Friday, June 18, 2004

A better day

AN ANGEL NAMED ASTRID (written June 16)

Yesterday we were supposed to tour the memorials in Washington, DC. We had it all planned out, but the day turned sour right off. When we got to the parking garage and lot for the Metro, there was not a single space. And there were lots of other people circling and looking besides us. Finally, about 11 AM, we decided to find something easy and close to home and start again in the morning. We went to Mannassas battlefield, which was enjoyable and educational. It's humbling to realize that the ground you're walking on has been drenched by the blood of ancesters. However, when we left there, a rock hit Joanna's windshield, leaving a "star" about the size of a fifty-cent piece.

This morning, we left at 7:30, figuring that would give us time if we had to change any plans. Plan A was to go park in the parking lot at Joanna's church, in Centreville and catch a bus to the place where we could get on the Metro. Plan B: we'd drive to Dulles (very near Joanna's home), pay the $12 parking at the New National Air and Space museum there, and take the bus from there. Plan C: We'd call Joanna's friend, Steve, and have him take us to the Vienna Metro.

Armed with all these backup plans, away we went. There was plenty of room in the Metro parking lot (good sign) and we went to the bus stop and prepared to wait for about a half-hour.

That's when an SUV pulled up at the bus stop, and a trendy-looking young career-woman type rolled down the window and asked, "Do you want to go to Washington, DC?"

It turns out that, if you have at least two people with you, you can use the HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lane and get into town much faster. She had been called in to work, and didn't want to crawl through traffic.

After yesterday's problems, Joanna and I were simply astounded at this "angel" we felt God had sent us. It simplified our day so much, and got us to the Vietnam Vet's memorial a half-hour before the trams even started running. Not only that, but Astrid, our heaven-sent Taxi driver, was a wonderful conversationalist. So the time we spent with her fairly flew. She even gave us her cell phone number in case we were still there at 4 PM, so she could pick us up; but in the heat and humidity, neither of us was ready to stay that long.

And it was just this morning I was singing to myself, "Be not dismayed, whate'er betide; God will take care of you...."

So, that's how things went yesterday.  I bought our dinner at Sweetwater Tavern yesterday evening.  It rains every evening, but not all that much.  And it hasn't once interupted our plans.

We saw:  Lincoln Memorial, JKF's grave and all of Arlington Cemetary; WWII Memorial; Vietnam Memorial (although most of it was boarded over... they are adding new lighting); a glimpse of the White House.

Those memorials are touching beyond words, as is Arlington.  I'm so glad Joanna gave me this opportunity!


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