Friday, February 11, 2011



Friday, February 11, 2011

Coming home just now

I had one of those moments —

The kind that burns a memory

and plants itself onto your psyche

I was driving down the Parkway

Always, to see the ripples

along the water (water is home to me)

and if I’m lucky,

the sun bouncing off them

Two, long, black helicopters

like giant, stealthy bugs

came flying low

their beating rhythm

Gave purchase and caught notice

from Mansion House behind

down The Potomac

to the White House before

One leads to the other

I stare out my windscreen

and imagine the scene

as if I weren't right here

Because it looks like a movie might

If I look far enough ahead

I can see the shape of the crescent moon

and the Washington Monument

It is clear blue today;

a February gift here

These images will remain

long after we're gone —

Thank you, my love,

for opening the world to me

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


“What do you want for Valentines Day?” he asked.

I couldn’t come up with a thing to say in response, so I think I just shrugged and maybe grunted, “I dunno.” I wasn't very helpful, or even encouraging. But it is nice he’s thinking about it. (I probably should have told him that instead of my aforementioned indifferent response...)

We, individually and together, completely let our anniversary slip by this year. We simply forgot until the next day in January when we woke up to see the date. It was like a simultaneous slap to the forehead. Is that what happens after 16 years? Oops.

Perhaps a bit more effort than usual is required this Valentines Day.

Ideally, Valentines is one of those days when you don’t ask, but rather wonder what your loved ones might create or come up with in terms of a loving gesture all on their own.

Having said this, I can’t think of a thing. Well I can, but a weekend far far away, just doesn’t seem possible.

I still like creating Valentines by hand. The girls and I began their "VD" (as my dear old Dad used to love to say) project last weekend. It involves scissors and glue, and whatever they come up with to extend to their classmates. It sure helped pass the time over the rainy weekend in DC.

Now I need to come up with something. And because of the bunked up recent anniversary, I feel like it needs to be good.

I’ve written poems in the past. I think they were okay. None of them began with “Roses are red …”

I keep thinking of that book Carrie Bradshaw has in her hands from the first “Sex in the City” movie, Love Letters of Great Men. I can almost smell the “old book smell” in that scene. I love old books. Maybe I could find that book or one similar for inspiration, though downloading it on my Kindle seems a little gauche.

I might do it anyway.

Valentines is on a Monday this year, so an extravagant dinner seems a little over the top, or at least too much for a Monday; maybe that flourless chocolate torte I make with chili pepper would suffice...

Maybe I’ll try to write a letter in French. The kids are learning French right now. I love to listen to my eight-year-old adopt the speakers’ accent when she’s prompted to repeat a word or phrase .

I’m struggling. I often do when it comes to “imposed” days for gestures. I’m more of the spontaneous/compulsive type.

Help. I welcome any and all sincere suggestions.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Some days I shouldn’t go out.

Driving the kids to school just now I watched the behavior of my fellow man, and I wondered who these beings were and from whence they came.

I felt disconnected, as if I was looking in from somewhere else.

Do you ever feel that way?

The kiss-n-ride (this is local speak for a designated area to stop, kiss your passenger, and let them out of/or into the car, without parking or shutting off your vehicle. Sometimes you may see vehicles not come to a full stop) at both kids’ schools always has served (for me, anyway) as an interesting social anthropological anecdote to the area in which we live.

Some people go through the line as instructed. It takes anywhere from 2-7 minutes, depending. This seems to be too much of a commitment to many.

Some folks pull to the side (almost) of the line and let their kids off before entering the loop, then proceed to execute a lefty/Uey while traffic in both directions halts. Some folks stop their vehicle before the drop-off line ends, thus blocking any further advancement from those of us behind them, park, get out of their vehicles, let their children out and then proceed. We all wait behind them patiently. Some folks avoid this process all together and park around the block and walk their children the rest of the way.

I have to go through two kiss-n-rides when I take the kids to school. I usually opt for the bus, not only to reduce my human footprint, but also to limit my exposure to bad behavior by adults, in addition to risking my own questionable responses to it all.

Some folks use the size of their vehicles to drive down the middle of the neighborhood street, forcing any oncoming traffic to pull to the side.

Do they realize this?

I hope not.

Driving around the DC area is often high adventure. It recently was rated THE WORST city in America to navigate by car.

In my experience, Virginia drivers are a tad nicer than those from Maryland. Those with District plates have the most dents in their cars. No one uses directionals.

I was going to write more, but then I found this:

You should really check it out if you’re considering a car trip to our nation’s capital (I still don't understand when to use capitol or capital. Living here has only increased my confusion).