Oran found out on Wednesday that he was being sent to London for a week, starting February 13th, 1977, to recruit men for the Water Injection Operations in Udhailiyah. That was a pleasant surprise for him. I wasn't being sent on this trip with him, but really didn't want to go anyway, as it was still very cold there. I was just beginning to thaw out from our vacation.
That evening we went to the Williams, then to the Dining Hall to eat with the group. Afterwards, we went to the Sypher’s.
We had the usual Dining Hall breakfast Thursday morning, then went to the Suqs, the Commissary, and by Patty and Burl York's to see them before they moved to Dhahran. They weren't home, so we went to the Library and the local track meet. We decided to have chili dogs, so I went back to the Commissary for the necessary ingredients while Oran watched more of the track meet.
That evening we went to the Adams’, then the dance at the Golf Club House, where we sat with Estella and Bill, and Avonie. Oran had a good time, but I didn't enjoy this one as much. The company had made a new rule saying bachelors couldn't attend the dances without dates. Heck! They could always be counted on for several dances.
At breakfast the next morning, we saw the Adams and Avonie. You could always count on some of our friends being there. You knew practically everyone in camp, anyway.
Later, I went to a workshop for the Beta Sigma Phi Sweetheart Ball at the Casparis' while Oran wrote letters. Sheila came home with me to have tea. Oran played tennis with Jack, then grilled us some steaks, which didn't taste too good to us after all the good U.S. beef we had on vacation.
The next couple of days, I just joined the breakfast club group at the Dining Hall. But on Monday, February 7th,1977, I caught the 7:30 bus to Dhahran, then went to Al-Khobar to shop and meet Pat Smyth. We shopped separately for awhile, then met at the coffee shop for a break, to compare purchases, and to visit. We caught the 12 o'clock bus back to Dhahran, had lunch at the Dining Hall with Guy, who worked in Dhahran then, and caught the 1 o'clock buses back to our different camps. That was the old, familiar routine.
I took a short nap before Marge and I went to look at some of the old vacated row houses that had been offered to us, but we didn't take any of them. At this point, we wanted to hold out for a new townhouse, too.
When Oran came home we went to Kathi and Roy Steindorf's for an "out of this world" delicious dinner of chicken fried steak, cream gravy, mashed potatoes and all the trimmings. Sheila was there, too. We didn't stay too long after though, as it was mid-week and Oran was tired from work, and I from my trip to Al-Khobar.
We had the group to our house Wednesday before going to the Dining Hall for the shrimp, then in to watch the square dancing. That night they needed an extra woman to make up another square. Chris DeSantis started trying to talk me into doing it, then, against my protests, just pulled me out onto the floor, saying he would coach me through it. Well, I had never done that before but decided I would give it my best shot and didn't do too badly, considering. It didn't convince me to join the group though.
Our first Sorority Beta Sigma Phi Sweetheart Ball was the next night, Thursday, February 10th,1977. It was a very dressy affair, and I wore a new, long, red dress I had bought just for this occasion. It was like a halter dress, as the arms and shoulders were exposed, and the front had a deep V plunge to a red and gold, bejeweled square at the waist. All the members had worked very hard decorating, and setting it up to be a very special dance in the Golf Club House. Sharon Green was crowned our queen that year.
I didn't feel well at all Friday morning but got out of bed to meet the others in the Dining Hall for breakfast at 9:30 anyway. I went back to bed after that, but Jack Hayes came by so we visited with him awhile, then went back to bed for a couple of hours. Then we took Kathi's Papasan chair and stool that had been used for the queen crowning at the dance the night before back to her and had some tea. We finished a letter to Vicky, ate supper, then went to bed early, as it had been a very full weekend.Saturday morning, I went to the Dining Hall for breakfast with Marge, Kathi and her kids, and Sandy. The weather had been very nice, ranging from 46 to 84 degrees. It wouldn't be too long before we could start going to the pool again, and the beach. The rest of that day, and evening, I helped get Oran ready to go on his trip to London.
