Last weekend, daughter-in-law Holly and I flew to Washington, DC, to visit her daughter. Jenny is poised, graceful, 21 and over-the-moon happy to be in DC. (“We don’t call it Washington, Gran. Washington is a state in the northwest. We here are in DC!”…oh.) She has an internship with National Geographic. (“Everyone here calls it Nat Geo.”…oh.) As a photography major at Cal Poly, Jenny is in her element working with photos for the kids’ “Nat Geo” magazine. Holly and I followed Jenny from one neighborhood to the next, through the intricacies of the metro and enjoyed eating at her favorite restaurants – everything that she discovered in the past month she’s lived in our Capital.
We took the metro to a station near Capital Hill and walked the few blocks up to the Library of Congress. The Thomas Jefferson building is the perfect demonstration of Italian Renaissance architecture, from the fountain of Zeus and Neptune to the pillars, mosaics and painted ceilings. A docent led us through the highlights, explained the endless symbolism and described the history of the library. We learned that it is called the Library of Congress because Thomas Jefferson thought all congressional representatives needed access to resource books on every possible subject. So today, 838 miles of shelves hold two copies of almost every book published in the United States. Two of my books, Tell Me a Story and Walking for Our Lives, are somewhere in those 838 miles. (more…)