it.)


We saw the only Roman Catholic church with a thatched roof and the smallest Methodist Church - John Bunyan.


We stopped at Branbury (Ride a Cock Horse to Branbury Cross) and had tea and branbury bun (very good), then returned home. I tried to sleep but then the rest of our roommates came in and were quite noisy. It was like a Comedy of Absurd, trying to sleep and hearing them in background. Ann and I have given up on tours!


Sunday, Sept. 26

We walked to the Tower of London, but since it wasn't open until the afternoon, we decided to come back later. We saw All Hallow's Church and the spot commemorating where Sir Thomas More, Sir Thomas Wyatt, and others died. We went to St. James Park and wrote post cards.


On the way home Ann and I each were pinched by 2 Italians. Ann was rather incredulous, so I decided to record it.


I washed out a few things and my hair and took a sponge bath -- boy what a feeling to be totally clean!


Monday, Sept. 27

Cashed $30 (13 pence charge). Visited All Hallows, by Tower of London; quite lovely and peaceful. 675 AD, most ancient of the parish churches in city of London. Took picture in church - "The Sculptor, John Robinson, set out to express the spiritual dynamic of maternal love, self-giving, and protection for the child now taking its 1st uncertain steps on the path of life."


Then we went to the Tower of London. There was quite a lot to see there, especially historic-wife. The guide was funny and interesting. I bought a booklet on it to give Elly and took a picture of the armory (the cross bows) for Tom. Back at the hostel, we found out that a roommate is a beginning illustrator of children's books. We saw some of her works: Adventures of a Flying Unicorn, which she wrote also. She's really good. Her name is Sylvia Kenyon from Manchester. She'll be a name someday. (signature/autograph)


Every day I appreciate more and more my Peter Pan shoes! They're so good to walk in. And the raincoat Mom bought me is quite practical (especially in London weather).


Ann and I saw Sleuth tonite. The 1st act was slow but interesting, the 2nd act was fantastic and fast moving. The acting of John Fraser and Marius Goring, the only 2 actors in it, was excellent and powerful. We had to run but we just made it back to the hostel before it closed. Having to be in by 11 is a pain, but it is cheap.


Tuesday, Sept. 28

Ann and I went around getting theatre tickets and she booked for a Stonehenge tour. We passed a man on the street and I believe it was Alan Bates - it's quite possible for we had just passed the theatre in which he's appearing.


At American Express we found a note from Tahir, but it was over a week and a half old. I guess they missed it the last time we were checking the mail. So we missed seeing Tahir. Ann was extremely disappointed.


We went to see the Music Lovers (50 pence) an ironic title for the movie dealing with the pathetic life of the homosexual Tchaikovsky and his nymphomaniac wife Nina. It was interestingly done, and well acted by Richard Chamberlain and Glenda Jackson.


We went to see Vivat! Vivat Regina (80 pence) tonite. It was extremely well acted by Judy Parfitt as Mary, Queen of Scots, and Margaret Tyzack as Elizabeth I. A lot of the lines in it were quite good. As usual I bought a program for 10 pence.


Wednesday, Sept. 29

Cashed $10 more. I lent a pound to another girl from California to book in the hostel for the nite. She paid me back.


Ann and I are getting to be quite the food connoisseur. We've tried different foods and spend hours at a meal. I guess it's an important part of our trip. I've never mentioned it before because I'm never sure what I should put in this diary. It would probably he a bore to some people, but it might just help to remind me of some of my trip. I think I'd like to write about it sometime, to give my creative channels an outlet. Sometimes I think of things that have happened before, but I haven't written down -- like the time Ann asked someone for directions and he answered in Italian or Spanish. It struck me as quite funny. It probably won't in Italy or Spain.


Today we went to Dicken's House. We had to rush through it to get to a matinee for Fiddler on the Roof. We really didn't have time to enjoy it, but it did make me want to read some of him (Bleak House or Hard Times) -- kind of the same feeling I had as when we were in Ireland and I wanted to read on Irish history. When I'm near something, I want to know more about it; but out of sight out of mind, almost.


Fiddler on the Roof and Barry Martin were fantastic. I saw The Canterbury Tales again. I'm really infatuated with Marc Urquhart. He looks a lot like Abby Loud. Oh well, I can dream! Even if it is a bit silly. I enjoy it! The play is really good. I want to get the record when I get home. I actually want to get it now, but since I can't hear it til I get home anyway and it could break, I'd better wait.


I'll miss London and the plays and the city. I love it. I must admit that Billy Boyle as well as everything in The Canterbury Tales was fantastic. I am getting a bit tired of doing the Cinderella bit of running to the hostel as St. Paul's bells chime 11 PM. It's really tiring and a bit nerve-wracking.


Thursday Sept. 30

On my own today. Ann's off on a tour. I cashed $10 more, but I won't need that much. I think I'd better check out on a cholera shot!


I've decided when I go home I think I'd like to take singing lessons and maybe dancing too. I went to Somerset House to check out my name -- no luck. I decide it was too much trouble to go to the Genealogist Society so I guess I have to go through life supposing my name is English.


2 of our roommates -- Linda and Susan from California -- say I need a cholera shot for Italy and Spain. I went to American Express to check it out. I do need a cholera shot for Spain but not for Italy. I went to Charing Cross Hospital and got my 1st shot (52 pence). I have to get it stamped tomorrow and I need the 2nd shot within 1 to 4 weeks -- no hurry. The shot didn't hurt!


I'm really high up in he Upper Circle in Showboat. Buying cheap tickets is ridiculous. It's so high! Oh well -- some day I'll go 1st class. Right now I'll just have to enjoy the show from a high altitude. I'm going to try to go on a diet -- again!


Just finished seeing Show Boat. It was a typical Kern-Hammerstein show. The 1st act was pretty good, but the 2nd act dragged. There were a few numbers in it that weren't necessary, but Kenneth Nelson (who was in Boys in the Band) and Cleo Laine who played Julie were fantastic. Half way through the show my arm began to hurt. this is supposed to continue for 24 hours. I bought a spoon souvenir of London for 60 pence (too expensive!) I can use it in the European hostels. Just found out my English souvenir was made in Italy -- oh well -- all in all it's been a disappointing day.


Friday, Oct. 1 (My parents' anniversary._

Today we crossed over to France -- Boulogne -- on the Hovercraft. It only took 35 minutes, flying just a little over the water.


Ann and I went to Chubbies, our favorite restaurant in London, then to American Express (no mail), then Ann bought our tickets to Dunkirke and I got my Health form stamped (I ahd to go to the ladies' room and I asked the woman at the Health Dept. She very snippily said not for the public. I felt like I had a disease.


We took the train to Canterbury. But being worried about my essay for U. of Mass. and still affected by my cholera shot, the pack seemed really heavy and I didn't like anything. The Canterbury Cathedral was full of bodies, like any other church. Ann like it though. I felt better near the end.


We boarded the train but when we got to Dover we found we were in the wrong place for our train which didn't leave til later anyway. So we took the Hovercraft across.  It saved us a lot of time.


We followed a few people to the Hostel and later went out for drinks with them. It cost us American money $2 for both of us for the nite. We hadn't planned on staying at a hostel, but on the rain, but all worked out.


We shared some food we'd brought with the others and it was fun.


David of Washington, DC seemed nice.


(Note: at the bus, the driver grabbed Ann's bag to help her on the bus, and I came dragging mine behind. It struck me as funny - sort of.)


Saturday, Oct. 2

We started off for the train station. Since David was going that way, we tagged along. Before we left, we said good-by to 2 Chileans who had been so nice to us and the 2 Americans, Pat Smith (stage name Joyce) who was going to be in a movie Home Free of Eli Kazan, and Susan Mansur who was going to be in an off-broadway play Where It's At.


At the station, we found out there was a train for Lille at 10:13. Since it was 10:10 we said goodbye to David who was going to another station for Paris. He walked off rather quickly.


Sitting there we decided we'd have better connections in Paris for Germany, so we ran and met up with David again. He bought us breakfast. We took off for the train to Paris (with change). Ann practiced her French with the people next to us and David and I played cards.


When we arrived in Paris, we changed money and went to eat. Eating in Paris is very expensive. We took the Metro to the American Student organization, but you needed a card to belong. We were all tired. We walked toward where we had heard some cheap hotels were in Europe on $5 a Day book. Their prices had gone up. David went off to call his parents who he'd been supposed to meet that day. (He never did). Ann and I finally found a cheap (7 francs each: 5 francs to the collar, 100 centimes to the franc) hotel.


We went back and met David. Had supper. We all walked around. We decided we'd have a picnic the next day in 1 of the parks we'd seen. We were going to the Eiffel Tower and looking for a Metro. David asked this young man directions. He turned out to be an Aermican. We ended up going to his place for a little wine and quite an intellectual conversation. We invited Pat to the picnic the next day and he agreed.


Rather tied (since it was 2 AM and we weren't used to late hours), we went back to the hostel.


Sunday Oct. 3

Ann, David and I bought some cheese and bread and picked up Pat. I wanted some meat (a big mistake) so we picked up sausages. We took the Metro to the Bois de Boulogne - a beautiful park. Pat's quite intense, very nice, but he does everything with a passion. He kept looking for a certain spot. All of us sort of sensed a down mood. I tried to keep Pat occupied and to make him smile. It was so nice when he did. The afternoon sort of bombed out, but that evening we went to the Louvre (it was fantastic) and then just walked along. We saw children sailing boats and the Eiffel Tower in a distance. I got really excited about it. David bought me an ice cream. I had a race with Pat (who was loosening up). We went to the Alliance Francaise for supper. The meal was pretty good, but both David and I weren't feeling well from the sausage. Pat and I went off.  And I tried to call my parents, but no one was home there.


We went back t Ann and David and went to a cafe and had some drinks and had a lot of fun joking around. Pat offered to show us the Louvre whenever we wanted. Since it was 1 AM we decided to say goodnite.


