Two significant anniversaries as of this month: Amy and I have been married 10 years, and our son Ezra is 1 year old! Every day of the last decade and the last year, my wife and son have been visible signs to me of the good Lord’s grace and love.
Ten years ago, one year ago, and last weekend:
(That was Ezra’s first trip to National Harbor. He got happier when he learned how sunglasses work.)
Some late afternoon photos of the forest near home, casually shot with my GoPro on the walk home from Metro. The wide-angle view adds a moody looming distortion effect, curved tree trunks appearing to subtly frame the scene.
End of March was the earliest we’ve seen cherry blossom peak bloom come, owing to an especially warm winter. Baby Life didn’t leave us much time or energy to brave tourist crowds for cherry blossom viewing, but I was able to take a weekday lunch break to run down to the Tidal Basin and snap a few photos with my NEX3N and VCLECF1 fisheye lens.
Also nice that some of the streets in our neighborhood were lined with cherry trees so even if we couldn’t make it to DC there were blossoms right around the block, which our infant son got to see on a sick day, too.
At 10 months of age, Ezra has mastered the arts of the commando crawl, multi-syllable babbling, and eating various pureed and soft foods.
He can understand a simple “yes” or “no”, identify a cat (“GAH”), and operate a light switch. He can sit upright independently, and even pull himself up to a standing position and maintain it with support.
He’s a smart and cheerful baby but not too fond of crib napping, prone to occasional bouts of separation anxiety and squirmy struggling. Still, he generally sleeps through the night, which is the greatest baby blessing of all. Sometimes he’s a little joker and given a sheet or a shirt, likes to play peek-a-boo back at us. He’s got all four front teeth now.
In other words, he’s a mostly normal 10 month old baby. Except Ezra is extra cute.
One nice perk of new job: access to the system of tunnels under the US Capitol. Hours are limited when House and Senate are recessed, but if I get out early enough it’s still a good way to get to Union Station when weather is less than optimal for a walk outside.
Cannon House Office Tunnel is lined with art from constituents in every Congressperson’s district, and connects to the Capitol Basement. Down there I still keep getting lost in a maze of nondescript and very un-Capitol-like passages while trying to get to here:
…the Senate Subway that connects the Capitol to the Senate Office Buildings. There are also walkways between the tracks; at least once walking has been faster than waiting for the train cars.
After a long walk through a brick basement hallway under the Russell Senate Office Building, I emerge right near Union Station.
Of course, if we still lived in our old apartment on E St NW I’d be practically home by now, but today there’s one more train to ride.
And miles to go before I sleep.
(If short VRE commuter train rides recorded with a GoPro are your thing, I’ve been collecting them in this Trains Playlist.)
I think it was 1989, maybe early 1990, back in the Philippines. I was in 7th Grade. We went on a field trip to see the Ripley’s (of Believe It Or Not” fame) traveling show “World’s Firsts,” which was visiting Manila at the time. That day they had a guest speaker: Apollo 17 astronaut Eugene Cernan. (Some irony there, I suppose: that an exhibit about first things would feature the last person to have walked on the moon.)
I don’t remember much about the presentation; all I could think of was an Apollo documentary I had seen showing the EVA where Cernan and fellow astronaut Jack Shmitt had found orange-colored soil.
So when Q&A time came up, I bounded up to the mic (which I vividly recall gave me a strong static shock) and excitedly asked “Remember the orange soil? What was it? Was it radioactive? Was it some kind of ore?”
Cernan was extremely pleased by this. “Now this kid, this kid has done his homework,” he said, “We did find orange soil.” He went on to talk about iron oxide in the soil and volcanic activity, but the rest of the day my head was abuzz with praise from an astronaut who’d walked on the moon.
He died on January 16th, 2017, still the last man on the moon. We still have not returned. But I’ve done my homework.