The Armstrong Archives (47): Psychiatry is “The Best!”

Saturday, April 8, 1978 This has been one busy week but sure fun! Monday we ate dinner at our Sunday school teachers’ home. The husband is a retired army colonel who’s just lived and worked everywhere—Vietnam, Paris, the Pentagon, Korea, the hills of West Virginia… His wife is a real “Southern Belle” from Virginia. [She was “Miss Virginia” one year!] They are just delightful! Very wise and very funny.

Michael’s growing by leaps and bound now. He popped out his first tooth, can roll both ways, and is up on hands and knees rocking back and forth, lunging, and trying so hard to crawl!5200 Anthony Wayne Dr.[“This is 5200 Anthony Wayne Drive.”I must have taught Aaron to say our address just in case he ever got lost, although he never did.] Aaron’s in his glory now that the weather’s finally warm enough for us to get outside some. He rides his tricycle all over campus while I push Michael in the stroller. It’s still cold and rainy some days, but yesterday was in the 60°s, and we were out two hours.

Psychiatry has really been a good, easy rotation for Alan, and he’s even become social again. We’re starting to have friends over and do stuff together. It almost feels like the “good old days” before we had kids and medical school. I love it. Of course, as a result I have less time to get my work done, but I’d rather play than work anyway!Tree HouseWednesday, April 19, 1978 [Enclosed is “A Tree House too”…Aaron made two today. He always selects his own titles…]

Just a note to say we’re still surviving. It’s been cold here, 50°s with cloudy/sunshiny weather. Last Saturday we all went to Kensington Park and just had a marvelous time tramping through the woods. We brought the wagon for the boys; Michael slept a lot, but Aaron ran most of the time and had a ball.Beethoven[“I’m making Beethoven for my Grandpa Lou” I wrote explanations on most of the pictures for my parents] Thursday night Alan took me to hear Haydn’s Creation at the Detroit Symphony. Really a spectacular performance. We’ll have to take you two with us sometime; you’d really enjoy it, I’m sure.

Tomorrow we’re going to a Tigers’ ball game. As you can see, we have really been making use of Alan’s four-week psychiatry rotation! Unfortunately, it will be over Friday. It has certainly been a wonderful break and so nice that Alan has had enough energy to do some fun things!

There are a few glimmers of Aaron’s approaching three. Some days he is so sweet and helpful! Today he was all set to fix my sewing machine. He wondered why I was sewing by hand. When I told him my machine wasn’t working, he went to get his toolbox and said he would fix it if I’d get it out! The funny thing was, he really thought he could and was a little hurt that I didn’t let him try. [I was afraid he’d just be frustrated and even more disappointed if he did try and couldn’t fix it.]

Glad to talk to you last night. My lack of letters is strictly my fault. We love you so dearly that nothing short of murder could offend us for more than ten minutes. We always thoroughly enjoy going home, and you have both consistently overextended yourselves with kindnesses when we’re there. Please don’t even consider that you might be the reason I don’t write! It’s predictably 1) somebody’s been sick, 2) our schedule has become overly full for some reason, or 3) I’m overtired and under-organized (usually due to one the first two reasons).

Michael cut his second tooth and is starting to creep forward a little. He is really changing fast now. He’s still full of laughter and good humor, and Aaron enjoys him more every day. SpringTuesday, April 25, 1978 Last Saturday was a beautiful, sunny day and Alan woke up singing, “Aaron, where would you like to go today?” Aaron responded immediately, “To Grandma’s house!!”

If we’d had a three-day weekend, I’m sure we would have come, but there won’t be any of those until June. We did go to Mt. Pleasant on Sunday though for their yearly reunion called “Family Day” at our old church. (You came with us once. It coincides with the Sugar Bush Festival and the all-you-can-eat pancake dinner at Shepherd.) We always have such a marvelous time and wish we could find such a warm fellowship here in Detroit.

Yesterday Aaron had a little asthma, but he seems all right today. Traveling always seems to set him off. I’ve had a cold for the past several days too. We have sure had our share of sickness this winter. I am thankful it’s all been just simple, non-serious, cold bugs, though. [Alan thought it was most likely from his rotations through pediatrics and other exposures in the hospital system…his first year with so much direct contact.]

Saturday night we went to a Sunday school party “progressive dinner” (where you all ride on a bus to different homes for all the different courses) and a volley ball game, and Thursday night we had company for dinner. So, our social life is still existent and lots of fun.

Michael’s pounding on the organ and Aaron’s playing with his cars. Alan’s doing neurology at Detroit General (Hospital) this month. Sorry we can’t get home every month like we used to, but know that we’d LOVE to have you visit any time you can make it!

Love, A,K,A,M

[As we just said goodbye to Johannes’ family with his two wee boys, it reminds me so much of this time 35 years ago when we had two small sons! Time flies, but God’s love and grace remains constant. Great is His faithfulness!]