It is February 1986, we are not sure if we will return to the UK and David has been talking to recruiters. It will depend on the visa situation, especially for me as I would also like to go out to work and my dependent’s visa did not allow me to do that. As I transcribe the handwritten letters that I sent my parents during the two years we were in the USA, I am also sifting through the photographs we took at the time.
14th February 1986
Dear M & D, Happy Valentine’s Day and it is a really big thing over here. Don’t think you could get away with a card Eric… roses, dinner and the full works would be required. Not sure I can drink any more at the moment after two days of celebrating.
I did the shopping for my birthday party the night before and brought home Chinese Takeaway. ‘W’ and Sutherland came over to share it and we ended up drinking two bottles of Kroger Champagne, spending half an hour in the hot tub and then it was decided I should end the evening with a swim in the freezing pool. The temperature in the day is not too bad but it certainly drops at night.
We spent yesterday preparing the food and getting set up for the party, not sure how we managed to fit 20 people in the apartment, but everyone seemed to get a glass and a plate of cheese etc.I had to use plastic plates and cups for the wine but nobody seemed to mind, and it certainly saved on the clearing and washing up.
David bought me a beautiful guitar so that I can get back to writing my songs and we went out car hunting. So excited as I will finally get my own car. With the prospect of us staying it seems like a good idea, and if we don’t we will ship it home. We went to the Mercury garage and I fell in love with a dark grey Mercury Topaz, automatic and as a demo model for car shows it has very low mileage and is at a very good price. This will mean a big difference to me as I only get the use of David’s car when he is traveling. I pick it up next week.
I got some lovely presents from our friends including a rubber tree plant (I keep singing Ole Blue Eyes song) an ivy plant for the patio and Bill and Silvia bought me a cowhide wallet. Before we all got too tipsy we headed off to Johnny B. Dalton’s for dancing. I have not yet mastered the Texas two-step but I love line-dancing, sorry we did not get to take you when you were here.
You were mentioned often at the party and everyone sends their love including Debbie, hoping that you might make it back again. I have spoken to Sonia and it looks like Emma will be coming out in the summer for three weeks and it will be fun to organise some trips whilst she is here. Hard to believe she is 15 years old. Debbie and I have put our heads together and thought we might take her down to South Padre for a girls long weekend, and some of the others have suggested a theme park too.
We are going on a road trip next week, it is business, so will be using David’s car not my new one sadly. We head out Friday and drive to Shreveport to see Vicki and Kelly and really looking forward to seeing how much the baby has grown. We are then heading to Atlanta where we will catch up with Vicki’s parents who we got along with so well when we arrived, and David has meetings on Monday and Tuesday. We will drive straight back on Wednesday. It is quite a round trip with about 250 miles to Shreveport and then 600 miles to Atlanta with the return trip of 800 miles to Houston.
We share the driving and the roads are so straight that you can put on cruise control at the maximum speed and it flies by. You couldn’t do that in the UK even on the motorways as they are always so congested.
I will write to you after our trip and I have sent Diana a birthday card, enjoy your lunch with her on the 18th and love to everyone.
S & D.
Thanks for dropping by and I hope you are enjoying our adventures in America.. Sally.