Category Archives: Washington DC

My musings of DC

It’s hard to know where to start when there is what seems an entire lifetime of events… that’s, i know, impossible as the time was only 2 1/2 short days… so i’ll just start somewhere and see where the thoughts and memories take me.. what struck me most profoundly in this incredible metropolis known to the world as DC, is that I felt like I had been there before… I have dreamed of seeing this place since I was a little kid… about 7, I believe… so many times, in my thoughts and hopes, I have walked the streets of Washington.  Some of what I saw was exactly as I imagined and others were more than I expected.  The city itself, at least the part where the tourists go, is clean and depicts itself as a pinnacle of history, tradition, pomp, culture and breeding… a place that draws me to want to be a part of it, to submerse myself in the history and become part of something that feels incredibly special and, at the same time, strangely familiar.  The stark white of the buildings against, on the first day out, blue skies, and then overcast with occasional sunbursts, were impressive.  Massive things they were, standing at attention, endlessly awaiting what could be the most important thing ever to happen.  And smart in their black uniforms were the armed guards standing alert and ready at every federal building.  They patrolled the streets on bikes and could be seen everywhere.  They were unsmiling and quite intimidating… but helpful, mostly, when asked for information.  President Lincoln, sitting stoically in his shrine, was most impressive… I wasn’t really prepared for the massiveness of the statue.  I knew, of course, that it would be large, but this was monumental.  The reflecting pool was frozen, save a small area about five feet wide… the Washington Monument cast a shadow across the frozen pool, a reflection to come another day…The columns of the great buildings were huge and made me think of Coliseums. The people who lived there, and they were distinguished from the rest of us boobs touring around.. were, in my experience, very polite, though distracted with the daily grind and bustle.  What I found to be a cool thing to do, they found riding the Metro a chore and high on the list of “dumb things I gotta do”.  They seemed oblivious, for the most part, they were living practically next door to the President.  It was exciting to think that, at any moment, the President of the United States could pass right in front of me.  I don’t think I will ever forget the feeling of pride and eagerness when President Obama passed by in his motorcade right in front of our eyes.  It was a moment that felt fake, as though I would wake up in the real world… and what a great feeling to realize that, at this particular moment, I and my Pentax were in the real world and this was really happening… DC was decorated for Christmas with wreaths and red ribbons on many of the buildings, a stark contrast to the white… Lights adorned the trees around buildings and Christmas trees were in abundance all over the city.  The huge Christmas tree in the center of the Ellipse on the White House property was impressive, and once lighted, was absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.  If the weather had held, we would have stayed one more day, taking a trip to Arlington Cemetery and getting a last look at the White House.  But, Mother Nature had other plans and instead of taking chances, we decided to leave early to beat the foul weather.  On the last morning, while at McDonald’s for breakfast, Taylor and I met a very nice black woman who sat and ate at the table with us.  She had lived hard years, at least that’s the story her face and hands showed.  Her name was Michelle and she was a wealth of information.  She has lived in DC her whole life and when I commented on how beautiful the city was, she laughed out loud and said “you han’t been dinetine has ye?”…  She spoke of her five grandchildren, her eyes lighting up as she told of each one and what they were doing.  She was excited that she was going to see them for Christmas.  We talked about the snow and she told of a big snow last year.  I don’t know if she was homeless… I didn’t ask her.  What I do know is that she was a fascinating, interesting woman with information about a place that I wanted to know about.  I wish there had been more time… I would have loved to have seen “her DC”.  I was reminded again, as she smiled over her eggs and hotcakes, that we are all children of God and He rains on all of us, wherever we are, just as He lets the gentle wind blow and the sun shine… just like He sends the north wind to tear at our hair and clothes and snow so thick that sight is impossible… He is too great to describe in a blog or a photograph… to omnipotent to ever begin to understand… but I know He loves me… and He loves Michelle… and all the others everywhere… He sees the happiness, discouragement, sorrow, joy… in Southwest Virginia and in Washington DC and on every inch of the world, both here and abouts…  I believe this with everything I am, was or ever hope to be… and I know He has blessed me beyond measure…  If this was it, I could not complain… for it has already been more than I had ever  hoped to dream for… Praising Him for blessing me in the midst of my unworthiness…

Washington DC… A dream realized

It’s nearly 11:00, and while I know I should be in bed, I find that closing my eyes, knowing that I am just a 5 minute ride from the heartbeat of this wonderful country we live in is keeping me awake.  I wasn’t sure what I would see or feel or think, never having been in or around DC before… Lisa and I both came to the conclusion at the same time, tho, that were mom here, she would be sick.  The metro sways side to side, speeds up and slows down, and often, we were riding backward… Once in the city itself, I was struck first by the cleanliness of everything.  The streets, buildings, lawns, vehicles… even the squirrels… it is all just busting at the seams in anticipation of something wonderful… or maybe that is me bursting at the seams in anticipation…  the streets and buildings are decorated with lights and wreaths and the effect, with the big ol’ buildings and the stoic trees, is a mesmerizingly fascinating one.  On our walk out and about today, as we scouted out the ticket pick-up line and seating for the tree-lighting, we saw the White House, the Capitol building (from a distance) and the Washington Monument.  There are flags everywhere, on every building and post and on many of the cars.  Statues and sculptures are everywhere… some of the people, whose likenesses are preserved in stone, I have heard of and others, I haven’t.  Around every corner is an aura of oldness… of traditions that haven’t been broken in decades and a pride carried on the faces and shoulders of the locals that says it ain’t planning on breaking them any time soon.  The trees, as I imagined they would be, are stunning.  An incredible contrast between the white of the buildings, the green (how they do that in december i don’t know) of the lawns, the blue of the sky and the thousands of Christmas lights and decorations, the trees stand sentry-like, guarding in their own way those that belong to them.  The White House is beautiful, but having seen photographs of it, that does not come as a surprise… but seeing it with my own eyes made me want to cry… I could scarcely believe that another one of my dreams had come true.  The level grounds surrounding it and the huge trees flanking it on every side made it even more stunning.  And if seeing the White House wasn’t enough, the roads were barricaded and the President’s motorcade came through.  While the tinted, bullet-proof glass offered little give where photos were concerned, President Obama is in the limo, behind the driver.  He is leaned forward slightly and, sorry, Mr. President, but those ears would give you away anywhere.  I am still excited about it… i don’t think it would have been any better if he had stopped, got out, and said, “why, Gina… don’t stand out in the cold, come on and I’ll give you a ride to five guys…”  Just seeing what I saw and knowing what I know to be true was enough.  And I waved at him… I waved at the President of the United States while standing in front of the White House wearing a goofy looking hat and feeling like the cat with the keys to the milkhouse.  A once in a lifetime opportunity… but then this trip is filled with them.  I am thankful that my loving God has blessed me yet again with one of my heart’s desires and that He showed me things this day I most likely would have missed if not for His blessing…  I am not worthy, and yet here I am… God is faithful…