Friday, December 31, 2021

Greetings from Great Falls and Glenstone

Quickie after a nice afternoon and evening with Daniel and Cahaya following a morning with the plumber, who fixed the laundry room sink (had a big glob of something stuck in the pipe) so now we can do laundry again once the corners have finished drying out. Daniel and Cahaya met us at the Metro station, from which we went to Goldberg's Bagels for brunch, then to Great Falls to see the fairly low-water C&O Canal and Potomac River, with a few Canada geese and black ducks hanging around. 

From there, we went to Glenstone for art and nature. Split-Rocker was devoid of growth, but we got to see ring-necked ducks in the pond and deer in the woods. We stopped at home for Covid tests, then went to my parents' for dinner; Daniel had requested the full Chanukah meal -- matzoh ball soup, potato pancakes, brisket, carrot souffle, noodle kugel, green beans, plus chocolate roll -- so we are stuffed. Dropped them off at the Metro, now rooting for another Big 10 victory as Wisconsin plays Arizona State! 

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Thursday, December 30, 2021

Poem for Thursday and Seneca Creek Park Lights

To Know the Dark
By Wendell Berry

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.


We had a mostly quiet day on Wednesday, at least until the laundry sink clogged and overflowed and we had to bail out the laundry room. Paul had to work and I had a pile of chores I'd been neglecting, while Daniel and Cahaya went to lunch downtown, then to antique stores in Kensington and the Garden of Lights at Brookside. Paul and I watched the Pinstripe Bowl while working on our computers, in which Maryland delightfully defeated Virginia Tech by a substantial score. 

We had leftover Greek food from my parents for dinner, and our evening started late from the laundry flood, but we watched the first episode of The Book of Boba Fett, which I absolutely adored (backstory! classic character cameos! that musician! actresses I love!) and then Under the Helmet, which we hadn't seen and taught me some fun things about Daniel Logan and Jeremy Bulloch as well as the character. Here are some more displays at the winter lights festival at Seneca Creek State Park: 

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Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Greetings from Hanover

On Tuesday we took Daniel and Cahaya to Paul's parents in Hanover for a belated Christmas dinner -- Swedish meatballs (veggie and turkey), mashed potatoes (with and without milk for the lactose intolerant), carrots, lingonberries, Swedish rye and cheese, Christmas cookies, chocolates. We looked at old family photos and read cards and Skyped with Adam, who was in the middle of his workday overseen by his canine supervisor. When we left, we visited Black Rose Antiques, where Cahaya found some treasures and I found a gorgeous pair of glass candlesticks for almost no money. 

We headed home via Gaithersburg so we could drive through the winter lights at Seneca Creek State Park, which were lovely as always and had several new displays. I got home in time to say goodnight to my Tuesday Voyager group, which had already watched "Macrocosm"; now we're watching the second episode of The Beatles: Get Back, which is really demonstrating to me how essential Ringo was -- he's the first one there every day, he talks to everyone, he jumps in with ideas and lyrics and beats without ever worrying about his credit the way George does -- and how brilliant Paul is! 

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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Greetings from the NGA and USBG

Quickie after another day downtown with lots of fun and lots of walking! We met Daniel and Cahaya amidst the poinsettias at the National Gallery of Art, which was surprisingly crowded for a workday though it was easy to socially distance except in the Impressionist galleries, so we didn't stay long in those. We went through the main floor American and most of the European rooms, including the Hudson River School galleries and Cole's Voyage of Life, as well as The New Woman Behind the Camera, an exhibit on female photographers and how their use of the medium changed both the art and the role of women in general. 

We left Daniel and Cahaya, who were headed to the East Wing, to go visit the trains at the US Botanical Garden, stopping for cheese pretzels on the way. The trains, surrounding farming scenes, are outdoors this year while the indoor gardens are closed, and many of the miniature DC monuments made from plants are on display in outward-facing windows. We met up again with Daniel and Cahaya as the museums were closing, walked to the car, and drove them to shops near their hotel, then we came home, had dinner, and started watching Don't Look Up, but it made me so mad despite the cast that we turned it off in favor of The Beatles: Get Back, which is amazing! 

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Monday, December 27, 2021

Greetings from the National Mall

We spent nearly all of Sunday in DC, mostly at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, which we'd never visited before -- one of the many things Covid put off for us for nearly two years. We met Daniel and Cahaya outside near the Washington Monument and spent almost five hours exploring the museum, starting with the arts and culture galleries on the top floor and working our way down to the History Galleries, which were by far the most crowded. Some highlights for me were the music, film, and theater exhibits -- costumes from The Wiz, a handwritten score by Duke Ellington -- the entire excellent sports gallery, and the entirety of the historical exhibition, which has so many poignant items and detailed maps and documents about the growth of slavery. 

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We were very hungry by the time we left the museum, so we took some pictures of the sunset behind the Washington Monument, then walked to the nearby food trucks, where we had a variety of burgers and sandwiches (there's plenty of veggie food at the Mediterranean and Mexican trucks). Then we walked back to our car, dropped Daniel and Cahaya off near their hotel, and stopped at the food store on our way home for some things so we can have a belated Christmas dinner with Paul's parents later this week. Then we tried to watch the Washington-Dallas football game, which we were even in the mood for after seeing pictures of Doug Williams winning the Super Bowl in the museum, but it was more of an embarrassment than a competition (teammates punching each other), so we're catching up on Graham Norton!

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Greetings for Kwanzaa

Quickie after a Christmas Day that has been exhausting though not entirely in the ways I was expecting. We had plans to go to Paul's parents for lunch, but we both woke up with upset stomachs and decided it was really not a good idea to go. We spent an hour discovering that absolutely no one had Covid rapid tests in stock and none of the testing sites was open on Christmas except at hospitals (where we figured we'd catch it if we didn't have it already), then my mother told us she had a couple of tests so we picked them up from her. Good news: not Covid! 

But we still had a lot of driving to do. We took a walk (ran into Adam's good friend's family en route), ate peanut butter toast, and drove to Dulles to pick up Daniel's girlfriend, then drove to BWI to pick up Daniel himself -- lots of flight rerouting and a layover not on the original itinerary, but they both took off and landed despite the airport staffing crisis, so that's more good news! We had food from Dunkin' while waiting for him to land, then drove them to their hotel downtown. Now we're sleepily watching Station Eleven. BWI, Dulles, the park, and downtown: 

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Saturday, December 25, 2021

Greetings for Christmas

Paul woke up not feeling well, which he attributes to eating too much Christmas cookie batter the night before, so we had a quiet morning. He felt a little better in the afternoon, so we went to Carderock to walk along the canal and see the herons, ducks, and geese, then we stopped at the Bethesda Co-op to get a couple of ingredients he needed to make Swedish food for his parents though he wasn't much in the mood for cooking and took a nap before dinner, which we had at my parents' (Greek food from Trapezaria). 

When we got home, Paul put things in to bake and we watched the holiday episode of Fantasy Island, which is straightforwardly cheesy in that one woman's fantasy is to live out a Hallmark Christmas movie (her real-life boyfriend interrupts and of course it all ends well) while Elena discovers that her ex is playing the love interest in said Hallmark fantasy. We also watched one of this week's two Station Eleven episodes -- much darker. I will post canal pics soon but for Christmas Eve, here are some of the local decorations: 

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