Monday, Oct. 4

We cashed some money (the line was infinite) and just sort of wandered around. David was going to leave us to go to Brussels. We walked with him to Notre Dame. David was so elated to see it which made me feel bad because he hadn't been able to et psyched for Paris and he was leaving because of it. Notre Dame was beautiful. I especially liked the wooden sculpture. We passed a statue of St. Theresa and David bought 3 candles. he lit his, I lit mine from his, and we both lit Ann's. It was beautiful. Walking around it occurred to me that Christ was probably just a good man who lived his life and that we should just live our lives as good men -- not worshipping or trying to emulate Christ.


We climbed up to the tower -- quite tiring, but the view was worth it.


We wandered along by the Seine, passing shops - bought post cards and posters -- saw shops with cages of birds outside. It was fun. Ann checked out the Louvre to make sure it was closed Tuesdays -- it was. David and I went to the post office. He checked for mail, I for stamps. We went



[The diary entries are interrupted at this point with a dozen of pages of addresses. My address appears at the very top :-) even though we at that point had never dated. Rather, I had dated her friend Ann. That section is followed by dozens of pages with financial records, related to the trip, then reminder notes, as follows.]


Buy a record of play The Canterbury Tales

The Greening of America by Charles A. Reich

Future Shock by Alvin Toffler


Spain - Barcelona, Pension St. Marta


Nice - Hotel Darcy, near train station


Need reservations on Spanish trains even with pass.


Academy of ARt, Florence. Michelangelo's David, beautiful sculpture; Creation tapestries of Bernardo Van Orley (Brussels 16th century)


[other notes about art work, mostly artist names and dates]


Venus de Milo -- superbly done statue, graceful and flowing lines.


I like Botticelli but didn't see any of it.


idea for a short story -- lost guardian angel trying to help and bumbling things up.



[continuing the Oct. 4 entry from above]


to the train station and booked to go to Mainz Wednesday nite at 11 PM. We saw David off. I didn't want him to go. After he left Ann explained to me that David was kind of hurt because he liked me and thought I liked Pat and that we were staying with him because we felt bad for him. That made me feel really sad. I like David a lot. We're supposed to leave messages for him in Munich and in a town in Switzerland (Gridenwald). His mail is going to be sent to the post office, 50 rue de Louvre, Paris, and we  have his parents address, so somehow we'll reinstate contact. I nearly cried when his train left.


A woman came up and asked me for some money for food. She looked so pathetic I gave her a franc.


Anne and I wandered back to our hotel, bought bread on the way, and collapsed when we got back.


I think the thing I dislike about Paris is the smell.  It has a persistent odor which bothers me.


Tuesday, Oct. 5

I miss David. He was fun and nice.


Ann's cold is a little better. The room we have is small, but nice, but high up, and the bed is too soft -- it's giving me a backache. I don't feel like doing anything. today I mostly slept. My stomach bothered me. I felt blah and tired. We walked and saw the outside of the Pantheon and the inside of St. Genevieve's Church. We saw where Racine was buried.


We went to Pat's and left him a note godd-bye; came back to our room with orange juice and bread.


I finished my essay for U. of Mass. (hurray!). We went to the rue de Grenelle and called my parents collect at the telecommunications office. It was good to talk to them. I was so excited I couldn't think of anything to say. Maybe I'll call again in Italy.


Wed., Oct. 6

Ann and I slept late today. We both are better. We went to the Pantheon and had a tour of it in French. It was kind of interesting listening to a foreign language and only understanding a small part. We saw the crypts of famous people, i.e. Victor Hugo, and paintings of the life of St. Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris. Now


I guess is the time to mention some of my pet peeves of travelling. The size of the coffee cups, especially in France, is so small that I've taken to drinking hot chocolate (at least in France). In France, they tack on a 12 to 15% service charge and they do it, not you. Finally, the toilets -- in England there wasn't a washroom sometimes, but in France some of the toilets are literally standing room only -- a place for the feet and a hole in the ground.


I mailed my essay. The post mistress was a bitch and charged extra for writing on the address side of the post card.


We went to the Louvre, but only had an hour. I liked Courbet a lot, especially the 1 about 2 stags fighting. I think I'll ask David to try to find it on a post card and also to get me a poster of the Venus de Milo. I liked Da Vinci's The Virgin on the Tocks, too.


We put our bags at the station and walked to the Sacre Coeur. It's high on a hill and affords a lovely view of the city. (We saw it at nite). Mass was going on so we couldn't see much of the church, but it didn't seem as elaborate as some. It was nice.


On the way back from the church a few guys tried to pick Ann and me up. It was kind of funny. We caught the 11 PM train to Mainz and sat with a trombone player called Lloyd. He showed us how to put the seats down so we could sleep. We slept most of the night.


Oct. 7

Arrived in Mainz about 7 AM. We felt lost -- didn't have any money, but the woman int he ladies room let us in free and was very nice. A girl who spoke English directed us to the tourist office and gave us a small German-English dictionary. The tourist place directed us to the bank.  At breakfast, the waitress was nice and helpful. We had cheesecake and a large pot of coffee. (I was ecstatic.) The bus driver helped us find the street where Ann's friend Margaret Ruban lived. Margaret is very nice. I took a shower and washed my hair, then we went to lunch. We met he fiance Brian and messed around. Went to the hostel (have to be in by 10 PM. It's really nice and cost only 2 marks. It's quite modern.


I lvoe Germany. We went ot the MSEW for supper again. It only cost 1 mark 20. The meals are filling. I was really tired and fell right ot sleep. We got a German-English travelers book and we're picking up the language.


Friday, Oct 8

We had breakfast at the hostel - 1 mark 80 pfennigs -- it wasn't bad. 2 bread, a roll, butter, coffee, jam.

Ann and I went to the Gutenberg Museum. There was a lot to see there. It concerns printing, how it's done, and books and pictures. I got a little tired and was extremely hungry, but it really was interesting to see how books become. We went to the MSEW for lunch, then to the tourist info and train info. We walked around and into a large department store. I bought a towel (1 mark, 95 pfennigs; it's more like a dish towel), 6 underpants (5 marks 95) and a pair of sox (1.95).  For awhile I was concerned that my legs were giving off dead cells and my sox were all full of what seemed like dandruff. We also bought some Octobern Goldenen Reisling wine. I hope it's good (cost 2.95 marks). We had some cheesecake and coffee again. It's really good. (Makes us almost forget the eclairs of London's Chubbies). We booked in at the hostel for 2 more nights. We really had to wash our clothes. Since we had helped the hostel man neaten up the rooms that morning, he let us do our wash for free. That was really nice of him.


Our German is improving -- at least, we're learning more words. And I'm becoming a good traveler too, or maybe I'm jsut become sure about somethings and not so fussy about others.


Saturday, Oct. 9

We wandered around Mainz. I bought a knife, fork, spoon, and corkscrew. I also bought some pills for my stomach. We went to lunch at the MSEW and 1 of Margaret's friends Joe said I had pills for cramps. (I wasn't quite sure what I was getting. The language barrier is difficult sometimes).


We went to Wiesbaden in the afternoon.  I was so tied I took a nap in the park when we got there, had another cheesecake and coffee, went to the Cure Park (it was really quite beautiful. Inside the adjoining building was a casino (we didn't go in) and some lovely classical statues and paintings.


We went back to the hostel and shared our wine and then theirs with 2 young hostelers -- an American Glen and a Danish fellow Kim. They were very nice. There were a bunch of other people there too and we ended up playing harmonicas and showing tricks. It was fun.


Sunday, Oct. 10

We got up at 7 AM to catch our bus. My stomach problem seems to be ending. I had a good nite sleep. At the bus stop, a German guy picked us up (we weren't even hitching) and took us to the boat. Since the river was too low for the boat to go from Mainz, we were bussed to Bacharach and took off from there at 11 -- 2 hours after we'd arrived. The boat trip is lovely. The scenery is quite interesting. But an all day boat trip is a bit boring.


We did meet a young German boy, Detlev. He's 16 and works on the boat. He was really cute. He kept running up and down the stairs to do his job and then talk to us. I promised to write him. I'm not being egotistical, but I think he had a crush on me. Ann keeps kidding me about being a femme fatale. She says I light up when I'm happy and talking to a boy I find interesting. I guess I just shine. At least I did with David and Pat. I enjoyed their company.


Monday, Oct. 11

I don't think I can take another hostel breakfast of hard rolls and butter. I cashed $40 today. I'd best be careful. I've spent over half my money in 4 weeks. I still have 6 weeks of travel left. Unless I cut down the spending I could be in financial trouble near the end. Every exchange has a big glass window protecting the tellers from the people. (They didn't have it in Ireland, though). I bought 3 film and some flash cubes (21 marks and some pfennigs).


We aw St. Kunibert's Church (so many crosses of Christ) and the Cathedral of Cologne. German churches are quite decorated outside (at least he cathedral) but are sparsely decorated inside -- as compared to English, French, or Irish -- not as many memorials. I'm really bored with churches.


For lunch, we had hot dogs, potato salad, hot chocolate, and cheesecake. Those are the only things we can order in German.


We went to the Wallraf-Richartz Museum. It was okay to walk around in, but nothing special interested me except maybe a painter Oscar K... I forget his last name. He painted a rather interesting painting of Cologne (Koln). It was mostly modern art and impressionist, which I don't like, and I don't like the works of Andy Warhol or Picasso either. There was an American exhibition there which was of interest, though slightly gross.  It was a depiction of the horrors of war and the "American Movable War Memorial -- 4 men putting up the U.S. flag and a blackboard, eraser, and clock, for the name of the war. Kate Smith singing "God Bless America" was heard over and over in the background.


There was also a hot dog stand. There were also French and German paintings on war. When Ann and I got back to the hostel, I was so tired I took a nap. I missed supper and was hungry, so one girl gave me read, peanut butter and jelly, and another some cookies, and a little girl gave me an apple. People are nice.


