Sunday, December 20, 2009

Betty Crocker, II

Part 1
The shopping mall has been blockaded by the snow. All of them, inaccessible. Except for DCUSA, but that's not like a real, real mall. I mean, it's STACKED! As for Pentagon City, all approaches from the north are cut off because both lines cross above ground sections, which were impassable by train. Bus service has been restored in places, but not to a mall it goes.White Flint, cut off too, Bethesda and the Mazza, isolated by the infrequent underground train service left in the storm's path. Tysons, Montgomery mall not on a metro line at all. As for driving, the car is a foot deep in snow and loses traction in 1 inch of slush. Thus, for us and millions of other Americans, we were kept away from the mall on the busiest shopping days of the year. I can just image years from now struggling retailers blaming the weather. (We did not buy the XC Volvo yet.)
Bright side: Strong day-after xmas sales (pls don't read as bargain hunting!) and a Roaring Christmas shopping season next year after 3 dismal years?

Part 2
It took twice as long as usual to get to church. Expecting absences, I signed the serving log. And indeed the Rector had a job for me. It was multiple jobs, usually served by a complement. At the Offertory, having never played this role before, I almost botched the most important part of the mass. The emcee (in this case, the person who tells people where what and when they need to do something) was absent and his/her role was played by the, uh, spotlight of the mass. The complementary acolyte arrived T -3 minutes, in wet sneakers. He too had to fill the roles of about 5. The congregation at this well-attended service sat in the small choirstalls, and most of those who arrived either lived in the neighborhood or were dedicated and able to take limited Metro from Bethesda or North Arlington. There was no formal fellowship,and I assumed that Sunday group was cancelled. The organist was present and serving as usual, although without the choir. Money from the offertory ostensibly was left under the chalice table during the final hymn.

Part 3
Although all precepts should have indicated normal Sunday subway service, this was not the case. When I heard that bus service was reinstated There were eager beavers wanting to get places. Mother rode the Red Bus Circulator to "Chinatown". She reports that it was loaded. I wondered if Ride-On was really still running. If so, a two-seat ride (Red line to RO 46) to White Flint or the Maxim Oriental Grocery in Rockville, MD, could have been adventurous possibilities. In lieu of that, we turned the kitchen into a bakery. For recreation, trips to nearby supermarkets. Oatmeal raisin cookies, white bread, walnut brownies, an adventure, came from the G.E. electric oven.

Part 4
I feel relieved of duty. A term that had fallen out of my vocabulary, "Free Reading", became an ever-present, ominous thought. What had been a waste of time last week became the best use of time today. For that matter, I could do anything I wanted. I had not felt this way before; during previous breaks, even on the first day, I let time loose. But I was booked and cooked. If there was not a big natural incident, right now I would have been a soloist at a concert in Rockville, MD. I would have, beforehand, explored the NCTM National Capitol Trolley Museum( on Bonifant Road. Yesterday, I would had a violin lesson. I still have the book of matches from church in my pocket. I hope they had enough for the day. WHAT I had thought throughout December was that my vacation starts on Monday. Like the delayed test, I was given a reprieve. Let's hope I make good use of tomorrow, and pray the Wall Street Hymn regarding access to the shopping malls:

Let the rivers run
Let all the dreamers
wake the nation
Come, the New Jerusalem

Silver Cities Rise
the morning lights
the streets that meet them
and sirens call them on
with a song...
(Carly Simon)

It's allegorical and metaphoric.

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