August 24th, 2011


Poem for Wednesday, Monocacy Aqueduct, Earthquake!

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Apart from the earthquake, I had a nice day. I got up early to fold laundry and watched Main Street, which has Colin Firth and Orlando Bloom inexplicably playing people from North Carolina and Texas -- if you've seen Colin parodying British actors trying to play Southerners on Saturday Night Live, it's not far off at moments. Still, the cast is very good in general (Patricia Clarkson, Amber Tamblyn, Ellen Burstyn) and though the story had all sorts of ominous stuff going on, I liked the ending.

After lunch we decided that we wanted to go see the Civil War sites in Montgomery County from the TV show we had watched the night before, so we went first to Edwards Ferry -- where there is no longer a ferry at the point where the Army of the Potomac crossed in June 1863. But there is a lockhouse in very good shape and the ruins of a C&O Canal lock plus the onetime general store in the small town that was there -- there were frogs in the ruins and damselflies by the water.

Then we went to the Monocacy Aqueduct, which we hadn't even known about before the TV special, though one can walk from Montgomery County into Frederick County across it between the old railroad tracks and the point where the Monocacy River meets the Potomac. We saw lots of animals -- groundhogs, a deer and fawn, many birds and bugs. As we were walking across, several herons took off squawking from spots in the water and the railings began to shake. I thought it was probably from construction somewhere nearby, though younger son joked that it was an earthquake.

Then we got into the car and back into mobile phone range, and the text messages started to come in. We stopped for ice cream in Bealsville, by which time we had realized not only that we had felt an earthquake, but that most of the U.S. east coast had, too. My mother texted that they had had some photos fall down, so we were uneasy about what we'd find at home, and sure enough, we had a major book avalanche off a bookcase and a bunch of small items falling from high shelves, though fortunately nothing major was broken.

Younger son had art class, so apaulled drove him while I was still picking up the books and tchotchkes. My parents took older son to pick up a new printer for college. After we retrieved younger son at Glen Echo, we went to California Tortilla for dinner, and we have just finished watching the extended edition of The Fellowship of the Ring, since older son decided that we should watch The Lord of the Rings in its entirety one more time before he goes to college. So, like I said, a lovely day, apart from the natural disaster!

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