The other night I walked from downtown Washington, D.C. to Capitol Hill. My walk reminded me of 9/11. On that fateful day when the city was in full panic and evacuation mode, I walked from the SEIU Headquarters where I worked at 13th and L Street NW, to my home on Capitol Hill.
I love to walk in this city, especially on a clear day with low humidity. On 9/11 after climbing into a colleague’s car and traveling one block in 30 minutes, I got out and said I would make better time on foot. I am certain on that day, I got home before my colleague crossed the D.C. border into Maryland. 9/11 was a beautiful September day, not a cloud in the sky. Thankfully, I had comfortable shoes on while dressed for a day of meetings on Capitol Hill – I was a lobbyist. All my meetings where cancelled, because we were under attack from unknown enemies. So much has happened since then.
But on this night in June 2017, I again enjoyed walking in this beautiful city. A city where I feel very much at home. Years ago, I had hoped to live here for many years. That plan was cut short by career changes and finally my disgust at what Congress had become. Dysfunctional and mired in partisan gridlock.
After a year on the road, Maggie and I are enjoying our old haunts, especially our favorite dog park – Congressional Cemetery. Dogs have memories, demonstrated by Maggie’s joy in seeing her best friend Lola and visiting all her favorite squirrel trees.
Best of all we are in shorts and sandals in a city of suits. Where people are walking along beautiful streets in view of national monuments looking at their cell phones. I want to yell, “look-up” you are missing a beautiful city!
We are here for a week, before driving to Westhampton, NY. Doctor’s appointments, Maggie’s annual shots, and visiting with friends.
Seeing former Members of Congress (and unfortuately recognizing them) now working as lobbyist, my first night back on Capitol Hill reminded me of my best decision to ‘get out-of-town’. Thanks to friends Barbara and Elliott for allowing me to stay in their beautiful Capitol Hill home, while they enjoy the wilds of Wisconsin woods and lakes. We miss them and our dog pal Moose.
I, like the rest of the city is riveted by former FBI Director Comey’s and A.G. Sessions testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. It is wonderful to be a retired person enjoying the city, parks, Congressional Cemetery and dog park, neighborhoods, and a Saturday morning at Eastern Market.
I am heartened by the fact my former colleagues and friends want to see us. A week is too little time, so I hope some will visit us on Long Island, and others will see us in late September when we return on our way to collect Scout in North Carolina to continue our journey on the road to reinvention. We already miss Scout and the road!