I haven’t posted in a few days; I’ve been in Chevy Chase, Maryland, for work and also for a little bit of time to myself. I thought of several things to write about while on the Metro, then promptly forgot them. And they would have been good topics, too. I hope they are still somewhere in my memory banks.
Speaking of the Metro, it was odd taking it without my aunt. She lived in DC for close to 50 years if not more, and since the mid- to late 1980s I’d visited her at least once a year, usually in July. The last time was several years ago, in October, because she had developed pancreatic cancer and I was helping her to pack so she could move closer to her family in Pennsylvania. She died the following February 14. That last time we did not take the Metro so much because of her health; we went to a few places she needed to and a few restaurants, but that was it.
Before that, she had been a very healthy person. I have many fond memories of us doing things together. She rarely got tired or needed rest stops to sit down like I did.
My favorite memory is of Rock Creek Park. I spotted what looked like an interesting path, and we took it. A serious hiker would not have found it a challenge, but I’m not a serious hiker, and I was also lugging a camera I was petrified of dropping. My aunt, who was very short, climbed over all the obstacles quite easily, but not me. At one point, I was straddling a huge log that was lying across the path at a sharp angle, with the downward end toward the creek, and telling her I didn’t think I could make it across it without falling down the incline. I believe I also begged for a helicopter. 🙂 She waited for me patiently until I got myself over. Then we realised she could have at least taken the camera off my hands. We realised she could have taken a priceless shot of me straddling a huge log and looking terrified. 🙂 How embarrassing — to be physically bested by a 65-year-old.
We took the Metro to the Smithsonian, the zoo, the airport, the July 4 concert on Capitol Hill — everywhere. I took it a few times by myself, to visit friends in Vienna. But mostly she was with me.
It feels very odd to be here without her now.