Over the past few years, in the time since I met my spouse, the two of us have been spending increasing amounts of time in the Greater Washington DC area. Now, personal events are going to find us increasingly commuting between the suburbs of Virginia and our home in New York City. This change poses numerous challenges, but includes a number of exciting possibilities as well. The region means a lot to us. For starters, my mother was born in Washington DC and every time I visit I cannot help but feel I am “coming home” in some way. It is also the city where I proposed to my wife, which obviously makes it more meaningful. Some of fondest memories involve the people and places we know there. One of my personal favorites was one that, oddly, I did not attend: the 150th commemoration of First Bull Run. I had taken the bus to Union Station early that morning, where I was met by the Hayfoot. You may remember that it was an incredibly hot weekend, with the heat index in the 120s. We ourselves went to the Library of Congress that day for the exhibition of the then just recently acquired Liljenquist collection. That night we watched much of the Bull Run coverage online. Knowing the commemoration was taking place just thirty miles or so down the road was enough for us.
We are still in the transition, but one thing we are eager to do is visit the Civil War battlefields in Virginia, among other, non-Civil War related things. I have been to a good many battlefields but the only one in the Old Dominion that I have visited as of yet is Fredericksburg, and that was only for an hour or so when I pulled off the highway on my way to live in New York in 1997. We are hoping to change that in the next 12-15 months with visits to Chancellorsville, the Wilderness, Manassas, and so forth. There is no substitute for walking the fields. Needless to say we are nervous during this period of change, but also excited and looking forward to spring and what it brings.