In February I registered for three classes during the Spring semester at Fresno State College: United States History, African Geography and Geography of the U.S.S.R.
It was a busy month with lots of travel, along with visits from friends and family members. I spent the first weekend in February with Steve’s family in Alameda. Since Steve’s mother was a chaperone for a ski trip to Heavenly Valley (Lake Tahoe) with the Alameda High School ski club, I got to tag along with them. Then I drove to Glendale to see my family on another weekend with our Siamese cat, Gus, who was actually a pretty good traveler. A couple of college friends also came for a weekend stay at my apartment, and my folks stopped by for a visit on Washington’s Birthday (February 22).
Everyone was trying to keep me occupied during this long separation. Gus did his part as well by running away and getting into fights with other cats. Often he would return with injuries, but somehow I always managed to find him and get his wounds treated by a vet, if necessary.
On week nights I usually cooked my own meals and ate alone in the apartment. It was less expensive than going to a restaurant by myself, and there were not as many fast food places available then. Even though I was sometimes lonely, Gus was good company.
February was a very cold month in Fresno, and one morning I awoke to a dusting of snow on everything outside. It was beautiful, but I was looking forward to warmer weather because then it would be that much closer to Steve’s homecoming in early 1969.
During this month I acquired a small new black-and-white TV from a local “Rent to Own” store. It was affordable and provided me with many prime time shows and also the CBS Evening News. I do not recall watching Walter Cronkite’s famous editorial on how the war was unwinnable, but I did begin to notice a general change in attitude toward Vietnam after the TET Offensive.
Steve and I still corresponded on a daily basis while he was in Vietnam, but it usually took approximately five days (one way) for our letters to reach each other . . . so that was ten days to get an answer to any question. Consequently, we didn’t ask many questions and just related our daily activities and happenings in written communication. Although I didn’t count down the days until his return, I was constantly aware of the passage of time.