The Armstrong Archives (100): New Neighbors from Palestine

“There has never been a sunset that was not followed by a dawn.” Daytona Evening10 pm, Tuesday, July 21, 1981 Hi! Alan’s working late tonight, which always has its bright side…I get more done! Tonight the boys helped me bake a great big cookie sheet cake decorated with flowers and “Welcome! We’re Glad You’re Here” for some new neighbors. Do you remember the day Aaron went to watch cartoons at “Jeff’s house” but it turned out to be a total stranger? [Talk about dumb on my part…and scary; I thought Jeff was a neighbor child!] Well, Jeff is a Palestinian Arab. Last night his six daughters and their families arrived—about eighteen people, most of whom speak no English. I offered bed space, blankets, towels, or whatever, but I think they have everything pretty much under control. Looking for peace, I suppose. War is so awful. I have no clue where they’ll all sleep! 1981 Kids on Big wheelsAlan and I are contacting realtors and Burns Clinic, so next Thursday and Friday we can really get as good an idea as possible of what life in Petoskey would be like. The boys and I are going to check out churches, schools, parks, library, and cultural/family type things, etc. Alan’s going to get the details on Burns, and we both want to get a general idea of the housing market and prices, etc. Sunday we may possibly try to go to church in Petoskey if we find something really interesting; otherwise, we’ll go to church in the Soo. Thanks so much for being willing to keep us!

I called Dr. Fredricks today. He’s always really encouraging, and I feel much more at ease after talking to him a few times about my thesis. After researching some 300 articles and books, I’m beginning to have a good grip on my tiny area, and this week I’m writing my first brief, 2-page “rationale and topic area” paper. 1981 Playing on bedWell, the boys are all finally asleep! Last weekend we took them to “Crossroads Village” near Flint, where we rode on an 1860’s railroad, had strawberry sundaes at an old fashioned ice cream social, tried our hands (and feet) at walking on stilts and rolling hoops, enjoyed a band concert, watched 1800’s printing, lumbering, etc. It was really fun. Nycteris' Fingerpainting 2012[Enclosed was a very busy, colorful crayon drawing by Michael with this note:] This is Mikey’s response to “what he’s been doing lately”! I didn’t dare to ask him what he had been doing, but what I most love about his artwork (if you can call it that) is the richness and variety of color. He has your mountain lion stamp taped to the chest of drawers, and the robin and scene from Wind in the Willows are both on their mirror. Aaron is too busy playing to be caught coloring these beautiful days, but he is also very eager to see you both. They have gotten to be lots of fun…I hope it keeps up at least two more weeks! [I can’t find the original, but I do have this one made by Michael’s daughter, Nycteris, when she was also 3. 🙂 ]

012 Sunset on Lake Superior