Mark and I had a heckuva good time on our recent trip to Washington, D.C., for an annual convention we attended for his work. I hadn't been in that town since I marched in protest of the Vietnam War in 1970. Our Quaker college in Indiana had bused us to the Capitol, where we encountered thousands upon thousands of other young people jostling for a spot somewhere amongst the cherry trees and statues. I had hoped to do a little sight-seeing on that trip, but the tear gas got in my way.
This time, I saw Washington atop a red double-decker bus -- not much more comfortable than the school bus that had taken us to the Capitol in 1970, but this time, it was an atmosphere of relaxed tourism, not tear-ism. (That gas was pungent.) On this visit, we hoofed around to various congressional offices to speak with our senators or representatives, or rather with their underlings, all of whom looked to be under 17 -- so "underlings" is a play on words, I reckon.
A highlight of our trip was a visit to the National Gallery of Art. Omigosh -- the Rembrandts, the Renoirs, the Picassos, the Warhols! Since my daughter, Emily, is an art-history major, I was delighted that visitors were allowed to take photos of most of the paintings. From the Dutch masters to the French impressionists to the Jackson Pollocks, I took photo after photo with my humble camera phone to share with Emily.
Alas, my phone has a function that yells,"Say cheese!" right before it snaps the picture. So there I was, taking a photo of the likes of Van Gogh's self-portrait, and the gadget is telling him to "Say cheese!" Some of the other visitors laughed at the scenario, but not all of them.
Below is a Picasso. Apparently it pictures a circus family. Mark conjectures they've lost their way to the next town, and the woman is trying to remove her attention from the confusion until the others find their map and/or navigation device.
I'll have more photos of priceless artworks to use on future posts. Somehow, they all seem to lean to the right, which my politically conservative family will no doubt applaud.
I was feeling so appreciative of all that we saw and experienced (and ate) on our trip, that I whipped out my trusty thought-clicker on the plane ride home and began counting happy thoughts. I stirred up such a rampage of appreciation that I couldn't stop thinking grateful thoughts and clicking, even when Mark and I reached home. (My geraniums are still blooming -- click; we did indeed remember to turn off the coffee pot before we left -- click; the roach bait hasn't been touched -- click, or at least, half a click.)
Lately, I've been reaching for my handy dandy thought-clicker first thing in the morning, right after I don my glasses so that I can find the gadget. I've been attaching it to the waistband of my apparel using a metal spherical device that previously held my car keys and attached to my purse. That was before my daughter, Emily, (ahem!) took my car (ahem!) off to college to study art history. (Emily, not the car.)
But who needs car keys when you can have a clicker that will aid you in thinking happy thoughts that will aid you in manifesting exciting trips to interesting places such as the National Gallery of Art? And Emily and the car will simply have to resign themselves to drooling over the tilting photos.