Silver Spring And Washington D.C. : It’s Been Awhile , A Long Overdo Visit.
Time. How often we forget that each of us is only allotted a limited amount of this precious gift. Everyone reading this post just lost a few of the approximately 22 million seconds we are given in our lifetime. And I had time to reflect on this on this truth during my visit to Silver Spring, Maryland and Washington D.C. this past weekend.
Except for a brief visit to see the Nutcracker with my sister’s family at Christmas a few years ago, it was the first time I returned to these cities since I was a student here 34 years ago. Yet upon arriving in Silver Spring, after a 3 1/2 hour drive in my car, I felt like I never left, like the 34 years had never elapsed. Strange how our mind works.
I arrived early, around 9:30 a.m., so my room wasn’t available, but I wasted no time leaving my luggage at the hotel and walking the three blocks through the familiar, but changed streets of downtown Silver Spring to my old friend, the Metro Station.
At first, because of the many new buildings in the area, it was hard to recognize but as I approached the gates I was immediately transported back in time. During my last year in law school, I would walk here from my house a little over a mile away, on Louis Avenue, to take the trains to my classes at the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University or to explore this wonderful city on a weekend.
Although they changed the system a bit, gone were the old paper fare cards, I still have a few laying around somewhere, and they now use plastic fare cards that you apply money to with either cash or credit cards at the stations. I had one and knew how to use it thanks to the helpful young man and young ladies at the front desk at the Doubletree hotel .
And it arrived and I was off on an adventure back in time. I soon passed through familiar neighborhoods, recalling the unusual houses that stood out. As I still often do, and did much more in those days, I reflected on the folks growing up in these homes over the years since they were built. Where did the work, go to school, die. What games did the children play, what did they eat, what did they think and talk about.
Our second stop was Fort Totten, and some of you may recall, I visited the Fort in North Dakota this neighborhood was named after last summer, because I remembered this metro stop. Here is a link to my visit to the original Fort Totten. the next stop was my alma mater Catholic University and i saw the dome and steeple of the National Shrine in the distance as we rode by. Again it seems like it was just another weekend ride to downtown many years ago.
The train proceeded south through the city and I saw many new changes but also some familiar sites as we meandered through the residential neighborhoods, and the commercial and industrial districts along the tracks. The approximately 15 minute ride ended at Union Station stop , and I exited this magnificent structure, as I often did recalling the many walks through our Nation’s Capitol that began here. Here is a link to some more photographs from my metro ride.https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/Washington-D.C.-Inauguration-Silver-Spring-to-Capitol-January-19-2017-
It was overcast, but mild, for January, temperatures were in the mid 40’s as left Union Station and headed for the Capitol. Seeing this beautiful domed structure, the symbol of our Nation’s democracy, once again gave me goosebumps as it did when I first saw it from Union Station so many years ago,
It looked like most of the preparation was in place but there was still a lot of activity going on inside the fenced off areas. I walked around the Capitol, and to Pennsylvania Avenue which was closed to traffic as the worked on securing the area for the Presidential Inauguration and Parade.
I was an exciting time to me in Washington and a reflective time for me as I walked this once again familiar streets for the first time in so many years. Well there will be more later on this reflective and historic visit, but time to take a walk. Here is a link to some more photographs from my return to the Nation’s Capitol.https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2017/nggallery/photographs-2017/Washington-D.C-Capitol-January-19-2017-