Tag Archives: robert e lee

I saw DC!

Me & wifey at Trump’s house…he wasn’t home…well, they wouldn’t let us see him, anyway…

The wife surprised me with a trip to Washington, DC. Seems she thought I really needed to get away (see my recent blog post about my high BP – which is slowly improving, thanks) and so she whisked me away.

We wanted to catch the main things on day 1. She got us a hotel close to all the sites, so we got a lot of walking in. First place we headed was Trump’s house! We were surprised to find the main road in front all blocked off. You could still see the house, but it wasn’t like I’d always seen in pictures.

Trump wasn’t home, so we made our way around back were we learned we’d only just missed the Christmas Tree lighting by the First Lady the night before (we were likely in the shuttle on the way to the hotel). They were still taking the stands d  own from the night before so we decided to come back and visit when it was dark.

Me & wifey at the WW2 Memorial, Washington Mon in the distance.

We made our way to the Washington Monument but couldn’t get close as they were doing repairs. Seems Spiderman had gone at it against the Vulture or some such. We got a good look from just outside the fences though.

We made our way over to the WW2 Memorial and it was very cool. It is right beside the Reflecting Pool that leads to the Lincoln Memorial, so we walked along the pool a bit before heading over to the Smithsonian for American History.

I had no idea they were free to enter. I entered the front door fully expecting to pay an admission of some sort… but it’s FREE! We were there several hours–honestly I lost track of time so I’m not sure how long…but regardless, we didn’t get to see all of it. 😦

Needless to say, I enjoyed the heck out of it! We we were worn out. WE got in 16k steps that day for those keeping track.

The next day we spent the entire time at Arlington. It’ll write about it separately–in part 2, because Lee’s former home deserves an entire entry!

Trump’s tree was big…so big…it’s the biggest tree I’ve ever seen. So big.

We also made it back to the White House at night and the street in front was open so we got to get closer than before. We also got to see the tree at night. The base has several model trains – which, of course, I really enjoyed. Another cool thing is that there are 50 trees around the tree, one for every state. The ornaments on the trees all come from a middle school class in the respective state. Pretty cool.

All in all, a fun little get away planned by wifey!

(pics by wifey!)


Filed under family

The funny thing about Christmas Cards

Well, I hope everyone had a great REL/MLK day yesterday. If you were off from work, good for you. If you weren’t, oh well. We’ve just about got all the Christmas decorations put up. Yeah, I know, we’re running late. Well, mostly it’s me running late. We’ve had most of them actually down for a while, but I’ve yet to re-“store” them…y’know, put them up in the attic.

Is it just me, or does Christmas seem to fly by? And I mean that both ways: it gets here in a hurry each year, and then it’s over in a hurry. It feels like we just get the tree up and we have to take it down.

But with all the technology, I wonder if the art of the Christmas card is changing (not that it’s an art, but you get what I mean). A decade or so ago, folks stopped sending cards and opted for the “family update letter” in place of a card. Usually, it’s a Cliff’s Notes version of what that family has experienced over the last year. We hang our cards on a string every year…those letter-updates just don’t hang right. Oh, I’m not pointing fingers…we’re guilty of the occasional update letter.

In the last year or so, we’ve started getting email cards. There’s several places online you can get free cards, some of them pretty nice. I’ve grown to like them more and more because I feel I can more easily include folks. The last two years, my family has recorded a “Christmas greeting” video. That’s been fun. But the online cards have messed with my list a little, though.

Yes, I keep a list. Hey, Santa does it, I figured it was in the Christmas spirit to do so. Actually, my list started as a way to keep up with addresses and such. That, and I was always afraid I would accidentally forget someone and then they’d either be hurt or offended. Since I wanted to do neither, I started a list…and checked it twice. When I was heavy editing, the list grew very large—I used to send cards to all the creative talent I worked with. Talk about stamp licking.

The funny thing about my list, though…after a few years of keeping it, I got to noticing that some of the folks on my list never—and I mean never—sent cards to my family. Now I know there are some folks who just don’t do it and I know that the idea is give not receive—I know all that. But if we don’t get a card from someone after five years, they go off the list.

Another funny thing about keeping up with the list: on occasion, I have been late getting them out—like not mailing them until the 23rd. It’s funny because I’ll get cards then the week after the new year…very rarely (actually almost never) from someone not on my list…when I get to thinking about it, I think “ah-ha. They just got the card from us…they weren’t going to send us one but because they got one from us, they decided to send it.” Haha

Whether that’s true or not, I have no clue. But it is funny to watch how the art of Christmas cards have changed and continue to do so.


Filed under Columns

Happy Robert E. Lee/King day

What? You didn’t know it was Robert E. Lee AND Martin Luther King Jr. Day? Well, it is only if you live in the South. All other thirty-someodd states in union recognize only the Federal holiday of Martin Luther King. For many Southerners, it is a dual holiday: a Federal and a State holiday.

And for all of you who live outside the Masy-Dixie line, it was a State holiday first. It was a day recognized for Lee and Stonewall Jackson back around the turn of the century, before Martin Luther King, Jr. was even born. (I’d be real interested to learn the story of why his parens named him “Martin Luther.” Were they devout Lutherans?)

I decided to try to do some very quick research (very quick) about the day wikipedia turned up this:

  • The state of Virginia as part of Lee-Jackson Day, which was separated from the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday there in 2001. The King holiday falls on the third Monday in January while the Lee-Jackson Day holiday is celebrated on the Friday preceding it.
  • The state of Texas, as part of Confederate Heroes Day on January 19, Lee’s actual birthday.
  • The states of Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi on the third Monday in January, along with Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • The state of Georgia on the day after Thanksgiving.
  • The state of Florida, as a legal holiday and public holiday, on January 19

I’m one of those who believe the adage that those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.

But I’m one of those who have mixed feelings about the way this particular holiday is all done now. Part of me thinks it is a good idea to recognize two men who contributed greatly to the society–in particular, the South–as contemporaries of their day. What bothers me is that it’s becoming another case of the Federal government out to abolish something state-sanctioned.

I think probably as the political season heats up, I’ll be stirred more and more along these lines. I’m a hardcore Jeffersonian. I hold to the idea that the best government is that which governs least.

I’ve told many people face to face that I don’t really consider myself a Republican, but I find myself pushed that direction by the Democrats more and more every year. Not to let the Rs off free: they also grow the government, it just happens to be in ways that I approve of more.

I’ve got a friend who continually tells me he thinks I really should be a Libertarian. Maybe. I dunno. I just know that with our current two party system, it comes down to most folks either choosing the lesser of two evils…or, not voting for someone, but against someone else.

That’s kinda depressing.

Oh, where’s Daniel Boone and David Crocket when you need them?

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Filed under Columns, General