Tuesday, Oct. 12

I think about the things I want to do when I go home. I want to take singing lessons, German, an art appreciation course, and creative writing. It wouldn't be bad if I couldn't go to U. Mass. until September -- then I could get a job and take these courses at State. Every now and then I miss home, but this is a fabulous and self-growing experience.


The German pastry is as expensive as French, but it looks and tastes better (we actually didn't have too much French food when we were in France.) The coffee cups are a reasonable size. Ann and I want a hamburger tonight at Wimpy's and we both want beef stroganoff when we get to Munich. I must say to be fair to Paris there was a nice outdoor stand where we got delicious apple tarts and cheese and ham sandwiches for only 1 franc or 1-1/2 francs each. We went there several times.


We had to pay for the bus in Mainz (60 pfennigs) but in Koblenz we can use our Europass -- it's really good.  Woops -- mistake -- we can't use it on an inner city bus -- 80 pfennigs.


Near Koblenz, Ann and I went to the castle of Marksburg. It was very interesting, although we couldn't understand a word of the German tour. We saw the torture room. (I never saw so many ways to torture a person!) and I took a picture of the armory for Tom.


To get to the castle, we had to climb up a steep hill.  It was for hikers and was fun. I took a picture also of the cool stairs in the castle. We ate there also -- hot chocolate, hot dog and potato salad -- it's about all I can order in German besides cheesecake.  There are different types of potato salad and cheesecake. I really like them.


That nite we had chicken and wine and a mixed salad. It was a good meal which was good for it was a long hike up the hill with our packs to the hostel.


WE almost got the wrong bus to the hostel, but a nice man directed us right. He was interested in our backpacks. People are always helping us.


From the bus stop we had to walk up about 2 miles a very steep hill. I was really exhausted. A girl gave us directions but we still had to ask when the road became dark an there were 2 ways we could go. Having stopped a car to find the right road, we were walking on it whencwe saw a few buses let some people off and they all had torches. Since it was a really deserted road, my vivid imagination took over and I really panicked. I thought they might have been either KKK or a witch's coven. It was 1 of the most frightening moments I'd ever encountered. Fortunately, Ann urged me on and we found it was a convention of Americans of RCA,


The hostel we stayed at was an old 13th century fortress which was rebuilt in the early 19th century and was now used as a Jugen Herberge (youth hostel). By some strange fluke we were in with a class of 14 and 15 year old girls. Ann was ecstatic -- a pajama party. Actually, it was quite interesting. In March they graduate from school and begin work. It seems quite young to me. They were really interested in us and 2 or 3 of them spoke English. They were all really nice.


Wed., Oct. 13

We went to another castle today Stolzenfels Castle (half a mark, students).  Fortunately, on the bus to it, we met a German boy and his American girl, so he interpreted the tour for us. It was interesting. It had been rebuilt and was moderner and finer than the 1 at Markeburg.


WE had to put wool covering shoes over our shoes to talk on he floors of the rooms. It had a sugar replica of Koln Cathedral which was made in 1880. I took a picture of it.


After that we just sort of wandered around Koblenz. At 1st I thought we ere wasting time, but it really started getting interesting and we found the Mittel-rhein Museum. (There was 1 artist - Johann Baptist Bachta 1830 - who in 2 of his paintings with clocks had really miniature clocks.) It was really great. I liked the classical work of Januaris Zick and also some 17th century Dutch and 19th century German. I'm really getting into art.


We then had a cheeseburger -- somehow we found the only hamburger shop in Koblenz I think -- but I really have to cut down on eating as well as spending -- every time we see a pastry shop we go in and eat and then I have a craving for meat and we eat, etc. We've really been eating great in Germany, but...


Saw a formation of birds -- like a swarm of bees -- separating then reforming.


We caught eh train for Koln. From Koln we take the 11:20 nite train to Munch, which gets in at 7:30 AM.


Note: The German boy we met today (spent a year in Oregon) explained the school system t us. (My handwriting is really bad because I'm on a moving train.) They start school at 66, got for 4 years, then decide if they want to go to high school, If they do, they will continue for 9 more years and take exams for college if they want to try to go. If they don't want to go on to high school (at age of 10, parents usually decide), they go 5 more years then work. In hih school they take general survey courses and in college they specialize right away (no 2 years of general like us, for they had it in high school).


We're learning a bit about countries, i.e. in England law vs. guns -- even police don't carry guns. If you belong to a gun club, you must account for every bullet. In Ireland, up until 4 years ago, no driver's license or tests were required. that's probably why they drive so madly. What's the Londoner's excuse, I wonder?


Thursday, Oct. 14

We arrived in Munich about 8 AM, went to American Express (after going to Wienerwald (a chicken chain) for breakfast and got mail. I was ecstatic.


We saw the Glockenspiel, a clock with mechanical figures at the Rathaus (town hall). It started to rain and rained for the rest of the day. Fortunately, we had left our packs at the train station (toilets and luggage checks are things I never think of when I plan to travel.)


We found a shop selling candles. I bought 1 for Lois (9 marks 2); the "hands in payer" picture in wax (8.40 each) one for mom and the other as a gift. We progressed though the rain to a museum of classical sculpture. I enjoyed the statues, but the urns were a bore. (We got in free as students).


We had dinner to get out of the rain. We both agree we have to cut down on food. We headed toward the hostel with our bags -- some people were directing us -- the bus was crowded and Ann made it on, I didn't it.


It was really cool standing there alone, in a foreign land, unable to speak the language and not quite sure where I was going. A girl offered me part of her umbrella. When with difficulty (because of the pack - it's a hazard) I got on the bus (80 pfennig) I asked for the Ugend Herberge. The ticket collectors told me when to get off and I met Ann calmly at the other end. It cost us 2.20 at the hostel (it would have been 3.70 without a student card!)>


We met another group of girls on a class trip, but these were Americans -- 16 years olds, 5 weeks in Germany. I never had it so good! I couldn't have afforded it anyway.


I found a faucet which just got hotter, but I washed my hair anyway. (I'm getting tired, for logical sentence sense seems to be leaving me.) It will be good to have clean hair.


Note: I cashed the $10 that Gracie Forgey - Coozy and Kit's sister -- sent me. It was really nice of her and good to hear from my family as well as her. I'll have to send them all cards. It makes me feel like they're sharing it with me.


Friday, Oct. 15

We just sort of wandered around for awhile. I bought some handschuhe (mittens, gloves), finally. (I think I cashed $20 at the American express. I vaguely remember cashing money for the weekend and travel.)


the map we'd gotten from the American Express was in German and we couldn't figure where anything was or what it was, so we headed for the tourist info at the strain station, with a side trip to Burger Chef for lunch. It was cold and rainy. While I was mailing Tommy's birthday post card, Ann accidentally met her friend Don who we'd been supposed to meet earlier but had thought we missed. It was a terrific stroke of fate. We had hot chocolate then went to the Hofbrauhaus. We had a fantastic time. On the 1st floor, we drank a liter of beer for 2 marks, on the 2nd floor we had a delicious meal, and on the 3rd floor we watched people doing German dances.


Saturday, Oct. 16

We met Don for breakfast at his armed services hotel (95 pfennig). Then we all went to the Nymphenburg Palace. It was really cold and I was glad I had on 2 shirts as well as my favorite grubby green sweater, Irish sweater.


The palace itself was ornately decorated. It belonged to Ludwig I. The grounds were fantastic and we saw some of the horse carriages of the time. We wandered back to the city. (We went to the Residenz Museum and saw the treasury. It was really good. It had a jewel-studded statue of St. George slaying the dragon and a toilet of Maria Theresa and a neat chess set.)


We had dinner and wine at a Wienerwald, then cheesecake and coffee elsewhere.


Don left on the 10:38 PM for Copenhagen and Ann and I got lost, but got directed to our trolley 21.


Sunday, Oct. 17, Tom's birthday.

We went to the Alte Pinakotheken Museum today. It had some really good paintings, i.e. Rubens and Murillo -- lunch at Burger Chef, then we went to the Stadt Museum. There we saw its puppet and puppet theatre collection. It had doll houses (quite extensively decorated), a camera collection (I saw a really cool optical illusion. There was a picture that if you looked on 1 side was Ludwig I, looking in the middle Max II, and looked on the other side Maria Theresa. I think it was done with shutters.") I also glanced at is musical instrument collection -- African drums, horn, and string instruments, etc. For supper we had bockwurst and Kartoffel salat -- it was good. We head back to the host. I to write post cards and to write in this book in which I haven't written for days. The reason I sometimes insert things is that I forget sometimes what I've done until later. I wanted to make a note about the paintings we're seen -- a lot are nudes -- classical and quite famous, i.e., breastfeeding in Rubens (1577-1640). It makes me wonder about our "puritanism", which seems like a mystique considering some of the billboards I've seen. St. Joseph always seems depicted old while Mary young. Who was suicide Lucretia?


It's getting so cold that I don't want to be outside much, which is kind of sad for walking in the city and parks is important in traveling. I also wanted to compare the different bus systems.


In Ireland, the buses have a driver and a guy who goes around colleting money. In London, we took the tube (subway). You buy the ticket before and show it when you get off.  In Paris, the metro -- quite a complicated system -- and in Germany, you buy tickets from lady on 2nd trolley and get them stamped on trolley. Every country has its own system.


I'll have to buy a new book soon and a new pen. Mine ran out today.


Forgot to mention went into St. Peter's Kirche today -- richly adorned -- but I'm so sick of churches. I really didn't look at it. I'm not going into another until Italy.


Monday, Oct. 18

We took a tour of the Lowenbrau beer factory. It was interesting. 1st a 15 minute film on how beer is made, then we saw the bottling room, the fermenting room, and the brewing vats. After the tour they gave us 4 hot dogs, 2 pieces of bread, and a half liter of beer -- free. It was good. From there we wandered down to the American Express (after a quick jaunt to check out trains schedules and a stop at a pastry shop). American Express sent me to a doctor who gave me my second cholera shot for 15 marks. He gave it to me on the upper left part of my chest. I didn't feel it. And he also officially stamped it.


