My Oldest Friend

My oldest friend, by which I mean the friend I have known the longest, leaves the country today. She is off on her first posting as an employee of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and over the next twenty or thirty years she will get to live in all sorts of interesting places. …

Quick thought: accessibility and angles

On Sunday I went to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum out at Dulles with my parents, a friend, and the friend’s two sons aged almost-5 and just-6. Due to recent knee problems, my dad opted to use a wheelchair for the day.  As a result, his eye level was roughly equal with the boys’. …

Listening and hearing

Last night, I attended a “Listen…and be Heard” session hosted by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia (yes, I am Episcopalian). The session was very productive as a member of the diocese – I went feeling nervous and left feeling very respected and respectful. I also went into it intrigued by the process, and I think …

My Grandfather

My paternal grandfather died on Saturday. He turned 87 at the beginning of this month. I’m doing my best not to focus on the loss, on the fact that (more than likely) whoever I marry will never have met my wonderful grandfather, and think instead about what time I did have with him. After all, …

One man’s past is another man’s present

The last two days I have heard things on the local NPR station which very clearly brought to my attention how things I consider to be very much The Past are still The Present for others. The first was not a full story, but the lead for a story later on (which I didn’t hear). …

Change vs. Exchange

I am reading the Baron Montlezun’s Voyage fait dans les années 1816 et 1817: de New-Yorck à la Nouvelle-Orléans, et de l’Orénoque au Mississippi, although only the part about his visit to Orange County, Virginia (perhaps I might read the rest later). He had a conversation with President Madison, at the latter’s house, where they …

Home Sweet Home

I started writing this post almost a year ago, when a number of stories all came together at once. There was  NPR  talking about the effect of the recession on home ownership, and a promotional piece from one of the local stations about a woman who was presenting her research on the Sears homes-selling method, …

The Man Behind the Curtain

In case you don’t recognize the source of the post title, it’s from the Wizard of Oz (the film). All four travelers are in the Emerald City, awed by the Wizard, and then Toto pulls aside a little curtain to reveal an ordinary person. “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” says the …