Much to report from the D.C. suburbs. I arrived for a memorable tea time with 103 F weather on Wednesday. The heat wave was reaching its last leg after nearly a week of 100+ F temps–humid, stagnant, and yes, overall miserable to be outside. Every news report seemed consumed by the weather and not much else. Ah East Coast summer. I guess nothing else is happening when you’re hot!
In the Sorkin household, the activity has been varied, and the talk perhaps more diverse than a weather report. My mom returned from a home visit to London on Thursday, jet-lagged but lively. Dad is a month into a new job with the Chicago School (in D.C.). They’re busy trying to get the school staffed yet for its first semester this fall. He is definitely stimulated by the work, and seems keeps to be keeping pace with the crazy time-frames for hiring. Naomi drove the last of her stuff down from NYC and is readying herself for work in Sierra Leone. She’s been ready for a change and now leaves for London on Tuesday. And I’m getting ready for this trip to the Cirque of the Unclimbables. Whew. Go family go. Do we encourage this restlessness I feel in one another?
When we sat down to dinner the night, my mom asked Naomi about her work in Sierra Leone with Unicef. Naomi deferred to my expertise on this matter. I surmised it succinctly, stating, “Saving babies by evaluating the contest part of a 41 million dollar Gates project. She’s an intern.” Mom caught on and then turned to my sister to ask some details of my Cirque trip. Naomi’s answer, “Pitch 3 will be an important one.” Ok, we actually learned a fair bit about Sierra Leone from Naomi and the project she is involved. Then we talked about Dad’s will. Thank god we weren’t talking about the weather…
I’m thankful we are all together for a few days. I had expectations to be less irritable, I had a bad tummy and headfog, but those symptoms have past a bit and I feel a little more accepting of whatever this time is. It’s hard to avoid the two things that stress me out the most when I’m here–driving and fretting about what’s for dinner. My dad gets sentimental when we all get together, and as much as I roll my eyes during a delivery of such sentimentalities, I understand. I love my kooky family. And thank you mom and dad for your incredible support of the ways Naomi and I are choosing to channel our restless energies.
Yesterday, Naomi and I tried to give blood. Admittedly, the most motivating factor was to confirm our blood types. I brought my new gadget, a gopro hero camera. I’ve begun wearing it around on a strap on my head and trying it out. There’s no eyeviewer, and the playback screen for these HD devices isn’t available yet. It’s weird not knowing what your frame is exactly when you are recording. I interviewed a man at Red Cross whose been an active blood donor for much of his life. He speaks like preacher for blood donors! After listening to the tangible, anonymous gift of this simple act, I was excited to give blood. I wasn’t feeling well today though and was told to come back another day. Naomi was rejected as well–recent travel to countries with malaria is an automatic rejection. So, red cross didn’t get to suck our blood and neither of us fulfilled our selfish motives that morning.
My sister left and today my parents and I went out to our neighbors’, Joan and Bob, farm in Fredrick county. It’s really lovely. They own quite a bit of property (40 acres?) beside a slow flowing river. Lots of corn is being grown on the land through a lease with a farmer. Joan and Bob are experimenting with growing rows and rows of grapes for wine.
Tonight felt calm, cool, and familiar when I saw a few dear girlfriends from elementary school and beyond. I passed the long summer evening contentedly catching up and taking in the rare company of these friends. Seeing their new homes and sharing wine and the reliably great food of Bombay Bistro was a filling treat.