Saturday, February 13, 2010

Week of Snow

We had two major snowstorms this week. This picture is after the first. Joseph having an icicle broken off from our house eaves.

Measuring 19.5 inches after the first storm!
We were snowed in Friday-Thursday. We had such a wonderful time together. No cabin fever here! (Probably because we only have one child so there is no bickering between siblings that can drive a mother mad!)

Sunday, February 07, 2010


Getting older this year is hitting me a bit harder than it has in the past.

Maybe because I feel the wrinkles on my face have exponentially increased this year.

Maybe because the "sensible shoes" that I have worn to help with my foot problems since my car accident four years ago have become the standard. It's hard to feel young and hip while wearing grandma shoes.

Maybe because for the first time I realized I look a lot different from the undergrads on campus--especially when those undergrads repeatedly ask me if I am a professor. I guess I do look older (Apparently I've been delusional for a few years now).

Maybe becuase I worry that some life options are less and less likely as I get older. It is hard to relinquish the idea that "anything is possible." You know, for example, the Olympics is out for me. (I know, I know it was never really an option for me).

Maybe because I realized that I'm at a midpoint: 15 years ago I graduated from high school; 15 years from now Joseph will graduate from high school! There is no slowing down time.

But, those next fifteen years with Joseph are going to be a wonderful adventure. And maybe he'll be in the Olympics!

February 10, 2010

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Got Community?

Bob, Chris, Marc and Joseph during the neighborhood snow dig-out in December.

As I sit inside during another major snowstorm--Snowmageddon--as it has been dubbed, I can't help but think about how snowstorms highlight the neighborliness of our community.

In December we had a major snowstorm. Our neighbor, Bob, owns a snowblower which he stores in the shed in our yard. Marc being the young, vigorous (and handsome) man that he is gets to actually operate the snowblower. He has become the hero of our street by clearing the sidewalks. It really does make a difference when you can walk your dog, visit a neighbor, or get to the 7-11 on cleared sidewalks. We've been gifted with full meals and baked goods as kind neighbors want to say thanks. This has helped me recognize the value of "shared" belongings. Everyone on the street doesn't need to invest in a snowblower. But we can share. We could even organize a committee so that people could coordinate their snow clearing. And it is a wonderful way to get to know people and feel connected.
In the snowstorms this year I've talked to neighbors on our street that I've never even met before. In December, Bob joined us for breakfast on the snowy Saturday morning and then stayed to tell us about snowstorms when he was growing up on a Kansas farm. He even performed some Christmas carols on our piano. All throughout the day, we met various neighbors, Bob popped by to assess the progress of the driveway, etc. A neighbor whose family was out of town stopped by to borrow eggs (his wife had cleared out the fridge before she left).
The kids on the street all gather together--building a snow fort, sharing kid shovels, and taking rides on the street's sole sled that Grandma Donna bought earlier this week. For a few more days while everyone worries about the roads and trying to get back to work, I'm going to enjoy being stuck and sharing this wonderful community feeling.
* I should add a caveat. We have power. If we didn't like thousands in the metro area, this snowstorm would quickly lose its novelty and enjoyment.

January Dinner Parties

We hate January. Cold, dreary weather with not much fun in sight. Christmas festivities are over and the fun of summer seems so far away. In attempt to survive this year, we had lots of dinner parties so we could pass the time with interesting people.

Here is our January guest list:

  • The Constituency Services Director for our local Democratic Congressman and her husband who is a high school science teacher and Biology PhD student.
  • An entrepreneur who has started a commuting technology. He was born in England, grew up in Canada, and lived for the past 19 years in New Zealand. He and Marc do a lot of presentations together because they are interested in similar alternative transportation ideas. Donna and Lincoln, always a vibrant addition to any dinner party, also joined us. Lincoln spent part of his childhood in New Zealand.
  • The Children's Librarian for our local library who is also an activist with Code Pink. Joseph adores her--she always makes going to the library such a fun treat. And I'm pretty amazed at her activism. She's been arrested multiple times and on the section front page of the Washington Post. I admire her for standing up for what she believes.
  • Two federal bureacrats who lived in Italy for seven years while working for the Navy. Both of their children were born in Italy. They brought their Italian-born babies (who are now 4 and 3) and Joseph had a ball.
  • We also had our neighbor Bob over for an impromptu meal or two. I'll have to tell you more about Bob one of these days. He is really quite a fascinating guy. Here's a tidbit for this post: he played the organ for Mamie Eisenhower's funeral.

Also, Marc attended a breakfast party hosted by Martina in honor of her son and Marc's friend, Nick, who was in town for something like 36 hours. They had a great time--and took a picture--which we neglected to do at any of our dinner parties!

January, 2010

Best Commute Ever!

This is Marc writing. These are pictures that I took during my morning commute back in October when I was working down at the Navy Yard. I'm working at the Highway Administration now, which is next to the Navy Yard, so I'm back to the same ride. (Though I don't ride my bike in the snow).

First, the Netherlands Carillon. The Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima) is right behind it.

Arlington Cemetery

The formal entrance to Arlington Cemetery. Robert E. Lee's house is at the top of the hill.

Lincoln Memorial

Korean War Memorial

Washington Monument

Jefferson Memorial

Seafood Market and Marina

View of the Capitol from South Capitol Street

Nationals Baseball Stadium

Not pictured: the Holocaust Museum, Bureau of Printing and Engraving, Arena Stage, Memorial Bridge, and Potomac River.