Today was a good day, all things considered. The weather was sunny and surprisingly warm, considering it's been freezing cold the last few days. When we got back from Charlottesville last night, we turned on the heat for the first time, it was so cold. Today, we turned it back off again and opened up some windows. The nice thing about our living spaces being on the second floor of the townhouse is that we get a much better breeze blowing through - plus, more windows for that breeze to blow through.
I haven't been in central Virginia before. I'm sorry the weather was so horrific, but for Saturday, it seemed appropriate. It rained in the morning but by eleven had tapered off. But the clouds still hung low, brushing the tips of the rolling green mountains that surrounded Rachel's family homestead, and from the hilltop cemetery, there was the most incredible view of the surrounding valleys. So pretty. The wind was blowing so hard the color guard had difficulty standing; at one point, while some governmental muckety-muck was talking, I watched a bird overhead soar motionless in the air above. A crow, maybe, but that might be my own interpretation, based on legend and Hollywood movies. (Birds and flowers, can't give you the names for any of 'em.) It stuck by, though, through the whole day, even on the drive home. Every time I looked up, I seemed to see that bird soaring just in the corner of my eye.
This morning Bill and I got a call from a friend in from overseas, and ended up going for dim sum with her. The last time we did dim sum was in Boston, years and years ago, and this time we went with someone who actually knows Chinese - she asked questions and ordered things in Chinese, and when she finished, Bill taunted her, "Show-off." Now, if there were a Uighur restaurant in DC, we could take her there and return the favor, but sadly we're out of luck. Bill's only other option is to use his Urdu, but there's not so many restaurants here where it comes in handy.
But the food itself? Pretty good. I haven't had Chinese this good since leaving Bishkek - which of course leads me back to Rachel, because that was always the plan after a Saturday trip to the seamstress's, was to follow up with lunch at Shao-lin, and order five or six different things and as much jasmine tea as we could possibly drink. (No rice. Why waste room on rice?) Dim sum seems to be more authentically Chinese than anything else on the menu, which sort of makes sense, when you figure that the majority of the folks who eat dim sum are the ones who are familiar with it - i.e., not Americans.
After dim sum, we went down to IKEA, ordered the rest of the furniture for the house. ( Click for pictures )
So, today was an okay day. The house is taking shape, slowly but surely (I plan to photograph tomorrow morning). Missing Rachel goes hand-in-hand with missing Bishkek, which I do, not in the least because it is tied up with missing the life I had there. I can picture Bishkek, but it is hard to picture it without her. I thought it might be easier after Saturday. I don't know exactly that it is.