Sunday, January 14, 2007

Happy New Year!

On New Year's Eve, we were a little worried that our immediate neighbors would be partying it up, and sharing all their party with us, whether we liked it or not, so we invited ourselves over to the Baldwin's. We brought slush, of course, and cookies, and the Baldwins made a yummy lemon cake. After the kids were in bed, we played Rumikub for a little warm up and then pulled out Acquire. It was a new game for the baldwins, and Natalie is a pretty competitive game player, but Dave held his own, and... almost came out on top.

"It's an American thing to do." -Dave

On New Year's Day, we were invited to go with the DeWaals to Washington DC and see President Ford's body lying in state at the Capitol building. We like the DeWaal's and wanted to go hang out with them, but the idea of traveling all the way to DC and standing in the cold rain just to see a casket of a president we never knew, didn't sound enticing, so we decided against it. Then, having no other plans, at the last minute we changed our minds, and hopped in the car. While making the decision to go, I wondered to myself why someone my age, never having known President Ford or even living during his administration would make this trip. I thought of a couple of reasons (This was also because I knew there would be tv cameras and others who may ask why I was there, and I wanted to have a good reason. I didn't want to be there "just to see it" like I might go to Hollywood "just to see a star" :)

1. I think that now, and always, is a good time to come together as Americans, to be united, and show respect and participation in our government.
2. Being the President is probably one of the hardest jobs ever, and I think it's a good idea to show gratitude for those who have attempted it, and respect and support for the family who also had to participate, whether by choice or by birth.
3. From what I have read, President Ford seems like a pretty decent guy (of course, I haven't read very much, and most of it has probably been some sort of eulogy).

So, we took the metro in, which was fun for the kids (and the adults - trying to deal with two double strollers), and walked the couple short blocks to the Capitol. The weather ended up being perfect - well, nice temperature and no rain, at least. We hopped in the line, which moved steadily, meandering past the lawn and up to the south side where the line curved back around to the west side of the building before entering. We were let out of line at this corner though, and shown to an entrance, more stroller accessible on the south side, where we were given a special escort to show us through halls filled with statues and painted overhead with detailed depictions of historical events. It is truly a beautiful and ornate building, so full of history, I could feel it. We were led to the room where President Ford lay draped by an American flag, flooded with light, surrounded by flowers, and guarded by a stoic representative from the the honor guard of each branch of the military. We were ushered quickly by, with just enough time to take it all in, and then shown back the way we came. It was a brief and memorable experience. I was surprised again at the feelings that came over me of patriotism and gratitude for those who have made and who still make sacrifices for me to live the way I want to live. I'm glad we decided to go hang out with the DeWaals. On the metro... Evie liked all the parts, except the tunnels.
Our little commuter... Owen liked most running around the train, trying to run out of the train before the doors closed.
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1 comment:

Baldwin Family said...

You better believe I'm competitive! haha!