Monday, May 11, 2009

passing through

We are in DC for less than a day. With a long drive ahead of us on Sunday, we shouldn’t linger.

But we do. It’s a sunny, warm Sunday, a holiday for families. If beaches are at their best when empty, DC is best when the vast green common spaces are filled with families.

Ed and I leave an apartment full of still sleeping people, pick up a latte at a café (where, too, people watching is completely satisfying...)


…and proceed toward the Mall.

At the Museum of American History, he gets lost in the exhibits. It is at once sweet and frustrating to be with him in these places. The classic cereal box reader should not be let loose in rooms full of informational tableaus. But I find that of all the museums here, this one is such a perfect match to what’s outside. Washington is the one city in America that, in my mind, wears its past openly, at every turn. A tumultuous past, sad and thrilling, all in one fell swoop. And so I am again looking at meticulously put together exhibits that churn through communities, inventions, presidents, inaugurations – like packed pages of a thick, bold, colorful magazine.

Outside, the day is equally dazzling. We do a shortened stroll past my favorites – up the hill with the Washington Monument, down to the Monument to the Second World War, and finally, along the Reflecting Pool toward Mr Lincoln. All the while watching Mother’s Day unfold on this magnificent spring day.





We meet my daughter and her visiting friends for brunch – a late, long, wonderful brunch which cannot end because when it does, Ed and I have to find our truck, pack it up and head north.

One more minute, just one more story from across the table, one more bite, a swallow, a glance her way…


… and off we go. Six hours later, we unload in Danbury, Connecticut. We’re here for just one night, so that we can go back to Brewster and look through Ed’s family’s storage unit again. The old truck is holding up well. It’s time to load it up and slowly meander back toward the Midwest.