Silver Spring And Washington D.C. : It’s Been Awhile , A Long Overdo Visit.

Silver Spring And Washington D.C. : It’s Been Awhile , A Long Overdo Visit.

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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.Inauguration Thursday Silver Spring to capitol Capitol -1

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. Inauguration Thursday Silver Spring to capitol Capitol -4

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. Inauguration Thursday Silver Spring to capitol Capitol -3

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. Inauguration Thursday Silver Spring to capitol Capitol -5

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 .Inauguration Thursday Silver Spring to capitol Capitol -8

I eagerly awaited for the train, my mind reliving the many times I stood on this platforms three decades ago. Inauguration Thursday Silver Spring to capitol Capitol -9

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. Inauguration Thursday Silver Spring to capitol Capitol -8

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. Inauguration Thursday Silver Spring to capitol Capitol -10

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. Thursday Silver Spring to capitol Capitol -16

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, Inauguration Capitol -1

As some of you may know,  a big day  was happening for our Country , and the world, the next day, the peaceful transition of power, and preparations were taking place everywhere for the big event.Inauguration Capitol -21

I walked under the leafless ancient trees to the Capitol, reflecting on the thoughts I had as a young man when I first explored these treasured grounds. Where does the time go? Inauguration Capitol -7

The western face of the Capitol was closed but I wandered around, in a surprisingly sparse group of people and admired this beautiful building on the east side. Inauguration Capitol -5

It is always an inspirational moment when you see  the statute of Liberty standing atop the awesome dome of the Capitol. Inauguration Capitol -6

As I walked around to the western side, along the fences that were in place or the  big event, I noticed a few folks who had arrived for the festivities roaming the Capitol. Inauguration Capitol -10

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. Inauguration Capitol -11

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. Capitol -16

Old Time, that greatest and longest established spinner of all!…. his factory is a secret place, his work is noiseless, and his hands are mutes. ~Charles DickensInauguration Capitol -3