Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I have stayed up WAY too late, even for me even on vacation but it feels good. I have finally caught up with reading email and working on writing assignments - still have letters to write to friends and family but feel less overwhelmed. I also started successfully - FINALLY - organizing family recipes in a way that makes sense for myself and future generations. It's been fun just sitting up reading recipes I remember, and some gems of old letters, which I think I'll start sharing here.

For example - and appropriate a this time of Presidential election - I wrote to my parents in 1979 when I visited Washington DC for the first time:

Washington awed me with both its physical beauty and its historic significance. Everywhere I put my feet, I wondered who had walked that way before and under what circumstances. Knowing only the newer parts of our country, I was overwhelmed by the age of the buildings - that Clay, Calhoun, and Webster actually debated slavery in the old Senate Chamber - that George Washington was involved in planning the location of the capitol. One of the bits of information that really touched me was a story about Abraham Lincoln and the completion of the capitol dome. Early in Lincoln's Presidency the union was crumbling and Lincoln became increasingly upset by the fact that the Washington Memorial was not completed and the general opinion was there was no point in finishing the construction of the capitol dome. Lincoln insisted on completion of the dome on the grounds that a nation lives or dies by the power of its symbols.

Anyway - at least a little sleep would be a good idea - but I'm happy and accomplishing the kinds of things (rethinking systems, writing, reading old writing) that it's hard to do in everyday context. I even played a game of Scrabble with Bob (seems like a vacation only activity for us) and was in contention up to the last hand - totally satisfactory outcome.


Joe Hendricks said...

Congrats on getting so much done on those projects! And I personally find Bob's scrabble propensity for 7 letter word bonuses quite scary :-)

Peggy said...

You have accomplished so much on your "vacation." But sometimes getting things done is a break, I know I have felt that way. Wonderful observations on Washington DC.

Bob Hendricks said...

My first memory of DC was as a boy, probably 12 years old on the way from France to Mobile. It seemed a mythic place, unreal, a place of awe and power, a place to be revered and respected. I had seen magnificent castles and cathedrals in France, but that seemed more history. I remember everything seeming bigger than life -- the Washington monument, statues of Lincoln and Jefferson, White House, and Congress building. We weren't there long, and I don't know whether we saw the museums - my time sense of the museums is gong, multiple visits are fused together.

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