Thursday, January 7, 2021

Exploring the Capitol Building in Washington, DC

 Watching the invasion of the Capitol building today by the insurrectionists attempting a coup, I was reminded of the time when my children and I explored the place.

It used to be that anyone could just walk into the Capitol, and if you looked like you knew what you were doing, nobody would question you. 

In the late 1980s I took two elementary (or middle school children, I forget which) with me, but nobody bothered us. We wandered around the first floor, then I wanted to take the kids up to the peanut gallery where average people could watch the proceedings. So we found an elevator. But someone pushed the basement button. So when the door opened there, we decided to explore. So interesting. Pipes hanging from the ceiling. Lots of grey paint. Some doors to offices were open and we saw people having discussions. We must have walked the full length of the Capitol before someone came out of an office and asked us what we were doing. I replied, oh so innocently, that we were looking for where the kids could overlook Congress, so he directed us to an elevator and punched the number for the correct floor for us. More wandering (more offices) until we finally arrived at the balcony overlooking one of the houses of Congress. Which was not in session at the time. darn.  

Now, of course, there are all sorts of examination points you have to pass and they'll probably direct you to a tour guide.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Monday, December 28, 2020

Driving in Washington, DC can be dangerous for your health

Today I was reminded of an adventure I had in the 1990s. I was sitting at a stoplight in Washington, DC after attending a meeting, and noticed that the Smithsonian Air and Space museum was to the right. I sat there trying to decide if I just wanted to go home or should I slip into the museum and do more research for my Wright brothers book.  

Unnoticed by me, the light turned green. The car to the left of me moved into the intersection only to be completely smashed by a car driving on the crossroad who had run the red light. Because I had been distracted by the Air and Space museum and didn't move when the light turned green, the accident completely missed me. 

I suspect that the driver causing the accident had been checking messages on their phone.

(yes, I decided to turn right -- there's no way I could have continued straight ahead because of the accident.)

Sunday, December 20, 2020

O Christmas Tree


Everyone posting pictures of their Christmas trees remind me of something my husband told me. 

One year on Christmas break from college, his parents asked him to take down the Christmas tree and put away the ornaments. He forgot. When he came back home for Easter break, there was the tree - all brown, most of the needles dropped off and in piles on the floor around it. It was terrible to clean up, but it was all his to do.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Will it come in time for Christmas?

I just ordered a present for my grandson. Estimated delivery for standard delivery was December 24. Hmmm, sez me. I'll pay the extra $15 for expedited delivery. 

Now the estimated delivery date is -- drum roll -- December 23. 


Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Christmas Choir memories

 It's that time of year, again.  But this year choirs are singing together over zoom.

I sang the Messiah with my high school chorus and loved it.  

So years later, when our church invited members to add themselves to the adult choir to sing the Christmas part (or it might have been just the Hallelujah Chorus) one December, I jumped at the chance. We had several practices and the choir director gave us a tape to play in our car to sing with as we drove to and from work for more practice. (I'm alto) On the big day, first the teen choir walked in singing (my daughter was in the teen choir), then we adults followed. My daughter was so surprised to see me on the other side of the church singing with the adult choir! I hadn't told her what I was doing.  

Friday, December 4, 2020

No more Book Expo

 Book Expo is closing down.  Here are some of my memories of this yearly event:

I used to have a writer friend who lived in NYC, so I'd stay at her high rise apartment sleeping on cushions on the floor and taking cabs or the subway to the Javits Center. Then we'd split. She to go smooze with publishers and editors and get writing assignments; and me to split between librarian-me surrounded by New Books! And Writer me stopping by all my publisher's booths and smoozing.  

I remember not being able to find a place to eat there so I'd exist on banana/ strawberry smoothies which I'd drink at the resting station talking with other writers.  

The author signing lines were long, but fun. One year one of the subjects of my biographies was signing, so I stopped by to talk to her. The year Bruce Coville was signing, he gave me a stack of books to take back to my library to give out as Summer Reading Prizes. (they were paperbacks) I soon learned to take an empty suitcase to the convention center to load giveaway books in.

We will miss this event.  Hopefully something else will replace it after the pandemic is over.