I cashed $20 at the American Express. We went out the candle shop again. I bought "the hands of prayer" for Elly. I had previously today bought a new booklet and this pen and had also stopped at the post office. (I really am spending a fortune in post cards and right now they are getting to be a drag!). I bought the book The Naked Ape to read also. (We walked into the Church of the holy Ghost -- surprisingly, I like it, in or out, It was really good. It was decorated in green and pink. I'm beginning to appreciate good art, even church art.)


WE bought some bread and cheese to eat tomorrow, went to the brauhaus and picked up 3 steins, headed for the hostel, saw a small demonstration parade, signed in for another nite. (Ann was a bit worried because the girl this morning told us we couldn't stay more than 3 nites, but the nite guy on the desk just let us sign up again). We went and shared a pizza (only 1.95 each), had a 40 pfennig Coke at hostel. (I'm trying to conserve money). It would have cost 1.10 if I'd bought it with the pizza. Besides, the people who run this being "fruitcakes" they have a rule that the rooms are locked until 8 PM; so we couldn't get our packs until then, or even rest in the room. We have to be out by 9 AM, too! I guess I'll go finish my post cards and read a little of my book (I hope).


I find I wear my glasses all the time now --  they're a part of me. Of course, if I didn't like them my vanity would insist I not wear them, but fortunately I do like them -- so I enjoy seeing everything! 


I just finished my orange. I bought 2 while in Koblenz. I'm really beginning to appreciate things like fruit, vegetables, and meat -- the healthy stuff. When we weren't feeling well in Paris, I bought orange juice and I think it helped. I'm going to have to pack the steins tomorrow. I hope they won't be too heavy to carry around. It'll cost a lot to send them home.


Tuesday, Oct. 19

We bought hot chocolate at the hostel and ate our bread and cheese. It was good. I'm getting a little tired of Munich (I'm not crazy about the hostel -- it's too large). I'm glad we're moving on. Stashed our bags at the train station. Cashed $10 at American express. Went to the Bavarian National Museum - collection of 15h century and 16th century ecclesiastical art and some statues, furniture, and clothes of Ludwig I and II's time. Kind of interesting. Also a large replica of Munich. A nice guard explained some info to us.


On the way back to train station stropped off for a sausage and bread (I really like German sausages. I'm going to be quite a food connoisseur when I get home). Then went to Burger Chef and Ann had a fish special. Literally, grabbed hot chocolate and ran to our train, which didn't take off right away. 3 hour trip to Stuttgart. I slept most of the way. I'm getting tired again. I'd best watch it.


The hostel was not far from train station but it was a steep climb up a lot of stairs to it. Cost 3.70 but that includes breakfast. WE saw a minor fort there.


I'm really going to have to watch my money. Less than $200 left.


Note: A lot of the city of Munich is under construction. It's going to be quite a beautiful and efficient city for the 1972 Olympics.


I took a shower tonite -- warm water is such a luxury. (It is better than cold splash-ups I have in the morning.) I think I'll wash my hair in  it tomorrow, as well as cut my nails. These hostels (at least in Germany) may lack cooking facilities and be large, but they make up for it in showers!


I finished my half bar soap I brought with me. I break out a new 1 tomorrow. Maybe in a week or 2 I'll need toothpaste again. These are things a traveler has to think of.


Wednesday, Oct. 20

We had a typical hostel breakfast. Yuck!  We went and saw the Mercedes Benz museum. It was kind of interesting. They showed a film on the safety precautions the Mercedes car goes through and 1 of the men took a picture of Ann and me in a modern Mercedes-Benz. It was quite cool. Another of the men was really nice. He suggested we eat in the commissary with him. We did and it was only 1 mark 30 for a delicious meal. (kartoffelnoodle is really good). Afterwards, we just sort of wandered around, found the Schloss Gardens and sat near the pond watching the ducks, went back to the hostel and talked with girl (Kindy) who had been traveling for 16 months all over -- Japan, Australia, etc. Had a hostel meal -- it was terrible.


With started talking with the guys next to us -- 1 of them, Tom, was really nice and well-rounded as an individual. The other, Alan, seemed mostly bored with us. Occasionally he'd spark up, but then drift off. They told me about Canadian-USA politics while Ann wrote letters. Then Ann and Tom got into a discussion on politics, (they really enjoyed themselves) while I tried to interest Alan in a game of cribbage. He played but with no life, so I gave up. We started talking about children and it was really cool. He thinks a lot like I do about children -- their innocence, etc. After Ann and I went back to the room, we just sort of talked of them.


There's a blond-haired girl in the room who was playing a radio. She'd been a bitch the day before. Her friends came in and they were all talking. (I guess 4 of them are living there until they find a place, or something like that.) It was like a circus. They walking back and forth talking and Ann and I trying to talk. When they were ready, though, they just turned off the light, didn't ask us or anything


Thursday, Oct. 21

They've got to be 4 of the most inconsiderate girls. Before 7 AM, they started talking real loud, opened up the shade and let the bright light in, and kept slamming the door as they went to wash up (my bed is next to the door!). I could take that -- I could even take the blond "bitch" turning on her raido, but when she put the radio right beside me, I couldn't take it. I asked them to please turn it off. She did, but rather angrily. She and her friends had a good conversation over it. Didn't bother me, though, because the nite before last, she had asked us to turn the light off at 10 PM, and she and her friends had been so noisy last nite after 11:30 PM.


We met Tom and Alan for breakfast, walked to the train station with them and stashed our luggage. We waited around with them for a few hours until their German-born Canadian friiend Helmut joined us. Another girl, Kindy (16-month traveler) joined us and we went to the Old Schloss Museum.


Then we all separated. (We have Tom's address in case we ever get to Canada and Kindy's if we get to New Jersey -- though she'll probably not be there).


Ann and I went and had a delicious bratwurst which we ate in front of the Old Schloss Castle Museum and then we went in to see it again. We saw the clothes, armor, china, and silverware they used and wore in the 15th to 18th centuries (a few 19th century pieces). It was interesting, but both Ann and I were hit by the "sleepies". I sat down and took a quick eye rest. It helped. I was able to finish the 1st floor of the museum, but we both decided we'd like to go. It's difficult when you can't read exactly what you're looking at and we've seen a lot of museums lately. (I saw a Tiffany vase from New York).


We wandered out and decide vs. seeing the Staats Art Museum (although I kind of wanted to see it -- for the paintings sounded good in it. I'm getting to really like art -- some art, anyway).


We went past a pastry shop and bought cheesecake and a little cake to go. (It's cheaper than if you eat it there). We went to the bahnhof and I bought coffee and ate my pastry. It was the worst cheesecake I ever ate. I think I'll give it up for a while. I'd like to see it before I buy it! (Cheesecake when it's good, it's very good, and when it's bad, it's very bad!)


I started my period today -- a week early and just before our long nite train trip -- "timing is everything!" (2 guys in the museum told me there was a ladies room, but 1 guy told me it was closed and sent me away. People can be mean at time.)


Ann and I went back to the Schloss Gardens and sat in the sun near pond again. It's really nice. I finished my post cards and wrote in this diary what had happened in the past 2 days. It's interesting -- you lose track of time and dates and days when traveling. 1 good thing about talking to the Canadians is I stopped to think about how Nix's policy and America's is hurting other nations. I'd like to hear a little about what is going on in modern politics -- US foreign policy, etc. -- when I get home. Ann suggests magazines are informative.


It's past 5 PM and growing darker and colder and most people have left the park. I guess I'll discontinue writing for a while and wander off.  Ann and I have noticed it's getting darker sooner lately (between 6 PM and 66:30 PM).


I'm getting psyched up for Vienna -- which is the way I should feel about traveling. I'm going to try to get the most out of this trip and stop being so lackadaisical as I've been lately.


Ann sys it's because we can't talk with the people and the hostels have been so big lately and we haven't eaten in them so we haven't talked to hostelers either.


Ann and I are good company, but we do need others too -- for variety.


We've seen a lot of churches, museums, and castles. I could probably stand to see a few more castles, but the other 2 are out for a while.  Sitting in parks is nice, but sometimes it's too cold.


Note: Yesterday and today I had some bowel trouble. It was difficult for me to complete. Hope nothing's wrong, but after my stomach problem -- which I have no more -- I worry.


My cholera shot hasn't bothered me 1 bit. I'm so pleased because the first one was a bit of a nuisance -- especially when carrying the pack. I'm also getting excited about Spain, Italy, and Greece!


I'm not much of a language enthusiast. Ann is much more eager and better at it than I am.


In the park, we found a children's playground and played on the seesaw. It was fun. I took Ann's picture and she mine. We also went on the slide. We wandered a bit through town, went back to the haupt bahnhof, exchanged 10 German marks into 71.50 Austrian Schillings (for money in the morning) and spent the rest of our German money on food.


We caught the 8:12 PM rain to Vienna. We were in first class compartment by ourselves, but were soon invaded by 3 Austrian guys. 2 could sort of speak English. The one who couldn't (Felix) left. The one who talked to Ann (Kurt) was nice and until he left at 1:10 AM in Salzburg (with an invitation he'd show us around Salzburg when we came), he and Ann tired to talk in German together. The one who I was with (not actually with by choice) (Walter) really couldn't talk much English and he really didn't try. He was only interested in being physical -- so I spent the night fighting off a sex maniac.


