"Hi. It's really nice to write to you again. I babysat Katie today. She had a friend over (Nicki). Tomorrow I don't have to babysit at all.
We are having pizza tonight. Jeff is going to a meeting. Early this summer Jeff cut the cord on the TV because we watched it too much. Sunday he fixed it and we get to watch 2 hours a day. Joel wants to be a truck driver and smoke when he grows up. I don't think he will though. He really wants Jeff to stop smoking then he says he wants to start.
Christian is pretty stubborn. He won't usually let anybody borrow anything even if he's not using it.
I wrote Daniel and Joel a letter.
Daniel and I got Mom some gold earrings for her birthday. I also have her and Jeff breakfast in bed. She also got a handkerchief (Joel), a book (Christian) a cake and earrings from Daniel and I. Well I gotta go, bye Ophelia. Your friend, Jennifer."
Joel did not grow up to be a truck driver or a smoker! Jennifer doesn't know what he does exactly. He works in an office and he lives in Canada now, in Winnipeg. He's a real polar bear. He isn't happy until it's so cold outside that his lungs hurt! He sometimes ice skates to work.
August 27, 1983 Saturday
"The last couple of days were normal except Christian and I tried smoking. Laurel brought over 12 cigarettes. I will never take it up as a habit, don't worry. I just wanted to try. I am at Barbara Jones house now. She has 2 wonderful dogs. A Husky and a Shepard mix. Their names are Rascal and Sonja. I am staying with Barbara until Tuesday. I hooked Rascal's and Sonja's harnesses on and tried to get them to pull me on a skateboard but no bananas (in other words, it didn't work).
We went on a walk. Then Barbara went to a reception and I stayed. I took Rascal on a walk. Sonja didn't want to come (old). Rascal lay down in a mud puddle. I hosed him off then brushed both dogs.
I wish I had a boyfriend so much. I dream about boys a lot. I gotta go so, bye Ophelia. Your friend, Jennifer."
Sonja wasn't just old, she was smart!
Jennifer doesn't know why she stayed at some one's house for four days. Obviously, her parents went away or sent her away so they could have some alone time as newlyweds. It's nice when you get married and have the kids later!
Joel might have gone to visit his mom, which would explain why Jennifer wrote him a letter. Looks like she missed him once he was gone.
August 28, 1983 Sunday
"I started my period again today. My first one was from the 2nd to the 9th of August. I tried to get Rascal to pull me on the skateboard. He didn't again. We had enchiladas for dinner. I brushed Sonja and Rascal today too.
I wish I had someone to hold and kiss and touch. I don't want to go all the way yet. I can have a baby. I'm a woman. I just want to touch and be touched. I gotta go, bye Ophelia. Your friend, Jennifer (the woman)"
Wow! Amazing how the hormones are doing their job perfectly. What an uphill battle to keep young girls safe! Jennifer has never written about touching before. It's like the movie The Blue Lagoon. Kids figure things out without movies, books or health class to teach them. One could live on a deserted island and nature will push hard for reproduction.
In most native villages, the community marries the girls and boys off young. They "travel with the river" so to speak. In industrialized nations, formal education takes many, many years. Children are generally expected to wait to marry and have children into their mid-twenties and thirties. On top of this, the children of conservative and/or religious families are encouraged to remain virgins also until they are married. But, the hormones don't wait or cooperate. Kudos to those kids who succeed!
August 31, 1983 Wednesday
"Rascal finally pulled me on my skates. It was really fun. He pulled me anywhere I wanted to go (usually). I'm still having my period.
I left Barbara's yesterday. Brian used to live in California, very close to Foster City. He's been to Foster City before. He also knows where Turkey Farm road is. That's where Carol lives (horses). Brian and Barbara used to have 2 horses.
I started school today. It was okay. I have Advanced Math, Pre-Algebra and Honors English. I start cross-country running tomorrow.
After school, I'll confess I smoked some cigarettes with my friends. But I've decided I won't anymore because of running and cancer. I don't want to start a bad habit.
English is going to be really fun.
I read Clan of the Cave Bear and The Valley of Horses (sequels). I will keep the books for the rest of my life. They're excellent. I want my kids to read them.
Well I gotta go. Write more tomorrow. Your friend, Jennifer."
I'm sure Rascal was happy to see Jennifer go! Sonja must have shook her head at him for letting Jennifer talk him into pulling her on skates. Dumb Husky! On the other hand, maybe it satisfied his inner sled dog!
Jennifer and Joel were home alone every day after school. This is when Jennifer smoked. I've heard that most junior high kids get into trouble between 3 and 5pm. It was sure true for Jennifer.
Smoking will continue to trouble Jennifer for many years. Most bad habits begin with "just one" and the intention to "just try it". Smoking is addictive like heroin is addictive. It's a powerful substance. It calls to you first thing in the morning and all day. It feels right. Your body becomes dependent on it. Nicotine withdrawals are as difficult to ignore as hunger pains.
It's amazing how our bodies want what is not good for us! Our brains know better but physical impulses are hard to ignore whether they are from hormones or addiction. It's a lot for an unsupervised thirteen-year-old girl to handle.
Anchorage is warmed by the Japanese current
The short summer temperatures vary between 55 and 78 degrees
Average daytime winter temperatures are 5 to 30 degrees
In June there is 24 hours of daylight
In December there are 7:35 hours of daylight
Moose, grizzly bears, black bears, foxes, wolves, beavers and Dall sheep live in the city!
100 moose are hit by cars every year
Median income for a family is $63, 682
You will die of hypothermia before you will drown if you fall into the ocean!