007, audio books, books on tape, Crafty Minx, Grace, Guru, Joe, Knitting, knitting lessons, March for Life, Michael York, Mr. T, Pavlova, Peach, road trip, Sae, sewing, swing dancing, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Duchess, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Winter Wonder Mittens
This past weekend I traveled down to Washington, DC for the March for Life. This wasn’t the first time I’ve taken part in the protest that’s happened every winter for 38 years, but it had been a while since I made the trip. I stayed with my very sweet Aunt K and Uncle G in Arlington (it’s great having relatives in cities I want to visit), and enjoyed being fussed over by Aunt K and hanging out with the very mellow Uncle G. He’s the kind of man who doesn’t talk much, which is a shame, because not only does he have very interesting things to say, but his voice is one of the most soothing things I’ve ever heard. I could listen to him talk for hours. I think perhaps when he retires from the bench (he’s a federal court judge in Virginia) he should consider a second career recording audio books.
Speaking of which, the day before we were set to leave, I made the most fabulous discovery. I was searching through Audible trying to decide what I wanted to download to take with us on the trip, and on a whim looked up the Chronicles of Narnia. And there was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, read by Michael York. Michael York! I mean, he’s, like, amazing. And then I looked at the rest of the series. It was like a Who’s Who of incredible English actors: Lynn Redgrave reading Prince Caspian, Derek Jacobi reading The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Jeremy Northam reading The Silver Chair, Alex Jennings (the only one I didn’t recognize) reading The Horse and His Boy, Kenneth Branaugh reading The Magician’s Nephew, and Patrick Stewart reading The Last Battle. I mean – holy cow! I couldn’t press Download fast enough! I’m going to have to wait to get the rest of the series, but Grace and I listened to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe on our way down to DC, and it even better than I expected. Michael York’s voice is so deep and lovely, plus he is amazing at doing voices. Even the female voices sounded great. Plus, he did accents for different people – Mr. Tumnus was Irish, the Beavers were Yorkshire, and the evil wolves were Scots (which I thought was rather unfair to the Scots, but very nice to listen to!). It made the hours driving down fly by.
This time at the March was a little different from what I had experienced before: a quick in and out of Washington, staying maybe one night in a motel room, and heading back right away. In the past, my travel companions have been my family, or the kind of church groups that tend heavily towards either women my mother’s age, or way too many teenage girls. This time, however, I went down with Grace, and also had two of The Duchess’s roommates from Philly staying at my Aunt’s house along with me. Consequently, my weekend included two separate birthday parties, swing dance lessons on the subway platform, and lots of other fun. I have to admit, I think I like this version of the trip much better!
I also got to have dinner with Crafty Minx’s family on Sunday night. This was so much fun. It was a great Gala dinner, including Sae and Mr. T (who were staying with them over the weekend), The Duchess and 007 (just down in DC for the night to drop The Duchess’s roommates off at Aunt K’s), The Duchess’s roommates, a young married couple with possibly the cutest toddler I’ve seen since The Absent-Minded Professor, myself, and our hosts: Crafty Minx, Joe, and their four awesome children. It was a delightful rush from the moment we hit the door, starting with hugs at the front door, then admiring the knitting books Pavlova and Peach had received for Christmas, then showing Peach how to make braided cables, then the wonderful, riotous dinner around the long dinner table, then a moment of almost quiet when I think I nearly had a coherent conversation with Joe, then roughhousing with the youngest son (somehow he ended up in the clothes hamper – I have no idea how that could have possibly happened), then talking about sewing with Crafty Minx, then evening prayer with the whole family and Peach snuggling up against my side. And then it was time to leave, a vast swirling confusion of gathering things (Crafty Minx lent me her old serger! She’s so generous! And Peach decided that I was going to borrow her new knitting book too) and finding coats while various children wove through the mess collecting hugs and getting last tickles in. And then we were out in the cold air piling into The Duchess’s car for the ride back to Aunt M’s and it was all over.
I really need to go back and visit them when I can stay a little longer.
A bit of good news – a little while ago I asked for prayers for their youngest son, who was discovered to have a lesion in his brain. It has since been identified as a non-cancerous tumor, a type that shows up in children and is pretty non-threatening. Basically, they’ll have to keep an eye on it, and remove it eventually. But there’s no rush. Which is a pretty darn good outcome, I think.
In other news, on Saturday I finished the Winter Wonder mittens that I started as my rebellion knitting. I think they turned out rather well. Well, actually I’m thrilled with pretty much every detail of them, from the adorable little white frill at the cuffs to the stripes on the back of the thumb to the way the different colors in the blue yarn make the design almost glow. But it’s a little tacky to be so totally in love with your own work so I’m striving for a little decorum.
My Guru likes them too, which is fortunate, since I made them for her. I showed them to her last night, and she liked them so much she wouldn’t let me take them home again to block them. So she got unblocked mittens. She doesn’t seem to mind. And, well, I don’t either.