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You never know what tomorrow may bring

June 20, 2008
John Parker

No, the summer doldrums have not set in for us - and we hope they don't. We've had several opportunities to do some enjoyable things this spring, activities we've not experienced before. As we get a bit older, these special opportunities seem to get a little more tiring but are fun. Back in mid-May, we headed out to Bel Air, Md., to visit family out there. My granddaughter Molly was graduating from George Washington University and we wanted to help celebrate. George Washington University is in the heart of Washington, D.C. Traveling into that city on my own would not be one of my favorite things to do, but my Maryland family knew their way around, so that made the trip more fun. We had reservations at a hotel in Arlington, Va., just outside of Washington. We went in on Friday afternoon to be ready for Saturday. The next morning, we took the metro train from the hotel to G.W. University. That was one of many interesting experiences. To get to the metro station we had to go down a steep, long escalator, and I mean way down - about eight stories. What my family didn't tell us until later was the metro actually went under the Potomac River. That's why this station was so deep. Our first event at the University was to attend a Phi Beta Capa ceremony, where Molly was inducted into the organization. From there, we hustled over to the Political Science Department for a reception, where she received an award. After the reception we weren't hungry and that was a good thing because our next stop was the auditorium where Molly's graduation was held. Names of each of the graduates were read at this ceremony. The main speaker was the head of Homeland Security, and it was most interesting. Thankfully, we had a little time to go back to the hotel to rest before going out to dinner. My family had made reservations at a nice mid-town restaurant where we enjoyed good food. Not being used to D.C. prices, it seemed like they had their hand in our pocket much of the time, but we enjoyed everything. On Sunday morning ,we checked out of the hotel and hustled right to downtown D.C. for the overall G.W. University graduation held on the mall. We could see the national capitol in front of us and George Washington's monument behind us, an impressive location. Since Molly's grandfather on her Dad's side of the family is a minister, he was selected to give the graduation Invocation. That gave us reserve seats right down front and after the ceremony, where about 5,000 graduated, we were invited to another reception. After a downtown lunch, we said goodbye to Molly and headed back to Maryland, tired but happy for her and her graduation. While it was enjoyable to have family get us where we should be, I am overwhelmed by the size of that great city and all there is to see and do there. Then in early June we drove down to Licking County to visit friends and tour Southeastern Ohio. Our first stop was the Dickinson Texas Longhorn Ranch in Belmont County. If you enjoy beautiful longhorn cattle, it's a great place to visit. From there we went to Muskingum County to visit the wilds, a 10,000 acre reclaimed strip mine area where they have wild animals of all kinds. Tour buses and a narrator drive you around the area on a two hour tour. Yes, we were tired when we got back to our friends home but we enjoyed the day, a huge contrast from our Washington D.C. experience. The next day, we took less-travel highways up through Licking, Knox, Holmes, Wayne and Summit Counties back home. We wanted to see the countryside and not travel the Interstate highways. Our next event was high school graduation for a grandson in Lake County with an open house a week later. Again, he graduated with honors and we enjoyed sharing his accomplishments. So you see, spring has been full of great experiences for us. We were a bit tired, but it didn't take long to get rested and ready for the next event. We want to do these things while we can because we don't know what tomorrow will bring. Parker grew up in Trumbull County, is retired from Ohio State University and is an independent writer for the Tribune.



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