DEAR READERS: I'll be on vacation between Aug. 18 and Aug. 31. Don't panic -- I've selected some of my favorite letters from past years to fill the gap. I hope you enjoy them.
DEAR ABBY: A young woman who attends our church brings a large bag containing some kind of needlework, and all during the church service she either knits, crochets or does needlepoint.
I find this very distracting, and from the looks cast her way from others sitting near her, they too are annoyed.
I don't have the nerve to say something to her, and apparently neither has anyone else. She sits toward the back, so the minister can't see what she's doing. It's irritating to see her knitting away during the sermon. Maybe if you mention it in your column, she'll stop. -- DISGUSTED IN YAKIMA, WASH.
DEAR DISGUSTED: Here's the needle. I hope she gets the point.
DEAR ABBY: I recently hired a 35-year-old housekeeper. She's neat, clean, quiet and competent, and I like her very much. There is only one problem: She answers my telephone, "Praise the Lord!"
I don't have the nerve to ask her to please answer the telephone with "Mrs. So-and-So's residence." Even a simple "Hello" would satisfy me.
Any suggestions? If you use this letter in your column, she might get the message. Thank you. (P.S. I am all for praising the Lord, Abby, but I'm afraid someone might think he's dialed a wrong number and got a church or a rescue mission by mistake.) -- PORTOLA VALLEY
DEAR VALLEY: It's your home, so don't hesitate to instruct your housekeeper to answer your phone with the conventional "Mrs. So-and-So's residence."
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 60-year-old, attractive, marriage-minded widow who's been dating a 65-year-old, well-to-do, fun-loving widower. He recently moved into my building, and every unattached woman in the building is after him.
He propositioned me once in a cute way, saying, "What's another slice off a loaf of bread that's already been cut?" I made it plain that I wasn't interested in any kind of relationship that didn't include marriage. He insists that marriage is not in his plans.
Now he has a new approach. He told me that his urologist told him that men who are not sexually active are 100 times more susceptible to cancer of the prostate than men who have sex regularly. Is this true, or do you think he's just trying to get me into bed? -- LAUDERDALE LIBRA
DEAR LIBRA: It's not true. He's looking for a treat as well as a treatment. Tell him you're sorry, but you can't practice medicine without a license -- a marriage license, that is.
DEAR ABBY: Peace and all good things! I am a nun writing in desperation, hoping that you have a charitable solution to a most annoying problem.
I live in a small religious community with other sisters whom I dearly love. It seems that whenever I am trying to eat a quick lunch, a certain sister comes over with her crossword puzzle and asks, "What was the name of Seth's son?" Or, "What was Noah's boat called?"
Dear Abby, have you any ideas?
Deliver me from crossword puzzles, now and forever. Amen! -- IMPATIENT SISTER
DEAR SISTER: Practice the virtue of patience, pray for forbearance and utter ye not a cross word about the puzzle.
DEAR READERS: If you would like your letter considered for publication, please include our name, area code and telephone number.
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