Skip to main content

A Frigid Day in DC

Our friends, Steve and Jo, and their three kids came down from PA to visit us.  They were our 2nd visitors (Mom and Dad had been here in October).  We've been pretty lonely here, so it was great to see familiar faces and to spend time with them.  We all feel comfortable around each other even though we are not exactly the same generation (not quite old enough to be their parents, but too much older to be siblings).  They came Sunday afternoon and we talked until quite late.  Not too late, though, because we needed to get up for our big day of touring DC!

It was so much fun to have their three kids with us.  Everything was an adventure for them and I never once heard one of them whine or complain.  It's always refreshing to see things through the eyes of children.  Maybe that's why Jesus said we should come to Him as little children.

After the experience in which our friend's car was stolen at the metro station, plus the fact that we don't have a Park 'n Ride pass, we decided to just take the bus to the metro station.  We got out there a bit early and had to stand in the bitter cold waiting for the bus.  At the station it took us forever to figure out how to buy tickets.  I don't believe anything is obvious in Washington DC!  But finally we were on our way.

Our first stop was the Portrait Gallery, one of the Smithsonian Museums.  Our metro station came out right at the Gallery, but we discovered it didn't open until 11:30 so we had 45 minutes to waste.  The guys ran across the street to the Spy Museum (which cost too much when they'd only have 45 minutes there).  Us girls browsed in the tent shops that were set up outside the museum.  Little Miss C was given a job of helping to arrange some cards in a basket at one of the shops.  I must say that she can wrap anybody around her little finger.  Not because she tries to but she just has an honest and innocent way of speaking to people that endears her to them.

The museum finally opened its doors.  We went to see a display of Norman Rockwell Art, but we had to go through this atrium to get there.  I just loved this room.  Because the ceiling is glass, it is all natural light.  The floor seemed to be tiled with something that absorbed sound.  So it was like even if people spoke at a normal level, it just felt quiet in there.  And I love natural light, so this room was full of it.  It was also decorated for Christmas with trees and poinsettias, yet it almost felt tropical.  

Norman Rockwell has always been one of my favorite painters because his pictures tell stories (generally if I have to try to figure out what in the world the artist is trying to say, I don't like it!).  The display showed how he would pose his subjects and then he usually took photos of them.  He might take three or four photos of different aspects of a picture and then combine those photos in his painting.  For example, there was one of a sole lady on the jury and she was the only one with a different opinion, so the 11 men were trying to convince her to change her mind.  He had a picture of the woman sitting at the table alone, a picture of the table littered with papers and cigarette butts, etc. and a picture of the jurors around the lady.  Then he combined those three pictures into one picture.  There were pictures of his in the display I had never seen before.  And of course some of my favorites weren't there.  He painted thousands of pictures and they are in different collections.

From there we made a quick trip to Burger King for lunch and then over to the Ford Theater where Lincoln was shot.  There is a museum in the basement, so we went through that.  It could take hours to read every single thing, so we didn't do that.  It was interesting, but the highlight was to go in to the theater.  Of course, back in the day when Lincoln was shot, it had been bad for business and things fell in to disrepair.  It wasn't until years later that it was restored.  In Lincoln's day the theater sat 1,000 people.  Today it only seats 650.  That's because the seats are much wider today than they were back then.  Also, the 2nd balcony had been benches and were .25 cent tickets, so people just crammed in there.  Now the entire 2nd balcony is sound booth.  This is the presidential booth and it is replicated as close as possible to the way it was the night Lincoln was shot.
After touring the Ford Theater, we got back on the subway.  The ladies went to the Museum of American History and the guys went to the Air and Space Museum.  We girls wanted to see the 1st ladies' inaugural gowns.  Many of the gowns weren't on display but there were pictures of them.  One of the prettiest gowns is Michelle Obama's.  We also got to see Julia Child's kitchen.  "Bon appetit!"

By then it was getting dark out and we wanted to see the national Christmas tree and the White House all lit up with Christmas lights.  Not only was it dark, but it was incredibly windy and extremely cold.  The temps were in the 30s but the wind chill factor was down in the teens.  If we all look a bit funny in these pictures with our scarfs around our necks and our hats and hat hair, well, it's just because we were trying to stay warm!

