Love and the Pentagon and (maybe, probably) a Blizzard

Mr and Mrs almost four months now

Mr and Mrs almost four months now

These two people, my son and belle-fille (daughter-in-law), are the reason Clive and I are in Washington, DC.

In the first 24 hours of our arrival, our wonderful belle-fille has taken magnificent care of the in-laws when her husband was out of town on a business trip (he returned this evening). Last night, after a full work day and a pre-blizzard supermarket stop with a million other people, she picked us up at our hotel, drove us to their home and made dinner for us there, so we could catch up in a relaxing setting instead of a restaurant.

As we chatted away, with the news in the background, a reporter standing in the snow said, ‘It’s already started here in DC.’

We all jumped up to look out the window and see it for ourselves. Not long after that, Clive and I took a taxi back to the hotel.

Talk of the town: the weather forecast

After one inch of snow – thankfully no injuries

After one inch of snow – thankfully no injuries

We had a rather unsettling preview of what may lay ahead in the next few days. Our taxi slipped and slid its way up a not-very-steep hill, the driver begging us to stay in the car to help the weight in the back seat. An amazing number of drivers seemed to abandon their vehicles, leaving them ‘parked’ every which-way and then walking, or more accurately, sliding on foot to the nearby metro.

Back in the room, I succumbed to jet lag and was dozing off when Clive looked out the window and said a bus had just skidded horizontally across the road. No injuries, thank goodness.

By all accounts, Washington could see snowfall of two feet or more in the next couple days.

A Building with meaning: national and personal

Clive at the Pentagon metro station

Clive at the Pentagon metro station

Weather forecast notwithstanding, today was bright and sunny in the nation’s capital.

After a slow-paced morning (working on that travel pacing) going for a short walk and doing a few errands, we took the metro to meet our belle-fille at her (and my son’s former) place of work. This is a well-known building with five main sections around a central courtyard.

What a pleasure it was, after a long line and several security checkpoints, to walk into the large waiting area full of people and see the smiling young woman who is now part of our family waiting for us.

[Perhaps the smile was extra-beautiful because shortly before, her colleagues had surprised her with a cupcake celebration in honour of her birthday last weekend.]

We loved our personalised tour (no photos allowed), which included the ANZUS corridor, a series of murals and exhibits commemorating the USA, Australia and New Zealand alliance; a poignant POW/MIA corridor of remembrance for those who served and never returned home; a video exhibit of scenes from the Korean War; a multi-denominational chapel and Pentagon’s 9/11 memorial; the area where our belle-fille works and the sense of the building as a small city within itself, with over 26,000 (!) workers every day and as many or more shops and services as a good-sized town.

Best of all and most meaningful to me was seeing our belle-fille in the place where she spends her working days and where she and my son (who now works at other locations) had their first coffee date and fell in love. She pointed down to the interior food court and outside to benches dotting the courtyard and told us how they often met for lunch in warm weather. Clive suggested a plaque at the meeting point of their first coffee which I thought was a great idea. Thank you, dearest belle-fille for last night and today.

I’m so proud of these two for their dedication and commitment to their work, the juggling they’re doing with all their other activities and the excitement and anticipation they have for their shared future.

And I’m thankful for the time we have together this weekend – and kind of excited (if a bit nervous) about the probability of a blizzard and sharing it with them. They may not have a guest room but they’ve encouraged a sleepover(s) and it’s shaping up to be a memorable experience.

Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable time in however much snow you may receive.

with my son and belle-fille in Washington DC

with my son and belle-fille in Washington DC

Cheers and thanks for reading. Next week’s letter will be from New Jersey.

8 Responses

  1. Wow! You are certainly in for an unusual event based on the DC forecast. We are at the northern edge of the storm so the current forecast is 1-3 inches. As one of the front desk managers at his Philadelphia hotel, Brian will be staying at his center city hotel both Friday and Saturday night. They are expecting quite the storm in Philly also.

    It sounds like you did your blizzard shopping, so books, movies, and comfort food should be the order of the day. Have fun watching all the snow pile up as long as you keep your power and as long as you don’t have to do any shoveling. Perhaps Dave will get to run his snow thrower if we get enough in the driveway and the walks. We did not have any snow until Jan 12–latest date ever.

    • Eleanor, hi and yes, G & C have done fantastic blizzard prep and we’re looking forward to our time together 🙂 Good luck to Brian and hope Dave has fun (?) with the snow blower. Good luck to all!

  2. Enjoy your time in Washington. You may end up there longer than you planned, so take care.

    • Thanks Martha — we’ve had the same thought about staying on if the weather doesn’t cooperate. At least we don’t have to report in to work on Monday morning! Best to you and John.

  3. Wow of again. I hope you stay safe and have not travel problems with the blizzards and snow. No snow here in Oxfordshire , just rain and more rain. Enjoy your visit back to the USA. Take care xo

  4. Welcome to my home town! Wednesday night was a mess; cars slipping and sliding everywhere. Fortunately I was on foot. Hunker down and enjoy your time with family.

    • Thank you Anne! It’s a great home town and hope you and your family are enjoying this snowy weekend.

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