Although we were both very stiff from arthritic pain, made worse by our Saturday excursion to my daughter’s farm, we decided to take advantage of the stunning weather today to drive into Fairfax County to visit one of the regional parks. My intent was to take a few photos with my real camera, not the crap camera on my old cell phone.
Thus, I charged all my camera batteries yesterday, printed a couple of maps, and called the park to ask about the feasibility of walking with a rollator to be informed by a volunteer with a husband two years older (89) than David, that I could indeed make my way around the park because the trail I wanted to use with my rollator was hard-packed pulverized Bluestone. She further informed me of the times and days the toilets are operational, and that dogs are not allowed.
Armed with plenty of information, we left afer breakfast to undertake what for us has become a major effort. Having lived on both sides of the park at different times, I thought I knew this area fairly well. Alas, that was not the case. Nevertheless, the drive was nice on this fine day. After we looped around my old memory lane, which included
1/ The high school from whence my daughter graduated in 1979, and where a mural created by an artistic classmate in her senior year hangs in the front hallway, preserved under plexiglass;
2/ My old apartment where I lived four years as a single Mom working full-time and attending graduate school part-time, at Catholic University then University of Maryland; as well as the townhouse where I lived three years with hubs No. 2;
3/ The eighteenth century church I attended for seven years, where I taught church school and worked as a docent describing it as George Washington’s country church, while explaining how Union soldiers had used it as a stable and burned most of the priceless interior wood including the altar (now restored).
(David’s Daughter was married in that church, and lived down the road later for several years);
4/ Several former colonial plantations, including Mount Vernon, where dozens of charter busses were parked after ferrying graduating seniors from across the South to visit the home of the first president on their high school’s annual graduation trip;
5/a. The Army post where I shopped and had surgery;
/b. where my kids took swimming lessons and received care from loving German Army wives who ran a daycare facility;
/c. the site of another plantation house owned by one of the Mason boys before it was burned down by revolting slaves, and centuries later excavated by my friend Martha who introduced me to the program I entered at GMU as a history grad student;
and so forth;
6/ And a lot more because almost every turn of the road brought back a memory, some bad, but many good.
We never found the entrance to the park, but we drove along the river from Mount Vernon to one of our favorite fish houses in Old Town Alexandria, near my Avian vet’s office.