At the end of August Paul and I
recently traveled to Maryland to visit daughter Holly and son-in-law John. It was a great visit. Getting there was the problem.
It was a last-minute decision and of course I drew up a huge list of everything I wanted done before we left. It really was an impossible list.
Diane has tried to gently guide me into letting things go when she reads some of my worries and stresses and I appreciate it but you know my family has tried to do that for years. Heck, I’ve tried. I know I do this to myself and them. It’s difficult, sometimes I succeed and many times I don’t. This wasn’t one of those times.
My mom called several times and tried to get me to stop, Tracey tried and Paul, bless his heart, did his best to help me work through the list. By 9:00pm Thursday night I was prioritizing, discarding and just trying to get to the point I could start packing. I worked right up until 3:00 am on the Friday we were to leave. I did not complete that list. But then we all know perfection is a never-ending quest, never quite reached.
Perfect never gets completed and what the heck is it anyway? Has anyone ever seen perfect (my babies were perfect but that’s different)? I may never know but it seems to be a goal I always strive for but somehow miss. Was it worth it? No, it never is, the stress and the worry until I’m physically ill. It’s ridiculous.
There are lovely works of art I’ve seen: paintings, gorgeous hand-made clothing, pottery and other similar items. Many of them have a slip of paper advising you they are not perfect. There may be inconsistencies from item to item making them individual and unique. When I see those words I always nod my head and agree. Why can’t I apply this to my own life? I want things to be so right, so balanced I tie myself in knots and then it doesn’t get done at all. If it is done I sit and worry about it, making myself literally sick and for what? What is wrong with me?
Life isn’t perfect. It shouldn’t be and wasn’t meant to be. How boring our lives would be. If life were perfect would we even know to be happy? Could we learn and grow? If there is no sorrow there is no happiness, no mistakes then no growth. Fires wreak havoc but from them life is reborn. I know all of this but knowing it and applying it are two different things.
After about three hours sleep, Paul’s upside down head woke me up and it took me awhile to get going. I really did pretty good all the way to Maryland and got a couple of hours sleep while Paul happily played with his GPS although that thing needs an enhancement to route us away from the awful traffic we encountered just before leaving Virginia and entering into Maryland.
Finally we reach Maryland, go out to eat in as western cafe (in Maryland?), come back, talk awhile and then go to bed. Saturday morning is when my folly catches up with me. I’m up very early with a very upset stomach and sick as a dog. Holly made a beautiful breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs, biscuits and fruit that helped settle my stomach and got me going. We planned to go to Mount Vernon and we did make it but guess what I ended up in? Here’s me:
My first and, I hope, my last time in a wheel chair. Perfection would have been the ability to walk under my own steam but having learned my lesson, this time at least, I bowed to the wisdom of using this chair. In the best of circumstances it still would have been difficult for me to walk around this plantation because of its size and the arthritis in my feet and knees. When you add sick, dizzy and the heat? It really was a no brainer and we made it through a good portion of the estate. If I had insisted on trying for perfection we never would have made it.
In an aside, my mom calls me on the cell advising me she knows I’m sick and she told me so. Sounds similar to the chocolate incident with Tracey doesn’t it? Lol.
I would like to go back and see more of George Washington’s home. It really is a lovely estate overlooking the Potomac River. In some ways I like it more than the Biltmore. It sounds nuts because I know The Biltmore still has people living in the upper rooms but I can’t quite picture it because it is so extravagantly beautiful. Whereas Mount Vernon, with its quiet elegance, I can see George and Martha going about their daily lives. We really underestimated the time we needed to tour the estate, it is huge, so a return visit is likely.
The estate does not allow pictures on the inside of the home or museum but I did get an outside picture. I actually didn’t get as many as I would have liked. First because I was sick and then second because I had a camera malfunction that turned out to be an ID-10-T problem.
This picture is the main house. You actually begin the tour on the left of the house in the servant’s hall. It is connected to the main house by a colonnade. The tour of the main house takes you through two floors (I had to get out of the wheelchair for that but by then I was feeling better), you exit through another colonnade leading into the kitchens:
This is a view of the kitchens:
A view of the Potomac from behind the main house:
If you have ever wondered what a riding chair looks like then you are in luck:
We did go to the Grist Mill and Distillery. I wish my camera hadn’t developed the ID-10-T problem because the Grist Mill was fascinating and I could have taken pictures. It is the first automated mill in the nation. I did not expect to enjoy this part of the tour but I surely did.
For a little more information you can go here:
After we left there we drove along the Potomac River and then went out for pizza. We went home and watched Whip It. It’s directed by Drew Barrymore who is also in it as a secondary character. Ellen Paige stars. Great little movie.
I have pictures of our visit to Harper’s Ferry on the way home but that will be another post. I have some shots of St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church I can’t wait to share. It is truly unique.
So a trip that began imperfectly ended, if not perfectly, at least pretty darn close. I’m okay with that.