I spent my workday in our D.C. office today. I had meetings, and was also getting the latest "lay of the land" as I'll be covering for someone else 3 days next week when she goes on vacation. Essentially, I'll be my bosses bosses assistant.
I love D.C. It's taken me this many years to realize that. After working down there for 9 months previously, I knew D.C. was my city. I hadn't yet embraced it, I loved Boston, but D.C.? Today I realized, I think I've missed it, walking the rat-maze halls, seeing the sites so close by. I saw the WWII Memorial from the office window of my company's CEO, a memorial which had not been there all those years ago. Nor had those barriers. Nor were the painted party animals, donkeys and elephants ironically side-by-side. Oddly, even the oppressive warm muggy air felt good today (less so in the un-air conditioned Metro car - I switched cars). One of my favorite parts of the long commute is walking across the map on Freedom Plaza, and looking down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol, simultaneously along the map and the actual avenue.
It's been a while since I've been in D.C. NOT as a tourist or visitor, but as a commuter. It was actually almost fun to show two families how to buy their various fare cards. Is that pathetic? No doubt I'll feel frustrated by Metro-riding tourists by the end of next week. (Kudos to Metro for allowing credit card payments for parking fees now; I wasn't forced to purchase one of the "stupid"-cards.)
Downtown, I got off on the wrong side of the Metro stop I prefer, still knowing instinctively, anyway, which way I was to head. I took M's camera, yet, didn't take any photos. I'm a commuter today, not a tourist; I'll let my mind re-absorb all of this. The architecture, the people, the Smithsonian and everything. I hadn't remembered the stars in the sidewalk near the Warner Theatre. I smiled to see the National Theatre, where M and I once performed with my Irish ceili and set dance group. I may feel less nostalgic by the end of next week. The commuting sure sucks time out of the rest of the day.
The weather in this greater area is localized enough that it was drizzling at home and nary a drop downtown, until I came back above ground again on the Metro, greeted by light rain. All those men on the Metro, all those men dressed up and looking fine. I almost felt pretty, dressed in my new skirt that swishes just a bit, and my heels and light makeup. I was within blocks of N's office and I know how he looks in a suit.... I'm hoping it's exciting for N and his daughter to show off all of New York City this weekend to her visiting-the-country-friend. As Bon Jovi sings in his latest song, "let's make some memories."
At the feis last Sunday, I drove down Canal Road and across Key Bridge (into Arlington). Okay, I drove down Canal Road and onto the Whitehurst Freeway. But I turned around and then took Key Bridge like I was supposed to. That stretch along the C&O Canal and by Georgetown, is beautiful. We lived in Georgetown approximately the first 3 years of my life. My father used to take our family ice skating there when Doug and I were little and the winters hadn't yet turned quite this warm. Most of our C&O Canal hiking was further north, not in D.C. Dad most loves the Independence Parades in Palisades where we'd take M every year, until the heat and walking were too much for him.
Dad used to love Glen Echo, telling me many stories of when he was a youth there, riding the roller coaster, integrating the pool by accident (oops, no blacks allowed in the poool yet, he didn't know and had let whomever in wanted to come). So then we'd take M, and then I'd take M. And she's had caligraphy and metalwork summer camps there. Glen Echo is actually in Maryland, but after driving back off Key Bridge from Arlington into Georgetown, and Fletcher's boat house that I think isn't being run as a boat house starting this? year?, down Canal Road, I go by Glen Echo.
In the beautiful sunny green Sunday afternoon, enroute back to the hospital to tell Dad how well M had danced, and talk of the drives so perhaps he'd remember and think of something other than the hospital walls and television. (I took actual printed out photos yesterday, better for him to see than on the camera. The books and magazines still unread but there; he likes having them there.)
My father is much improved. He's ready to be discharged, yet that may not happen until Monday. We're working together to find an appropriate facility to have him transfer to. ("We're" meaning the hospital staff and I, along with Dad.) That's a first. The first choices, after things like insurance and quality are considered, are the two facilities closest to me. Medicare will pay for the first 20 days. He will get weaned off of the oxygen, most likely. He is in the early mild stages of diabetes. His dementia is likely due to his various strokes. He is likely to never live at home again without a fair bit of care, if he does at all. He tells me he just wants to go home for 2-3 days, then he just wants to stop by for an hour and get some things. I want him to, too.
D.C. is my city, and I DO love it.
Heck, I love all the walking involved. I can't imagine becoming disabled and having to use a cane or wheelchair to get around town. One teenager was wincing this morning, shod in flip flops. I can't imagine becoming too unable to get around at all, and spending most of my time in a room in a facility, suddenly.