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
What big teeth you have
A Day at the Museum of Natural History