Saturday, April 19, 2014

Home 2 weeks already!

I never finished writing about the end of my stay in the US. I left DC to go to Pittsburgh on the Saturday morning. I said goodbye to V., who was staying another day in DC, and lugged my suitcase, in the rain, to the N° 42 bus stop at the corner of our street and Columbia. That bus dropped me off almost in front of the Hilton hotel where I was picking up the car. Off I went, straight up Connecticut Ave. It rained, or drizzled the whole way to Pittsburgh!
This very last weekend in March, it was still pretty much winter. The dead grass was brown: the trees had no green buds so they were brown, too; the sky was very gray, and there were still patches of snow at the higher elevations. The buildings all looked pretty bleak, too. I managed to listen to NPR the whole way, although in western Maryland, reception was pretty poor. Every time I tried to find another station, it was horrible, so I went back to NPR, even managing to find the first half of a program I had caught the end of as I was leaving DC.
Jon had the garage door waiting open for me and I was glad to get there. Glad to see Jon and Tobi. And surprise, we went out to a fine steak house to celebrate their friend S's birthday! I hadn't been to a steak house in ages. I can't even remember when the last time was. Anyway, this was good and it was a fun evening out.
Sunday, we went to a matinée performance of "Tribes", a play by Nina Raine about family and deafness -- a deaf child in a hearing family; a hearing girlfriend born to deaf parents and going deaf. Where does one belong? It is an excellent play and it was an excellent performance.
Monday was opening day of the baseball season with a home game in Pittsburgh against the Cubs. We took the trolley from the shopping center to the ball park. Everyone on the trolley was going to the ballpark. Pittsburgh teams are intelligent; they have the same colors: yellow and black. It seemed that everyone was wearing the colors. And it was a gorgeous day -- a bit chilly to start out, but once we were in our seats and in the sun, if really warmed up and all the jackets came off. The girl in the front of our section, who was wearing jeans with nicely slit holes at the knee got a well-deserved sunburn. I don't remember why she was bugging us, but she was. The pre-game show was the now traditional parachute jump into the ballpark, ending with the last parachutist carrying an enormous US flag. Games don't start with just the Star Spangled Banner, either; you also get either "America, the Beautiful" or "My Country 'tis of Thee", too. I forget which one we got. It was well sung, but I hate all the trills and improvisations. The Star Spangled Banner was sung by Andrew McCutchen's mother (he's a Pirate, for those of you who do not follow baseball, MVP last season) and she is an excellent singer. The game was so-so; the teams very well balanced, so that there were the same hits, the same runners left on base and a 0-0 tie at the end of the ninth. We looked at one another and said we'd leave at the end of the 10th. Luckily, the 10 ended at the bottom of the inning with a home run by Neil Walker, a local kid! Pittsburgh was happy. The trolley ride back to the shopping center was cheerful.
Tuesday, Tobi and I went out shopping. I love that. It's my sister time with a sister. I love my brother, but sister time with a sister is different and I love it. The evening ended at the opera to see "La Bohème". I thought it was an excellent performance and I especially appreciated that the theater is small and it wasn't a big, big production. We were sitting far to the front, near the orchestra, so at times, that was a bit much, but not to the point of disappointing.
Wednesday was a day of rest! Tobi and I managed to do the NYT crossword together. Thursday, I hit the road again to go back to Washington. Well, not all the way to DC, just to Bethesda. B&T were just back from their trip out to California and a cruise along the Pacific coast of Mexico. We had dinner at a good Lebanese place not far from them. Friday, there was a bit of family upset and I felt like a daughter again. That felt good, even though I would have given anything for B not to be upset and for T not to be upset because B was upset. We went shopping together on Saturday to get away from the phone and in the evening they took me to the Chevy Chase Women's Club 100th Anniversary cocktail/dinner/auction. Not missing a beat, I managed to introduce myself with my AARO hat to the Senator's and Representative's aides who were there, too.
Sunday afternoon, I left. The next week was a muddle of jet lag. I don't remember doing anything. I know we had dinner with Louis, et al. This week, things are back to normal. We celebrated Anne's birthday last Sunday and tomorrow, we'll celebrate, a couple of days late, Sacha's. I dyed some eggs and if it doesn't rain, we'll do some egg hunting and egg rolling in the back yard.

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