The Armstrong Archives (74): Sandbox in the Basement

Playing in the sandboxSaturday, August 11, 1979 Thanks so much for coming to visit. We just loved every minute of it, and actually company is a wonderful antidote for morning sickness. Dad, I want you to know I’ve got a 25-watt light in the boys’ room, and Alan has promised me some more ampicillin pills. The flashlight is working just beautifully—thank you, and there are several other improvements around as well. You have my permission to trouble-shoot and/or fix things around our home any time.  (That is unless Alan objects, which he doesn’t seem to do!) Bravo!

Mom, we finished Turn Here for Strawberry Roam before you got home, and so we were absolutely thrilled to have Yo Ho for Strawberry Roam; and, we’re well into their boating adventures now. Thanks also for the piano books! I’ve been practicing “Liebestraum” and Handel’s “Largo.” Alan also sent me off to the music store for some Bach, Handel, and Beethoven originals, so I feel quite challenged! Of course my favorite time is each morning when Michael and Aaron join me at the piano to sing Sunday school songs. Even the neighbor children come over to sing with us sometimes.

Not much has happened since you left. Aaron is over his cold and ear infection. We have one BIG NEWS…well at least for small boys. Alan built a sandbox in the basement last night. I played with them this morning so I could supervise closely. I think it’s going to work. Aaron is extremely good about not abusing it, and Mike only needed one spanking for throwing sand. I hope we can train Michael to play nicely, since it will be a great addition to the indoor repertoire. I’m falling asleep so I’d better quit. Alan’s on call again. Tonight our pastor dropped by for a visit just as I was taking the boys out of the tub. The house was unusually—I mean really—horrible looking. Toys and books everywhere!! However, I was so delighted to see him that I only gave it one thought and just enjoyed the brief visit. He is such a devout Christian; I don’t know as I’ve ever met anyone quite so sincere and clear. Alan and I really admire him. Dad, you’d really enjoy him because he’s about your age, and just as open and forthright, besides being smart.

Anyway, he had a piece of your rhubarb pie (which I just made today), which was truly yummy. (The rhubarb I mean.) So, thanks for the rhubarb too. Aaron even had enough to make himself a little pie too, his first truly made by him!

Tuesday, September 4, 1979 September already! The boys have been playing on their big wheels…enjoying the last day before all the neighbors start to school. Although they will be lonely without the bigger kids, I will be happy they have more time alone and to enjoy each other!Alan reading to MichaelAlan and I have thought a lot about reading materials for the boys. If you’ve already bought Winnie the Pooh, that’s fine, but in general I’m more oriented toward reality. For example, I just finished a biography of Robert E. Lee. Books that teach about science, nature, history, etc. are really my first choices. Our family guideline is Philippians 4:8, “Whatsoever things are true…honest…just… pure…. lovely…of good report; if there by any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Aaron’s starting to expand his eating tastes. This week’s curiosity items included a coconut and some lemons. We have all enjoyed the coconut (except Michael), and we’re having lemon chiffon pie for supper.

Aaron has also begun working for an allowance: breakfast dishes, setting the table for dinner, and completely cleaning his room before bed. In return he earns money for a tithe for church, some to spend however he wants, and some to save for big projects (toys, presents, etc). He is very hot to go shopping this week…I can hardly wait to see how he spends his money! I fear it’s going to be all on gum!!! KensingtonWe went to Kensington and took a ride on the “Fairy Queen” paddle wheeler, fed the ducks, etc. Some of the leaves are starting to turn. We all dearly love the fall and are enjoying the cooler evenings. We are very glad Alan will have a fairly easy October.

Meanwhile, September in the Cardiac Care Unit is grueling—in excess of 100 hours per week. It seems Alan is either eating, sleeping, or bathing when he’s home! We shall persevere!

Michael’s doing fine… always busy. I wondered if he was going to let Aaron dominate him, but he told Aaron, “No! I wanna talk!” and pushed him down the other day. He doesn’t take guff from anybody!

Aaron made you a map of how to get to our house when he heard you were (hopefully) coming for Christmas! Or for ANY TIME!!! We’re certainly looking forward to seeing you in October!

Got to go make that pie!

Love, Us

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