[two paragraphs here very heavily crossed out]


Friday, Oct. 22

We arrived in Vienna at 6:20AM and Walter went home to sleep. Ann and I got breakfast, put our packs at the station, and went t the tourist info. Some of their tours, i.e. Vienna by night, sound interesting. We walked to American Express, a long walk. I cashed $50 -- 24.08 rate -- had a delicious cheeseburger (16 Schillings), wine (7 Schillings), apple strudel (9 schillings_, and hot chocolate (9 schillings) for lunch, went to the main jugend herberge center and found out where the hostel (which is actually a Youth Guest House run by the city) was. She called ahead and checked.


(On the way to the center we saw the Ring, which is the part of Vienna with Parliament, Rathaus, etc. The buildings are really impressive.)


We took a 5 schilling tram to the rain station, got bags, and hopped on tram 49 again, used same ticket (it's allowed, I think). We were a few minutes past when it should be used within and I think she didn't want to accept it, ut I played the dumb American and she did let it pass. She must have told me to take off my pack. I didn't understand and all the people around me started talking at me at once and one woman, trying to be helpful, starting yanking off my camera. It was weird. I yielded to popular opinion and took off my pack. I felt awfully conspicuous. When the woman who had tried to get me to take off my camera got off, she gave me her seat. I thought it was very nice. A man who spoke a little English asked the ticket lady where the Jugend Gasthaus was and then told me. It was nice of him and when the ticket lady went off duty, she wrote the name of the stop for us and we just showed it to the other ticket collector.


The hostel cost 69 Schillings for 3 nites -- about 24 schillings to the dollar - $2.76 to 3.45. (I multiply by 5 - it's easier). The girl was only going to let us stay one nite, but I mentioned the girl at the main center had called to check if we could stay a few days, so she let us stay for 3 nites. I had the hostel dinner (18 schillings0. It was pretty good. I had to buy coffee (5 schillings) and coke (4-1/2 schillings) afterwards. Talked with some Americans at supper. We went upstairs. I washed out a few things, took a nice long shower and washed my hair -- cut my nails. And except for the fact I'm tired and my face looks like the bubonic plague and I have my period (which really isn't othering me -- which is good!) I feel good.


(I am bothered by a few wounds sustained in battles with the Austrian [thorgh?])


I'm going to have to wash clothes tomorrow as well as my sleeping bag sheet -- and after tomorrow everything will be extremely clean! I spent a little over $6 today on the day's needs. I'm really going to have to cut down if I plan to stay here with most of the money I have and only send home for $100 for Greece. All I really need is a little will power, for I can eat well (most of my money goes for food) and less fatteningly (meaning cut out sweets! Besides that, I've taken to drinking Coke, using butter, mustard and ketchup -- things I never ate at home!) for $2 to $2.50 a day. I should try it. I've got to try it. Places where you eat standing up are pretty cheap, and I'm really getting to like Bratwurst which wasn't too much in Germany. I'm not sure about Austria, though.


In bed by 10:30 PM!


Saturday, Oct. 23

[page heavily crossed out]


Today I'm wearing a dress and I feel really good in it. Of course, I also have on my grubby green sweater, but it's nice to be partially dressed up and neat.


Ann and I are washing our clothes. We have to do 2 loads. 19 schillings (about 95 cents each). that's a lot of money for just one load (38 together), but we'll have clean clothes. It's a nice luxury. It cost 10 schillings for half hour drying. I bought tampons (18 schillings for box of 10 super, 12 schillings for a box of 10 regular). These necessities really cost, but I do need them. We bought cookies and apples and Ann tried a small packet of cheese. She decided she didn't like it. We went to a nearby cafe for lunch. The pasty I had was delicious, especially the top fun (sweet cheesecake). The prices were quite reasonable. My check was 12 schillings for coffee and 2 pasties. We wandered along the trolley route, bought post cards, and found ourselves at the Hofburg, the winter home of the Hapsburgs. It's in he area called the Ring which has a lot of other important buildings. We walked around the grounds, saw the Imperial State rooms of Kaiser Franz Josef and his wife Elizabeth (1 schilling for students). It was really lovely. The guide spoke in German, but said a few phrases in English and French to help the non-speaking Germans understand. The rooms were beautiful, decorated in splendor, but not overdone as the baroque style is. It was rococo style. Franz Josef did a lot for Austria and died at 86 in 1916. His wife Elizabeth, a beauty even after 50, was assassinated in 1916 at age 61. Charles was Austria's last emperor and his wife still lives in Switzerland.


We wandered through the rest of the grounds, found out where the Hofburg Chapel is (we hope to hear the Vienna Boys Choir there tomorrow) and the Spanish Riding School (we hope to see practice Tuesday), walked through the Burg Gartens. (It was so lovely, I took a picture of it with Ann sitting down in it.) We had dinner at the place I had had the delicious cheeseburger the day before. We had fondue, hot chocolate, and apple strudel -- for both of us it cost 117.50 schillings -- kind of expensive for us -- but it was a nice ending to a really nice day. We took the 49 trolley ( 5 schillings) back to the hostel. I washed out some things in Woolite and am now writing in this diary.


The hostel is really nice = hot showers, hot and cold running water, comfortable beds with own sheets. It's a youth guest house run by city rather than Youth Hostel Association. Yesterday saw a Mercedes-Benz convertible Type 350SL which I really liked.


Bed by 9:15 PM!


Sunday, Oct. 24

Early to bed last nite but didn't sleep well. Up by 7 AM, but still managed to leave hostel later than we'd expected. Arrived at 9 AM at Hofburg.


[This diary ends here. The notebook is full. She probably continued in another notebook which she mentioned buying. But that is missing. She returned home early, in December to be with family for Christmas. Ann continued her travels in Spain, etc. I called Barb's family's house to ask how the travelers were doing -- I had seen them off at Logan Airport at the beginning of the trip.  Barb answered the phone. We went to a movie that night -- King of Hearts. Then we went to another movie the next night -- The Last Picture Show. And that was how I met your mother :-) ]


Postcard to Her Sister Ann


The picture is a portrait of the Austrian Empress Elizabeth by Winterhalter

probably sent in Oct, 1971, from Vienna


Hi Ann,


I'm in Vienna - my favorite city so far. It's a beautiful city with a lot to see and do. We've sipped wine in an elegant restaurant (chandeliers hanging from the ceiling), sitting there for hours, listening to Viennese music (Strauss, Shubert, etc.) We've walked through the Vienna woods, toured elaborate and impressive Palaces (like the Hofburg Palace in which we saw this painting of Franz Josef's wife Elizabeth. She was really beautiful)>, and heard the Vienna Boys' Choir (via T.V. because the chapel was just too full.) I'm really enjoying traveling and I'm becoming quite a good traveler.


Home by December.








My Pregnancy Book


Tuesday, July 30, 1974, 1:15 AM


Dear Son or Daughter,


Hi! You don't know me. You're not even conceived yet, but I wanted you to know you're wanted. I don't love you yet, because you're not a person yet. I don't feel you kicking inside me. I haven't held you. I just know I want you. We want you. Your father, even more than me. He'll be a good father. He'll play with you and read to you and talk to you and listen to you. But most important, he'll love you.


We'll try to be good parents.


2:40 AM


Some names we've picked for you:

1) Robert Richard

2) Heather


Another name I like is Heidi.


Monday, September 2, 1974, 11:20 PM


My "friend" is due. Each day I pray it won't come. For the next two weeks I'll be on pins and needles.


Tuesday, September 17, 1974, 6:10 PM


My "friend" came today. I am so disappointed. I wanted to be pregnant so much. But at 9:30 AM I started bleeding. Up until today I had all the signs for pregnancy: late period, I was sick for about a month, especially during the last week (morning and night). I was tired a lot, and I'd go to the bathroom a lot.


Sunday, Sept. 22, 1974, 4:05 PM


I pretty much stopped bleeding last night. So Rich and I will try again.


Sunday, Sept. 29, 1974, 8:30 PM


Joyce Gleason is pregnant! 3 months pregnant. The baby is due April 8. it's terrific! By my calculations, hopefully, I will ovulate next week (normally a girl ovulates 2 weeks before her next menstruation), so if all goes well maybe we can hope to have a baby July 5 or even before. I'm not pregnant yet, but we're trying. Hey, maybe as early as June 14? I guess not, but I'll always be an optimist.


How about June 28 or July 1?


Anyway, my last period was Sept. 17-21, so my next should be Oct. 15, and the next about November 12. But since I was 6 weeks instead of 4 this last time, I might not have my next period til Oct. 29, and the next til Dec. 10, so if I haven't started bleeding by December 15, I should be pretty sure. A nice Christmas present.


I figure last month my body was adjusting to going off the pill. This month -- hope it's adjusted!


October 15, 1974, Tuesday, about 4:50PM


I went to Dr. Bornstein today -- complete physical. I'm in perfect condition, except I've gained 10 pounds since the last time I saw him. No reason why I shouldn't get pregnant. If I haven't had my period by the first week in November, I should call himfor an appointment. If I'm still not pregnant after the net 3 months (3 more peiods) I should call him and he'll try to find out why I'm not. I guess I'll stick with Dr. B. I trust him.


Sunday, Oct. 20, 1974


I started bleeding. I'm depressed again.


Tuesday, October 29, 1974


I think I stopped bleeding Thursday, October 24, 1974, though it might have been Wednesday, October 23, 1974.


I'll check again around Nov. 20th and if I haven't started by 1st week in Dec., I'll call Dr. Bornstein. Rich and I are trying and we're optimistic, but I'll try to stay cool. If it happens great, if not, we'll keep trying. Now whenever we try, I remain lying for at least half an hour after -- We don't want to take chances.


Tuesday, Nov. 26, 1974


I haven't had my "friend" yet. It's really too early to tell, but I guess I get over-enthusiastic. If I go by the Oct. 20 - Nov. 20 date, I'm 6 days late. If I go by the 1 calendar month plus 3 days date which seems to be the difference between my last two periods, I'm 3 days late. However you look at it, I'm late. But I feel bloated, so... it could just be false hopes


Let's see --

July 28 - July 31

Sept. 17 - Sept. 21

Oct. 20 - Oct. 24

? Nov. 23 - Nov. 28


Sunday, Dec. 1, 1974


Still haven't had my period. I really think I'm pregnant. My breasts seem to be swelling and sometimes hurt a little. I can't seem to sleep on my stomach anymore -- nor on one of my breasts, and my stomach does feel strange. I hate to use the word bloated because that reminds me of my "friend." Well if I haven't started bleeding by Wednesday, I'll make an appointment with Dr. Bornstein.


