Christmas visitors

When I asked them what they were going to do after they got home and Joy said take a nap, I knew grandma had exhausted the granddaughters.

So they’re on the road home along Routes 66 and 81, hopefully clearing the DC area and the big scary trucks before nightfall.  While they were here, we took taxis into and from DC each day.

I told one of the drivers he was driving the way I once did…like a maniac.

Everywhere we went, I once drove years ago, either to work or school.  For several years, I drove through DC or “the city” as some of us old timers call it, from my home in Arlington to the University of Maryland in College Park, up North Capital, turn right at Michigan Avenue, and so forth.

On the way to the Benedictine Abby, we passed Catholic University where I worked on a degree in Anthropology in the 1970s, the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception I visited many times with Aunt Marge and other out-of-town relatives, and the Franciscan Abby I visited with my parents and Grandfather Francis, over 50 years ago.  I was pregnant and shuddered when I saw the statue of Saint Stephen shot full of arrows in the catacombs of the Abby. The Walter Reed Army Museum with its exhibit of human fetuses and human hairballs was even worse.

After David, Kathy, the girls and I arrived at the Benedictine Abby in two taxis, the Abbot had what appeared to be a stroke, and Brother Dunstan placed him in his car and drove him to a nearby hospital. I held the Abbot’s hand as he waited for Dunstan, and told him I too had a stroke and had survived it.  As the Abbot is in his late 80s, I don’t know if that fact cheered him, but familiar with comforting others, he squeezed my hand. After that, Kathy took us around the rabbit warren of cubby holes and offices filled with relics and art, and one of the priests opened the chapel where we waited for services followed by lunch.


Today, On the way home from the Museum of Natural History, we followed my old commuter route, down Constitution Avenue, past the National Christmas tree and Menorah on the Ellipse where Tony my boss and I walked at noontime, and the OAS building where I attended several meetings on immigration issues….

When we passed the DAR Constitution Hall, we recalled that there Hannah had graduated from high school with Thurgood Marshall’s grandson, and Rita with one of the Kennedy clan.  Onward we went, past the Vietnam Memorial built by my generation, and the Kennedy Center where David and I spent many happy moments when we were younger.

How swiftly time has passed and these granddaughters have become adults, needing afternoon naps, just like ‘Pops’ as some of them call David.


Joy, who loves science (her major), chose this morning’s venue, a trip to the Museum of Natural History.  Her professor has been working on a bat exhibit, perhaps for the new David Koch hall, to open in 2016? She saw some bat bones and many others too, then we ate lunch in one of the museum cafeterias before heading home. God willing, they will arrive home safely before nightfall.


Bison skeleton. I had no idea the hump was supported with dorsal spine extensions.


Darling Hannah, now age 26


Scary Rex


What big teeth you have

IMG_0660 IMG_0661

A Day at the Museum of Natural History

A Day at the Museum of Natural History

20 thoughts on “Christmas visitors

    • Dianne..I am not sure which post you wanted included in Nature Notes. Part of the link says ” Crafty Cynanchum”, but that is in my NN link from two weeks ago. Let me know. Or you can just write your name on the first line of the linky and and where it says, “Your URL”. You click on the post that you want to include so that the post link address is in the browser web line. You can copy it and then past it on the “Your URL”line. That takes the reader right to your post. You can copy from the browser by right clicking or by using the edit in the browser window. It is harder to do this on the IPAD.. Let me know and I can enter it for you..


  1. what a wonderful time with your dear granddaughters. I bet they brag to all their friends about their smart and active ‘granny’. (They’re lucky to have you …. and vice-versa of course!) I had no idea about some of those places you visited in the past (although I probably wouldn’t choose to visit at least one of them even though I haven’t been pregnant for over half a century …you were quite a trooper back then as well as now.!)


  2. Our high point in Washington, DC last year was seeing the changing of the guard at Arlington Cemetery. Wow, simply incredible and very touching. Another high point was meeting you, Denise, and your respective husbands.


    • Thank you Gigi. Although I have lived next to Arlington cemetery for 33 years, I have never seen the changing of the guard. Visited JFK’s grave November 1963, but that was pretty much it. I too enjoyed meeting you and Denise and hubs.


  3. DC is a wonderful place, esp. since you have all those memories. I spent one semester there in college, and I loved it. Later, my sister moved there, and it was great to visit. If only they could do something about the traffic and those scary trucks!


    • Over 50 years of memories and DC feels like home. Fortunately, the large trucks are banned inside the beltway, however, unfortunately, when my family members come to visit, they have difficulty with them in VA outside the beltway.

      And yes, we love DC.

      Just curious, which of our many colleges did you attend? Over the years, I took classes at NOVA, Georgetown, George Washington, Catholic University, University of Maryland and Georgetown. Earned degrees from three of them. Also took classes through the Dept of Agriculture and Smithsonion among others. David earned a Trinity.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s