sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

April 5, 2009

i just may have overdone it a bit
posted by soe 7:06 am

I woke up at sunrise today.

For many of you, that’s not remarkable. You’re up with the sun on a regular basis — or before it, even.

I am not one of those people. I like to sleep in.

But this morning, here I am, awake.

It all started with yesterday’s walk.

I metroed downtown to go to the Japanese street fair that they hold every year in association with the cherry blossom festival. I don’t know what I was thinking, or when I lost hold of my reasoning. I hate crowds. First, Metro’s 8-car trains were jam packed; even sardines would have felt crowded. Then I got off at Metro Center to discover every human being who could make it to Pennsylvania Avenue or 12th Street must have been there. Whole towns in Virginia must have been deserted…

I quickly abandoned the plan to enjoy the festival and instead headed across the Mall in search of a mobile food cart to grab a bite to eat. I could feel myself getting a bit manic, which is a sign that I’m in need of food. I found one and bought a vegetarian empanada, which I enjoyed in the relative calm of the Enid Haupt Garden, tucked behind a couple of Smithsonian museums.

In a sign that I still was not in total possession of my senses, I thought then that I’d walk down to see the cherry blossoms. All those people who’d been at the Japanese festival plus several thousand of their friends had the same idea, and I found myself again surrounded by hordes of slow-moving, suddenly stopping people who fail to understand that they have to share the sidewalk with others going the opposite direction.

I would like to pause here to note that I have no problem with the old or the disabled needing to take things slowly or to periodically take a breather. I can even appreciate those who mistakenly thought it would be a great idea to bring the kids out but forgot that the combination of a lot of walking and forgone naps can be deadly. But if you thought that a million people were going to smile fondly on your ancient micro-dog who just had to walk beneath the cherries or the child who insisted that it would be fun if she brought her bike to ride or your inability to put your empty water bottle into one of the bazillion trash or recycling receptacles found every 20 feet, you were in a whole different class. I considered myself quite restrained that I did not stab you with my knitting needles as I struggled to make it over to the far side of the Tidal Basin, which I knew would be a respite from the crowds.

I walked and walked and walked. It was a painful process.

As always, though, the FDR Memorial provided me with an oasis — a place to slow my breathing, unclench my teeth, and appreciate that beauty still inspires people by the thousands to leave their computer screens to come experience the real thing in person. Eventually, I managed to find my center again and enjoyed my stroll along the banks of the Potomac, watching the choppy water crash along the shore.

I arrived home just before six, tired and in need of a drink, but ready to turn around shortly to head to an exhibition baseball game. I had not counted on the fact, though, that the game started at 6:05 (an hour earlier than regular season games) and I’d need to head right back out the door. Rudi offered to have us Metro down to the game, but I just couldn’t bear the thought of the crowds again, and so we climbed on our bikes and headed across town.

The five-mile ride down wasn’t bad, but I hustled us along and we arrived in the fourth inning. (Rudi has me set the pace so he doesn’t lose me.) We missed the Nats’ first-inning grand slam and the top of the fourth comeback from the O’s, but it was still fine. We saw friends coming down the ramp as we were headed up and I just had to keep walking. I knew that if I stopped to chat, I’d never get going again.

Once in our seats, it was great. We switched out of the club level this year and moved a few rows closer to the field in the process. I think the new seats are better than last year’s, giving us an improved view of the field. I had packed enough layers, the new seats are just down from a stand that sells delicious hot chocolate, and the Nats won — a combination that helped make for a very pleasant early spring night.

We still had to make it home, though, and a downhill ride to the stadium means an uphill ride home. My body objected to the grueling pace I tried to set early. [Rudi, stop laughing. It was grueling for me!] By the time we reached home, my feet and knees were screaming, my sunburnt nose was throbbing, and my derriere was just asking to be laid someplace soft. It was an early night for us.

Which brings us to this morning, when my knees and butt still hurt. We sleep on a futon, and after getting up, I just couldn’t face the idea of having to get back down again. So I’m awake out of sheer laziness and soreness. Who knew that would be what it took to get me up early in the morning?

The sun is shining, though, and the skies are blue. The farmers’ market opens in an hour. Rudi and will head down to the garden this afternoon to clear the weeds out of the final back corner and to turn that soil. We have plans to meet John for pizza, and my UConn women play tonight. It’s an early start to the day, but I think it bodes well.

Have a great day, everyone!

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