The next day, Sunday, February 13th, 1977, Oran left Abqaiq at 7:30 a.m. for a week in London, England. He was looking forward to it, as it got him away from a job that he really didn't like already. It had been rougher making the adjustment than he thought it would be. He was enjoying being back in Abqaiq every night (back in civilization, so to speak), but the drive to Mubarraz and back every day was very dangerous and nerve wracking. He saw wrecks and dead people quite frequently. Also, he worked with virtually all Saudis, and while he liked and got along with them just fine, he would have liked to be with other Americans and Englishmen, as well. So he might have jumped from the frying pan into the fire. Time would tell.I must admit, I looked forward to having time to myself again for a little while, and it did turn out to be a fun, relaxing week. I continued to go
I must admit, I looked forward to having time to myself again for a little while, and it did turn out to be a fun, relaxing week. I continued to go on our usual breakfast get together each morning at the Dining Hall, visit around camp with various friends, and have others over in the evenings, or go to their house.On Tuesday evening, I invited Sandy, Kathi, Marge, and Sheila over for wine, cheese, dip, and talk. We had even thought we might play some bridge, but never did get around to that; we went to the Dining Hall to eat instead.
On Tuesday evening, I invited Sandy, Kathi, Marge, and Sheila over for wine, cheese, dip, and talk. We had even thought we might play some bridge, but never did get around to that; we went to the Dining Hall to eat instead.
Wednesday evening the Williams, Adams, and Sheila included me in the shrimp dinner outing at the Dining Hall. Sheila and I went to the Adams’ after for a short while to see a shipment of theirs that had arrived. Then I went to a party in our 7-unit apartment building. Estella and Avonie's friend, Barrie, was caretaking the Yates’ apartment while they were on vacation. So, there was always something that came up to do.
Friday, February 18th, 1977, turned out to be a different and exciting day when I went with some friends on a picnic to Qurrayah Beach. Our official company beach facilities had not been completed yet or officially opened, but there were self-made, passable ruts along the beach in both directions from the Seawater Plant. These were made by huge sand tires of Abqaiq residents anxious to avail themselves of this new, reachable pastime. We turned south of the plant and soon found a suitable spot, after almost getting stuck in the sand once.
The weather turned out to be just perfect for both sun bathing and swimming. We spread a blanket on the beach, put our drinks and picnic food on it, then stretched out on it ourselves in our bathing suits to catch a few rays of sun. There wasn't another person besides our group to be seen.
It was extremely enjoyable languishing there in the sun, as the weather wasn't very hot yet, but we soon felt the desire to enter the calm, beautiful, blue-green water of the Persian Gulf. That was delightfully refreshing and stimulating. We swam out a distance, then just stood, letting the waves wash gently over us.
Back on our blanket we ate our food, drank a cold Pepsi, then lay back down to let the sun dry us off. After another hour of that, we decided we’d had enough sun for one day, so we drove back to Abqaiq Camp. It had been a relaxing, fun, and exciting day I wouldn't soon forget.
Saturday morning, February 19th, 1977, I had breakfast with Marge, Kathi and her kids, and Sandy. After that Marge and I drove to Mary Lou Love’s for coffee and found Sharon Green there, as well. Later I went to the Post Office and Commissary before working around the apartment to get ready for Oran's return from London and the Sorority Meeting, which was at my house. After cleaning up from that, I read awhile, then went on to bed.
Sure enough, Oran arrived at 12 midnight, so I got up, and we talked about what had happened to each of us while he was gone. He found London interesting, even though he had a very tight and exhausting schedule. He said that he would like for us to go back there some day, and I would look forward to that. Oh yes, he brought me a fur cape stole, so I profited from his trip, as well.
Oran didn't go back to work Sunday, so we slept late, then I cooked a big breakfast. We walked to the Post Office, took his passport to the Administration Building, walked to the Snack Bar for a drink, then just walked around camp, as it was such a beautiful day. It was the time of year in Arabia that I considered the weather to be just perfect, not too hot or cold, very gentle wind, and mostly clear, with star-studded, moonlight nights. We unpacked his clothes, went to the pool to sun bathe, then sat on the porch. It was good to have him home.