We are here, in Arlington, VA, across the Potomac from Washington, DC. Heart of the nation, its capitol and center of intrigue and promise. We’re here for nine months or so, as Tom studies Romanian as his day job, and I study it after my day of editing ends. (When we went to Brazil, I had no language and lived in a bubble until I learned. I will not do THAT again!)

What a time to have arrived, just before a vital presidential election! I wasn’t thrilled that we would be here for the election, but here we are. We’ll keep a low profile and our finger on the pulse as Election Day comes and goes. In the thick of history, don’t you know.

In the meantime, we get to visit my favorite monument in the world, the Lincoln Memorial. We’ve already gone to see Abe twice, and plan to visit much more often. I love sitting in his presence, staring out over the Reflecting Pool to the Washington Memorial and Capitol Bldg.

When we were here in 2011, the Reflecting Pool was empty. So disappointing. A concrete canal. That’s like going to see Big Ben and finding it covered in scaffolding. Dreams burst, all glory lost.

We’re living in an apartment that looks out over a lovely area of old colonial-style apartment buildings: lots of brick and trees. As I write this, I can see individual leaves turning red or yellow in the autumn sunlight. There is still the noise of the city, but that is relieved by the quiet beauty of the trees.

I had forgotten how wonderful it is to live in a city where various food options are just a short walk away, no need to hop in the car to dine. We have Thai, Korean, Southern, burgers, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Irish, and Japanese restaurants within one block in three directions. Plus, the Bayou Bakery, when we simply must placate our longing for beignets and cafe au lait, as in New Orleans.

Already, we have it the road for day trips, losing ourselves in history at every turn.

Nine months will fly by here, I know. The greatest loss will be no visits from the family, until Covid is under control. Meanwhile, we’ll share our adventures here with family and friends, far and wide.

Washington, I’m happy to be here!