Us girls walked down to the tree, going near the Washington Monument on the way.  While waiting for the guys to come, we took shelter in an alcove of a gift shop building.  It's hard to see in this picture of the monument, but the flags were flying straight out.  It was a bone-chilling wind, let me tell you.  Finally the guys came and we let them warm up a bit before we went out to the tree.  The idea is that you walk around the tree through a path that has barriers on either side and when you get to the other side you can also see the White House.  When we got up to the fence the Park Ranger said he couldn't let us in because it was temporarily closed and he didn't know when it would open.  (We had just seen a helicopter flying very low, so I imagine President Obama had just been brought home for supper!  Who knows?)  We took a vote and decided it was too cold to just wait for who knows how long to see the lights on the White House.  That was the closest to complaining anybody got all day!  So we headed back to our metro station.  Have I said it was cold??? Boy, were we glad to get on the train and be headed home.  Back at the home station we caught a we knew went near the college where we live.  Unfortunately it didn't drop us off right outside the gate like the one we had taken in the morning, so we had more walking to do in the cold.  Boy, did the warmth of home ever feel good!

By the way, just so you don't think I'm exaggerating about the cold or anything, the weather man says this is one of the coldest Decembers on record.  So far we've only had two dustings of snow.


Mommy Becoming said…
Oh how fun! I follow J's blog and love it every time she posts. She is one of those people whose inner beauty shines in her photos. I would love to meet her and I'm so glad you got to have a fun day with her and family.
Katie Barker said…
wow - your pictures always make me miss DC! Cool info about the Rockwell pictures :)
Dusty Penguin said…
What a great outing! I loved Joanna's description of it as well, and some of the lovely things she said about you. Can't wait till it's our turn.

Popular posts from this blog

Practice Hospitality

My mother-in-law, Jean, is an amazing person with many gifts.  One of the first things I noticed about her when I was but a young bride, was her gift of hospitality.  It was nothing for her to invite a large group of people over, make each one feel welcome, cook a big meal,and seemingly do it without stressing herself out.  I don't know if hospitality just came naturally to her or if she learned it.  In this picture you can see Jean throwing a party for a class she taught in Nigeria.  

I believe that for me it has been a learned skill.  My parents were hospitable and it wasn't unusual for us to have guests over (though usually not as many at a time as my mother-in-law would do!).  But when I started living on my own, I had to learn hospitality.  The first time I invited somebody over for a meal, the lid got stuck on the pot of vegetables, I put too much salt or soda or something in the muffins, and I forgot to serve milk and sugar with the hot drinks.  I've gotten much bett…

2016 in Review

Let's take a look at the year 2016.

January's big events were the dedication of the Tamajaq New Testament, our annual Spiritual Life Conference, helping friends find a house, a trip to visit missionaries in the bush, attended a big wedding, and celebrated John's birthday. It was a pretty busy month.  My January picture is from our trip to the bush and shows baobab trees.  

February was a little less crazy.  John started taking moolo lessons.  February is the time of year when the fresh fruits and veggies are in season so I did a lot of work to freeze veggies for the hot months ahead.  This picture isn't terribly exciting, but a year after the church burnings this church we helped plant back in 1989 finally had a new ceiling and a fresh coat of paint.

In March we attended another big wedding, froze more veggies, celebrated Easter, and visited a church in another town.  John and I have visited a lot of churches in the past three years as he has done research for his doctora…

Meat Roll-ups

Tonight I made meat roll-ups.  And I got to use some ingredients that made food prep much easier than normal!  I did make two batches of rolls so that John could have a lactose-free meal.

The first thing to do is to brown some hamburger.  With the main batch I stirred a tin of mushroom soup into the browned meat.  For John's batch, I stirred in flour, some almond milk, and seasonings just enough to moisten it, but not to make it really runny.  In Niger, I would make it the second way since we don't have tinned soup.

Next I made a batch of biscuit dough using Bisquick.  Of course, in Niger, I have to make the biscuit dough from scratch.  I mixed it up with the almond milk.  Once the dough is rolled out in a strip, spread the meat mixture on it.  Roll it up like you would cinnamon rolls and cut into slices.  Lay the slices on a cookie sheet and cook in a 350 oven for about 20 minutes.

While they're baking, I browned fresh mushrooms in butter (in Niger I would use tinned mushroo…