Here's hoping!


Tuesday, Dec. 3, 1974


Couldn't wait -- called the doctor's office today for an appointment. Don't need one -- can just walk in anytime, get a slip and go to the laboratory next door. I'm going to do it tomorrow.


I started being a a good pregnant girl. I glanced at one of my pregnancy books last night and got ideas. I also started to watch my nutrition, i.e, a vitamin once a day, etc. This morning I had an egg and bread-toast. And I had onion soup and cheese for lunch. Now I think I'll have some hot chocolate -- with real milk. Wow, I'm terrific.


So isn't Richard. He's really excited. His face glows when he talks about the baby. He's wonderful.


Wed., Dec. 4, 1974


I'm pregnant. It's definite. I went to the lab today and the results were positive. Rich is ecstatic and we've told everyone. According to our calculations, the baby is due about July 27. It might even be born on our anniversary.


Thursday, Dec. 5, 1974


I'm still thrilled about the baby, but I'm having qualms. A) The doctor can't see me til Jan. 17, B) I'm worried about all the things that can happen to our baby, even before it's born. I'll be a bit nervous til I see the doctor. C) I'm going to be pregnant for the next 8 months. Golly, that's a helluva long time, and D) I'm going to get bigger and bigger and bigger. Golly, you spend your life on a diet and what happens -- you get pregnant and blow out like a balloon. I guess I'll have to cope. At least I'll have an excuse for being fat!


Bringing Up Superbaby

March 10, 1987


I read this article (Bringing Up Superbaby) as a mother rather than a day-care worker. It is hard for me to draw the line. I was blessed with three bright children, the oldest of which is very bright. (He is an A student, does well in everything he ties, and is the under 12-year-old chess champion of the country). The thrust in education of my husband and me has always been to introduce a lot, see where the children's interest is and introduce more. But what we introduced to our children has always been based on the reality of human development. There is no way I would have introduced my children to flash cards at three months. I was happy they were sleeping through the night and were on some sort of schedule.


I feel children can be labelled "bright", but in their own sphere. I love for quickness in mind and though and action and try to encourage the baby in the next phase of babyhood, not "pre-school-hood." I don't feel a baby ahs to be "bright," just encouraged in his/her potential.


In "How Far Does the Head Start Go?" I agree that "simple responsiveness by parents makes a child feel that he can affect his tiny world, encouraging him to participate and merely observe " and that is what I (and my fellow teachers) try to do in my class (and at home). I try to always react positively to whatever accomplishments the child is going (pat-a-cake, etc.) and go further with the child's learning process (after building to knock down blocks comes learning to stack blocks).


Parents can have false expectations for a child-pushing him or her beyond their (child's) interests and developments. I am against this, but I'm not against exposing one's child to different things (music, languages, people), so that a child can make choices when older.


Babies are babies. That's the way they should be treated, but babies do learn and can be taught. Their playing is fun, but also their work, their job. Helping a baby to learn is importnat, but to remember to do it as a step to their next "baby" development is also important.


It's scary to think that some parents expect so much from their babies and put so much stress on the babies and themselves. They can only face frustration.  Parenthood is difficult enough without unnecessary expectations and pressures.


Letters to Noreen Webber

Noreen, a close friend of Barb's, died October 8, 2001, at age 54. These letters (updates on our family life) were written before Noreen was diagnosed with cancer.


Monday, July 31, 1995


Dear Noreen,


Hi! I have a few minutes while I'm covering the front desk, so I thought I'd send this long delayed letter to you. I'm still working at Intrepid Software in Burlington, although now we're called Interactive Group, Inc. since the merger in March. I have moved fulltime into the Marketing Department. I'm not terribly satisfied with the job anymore so I'm looking around. I interviewed at International Marketing Services, a division of International Data Corporation, which also does Computer World, which is the company Kathy Pikosky works for. If I get the job, I'd be Sales and Marketing Coordinator and work on the same floor as Kathy. I could lead to more opportunity.


Our house is like a dormitory this summer. Bobby is teaching chess again and hired 2 college students to help him. They are staying with us. Dan, a Harvard freshman, is sleeping in Tim's room. Paul, a Columbia Sophomore, is sleeping on the sofa bed in the living room. Tim was 2 weeks in our room, now he's in Heather's room with her. You can't move without tripping over someone. It certainly makes the house lively and exciting, but it's unbelievable how chaotic it sometimes can be. Getting into the bathroom can sometimes be difficult and the amount of food 5 teenagers eat is unreal. Richard and/or I are always going to the supermarket.


Richard is on his 4th week of his 5 week vacation. He's working on a book on the Internet and every day seems to be revising the outline. He's in the Internet Marketing division of Digital.


As I said, Bobby is at home this summer teaching chess -- groups of 4 in the morning, 4 in the afternoon. He's teaching in Rhode Island this week, Milton last week, Groton and New Hampshire the week before. So obviously, he's a chess teacher who travels. He's still planning on majoring in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. He also turned 20 on Saturday!


Heather is going to Sarah Lawrence in the Fall.  It's in Bronxville, New York. She plans on majoring in Performing Arts. Right now her time is divided between working at a pet shop, modeling. (She's had a few jobs), spending time with Lyle (her boyfriend. He's teaching sailing down at Falmouth, but they still manage to see each other quite a bit.) and giving Tim a lot of attention.  She's made several "comic books" with Tim. He tells her what to write and he does most of the drawings. She's also teaching him how to cook. Tim is really going to miss Heather when she goes to college. I will too!


Michael just barely survived his freshman year at St. Sebastian's. He didn't flunk anything, but there were a few D's. Fortunately, they said they (the school) wouldn't take away his financial aid. His teachers saw "improvement" toward the end of the year. Mike's taking Remedial Spanish this summer.  He started out good -- a couple of 100's, but went to 60's and 70's. Today's his last class and tomorrow his final exam. I'm doing a lot of hoping. He's such a good kid. I hope he pulls it off.


Michael is also having a busy medical summer. He's having extensive orthodontic work to enlarge his upper tech area and is pretty good about letting me turn the "key" every night. He's doing into the hospital August 17 and will have another bone graft (and some teeth brough forward) on August 18. Then he'll have a few weeks to recuperate before school begins. He'll have to eat mush food for few months. If you have any good recipes, let me know.


Now for your favorite topic. Timmy is doing great. He's been home while Richard's on vacation. He took 2 weeks of swimming lessons at the YMCA, staring up with first refusing to go into the water and finishing with tying for 2nd in a race across the pool. Of course, he had both a bubble and a floating ring on and still refuses to put his face in the water, but he's making progress.  Rich took him to the Providence Zoo because he didn't believe elephants are real.

Tim's also heavily into computer games, especially the Reader Rabbit series and Maximum Carnage, and he's rediscovered the old Walt Disney classics like Dumbo and 101 Dalmations. He likes to watch movies until he knows every line by heart.


Although all the teachers agree Tim is very smart, he still has transition problems, so they recommend a small class setting for him. He's been assigned to the Marshall Cluster at the Marshall School in Dorchester. It's an all day program. I plan on visiting it and checking it out  when I come back from vacation.


So that's an update on the family. They're all doing pretty good. It's going to be a shock in the Fall when we go from 8 people in the house to 4. The 2 guests will be gone and Heather and bob will be at college. Maybe then I'll be able to work on those countless projects that need to be done, but it'll be lonely for a little bit.


We're going to South Chatham next week of a week. It should be fun. The rest of the clan have been thee this week as well as next week. Our cottage is a few houses  one way from Mom and a few houses the other way from Elly, Jane, and their kids. Actually, our cottage will be less crowded because Bobby and Heather will be working and won't come down with us.


I still hope sometime to take Tim down to to Disney World and visit with you. All I need is some time and money. I'm working on both. Let me know if there's a best time to do this for you.


It is now actually Friday, August 4. This letter has taken a week to write. We leave for the beach tomorrow. I will sign off now so I can mail it tonight. Let me know when you'll next be in Boston. It's been a while.


Give my best to Jerry.






July 22, 1996


Dear Noreen,


Hi! I still have a half hour of work left, but I'm brain dead so I thought I would write you this long procrastinated letter. Sorry I missed you last time you were in town.


I've been looking for another job. I'm waiting to hear from Computerworld. It's a job I would like, but they have already offered it to someone else who may or may not take it. So it's a 0-50 waiting game. I'm feeling better about trying for jobs, but it's a lot of hard work.


I belong to a reading group. It is going good. I really like reading the authors we've picked. They are authors I wouldn't usually read, like Jane Smiley's "Moo."  I like hanging out with the people too.  They are Janet Donovan (Nicole's mom), Laureen Rueckner (Danae's mom and my yoga teacher), and Carol Chaffee (Bobby and Heather's former piano teacher and Timmy's present piano teacher). We meet every 6 weeks. They have a lot of interesting ideas to share and are funny. We also have a lot in common.


I do yoga once a week. I'm getting better but my body still screams at me sometimes. I think Laureen likes to find the most painful poses to do. Just kidding. I'm planning on buying a special mat called a sticky mat so I don't slide all over the floor. It's good to do something for my body, but once a week really isn't enough. Vicki and I have gone back to walking but we've only just started.


