Dawn wakes me with song, with Happy Birthday, and then she gives me a sweet card. We have breakfast but are able to be a little lazy. Yoga is later this morning; early classes are cancelled for the holiday weekend.
My class is at 10:30 a.m. Danielle is teaching. I’ve gotten kind of used to Chuck, after two weeks now, but Danielle taught my newbie workshop so I suppose it’s okay. The class is packed full, everybody’s mat is on a daisy, all thirty of us. Time passes oddly quickly. I’ve forgotten to wear a watch, but the woman next to me has one, and every time I glance up another half hour has gone by. Only in the last fifteen minutes or so does Danielle start to kick our asses.
We get home just in time to go meet my Dad at the Metro for the baseball game. Dawn walks over with me, then heads out for a walk by herself. Dad and I head over to the stadium. There’s cart vendors selling water and peanuts on the way, telling us it’s much cheaper to by from them instead of inside the stadium. I buy a water, which I’m positive has been refilled and resealed, but figure it’s okay. I drink it in the block to the stadium, but I take the empty bottle in with me and refill it twice, although the 72 oz. of water requires me to go to the restroom twice during the game.
We get sausages with pepper and onions right away and find our seats. We’re still in the middle of eating when we have to stand for the national anthem. We remove our hats. Some Springfield high school student madrigals sing their multipart harmony arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner. It’s a little awkward, holding hat in one hand and sausages in the other. Finally we get to sit back down.
We greatly enjoy the game, even though the Nationals lose. But they deserve to lose, blowing as many scoring chances as they do. We have very good cheap seats, although we do move up even further so the people walking on the gangway in front of us don’t distract us so much. And up higher we’re able to stretch our legs over the seats in front of us.
On the way home we see Adrian Fenty, who’s on the city council and is also running for mayor. He’s out pressing the flesh. I make sure to shake his hand and tell him he’s got my support in November. But of course he needs votes in the Democratic primary in September. I’m not a registered Democrat, so I can’t vote in the primary. I ask him what he plans to do, as mayor, about the Nationals’ crappy bullpen. He says he’ll work closely with Lerner, the owner.
I introduce Dad to our neighbor Kara and her dog Rosie. I take an extra fabulous picture of them. Back home I print it out and take it back to Kara. We talk about councilman Fenty, and I tell Kara that I’m not a registered Democrat because the Democratic Party is too conservative for me. Dad pipes up that the Republican Party is too liberal for him.
We head to dinner at the Carlyle Grand at Shirlington. Dawn drives while Dad rides in front and totally kibbutzes. We get to Shirlington and there’s like condos and an office building and a parking deck all new to me, although I suppose it’s been almost fifteen years since I worked down here. I’ve been to movies here still over the years, but I haven’t been paying attention to the construction. Maybe because the movies have been at night?
We meet Rob and Carol waiting at the bar. Dad calls Sharon and she’s still on her way, so we make our way upstairs to our table. It’s a nice corner table, round, big, up a step. We order drinks. I get the Carlyle Lager and Dawn gets a glass of wine. Sadly, no one else orders alcohol. I feel a bit self-conscious. Sharon arrives and I really expect her to get wine, but she doesn’t.
The food is very good. I have lobster pot stickers for an appetizer and the pecan encrusted trout for an entree. Dawn has a salad, sized up to an entree. Rob has the lobster bisque to start. Carol has what looks like mashed potatoes but is in fact creamed cauliflower. I give Dad some trout in exchange for a medallion of his pork.
We all get coffee, except Dad, who says he thinks he hasn’t had coffee since the mid fifties. Dawn and I share the creme brulee. They bring it with a birthday candle on the plate. And they’ve written Happy Birthday in drizzled chocolate around the rim of the plate. The gang sings to me.
And there’s presents too. A wonderful book from Rob and Carol, and fun toy tools as well. And a very generous check from Dad. We chat more, about Tom Hanks and politics, and then we make our ways out and home.
At home I feed the cats. As I’m bending down to put Louise’s dish on the floor, it feels a little funny how far I’m bending down. I straighten my legs and see how close I can get to my toes. I’ve never been able to get more than about a third of the way down my shins. Now I can stretch stretch and touch the floor. And I’m still wearing my shoes while I do this. I rush out of the bedroom to the other bedroom where Dawn is on the computer to show her.
Amazing. It might have something to do with the yoga.