Chapter 10 - Letters

To My Mother

Dear Mom,
All my life you’ve helped me over all sorts of mountains. Now I’m out here by myself, and I'm taking what you’ve taught me and climbing some new mountains of my own….
Thanks—and happy Mother's Day!

From Mom
May, 1997

Dear Sara,
The big excitement around here tonight is that April got a *hit* and a *walk* and her team won. You will probably have heard about it by the time you get this letter, but let me tell you that she was *excited.* (Guess what? I finally learned how to use italics when I'm typing on the computer.)

I have to say that I have admired her stick-to-itiveness this season. That continues to be the biggest amazement to me: that April has been completely accepted by the team and no one gives her a hard time for being a girl. Maybe times really are a-changing.

Something weird is going on around here. For the first time ever we have completely run out of plastic bags in the recycling dispenser that you made. I guess it’s because you aren’t around to fill it up. Daddy had to go to the park with the little guys to watch April’s game and he couldn’t find a plastic bag for the peanut butter. He had to take a paper one.

There was an argument over watermelon that almost put me over the edge yesterday. Monday night, Jacob went to the store at eleven p.m. to get milk and came home with a watermelon, which he shared with Daddy. Matthew ascertained this information from checking the garbage and was outraged that this had happened while he slept—and that he now had to share the other half with more than one person. I went bananas. I’ve really had it with this nurturing, understanding business. I immediately took to your bed (what a sanctuary your room has become).

Some of your slides arrived, by the way, and they are very unsatisfactory, at least to us. There are lots of views of we-don’t-know-what and pictures of people we don’t know and nothing of you! Your photographer brother and father are groaning about underexposure, zoom lenses and F-stops… If you were here to describe what we were looking at it would be better. But you won’t be here for awhile. I’m starting to forget how cranky you were before you left and I miss you. We're thrilled that you're making such great progress, though. It’s pretty impressive to say that you’ve traveled over a thousand miles.

…So sweets, this is it for now. Happy riding. Are you changing into a new person? Are you having fun? Will it be okay to be alone when Nate goes off into the sunset? I guess we’ll tune in tomorrow. Aunt Ruth sends her love as does everyone else I speak to.

Love, Mom.

From April
April 22, 1997, Tuesday, 8:57 a.m.
Dear Sara,

Happy Passover! Last night we had matzo ball soup.

We went up to New York last week and I thought about you. Isn’t it funny that you take people for granted until they’re gone? Have you been saying goodnight to me every night like we planned? I have. What state will you be in next? Do you have a rhythm of riding yet?

We had to make a new chore schedule since you’re gone. I am now on vacuuming and upstairs bathroom in the morning and dishes at night. Matt is supposed to empty the dishwasher and clear and clean the table, which he hardly ever does. When he does, he does such a bad job that I have to do it over.

Your sister, April.