Gloomy Days

It rained much of yesterday and today, making the walk from L’Enfant Plaza Metro to NDU less pleasant.  It is interesting to walk around SW, however.  It takes around twenty five minutes from the metro to walk to the Lincoln Hall at Ft. McNair.  SW is undergoing really big changes with lots of new construction.  The projects are moving along ahead of schedule, since the generally bad housing and building environment has freed up a lot of construction assets.

SW is also improving since the new metros (such as Waterfront & Navy Yard) and the stadium have come on line.   I have never been to the stadium and probably will never go, but lots of people like sports so it improves values.  SW used to be a dangerous place to walk and there is still some crime, but less.  Washington generally has improved. 

I am having the various routine medical exams, the ones I neglected when in Iraq.  So far, it looks good.   Blood pressure is 110/80; cholesterol is 135 (thanks to Lipitor); blood sugar is okay.   I had them check for Lyme disease, since I spend so much time in the woods.  I don’t have it.   I have the eye tests and dentists coming up, as well as that nasty test that you have to get after 50.   The dentist is the worst.  I didn’t take good care of my teeth when I was a kid and I have been paying for it ever since.  Otherwise, I don’t get sick.  My father only went to the doctor one time between when he got out of the Army in 1945 until the day he died.   I don’t go that far, but it is possible to get too much medical attention.   I think this will be about enough for a while. 

This is the gloomiest time of the year, but spring will come soon.   Besides the rain is good for the trees.   Below is a very big Japanese zelkova.  These trees look like American elms, but they are shorter, with a flaky bark.  They were used as a replacement for the elms, but now are less in favor,  as Amerian elms resistant to the Dutch elm disease are available.  The prefered variety is called the Princeton elm.  It has the traditional vase shape (some of the earlier generation of hybrids were gangly, runtish and unattractive) and grows around ninety feet tall, as a normal elm would.  You don’t see those big ones very often anymore.  The next generation will have them back.  There are lots of elms planted near the Smithsonian, the White House and around the Mall.  They will be superb in around twenty-five years.

Below are some young American elms at the American Indian Museum on 4th St SW.