Smorgasbord – Letters from America – 1985 -1987 – Thunderstorms Texas style, Pool Antics and Birth Coach on Standby

We are now in to our first June and really hot weather in Texas. The swimming pool was the focus of the complex and we would meet a lot of wonderful people down there over the next two years. Many of the residents worked so it would be early evening or the weekends when we would gather and plastic cups of beer or wine were in plentiful supply.

June 12th 1985

Dear M & D,

Thank you for the letter and photographs, Emma is looking very grown up and so like Sonia. I was delighted to see the physical evidence of your first caravan weekend. Are they going to put up a plaque above the door saying “Mollie Coleman Slept Here!”. You certainly have been having a busy time of it and I hope the book exhibition was a success.

David is away this week, Kansas, Washington and Minneapolis. He is in Washington trying to get official government approval for his cable spec. Once obtained it will make it a lot easier to get potential customers interested. He has just bought a computer for business use, which will make his work easier. He have been involved in these machines since the mid 1970s and it is amazing the difference in size from those he used to work with. He spent the weekend uploading programmes to it and then put a wrong piece of data in that wiped the lot and he had to start all over again! There was quite a lot of profanity issuing from the spare bedroom, so I took myself off to the pool!  Luckily these days they are more portable so he has now taken to the office and will no doubt be the envy of his less technically minded colleagues who still use paper the whole time.

My friend Vicki is almost due and her mother arrived yesterday and her husband has taken time off work. My job as assistant coach looks redundant at the moment but I am on hand if needed! The baby would certainly be arriving to unpredictable weather. We had a three hour thunderstorm last night and it was in true Texas style. Nothing like our hour of rumbling in the skies with the odd flash of lightening. This was crashing, boulder rolling and forked lightening for the entire time. I have never seen lightening like it and watched from our balcony as it hit between the trees in our central garden area with an almighty crack.

The rain is torrential and having been caught out in one last week it is very frightening. The windshield wipers could not keep up with the amount of water even on the fast speed and in the end, like everyone else I had to pull over and wait for it to subside. The roads were also dangerous to drive on as it was easy to water plane across into oncoming traffic.

I had hoped that it might have cleared the air which has become very humid and suffocating. But no such luck.

I do still feel a little homesick but we are getting used to doing things in a slightly different way. I do miss not being able to walk out the gate and find pavements that I can walk around the block on or to the shops. You have to drive about a mile up the road to a row of shopping malls and restaurants to find a footpath and I think if we decide to move again later this year, we will bear that in mind.

We do love the pool because most of the time we have it to ourselves. Especially early in the morning. We both enjoy doing laps and that is not always easy in the late afternoons and early evenings as most people bring down their airbeds and have a quick dip then hop on and float around for an hour.  Still we have the best of both worlds and I am afraid that I too have succumbed by buying myself a rather substantial lilo… with a sit up bit at the end and cup holders… I must say it is rather relaxing when everyone is at work to float around with a cold drink, reading a good book and popping in to cool off from time to time.

I am looking forward to seeing you trying to get on and off gracefully when you are over later in the year… I will be taking pictures!

Love to you both Sally and David.

You will find the other Letters from America:

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will join me next week for another of our American adventures.  Thanks Sally


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About Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

My name is Sally Cronin and I am doing what I love.. Writing. Books, short stories, Haiku and blog posts. My previous jobs are only relevant in as much as they have gifted me with a wonderful filing cabinet of memories and experiences which are very useful when putting pen to paper. I move between non-fiction health books and posts and fairy stories, romance and humour. I love variety which is why I called my blog Smorgasbord Invitation and you will find a wide range of subjects. You can find the whole story here. Find out more at

34 thoughts on “Smorgasbord – Letters from America – 1985 -1987 – Thunderstorms Texas style, Pool Antics and Birth Coach on Standby

    • I think they did Debby and they came out later that year in November and stayed for a month. Because of all the letters they had things they looked forward to and things that were different but prepared for. Our friends made them really welcome and they had an amazing time. All our travels helped too because we had identified places they would like to go too. xxx♥

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  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord – Letters from America – 1985 -1987 – The Militant Negro™

  2. I loved hearing about the thunderstorms. We get those so often in Spring and early summer. They certainly run us indoors. It is deafening to hear lightening strike a nearby tree. We had one struck a few feet from our backdrop. It sounded like an explosion. It burned out our TV, garage door opener, and two phones. I thought the devil had come for us!

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  3. I lived in Houston for 10 years and your post brought back memories of those torrential rainstorms. It was like driving inside a car wash! You simply couldn’t see a thing in front of you.
    Houston has lots of low areas and it doesn’t take much for it to flood. I remember being stuck at my downtown office until 9 p.m. one night with most of my colleagues because we couldn’t get past the moat around our building. When I was finally able to leave, it still took me hours to get home, as there were so many detours around standing water.


  4. Brilliant snapshot of the place and time Sally. I would have loved photo of David’s computer as that really caught my interest. (Boys and their toys, eh!) My first PC was probably around a couple years later: an Apricot in work. Thought it was the bees knees! The thunderstorm sounds mind blowing- like something off world’s worst weather. In Wales we never really get those type of storms (Fortunately) but I remember them for Turkey. We’d sit up half the night mesmerised by the lightening hitting the Aegean! I really love these letters of your! PXXX

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    • Thank you Paul.. and I seem to remember we had that screen anyway for many years until the flat screens came in. So small and as for dial up…. and it must have been very spectacular watching those storms over the sea. Funnily enough we have not had any thunderstorms at all since we came back.. used to have them frequently in the mountains in Spain and I would usually end up with a 40k dog wrapped around my neck, especially if the power went off. hugsxxxxxx

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  5. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Update. – Aretha Franklin, Restoration Women, Hot Soup and Texas Thunderstorms | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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