Tim's doing great love YMCA camp, and just got some fish. He actually wanted a totally blue fish, but it doesn't exist. His dad got geared up, bought a new filter, refitted the old tank, picked out 3 sets of fish (1 male, 1 female: 2 black mollies, 2 red and black swordfishes, and 2 dalmatian mollies). One of the black mollies died and Richard replaced it without Tim knowing it. Then suddenly there were small black fish swimming around the tank. One didn't make it, but Rich put the other 12 in the baby fish nursery net and they seem to be doing okay. Tim starts first grade at the Jackson Mann school in Brighton on August 29 (early!).  It is an integrated classroom and the Jackson Mann has special equipment to help Tim's Sensory Interactive Dysfunction. Tim starts chess camp next week. It's through Bobby's school.


Mike has a job at MacDonald's and seems to be enjoying working, not necessarily the work or the heat but the fact that he is earning money, doing a good job, is considered a dependable worker. Mike is going for his driving permit next week. I hope he reads the book. He will have his nose revision operation August 20. It's day surgery. He has already had two bone grafts and afater the nose surgery will only have one more surgery. His jaws will be moved slightly. He's gone through a lot, but is a great, though terribly private, kid. He'll be a junior at St. Sebastian's in the fall.


Richard is still working on his Internet book and still works for Digital.


Heather is in California. She worked on a movie my sister-in-law Sallie wrote and is independently producing. It is a good experience for her. Sallie is planning on submitting the movie to the Sundance Festival, which shows in Toronto in October. Sallie said Heather is very good in it and the editor says the whole  movie looks good. Heather comes back to Boston August 22 in time for jury duty, then goes back to Sarah Lawrence on Labor Day.


Bob is fine and is coming home for his birthday weekend. He will be 21 years old on July 29. He will be a senior at Yale this year and is working at a biology lab this summer in New Haven. He's a little bit stressed because his hard drive crashed on his computer, so he's going ot have to buy a new one. He incorporated his Chess School and is administrating other teachers in 4 states without actually teaching himself. He's quite the entrepreneur. Although at this point his dad and I hope he just stays even. He thinks he'll make a little money, but it's been an interesting experience.


My npehew Danny (Jane's son) is in Saudi Arabia for a two year tour of Raytheon duty. He will be flying home July 29 and going down the beach at South Chatham with the family on August 3. Most of the family will be there. Tommy (Ellie's son) included.


We also are going to the beach on August 3, but we're going to East Harwich. We'll be staying 3 houses from Aunt Edy's Pond. Just in case you are in the neighborhood, the address is 23 lakeview Drive. The phone number is 5080430-2129. It's going to be a quiet time because Mike isn't coming with s. He doesn't feel right taking time off from work. Boy, the empty nest syndrome is upon us, although Tim is definitely not a child who is only seen and not heard. He can be fun, although a little demanding.

I miss you and hope you don't die of shock from getting this letter.  Did you receive my e-mail a few weeks ago? I mentioned Timmy's desire to see Winnie the Pooh in Disney World and wondered when it would be a good time to go? I also mentioned I didn't have your parents or your phone number, but since then I've cleaned (!) and found it. Thanks also for Timmy's new clothes. His exact words were "I've hit the jackpot!"


Keep in touch.






Life History

April 30, 1997







high school

Ann's sickness

Mom's sickness


South Boston

camp counselor

Bob's death


grad school




cleft/surgeries/Prescription Parents



Nordic Group

Katharine Gibbs

Dad's death

Stannah, Blockbuster, Osco






sinus headaches

layoff (May 1, 1997)



my children



exercise (moderate walking/yoga)




like to work independent

like to work in team

like feedback

like to feel job means something

like job = beginning, middle, end

need downtime

list maker/cross out





June 10, 1999

Where had her life gone? She'd not even had it. (Evening by Susan Minot, p. 113)


June 11, 1999

I could not believe how energizing it was to see "white space." My eyes had places to rest and my spirit had found a home once again in the place where I spend most of my working hours. (A New Way of Looking at Organizing by Julie Morgernstern, p. 11)

I never had any money as a kid to buy anything. I didn't have an allowance and was afraid to ask my parents for money. Hence, as a grownup, I hate to part with things and never say no when someone offers me something, i.e., furniture.


June 19, 1999 -- Johnny's birthday

I have never known who I am or what I really like. So I've never been able to decorate my house or plan my life accordingly.


Barbara's Life Goals

May 10, 2000


I want to be treated with respect.

I want to care about and be involved with what I'm doing.

I want my children and husband to feel fulfilled and happy.

I want my home to be a refuge.

I want to feel proud of myself and secure.

I want to feel creative.

I want to feel in control.


"Stop the world. It's my time, it's my turn, and I claim this for me."



May 21, 2000


Summer house on water

Nice/clean house to live in

To be thinner -- exercise/diet

To be and have a good friend

To encourage and support 1) Rich 2) My 4 children (Bob, Heather, Mike, Tim)

To travel somewhere special (at least once a year)

To respect people and be treated with respect

To make family events special and memorable

Time to read

Always grow and try

To trust and believe in myself

To like myself

To fix up house



June 24, 2000


I have been reassessing my skills and while I'm very good at presentation projects (PowerPoint, Quark Express, PhotoShop, Excel), I am not good at organizing someone else -- filing, making sure things go smoothly for a boss by taking things off her plate or demanding to know her schedule so I can better help her.


Especially filing things from years past -- without knowing the importance of specific documents, it is impossible for me to organize where they should go or know what to throw out.


There is a strong need to have a clear idea of the boss' schedule, i.e., meeting times, travel time and places, etc.


I am a team player who has no problem helping others, but it is impossible to work in an environment of constant negativity. Other departments are uncooperative.


The boss expects me to produce, produce, produce, with no understanding that certain projects take time, and very little praise. There's a constant conversation -- "Is that job done yet?" without realizing things take time and there are constant interruptions.


It is very difficult to work when there are several bosses, several projects. (No one checks to see what else is to be done or talks with other managers regarding time allotment). I am burned out by the constant pressure, then the boss says you need to clean or file.


There is a lack of support and caring in the office. Each department is me, me, me. The boss wants everything done perfectly, but doesn't care about my feelings or workload.


The workplace is negative. People don't tell you when you are doing a good job -- they do tell you when you've screwed up, and no one ever takes responsibility for a problem -- it's never their fault; it must be yours.


I'm tired of being upset every day by a co-workers rudeness, or a boss' criticism at the last minute when I've been working on a project for a while. I'm burnt out. I'm not happy.


I'm tired of thinking I don't count in the company. I'm just part of the equipment. I don't really belong. Dexter is a hostile work environment. It is not employee friendly.



July 3, 2000


Why am I so tired all the time? I'm exhausted. Could be the drugs from sinus headache. Could be the stress. What is most important in my life? What should I pursue? I need ot set priorities. I don't give Tim or Rich enough of my attention. Where does my time go? I keep wanting to feel healthy. It doesn't happen. If it isn't my head hurting, it's my tummy. My tummy hurts now. I've grown too fat. I'm a blimp.



September 2, 2000


1) To make house comfortable so people can visit

2) To spend time with Tim and Rich

3) To get a new job I can feel passion for.

4) To get and feel healthy

(Call Dr. Pham for physical)


Unhappiness is not knowing what we want and killing ourselves to get it.


Courage does not always roar.


It is the quiet voice

At the end of the day, saying,

"I will try again tomorrow"


A bend in the road

Is not the end of the road

Unless you fail

To make a turn!



What Brings Me Joy?

Oct. 16, 2000


What brings me joy?


watching my children enjoy life

reading a good book

seeing a good movie of TV show

drinking hot chocolate (tea) while relaxing

hot shower

no sinus headache

not having to set alarm clock

feeling connected to a person

feeling had a good conversation

feeling someone is thinking of me

feeling pride in a job well-done

learning something new


Email to unknown recipient



This has been a hard year for me too. My mom is in a wheelchair at home. She needs help doing things. We have someone who is with her from Monday morning to Friday evening. I visit her on Thursday evening, and I watch her on Saturdays from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM and give her a shower. My brother who lives with her attends his AA meeting then. My sister is in a nursing home. I visit her on Tuesdays. My other sisters do their best, but they feel my brother doesn't do enough (I don't agree, though. I think he, like everyone else, does what he can). In August, I quit a very negative-atmosphere job. I was liked and well paid, but everyone was just too negative and not team-oriented, and the health benefits got to me. I overreacted to my boss and quit without thinking. It took me a while to get over it and regain my self-worth, but I'm now working at the New England Medical Center at the Health Institute. I work for two researchers. I took a pay cut, but the tone here is better, and the benefits are pretty good. I've been here since November. Rich had a stroke in October. It was a major stroke, but since it was in a part of the brain he doesn't use, it really has had no affect on him, except he has to go to the doctor a lot for tests. He's also on some medication. Rich is an independent Internet consultant, which means he works from home. Finally, my beautiful, creative, 23-year old daughter Heather has had bad depression for the past year. The doctors still haven't regulated her medication yet. She is getting frustrated. She usually lives in New York City with her boyfriend, but her doctor suggested she come home until they get a new doctor for her medication. She was hospitalized last December for a week to regulate her medicine, but the medicine isn't working. Since she is feeling suicidal, the doctor thinks she will be better off at home. She seems fine to me, joking and everything, but the doctor says she puts on a front for us.


This is a very depressing email. I'm sorry. This is the first time I have put it all down on paper. Despite it all, I'm actually doing fine. I went to visit a friend in New Hampshire last weekend, and Rich, Tim, and I hope to go to Southern France in  April. We have enough frequent flier miles and will be staying with a client of Richard's.


Bob, my 25-year old, lives in Cambridge with his girlfriend. He is a president of a dot com company, which is going for its 2nd round of funding. It looks good. Mike, my 20-year old, is a sophomore at Northeastern. He majors in English and has got Rich's writing bug. Mike has already written 3 sci-fi books. He does drink a little too much at times and smokes too much, but he is a good kid. Tim, my 11-year old, is my delight. He is my Amelia Bedelia who takes everything literally.  He likes video games and Harry Potter. He was in special ed for Sensory Integrative Dysfunction, but he has graduated from that, and is now in a regular classroom. He's a great kid, a little immature, but he's getting there. He still likes to hug me!


