December 25, 2015

My 60th Christmas Day in Washington: the Weirdest

As I finally begin to settle down, the weather gets weird. This December is destined to become the warmest ever for Washington, DC... and by a substantial margin. Our high temperatures climaxed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The family gathered for dinner at my son Todd's house on Christmas Eve, so I spent a quiet Christmas Day at home, much of it sitting on my back porch, in shorts!

I assume the goldfish and koi can resume hibernating if and when the cold weather returns.

The winter jasmine out front always bursts into bloom ahead of the forsythia and most everything else. But those early blossoms usually arrive in  late February, not late December.

A Reminder of My 60th Washington Christmas
I started my 40-year career at BNA in April, 1955. In the back porch photo above, I'm looking at the editorial page of the Washington Post for Christmas Day 2015, which featured a reprint of the Christmas 1955 cartoon (below) by the revered Herblock. Sixty years in Washington and over 50 years in this house!

 - Larger images available only at The Library of Congress

The year before -- 1954 -- Richard Nixon, then Eisenhower's vice president, cancelled his subscription to the Washington Post after the paper published a Herblock cartoon showing Nixon crawling out of a sewer. In 1979, Herblock received his third Pulitzer Prize for his cartoons attacking the Nixon administration during the Watergate scandal. I loved Herblock.

And, as this digression shows, I've loved my 60 years in Washington.

But getting back to our weird weather, where we started -- what I dislike most about Washington is the summertime humidity. Our strange Christmas Day high temperature (I think we hit 69 degrees) was accompanied by 95% humidity. When we celebrate the Fourth of July, I most likely won't be out on the porch, but inside with the air conditioning.

Preview of Coming Attractions
But there is much to look forward to in the coming year -- and in the years to follow -- as you can see in this photo of my housemates. It also was taken on Christmas day.


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