Washington Confusion

A and I were talking the other day about our last weekend in DC.  It was a whirlwind – we had already driven out to Seattle, dropped off Cal and flown back to the East Coast for one final weekend.  There was of course too many people to see and things to do in that weekend than we had time for and it ended up being entirely exhausting – and fabulous at the same time because we were able to see so many people who mean so much to us.  (Like our godson Harry, whose cuddles I miss soo much, even if he has baby breath.) 

Anyway, when discussing that weekend A said, doesn’t that feel like ages ago?  In a way it does, despite the fact it was 2 months ago today that we were rushing around Old Town trying to ship everything that hadn’t made it on the moving truck to Seattle.  Part of me is definitely settled here in the Washington of the West – we have jobs and a house and a routine (that involves me sleeping through two snooze cycles while A feeds the cat, the dog, himself, loads the dishwasher and checks his email.  He is a productive, caring husband.)  But while it may seem like forever ago that we traded one Washington for another, there is definitely a part of me that is still on DC time or awareness.

DC has been having some crazy weather – heat waves, rain, flooding.  I still read the DC news and have a ton of friends there so we keep up on this sort of thing.  Despite the fact that I know I live in Seattle, I see the Space Needle about 37 times a day, I change our address to the Seattle address on something at least twince a day, I still have momentary lapses regarding which Washington I’m in.  For instance, I am well aware that 75 is hot here and I know that it is about 110% humidity in DC.  So everytime I step outside my over air conditioned office building into the sun, I expect to be hit with the wall of humidity and regret walking to Quiznos for lunch.  I am constantly surprised when it is 62 and breezy.  (and very content with my tuna melt bullet.)

Last week there was a terrible storm/tornado that swept through Alexandria where we used to live.  Our commuting route, the George Washington Parkway, was closed for hours and people were stranded in their cars.  I cannot tell you the panic this caused.  First I read the headlines and thought, oh my goodness the pets are home alone.  I hope they are ok.  What if a tree broke through a window?  What if there is no power?? What if they are scared???  I reminded myself I live in the Other Washington.  It is 58 degrees here.  There is no wind.  Cal and B-Cat are cool.  Sigh.  Ten minutes later I hear the 11Y has been hit by a tree on the Parkway.  OMG, that’s my bus!!  I could have been on that bus.  Wow, traffic will be a nightmare, we will never get home!!!  I begin to email A in a panic wondering why he is never online to chat at important moments like this.  Deep breath number 2, I live in Seattle (see the Space Needle out the window?)  Sunny, cool, no traffic, non-HOV express lanes, home in 10 minutes Seattle.  Ok.  Sigh.  I’m fine. 

Yesterday an alert goes out for a “suspicious” package right at my old bus stop.  It has closed down traffic for two surrounding blocks.  How will I get home??  Will A be able to meet me?  My reality check comes a little sooner this time, reminding myself that there is no need to worry about traffic conditions at the National Press Club.  I retold this story to A last night and he said, “wow two nights within the past week that traffic would have really sucked.  What would we have done?? What day is it, would the dog have been at daycare and taken care of?  We would have had to leave the car and take the metro.”  And I’m comforted to know that I am not the only one who panics about traffic in the old neighborhood or momentarily begins assessing and developing an escape route. 

Maybe all of this panic (and potential Armageddon in DC) are signs that we made the right decision.  Even without having to sit in traffic everyday, we are still haunted by anything that may effect our evening commute.  This despite the fact we have been enjoying our relaxing commute from our home to downtown for almost a month now.  (Last night it took me 15 minutes to get home and I complained about the traffic.  I may be going native.)  If traffic or weather or concerns that our pets will be abandoned and we’ll be stuck in downtown DC indefinitely are still able to cause this much hypothetical panic, it probably wasn’t healthy to be dealing with it everyday.  Life isn’t perfect in the Emerald City but for now I’m very happy that our biggest traffic concern is the guy in front of us who never knows how to merge – and that suspicious packages seldom delay me getting home to puppy kisses.   



  1. Hi,

    I live 90 min. outside Washington and have done almost my entire life. Hubby and I have plans to move to Seattle in two or three years, for many of the reasons you mention here, so that's what got me interested in your blog.

    Today we had terrible storms again. One set in the morning and another during rush hour this evening. Tornado warnings everywhere. A little over two weeks ago there was another that killed the grandson of a lady I work with. A tree fell on him. Horrible stuff. I'm really fed up with the weather here. It has gotten to the point where we are trapped indoors for almost 9 months out of the year. We have two seasons, summer and winter. I'm really tired of being hit by that wall of humidity you speak of, in fact, going in and out of air-conditioning into that heat actually makes me feel ill at times. I've had enough. Glad to find someone who actually knows what I'm talking about.

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