Madder than a Wet Hen …

As any Southern would understand …the dark clouds were blowin’ up a storm…

Mapquest -the old-fashioned way

The journey up to that point had been beyond exhausting …airports…airports and more airports …from Port Elizabeth, a 3:30 pm flight to Johannesburg …a 3-hour layover…11 1/2-hour Flight to Heathrow with a 5-hour layover…an 8-hour flight to Dulles …2 days and no sleep …problems with credit cards not working … I was one cranky irritable lady and felt every bit of my old self…

Arriving at Dulles was a welcome change from the normal traipse through immigration …I had gone ahead, while Mr. P waited at the designated line …when the officer asked me what I had been doing in South Africa the last 3+ years …I grinned from ear to ear, pointed at Patrick, and told him “I have married the man of my dreams” 💘…the officer must have thought that was a remarkable thing to happen to two ‘mature’ individuals …

Waiving Mr. P to ‘come on up’ and stand with me …and after reviewing his Esta Visa for a millisecond, he said, “Welcome to the USA” … “it was the best experience I have had with my many travels into the United States” … while his normal commentary at immigration is “it’s not the government’s business, they can go stuff themselves” or “it’s not even an introduction to rocket science, it’s stupid bureaucracy” …that’s my Mr. P😂…I just patiently wait and let bureaucracy amble on through at its turtle pace…

Still an hour+ from the Airbnb …I thought that I had planned it well …Uber was expensive, but there would be no stress …Luggage was retrieved …turned around and I had lost him the first hour in the USA…he was off to the information kiosk …my shining knight trying to save us money by finding an alternative to the $50-$100 Uber fee …

“Exit 4, go down the ramp, and the bus stops right outside there” …handing him a map …looking at the timetable and added “there is a bus coming every half an hour, and there’s one coming in 3 minutes, you’ll probably get that one, if you hurry.”

That’s all Mr. P heard at that point, and turned to me and said, “there’s a bus coming in three minutes. I’m going to stop it for you.” Off he trotted with his long legs, striding with determination to catch THAT bus …not take a breath, enjoy the arrival, get a drink and amble slowly to the bus stop to get the next bus (if that is what we HAD to do) …that’s the enjoyable and sometimes infuriating difference between us…

With my mouth agape at the sudden change in my careful, no stress plans …I started rushing with my short legs, struggling to haul huge suitcases behind me …he had caught the bus and kindly asked the driver to wait …I arrived …hot, bothered, irritation pricking at any enjoyment or humor that might been in the situation …

A city bus …three big suitcases and a backpack …we weren’t the only people with a suitcase, but I was still mortified …I could have chewed up nails and spit out a complete barbed wire fence, at that point …

Mr. P knew that I was peeved …I was endeavoring to maintain my decorum and not burst into a flood of tears with frustration…I had disowned him, by then …but, being the practical one and less emotional one of the two of us … “I was worried about you, but I couldn’t do anything about it” …he decided to “just relax, read the map and find out where we were going” …”sixth street…or was it eighth?”

“Look that has to be Arlington Cemetery” …catching sight of the continuous rows of white crosses over a wall at the edge of the highway…I still ignored him, not enjoying the first view of that iconic sight with him …crossing the Potomac, he tried again …”there’s the Potomac” …he had so looked forward to that major feature in Washington DC for the first time …”the history of the British sailing up it.”

First Bus Ride Ended

“I’ll drop you off here. You will need to get off here and take a different bus to your destination. The agent will go with you and show you where to catch the next bus.” The service was extraordinary. Shaking his head when Mr. P tried to pay him for the ride …no charge …being ‘oldies’ must have worked in our favor 🤣

Washington DC Metro Services get the award for the best service …patient and caring for the visitors that grace their city …”may I give you a tip?” Mr. P trying to hand him a Rand note with a picture of Nelson Mandela …”I can’t accept tips. Maybe, if I saw it on the street, I would stop and pick it up.” …Mr. P obligingly dropped the note …”I can’t pick it up. I saw you drop it.” …there are still so many incredible people in the world …often when you feel the world has fallen off its orbit …

Walking with us a couple of blocks …still dragging my bulky suitcases …I struggled to keep up in the heat …often lagging almost half a block behind …but we caught the second bus on time …and found ourselves in the Capital Hill district a few blocks from dispensing the storm clouds that had been following me all day …felt like Eeyore …

The neighborhood was delightful…for me, it was a part of the city that I feel most in love with …”one of the oldest residential districts with rows of rowhouses of different stylistic varieties and periods …Side by side exist early 19th century manor houses, Federal townhouses, small frame dwellings, ornate Italianate bracketed houses, and the late 19th century press brick rowhouses with their often whimsical decorative elements combining Richardsonian RomanesqueQueen Anne, and Eastlakian motifs…”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitol_Hill

Anger, frustration all stated to slowly dissapate in the cool early evening as we walked the last few blocks to our final destination of the day …but then…

Stopping at a house on the block …a young college man, in no uncertain terms informed us that we were not staying at his place …I had given Mr. P the incorrect address …with our decision to not get international roaming on my phone and not getting a sim card at the airport …image why ????…I could not call our host …ugggg …a small thunder cloud surfaced …

Next house down was our destination …a low wrought iron fence beckoned us with slight off skew welcoming gate …we had made it …but I had wasted a day of making beautiful memories with my Mr. P… there are only so many tomorrows …each day a gift to be cherished …even the less than perfect present can create mosaics that let the light shine throughout our lives …

 “All I wish is that the nights when we are together would never end. When we are apart, I cannot bear it. Good night, my love.”

– Unknown

And we lay in each other’s arms …letting sweet sleep wrap its arms around us …

May your days be filled with memories that shine in the dark days of life …sending much laughter and love …always❣

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