Saturday, January 2, 2010

The incredible WOW! Washington National Cathedral

The dream of a national cathedral dates to the days of George Washington’s presidency. Memorable moments in the life of the Cathedral include President Theodore Roosevelt’s 1907 speech, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last sermon, and President Ronald Reagan’s State Funeral.

The longest-running construction project in Washington, D.C., history officially began on September 29, 1907, when workmen laid the Cathedral’s foundation stone. President Theodore Roosevelt and the Bishop of London spoke to a crowd of ten thousand. The stone itself came from a field near Bethlehem and was set into a larger piece of American granite. On it was the inscription: “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).

On January 24, 1791, President George Washington commissioned Major Pierre L’Enfant to create a visionary plan for the nation’s capital. It was L’Enfant who first imagined “a great church for national purposes.” Not until a century later, with support from community leaders such as Charles C. Glover, did plans for building Washington National Cathedral gain momentum. A monument of Washington greets you upon entering.

1912–1969: History under construction

After Bethlehem Chapel opened for services in 1912, the Cathedral quickly became a place for services of national focus, even as it remained under construction.

* 1918 – President Woodrow Wilson attends official thanksgiving service for the enof the First World War.
* 1921 – President Warren G. Harding leads all 34 delegates to the Washington Conference on Limitation of Armaments to a special Cathedral service through the “Way of Peace” entrance by Bethlehem Chapel.
* 1928 – President Calvin Coolidge opens the General Convention of the Episcopal Church at the Cathedral.
* 1941 – Monthly services begin on behalf of a united people in a time of emergency; community memorial services are held at the Cathedral for World War II soldiers.
* 1956 – President Woodrow Wilson’s tomb in the Cathedral is dedicated.
* 1968 – The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., preaches his last Sunday sermon from the Canterbury Pulpit.
* 1969 – World leaders gather for President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s State Funeral.

InTown UpTown of Washington D.C.

This is Sandi the Innkeeper extraordinaire. She's renovated her beautiful Century home into a Bed & Breakfast with 8 elegantly appointed rooms on the second and third floors. We were drawn more often than not to the common areas on the ground floor - in front of the fireplaces or at the dining table for a round or two of 7Up7Down.

One evening we straggled back to the Inn after a full and wondrous day soaking in the sights and sounds of downtown Washington DC and the National Mall - only to find a coffee/dessert table thoughtfully laid out for us by Sandi.

The laptop is a constant companion on these trips abroad. I can never download or edit my pictures fast enough - for that matter, the machine is neither 'free' long enough to get the job done!
Sandi's hot breakfasts are a most glorious thing to wake up to! Substantial enough to carry us right through to dinner but of such gourmand standards, I fear my usual boiled egg on 9 grain toast will simply not do anymore.

8:30 am breakfast call to a dining hall set for royalty. *sigh*
Warning: Tangent of thought ahead...
Sitting around the family table altogether is a less common (and thus more highly esteemed) occurrence as our children grow into their independence. The offspring who still live under our roof will typically hear the reminder to remember who you are as they exit the home.
There is no ?? coming from our kids on that expression anymore.
We. Are. Sons. & Daughters. Of. The. King.
And with that privileged position comes certain obligations and responsibilities.
Coming down to this table simply brought that principle to mind with a force both tender and bold.
The window seat between the second and third floors.

An authentic knit flag acquired by Sandi on ebay. I love her eye for artifacts that hold an equal share of whimsy and originality.

My 6am view of the Washington horizon from the frosty third floor balcony outside my room.

I loved every single minute of Washington DC but if I was forced to settle on one MOST favourite experience it would be this: my family enjoying fellowship around this table.
Look at this breakfast offering: Cream cheese French Toast with warm stewed apple slices and pecans - a side of English Bangers to boot....seriously, I am utterly ruined!

A pewter & porcelain 'bowl' of coffee - full strength and piping hot to start each day.
My husband has arranged to treat me to life as 'queen of the week' and now I am dangerously comfortable with the position.
Yeah. You're right. Who am I kidding? I've had it good for a LONG time already!