Our Christmas letter 1980!
Dear Family and Friends, Hello from the Aldrich's in Pine Bluff, Arkansas! We greet you in the joy and peace of the Spirit of Christmas, Jesus. May God bless each of you during this holiday season and through out the coming year.
Although we would prefer to write to each of you personally, this year, time precludes it. Most of our spare time has been going towards Craig's job search: typing inquiries, filling out job applications, packing and repacking for interview trips, etc. Craig is finishing his four year tour of active duty with the Army in February and really looks forward to joining the civilian work force as a chemical engineer, He has had six interview trips so far: two in Texas, one each in Virginia, Oklahoma and Utah, and one here in Pine Bluff. Also, the engineering department here at the Arsenal has shown interest. We are praying God will direct and reveal His will to us concerning this decision.
(Just a note of explanation -- "Craig"="Jon"="J.C." Everyone who knows him from home calls him "Craig" from Iowa State --'J.C.' and from the Army -- "Jon." He is referred to by all three names throughout this letter...)
To bring you up to date, here is a brief history of the past few years... After J.C. finished his BS at Iowa State, we moved to Waukon and lived with his parents while Sharon finished her BA through Luther student teaching in Postville, and graduating in January 1977. We spent the next four months in Aberdeen, Maryland, where Craig attended the Officer's Basic Course to begin fulfi11ing the four year obligation incurred from the Army scholarship he received. In June 1977, we cane to the Pine Bluff Arsenal, Arkansas, and have been here ever since.
While we have been in Pine Bluff, we have enjoyed many opportunities. Jon has served in two primary jobs, first as Chemical Staff Officer at the Plans Office, and then as Chemical Engineer at "Depot". Sharon has been teaching with the Dollarway School District, three years with first grade and this year with kindergarten. Rachel, who turned five November 3, has been attending a private day care, Ms. Sharon's. She went to Iowa with her grandparents, who spent Thanksgiving with us in Pine Bluff. This summer, she took swimming lessons in the 100+ temperatures, a great way to keep cool!
In addition to swimming, our summer was filled with other activities as well. Anticipating our move in February, we spent several weekends at the local flea market, selling bargains that we no longer needed. We went home to Iowa in late June for Sharon's sister Anne's graduation from the U. of I. radiological technology program. (She secured a job at the University Hospitals after that. We also went to Louisiana for the "maiden voyage" of our 1980 Honda Civic wagon, visiting our friends Jim Penland in Baton Rouge and the Pendarvis's in Albany (LA). Seeing New Orleans and a fourth of July fireworks show on the banks of the Mississippi River made our trip memorable.
We have taken several weekend excursions throughout Arkansas, these being especially enjoyable because of the people we have been able to share them with: our neighbors Jan and Al Agee, Craig's Uncle Isadore and Aunt Ginger from Maryland who visited us this fall, his brother and sister-in-law, Don and Lois, Sharon's brother Gary (who drove down from Minnesota in the summer heat wave), and Jon's parents, during Thanksgiving. Some of our favorite places to go in Arkansas are Hot Springs, the mid-America Center museum, Eureka Springs Passion play, Petit Jean Mountain, and the Hush Puppy restaurant. Wish that we could share them with each of you....
Over the holidays, we plan to return to Waukon, leaving Pine Bluff around the 22nd and staying until the 29th. We will be staying with Craig's parents, Alvin and Adelaide, at 1004 Second Street NW (319/568-4300) When something definite has been decided about where we will be after February, we will let you know. Please pray for us about this.
Finally, we wish for you this Christmas the best of presents-----
The presence of Jesus Christ.
Jon Craig, Sharon and Rachel (The Aldriches.)