Sunday, April 30, 2023

Greetings from Moving Day Saturday

We left the Airbnb in Rockville on Friday in pouring rain that it's hard to say who hated more, the cats, who were stuffed in carriers on anti-anxiety meds, or us, who had to carry them plus four suitcases into the airport. But after a couple of hours in the Dulles United lounge, eating macaroni and chocolate granola and trying to coax the cats into using the pet relief area that smelled like dog pee, we had an easier flight than I imagined possible (cats mostly slept) and went from the rental car facility to a hotel for one night, where the cats were suprisingly calm after discovering that they could get under the curtains to look out the window. Daniel was flying to L.A. for a convention, while Adam's girlfriend Katherine was headed to her sister's graduation. 

We got up early Saturday to stop at a few stores before going to our new apartment: first Target for fans and shower curtains, then Comcast for the new router, then Best Buy for the microwave, air conditioner, and television, which was installed in the afternoon after our new living room sofa and loveseat arrived (we will be sleeping on the sofa until our bedroom furniture gets here along with the rest of our things next week). Then we went out to a different Target for some household items, grabbed food at Blazing Bagels, and went for a walk in our spectacular new neighborhood where we saw eagles and ospreys as well as ducklings and turtles. It was 75 degrees in brilliant sunshine and we could hardly have felt more welcome by the Pacific Northwest animals! 

2023-04-28 14.04.03

2023-04-28 17.00.56

2023-04-29 09.08.32

2023-04-28 22.53.07

2023-04-29 14.54.03

2023-04-29 11.48.42

2023-04-29 15.28.41

2023-04-29 19.35.08

Friday, April 28, 2023

Poem for Friday and Preparing to Move

By Alicia Ostriker

Whether it’s a turtle who drags herself
Slowly to the sandlot, where she digs
The sandy nest she was born to dig

And lay leathery eggs in, or whether it’s salmon
Rocketing upstream
Toward pools that call, Bring your eggs here

And nowhere else in the world, whether it is turtle-green
Ugliness and awkwardness, or the seething
Grace and gild of silky salmon, we

Are envious, our wishes speak out right here,
Thirsty for a destiny like theirs,
An absolute right choice

To end all choices. Is it memory,
We ask, is it a smell
They remember,

Or just what is it—some kind of blueprint
That makes them move, hot grain by grain,
Cold cascade above icy cascade,

Slipping through
Water’s fingers
A hundred miles

Inland from the easy, shiny sea?
And we also—in the company
Of our tribe

Or perhaps alone, like the turtle
On her wrinkled feet with the tapping nails—
We also are going to travel, we say let’s be

Oblivious to all, save
That we travel, and we say
When we reach the place we’ll know

We are in the right spot, somehow, like a breath
Entering a singer’s chest, that shapes itself
For the song that is to follow.


We spent nearly all of Thursday running around doing the final things we needed to do in Maryland, starting with putting in orders for things we need to pick up as soon as we get to Seattle, then going to the MVA to return our EZPass transponders, followed by a trip to PetSmart in Kentlands, which said online that they had Feliway in stock but that turned out not to be true. From there we went to meet Paul's boss, who took us out for a fabulous lunch at Asia Nine in Gaithersburg. After lunch, we went to the nearby Doubletree Hotel's Hertz counter to pick up a rental car. 

Then we took our Corolla to Carmax to sell, which ended up taking more than an hour. We had to rush to the bank to deposit the check before they closed and over to Petco to get the Feliway that PetSmart didn't have. We stopped back at the Airbnb to feed the cats and throw in a laundry before going to my parents' for dinner from the Cheesecake Factory. Now we're back at the Airbnb, sneaking anti-anxiety meds into the cats' food, finishing one last laundry, packing the things we don't need to keep out for Friday morning, and catching up on The Masked Singer after my usual Thursday Zoom chat! 

2023-04-27 18.02.24

2023-04-27 13.21.01

2023-04-27 13.47.36

2023-04-27 14.16.11

2023-04-27 16.04.15

2023-04-27 20.00.23

2023-04-27 21.09.44

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Greetings from Rockville

I got to spend a lot of Wednesday with Cheryl, including lunch at Mosaic Cafe, watching Fire Island (yes, again) and Reminiscence (because of Hugh) with ice cream in between, and spotting two bunnies in front of the Airbnb. Before she arrived, I got some work done and even managed a few minutes on chat with two of my high school friends. 

After she had to go home, Paul -- who went in to the local office for the last time and picked up anti-anxiety meds for the cats -- and I went over to the house to attach a new extension cord to the sump pump and said goodbye to our neighbors the Wigles. Then we ate a very late dinner and watched the Iconic America episode about Fenway Park on PBS. 

