March 24 – Cherry Blossom Kite Festival

Right before it was blown away.

The kite festival was back after a two year hiatus.  The Kite Fest starts off the Cherry Blossom Festival.  People converge on the Mall around the Washington Monument to celebrate kite flying.  Everyone tries it.  Even me.  At least once a year I break out our kites and give it a go.  The wind is excellent around the monument and the area is clear of buildings and trees, so it is generally safe flying. 

As we approached the Mall, we were puzzled because we did not see very many kites in the air.  As we neared the monument, the reason became quite clear.  The wind was howling.  It was as cold as a winter’s day.  There were numerous kites mangled on the ground or stuck in kite eating cherry trees.  

Kite eating tree

  Undaunted I decided to try my kite.  It was a double box kite and it was going to go far fast.  I managed to get it into the air, but it was the wrong kite for the weather. I was wrestling with it as it bounced around on the air currents.  Then one terrific gust, and boom, the kite string broke and the kite was gone.  It dove to the ground like a kamikaze and then rolled right into the kite competition area.  Oops!  I ran after it, but it kept rolling.  I finally caught up with it about a half mile later when someone stopped it and folded it up.  Well, so much for kite flying.  We turned to leave and the sky before us was filled with dark gray clouds.  Even though it was the end of March, snow and sleet pummeled us as we made our way another half mile to the car.  That was pretty miserable.  Such is the weather in D.C.  It can be 80º and sunny one day and 30º with snow the next.  That’s okay.  It makes life a bit more interesting.  

February 28 to March 10 – the days just disappear

Is it because we no longer go go go? Is it because we are settled in our ways? Why do the days fly by with nothing to show for it? But doing the little things we do gives us some structure and maybe allow us to have brief moments of just being aware.

I took the cat to the vet and then we drove around town while I ran errands. This is not momentous. But for those few hours of being in the car with a tiny cat was very much in the moment time spent. I talk to her and she looks at me with resignation very much wanting to get home where it is safe. I understood where she was coming from. I tried to explain to her that it can be fun being out and about. She was not convinced. I did not really believe it either. So we went home and another day passed by.

These disappearing days add up until you find yourself saying “I can’t believe it is March.” Thomas Mann had a theory about time that I think is true. Have you ever noticed that a week on vacation feels like a month? His theory was that the routine of life, the sameness, compresses time–it goes by quickly because it is always the same. But that sameness also makes yesterday feel like last year. Can it really be that we celebrated Christmas three months ago? it feels like a year ago.

But when you go on vacation, routines are interrupted and things are new. Time then slows down because it has a new orientation. Sensations are different, what you see and hear is different. Your routine clock changes. I think he is right about this. It is the routine, or rut if I am being honest, that makes time fly. The only way to slow time is to open up to new things.

February 27 – Ukraine War Protest

Protests were breaking out everywhere and I just had to join in. I drew up my poster. I had heard about the Ukrainian soldier who had told the Russians to go fuck yourself and well, that poster just write itself.

We drove down to the Russian Embassy and the protest was in full swing. We somehow ended up in the car parade so Matt waved the poster out the passenger side window while I drove along. When we came in front of the woman leading the crowd with a bull horn, she saw our sign and said started chanting, “Putin, go fuck yourself.” Putin, go fuck yourself.” Everyone joined in and waved at us as we passed by. It felt good giving support.

Unfortunately, there was not a parking space to be had so we swung down to the Ukrainian Embassy to see if there was anything going on there. It was quiet with just a pile of flowers out front. By the time we got back to the Russian Embassy, the crowd had dispersed. Good times!

Hilarious. People are so funny.

February 24 –  A.D. 16 — The Next Broadway Hit

            You hear it here first.  We saw a musical that you are going to want to see on Broadway in a few years. It is called A.D. 16 and it was premiered here at our local regional theater, Olney Theatre, of which we are a member.  To say this musical was fun is really an understatement.  Mary of Magdala is a sixteen year old girl who wants to be independent.  This is not a thing in Nazareth. Then she meets the dreamy 16 year old boy next door named Jesus and she falls head over heels in love.  Fantastic songs and fun ensues.  A lot of old school R&B and soul sounds, some rap and some ballads all to make up an endearing and watchable show.  This is going to be great on Broadway and I can say we saw it here first.  

            We actually saw another show here in D.C. before Broadway—Come from Away.  It premiered here about a year before it made it to New York.  It was a wonderful story and you just knew this musical was going somewhere.  And it did. So will A.D. 16. Here is a link to the Post article.

February 22 – Junk Drawer

            Every house has to have a junk drawer.  If you don’t have a junk drawer, you are doing yourself a disservice.  You need a place to toss stuff when you don’t know where else to put it.  (Kondo can kiss it.)  Every so often I try to sort through it because I know I have tossed  things in there that I have long since forgotten why I kept whatever it is if I can even identify it.  This year it was many, many extra string light bulbs and twist ties. Here is a look at what is there:

yoyo, random golf ball, a sand egg timer
Those are definite keepers.
false vampire teeth (I have no idea why I have those but they may come in handy some day when I am bored) and the
baby from a King cake
broken bell and chocolate 50 cent piece and
an old souvenir from Silver Docs

February 20 – Bird Count

Yummy. I did not know a hawk would eat suet but there you are.    

            Every year the Cornell Ornithology Lab does the Back yard bird count.  If  I remember, we participate.  You just count the birds that show up in your yard. It is easy and fun because we like to go, oh look it’s a blue bird. There is the titmouse, there is hte downy woodpecker. Yeah, our lives are that exciting.

This year we had a treat—a hawk on the ground eating suet I had tossed.  He/she usually hunts the feeder and we do now and then find evidence that he has snagged a meal, usually a smaller bird. He was not letting anyone near that suet and, of course, no bird wanted to go near it because the hawk will eat them.

February 18 – JoJo figured out how to open a drawer

Pulling the drawer handle

            Okay, this cat is crazy smart.  I keep his teaser toys in a table drawer in the bedroom.  One morning I woke up to find feather toys all over the bed.  I could not understand what had happened at first.  Then I saw the drawer was open.  He knew that is where I kept the toys and he had been studying it for a while.  He finally figured out how to open it.  He had been pulling out his toys and was bringing them on to the bed one at a time.  

            It became a routine for him.  If I was not paying attention to him, he opened the drawer and came running to me with a feather in his mouth and drop it at my feet.  (Think dog here.)  So I had to figure out a way to lock a drawer that did not have a lock.  I shimmed it (Marshaguyver style).  It has stopped him for now. But he is studying the bottom of the drawer to see if there is a way to get it out.  I give him a month.  

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