Aches and Pains



Began Tuesday, July 3 in AM. Sharp pain, lower right belly. Then just ached all day. Took CVS Alka Seltzer/Rolaids. That didn't help. Advil helped a little.

Middle of night (In Michigan) went to bathroom with gas. Back started hurting. This occurred all week. Saw Nurse Jane Hammond.

Tuesday July 10 -- tests -- kidney? gallbladder? bowel problem?

She hasn't a clue

Need to write down symptoms.

Wednesday, July 11 woke up with pain in middle of back, during train ride it moved to side of back. Stomach bothering too. (Unrelated -- knee hurts since yesterday; coughing a bit)

Instantaneous urge to go #2

1st one small ball

2nd one splashy like diarrhea

Thursday, July 12

Woke up with pain in back again (coughing a lot too), now in back and stomach (knee still hurts)

July 20 -- all week various types of Pupus (poo poos?) 4 PM diarrhea. Tummy and back aches

August 22 -- anniversary of my breakdown. My back hurts at the waist juncture. I think I'm allergic to coffee brandy. I must stop drinking it.

August 30 -- woke up with back ache (as usual). Has hurt all day. My tummy hurts too, especially this afternoon. Pressure in bum too.

October 1 -- 2 major bouts of "controlled" diarrhea. Hurt like cut up hamburger. Tummy hurt, back hurts with walk to train (carrying pocket book always adds pressure)

October 2 -- lower back started hurting just before I left work. Intensified during walk to station -- feel constipated today. Tummy hurts.

October 5 -- Lost of bowel movements yesterday and today. My back hurts when I walk.





When I was small, I so wanted to be special, like Tabitha, like Samantha, but I wasn't. They looked at things and the objects came to them. I looked at things and the objects stayed in one place. They had gifts. I didn't. That was my life.


Letter to Chuck

April 6, 2004


I realized I had to write this letter when I noticed every time Sallie or her parents said or implied that 65 Perham Street is her house, I got angry.


I still think of it as Mom's house, and I accept that it is your home and you can live there forever.


The hard part is to see that it has been entirely taken over by Sallie. She redecorated and put all her furniture in it. Your pictures are relegated to the basement.


The whole process was handled wrong.


You were displeased that you didn't even have a closet for your stuff.  This escalated to your wanting me (or anyone, you offered it to Elly) to take the piano. It then escalated to your telling us that Sallie was moving in in June.


You said you just wanted to rearrange the furniture. We got concerned you would get rid of some of the stuff or Sallie would. So we felt obligated to clean out the house.


You should have helped clean the house. You kept saying we could take whatever we wanted, then laid claim to all the rugs. (If you ask Ann, she will tell you the green rugs were part of the bedroom set I purchased from Kitty Tighe's estate) and all the mirrors. You said Mom stressed you should keep them, but you know Mom would never have shown favoritism like that.  Sallie probably wanted them. So you insisted on keeping them.


Jane, Elly, and I killed ourselves cleaning out the rooms. We left you wit the sofa and two chairs and kitchen set because we thought you'd need stuff.  We didn't have time to go through the kitchen and basement and felt bad about that.


It was really hard going through all the stuff, throwing things out, making decisions on such a restricted time frame. We made many decisions through exhaustion.


It was doubly hard to be going through such a painful experience with you and Sallie acting so oblivious to our pain and saying "it was all for the good."


In retrospect, we should have insisted on your helping us. We should have insisted that one of the rooms be set aside for things we weren't ready to deal with, a room we could tell Ann was hers. We should have insisted on more time to clean out the house.


I am glad you have someone to love, but at this point Sallie is still just a girl-friend who lives with you and doesn't seem to have an income to pay for her share of the upkeep of the house.


I know none of this what you want to hear, but there is resentment that Mom's house was so radically changed while it is still her house.  To you it is a house you can live in, and we respect that Mom wants you to live there.  But it is our family home that has been ripped form us before we were ready.


Mother of the Groom

November 15, 2001


My son Bob just got engaged. It's been months in coming. He talked to everyone but his girlfriend (Stacey) about the right diamond. He went with his future mother-in-law to New York to pick out the diamond at the Diamond Exchange. He went back the following week (no easy feat -- he lives in Cambridge) to pick it up.


Then he created the perfect setting. They went to New York for the weekend, stayed at the Waldorf, went to a play, a romantic dinner. He got his sister Heather involved. She and a friend decorated the hotel room -- flowers, champagne. Bob and Stacey came back to the room. It was perfect. He asked. She said yes. He called to tell us. How romantic!


In Search of My Waist

September 2007

The beginning of a non-fiction book to be written with Bonnie Keyes. This is the part that Barb wrote.


It never pays to get together with an old friend, who happens to be creative. She tends to think you are creative. She tends to want you to be creative. So here I am trying to be creative. What does she want me to be creative about: weight. How to lose it, why I can't lose it, why it is always a permanent problem. Creativity about weight: Here we go!


My husband has lost 30 pounds in the past year. I have gained 10. He now weighs 18 pounds less than me. He is 5" 10"; I am 5' 3". Do the math. Ouch!


Bonnie, the above mentioned friend, after we had just finished a rich, calorie-laden dinner suggested we take the next 6 weeks to lose weight and write about it. She is such a dreamer. So, here I am, drinking my wine, and thinking about dieting. No conflict here! This friend, Bonnie, lives in New York City. I live in Boston. We've known each other since freshman year in college -- 40 years. Wow, it's scary to say 40 years. I must have a lot of experiences and memories to share. I am grown and wise and... Oh yeah, and fat. I just realized I've gained 2 pounds a year since we met. That is depressing.


So, what do I do first. I check out a health magazine. The article stress the need for lots of fruits and lots of vegetables. I see one of the sources of my problem. If I eat one fruit and one vegetable a day, I think I am being healthy. Obviously, my benchmark and the world's benchmark are on a different level. The magazine also suggests a 3-day detoxing. I'll keep that idea in the back of my head. It mentions yoga. Another activity for the back of my head.


The day after I see Bonnie, I go shopping at Trader Joe's. I'm looking for healthy snack to bring back for a colleague who seems depressed.  I pick up the small cupcakes, think about the articles I read and the weight I'm supposed to lose, and put them back down. I do the same for the chocolate covered pretzels. They look very good, but I am strong. I look for Miso Soup which is supposed to be good for you. One package for $5.59 seems to expensive, so... I leave the store with no snacks (I'll just be extra nice to my sad colleague) and three bottles of wine. (They have good wine a Trader Joe's, and I have a few events that I will need to bring wine to!)


I take my son to Karate. I go clothes' shopping while he exercises. There is nothing that says "you need to diet" like trying on clothes. It is very humbling (or demoralizing, depending on how you are feeling at the time). Then when I pick him up, I use the Women's room, go to the bathroom, check my weight.  After I pick myself off the floor. I am resolved! I will diet! Soon.


My husband Rich is always asking me to go for a walk. He is pre-diabetic and making sure he doesn't become diabetic. So every day he walks 3-5 miles. I work very hard at my job and seem to walk all over the building, but it isn't enough. When I get home, I collapse in the chair, turn on the TV, and vegetate. Rich will ask me to walk. Sometimes I will walk around the block with him, but mostly I say, "Not now, maybe later." I'm a big procrastinator. I want to be thin, I want to lose weight, but it is so much work. I'm just to  tired. I need to make walking and eating right a habit. 6 weeks to a new habit. I'll see what I can do.



Here is the 2nd installment of the Bonnie and Barbara Pact. I had intended to respond to Bonnie's 1st installment, but then realized that that is not the way to go. It really is all about me, so if I respond to someone else, it is about me and her. I'm not ready for that. Not that I don't want to encourage Bonnie, or have a dialogue with her, but right now I am trying to convince myself that I am in control of my losing weight. It needs to be about me. A little selfish, I know. But hey, every now and then I need to be selfish. So here goes my continuing saga on weight.


1st -- how have I done int he past week regarding losing weight. Not much. I started drinking more water, but not enough. I'm really impressed with Bonnie that she tries to drink a certain amount of water. I am drinking more, but I really haven't set a goal of x glasses a day. I hate restraints, but like habit. I really find it hard to function because I am at cross purposes with myself.


How does one gear oneself up for losing weight/ I wish I knew. For me, whenever I think about losing weight, I start to gain. I know that doesn't make sense, but it seems to be true for me. I look at my belly which is getting bigger and bigger. Shouldn't that make me want to lose weight? Actually, it does make me "want" to lose weight, but I can't seem to put the want int action. I feel thinner in my head. Then I go by a store window and am completely shocked by the reflection. I was sure that outfit looked better on me. Is that fat person looking back at me just distortion of the window. I go into the lady's room and check myself out in the mirror. Oh, that fat person followed me in. I tell myself I've got to lose weight. I will start tomorrow. But then tomorrow comes. I drink a little water, I drink a little wine, I eat a little chocolate. The diet is not happening today.


In Bonnie's first email she talked about Julie Christie and Joan Cusack. Both pretty slim people. I feel like Conchetta Farrell of Two and a Half Men. Every day I seem o look more like her. She is a wonderful, funny actress, but she is large and double-chinned. She looks out at me from my mirror every day.


Sometimes I feel okay about my size. People like me. I have thin friends. But I want to be thin too. When I go out to eat with others, I don't eat more than they do. So if I'm honest with myself, which I try o be, but am not always, I need  to exercise. Seriously exercise. That is my road to losing.


I need to take his losing weight seriously. I find it hard to go up two flights of stairs without feeling strained. My breathing is labored. I feel ridiculous. I need to take charge of my body for my health. I will try to do better next week. I am determined.


Last version of her resume, with work history

Objective: To make creative contributions to an effective business team with clear and important goals. privacy statement