2023-04-25 19.06.30

2023-04-25 19.02.20

2023-04-26 16.34.55

2023-04-26 17.10.02

2023-04-26 19.45.38

2023-04-26 20.16.15

2023-04-26 20.15.20

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Poem for Wednesday and Earlier Canal

From the Canal
By Michael Dickman

Small fistfuls
of green lights hang
from your every

An alphabet I can't read

in sunlight

The box turtles stack up one on top of the other like newly minted money balanced above the water

I am so happy
I would like to take some drugs
Some cherry blossoms


I would like to chop down my shoulders into flowers

A spray of flowers


The blue heron looks back one million years from the muddy bank and is ready for liftoff

It lifts off
through a shower curtain
of dragonflies and

It wants to be alone

It wants to stand on one leg forever

And be a ballerina
in curved space and
a black crown

Everything is so still that I can't breathe

The joggers pound the dirt and will never die

Fish asleep on the bottom
Insects screaming in the trees


Gnats rise as one
white-feathered lung
and breathe

They have nowhere to go

Maybe they want to build a little city
inside my chest

Floor after floor
of air-conditioning
and glass

Why do I keep waiting for something to change when I know that nothing will change?

Light crumples
against the hammered brass
heads of the frogs

Two boys carry a snake between them like a live extension cord


Tuesday morning and afternoon were pretty quiet after my busy Monday. We knew that the minivan would be retrieved for transport some time in the late afternoon, so we packed everything we don't need with us for the next three days in Maryland or the three following in Washington into boxes and put them in the back of the van, then waited for the transport company to tell us where to drive the van for loading since this suburban street wasn't an option. 

It turned out that the van transport didn't get into the area until nearly 7, and we had to go meet them in Rockville. Half of my Voyager group couldn't get on at the usual time, so we decided to skip this week. So we ate leftovers from our fridge for dinner and now we're watching Ghosted, which is both as bad and as awesome as everyone told me (Evans having a great time and I'd have watched for the cameos alone). Pics from the last time we walked on the canal: 

2023-04-07 15.21.53

2023-04-07 15.07.33

2023-04-07 16.09.50

2023-04-07 15.51.02

2023-04-07 16.08.20

2023-04-07 15.23.24

2023-04-07 15.50.44

2023-04-07 15.46.13

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Poem for Tuesday and Social Monday

By Hilda Conkling

This is mint and here are three pinks
I have brought you, Mother.
They are wet with rain
And shining with it.
The pinks smell like more of them
In a blue vase:
The mint smells like summer
In many gardens.


Quickie after another very busy, social day starting with coffee and a croissant at Filicori Zecchini with two of my high school friends, Linda and Stephanie, followed by Playa Bowls with Toby, whom I met in Baby Gap when we both had infants and who invited me to join her baby group when she discovered I didn't know anyone else with an infant in the area. Then I stopped in Giant, outside of which I ran into my mom, and came back to the Airbnb to find Paul's work being supervised by the cats. 

We took a walk, then went for dinner with my friends Angela, Lena, and Carrie at the Brooklyn Deli and intended to get Baskin Robbins for dessert for old time's sake like we used to do after Lebanese Taverna, but the one that has just moved to Park Potomac wasn't open yet. So we chatted outside, then I came back here to fold laundry and watch Fire Island, which Kay told me was based on Pride and Prejudice, something I hadn't realized from the trailer. From the walk, meals out, and the supervisors: 

2023-04-24 16.57.04

2023-04-24 13.10.14

2023-04-24 13.52.53

2023-04-24 15.19.03

2023-04-24 16.14.58

2023-04-24 19.14.59

2023-04-24 17.08.21

Monday, April 24, 2023

Greetings from the House

I had a very social Sunday, starting with brunch with my parents, my sister, and her daughter (bagels, cheese, fruit, and mom made a blintz casserole). We hung out in gorgeous weather for a while, then we stopped by the house to put out a last batch of garbage and recycling for pickup on Monday morning and came back to the Airbnb to feed and entertain the cats. 

At dinnertime we went to Kay and Chris's house for dinner along with their sons and one girlfriend. It was a lovely evening of Chinese food and catching up with everyone, though I had to get back here before too late so we missed the latest tour of the workshop, and now we're watching Succession. On Monday I'm juggling trying to see three friends and will probably eat too much all week! 

2023-04-23 17.49.32

2023-04-23 17.26.29

2023-04-23 17.25.25

2023-04-20 17.28.54

2023-04-20 17.28.03

2023-04-23 14.55.09

2023-04-23 20.56.46

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Greetings from Hanover

Another quickie, this time because we're watching the third episode of the final season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, some parts of which are laugh-out-loud funny (the ex-in laws at the comedy show!). Speaking of in-laws, we went to visit mine today in Hanover -- drove through a big thunderstorm to get there -- and hung out and ate cookies. Then we took a walk in Montgomery Mall since it was still wet out, visited the Lego store which has a new awesome very expensive Lord of the Rings set, and brought back Cinnabon for dessert after leftover gumbo for dinner. I'm sure there's more but I'm sleepy so have a few pics: 

2023-04-22 18.47.56

2023-04-22 18.43.55

2023-04-22 18.48.04

2023-04-22 15.40.48

2023-04-22 15.42.11

2023-04-22 15.40.30