This coming March 12 will be our 20th anniversary here in the DMV. In October of 2001 I met a man in Telluride, Colorado. A place I have been visiting since 1989. We fell fast and hard and after 3 months and 3 dates (I was living in Boulder, CO, 6 hours away), he told me he got a job working at the Interior Department and asked me to move here with him. I didn’t hesitate and 3 months later when we arrived and then settled in, I looked up and thought what in the world have I done? I traded in my beautiful mountains, music festivals, and amazing friendships for monuments, a couple friends of friends, and a man I barely knew. Typical fly by the sight of my pants move. Sheesh. We came here for one year, that was the plan and I knew I could do anything for one year. Well, one year turned into three years, three into a marriage, a wedding and a reception on 19th Street at the Museum of the Americas. Three years turned into five, a new house in the best neighborhood this side of the Potomac (hey hey Del Ray I love you too), five years became eight with two toddling boys and a freshly built house that we moved in on the exact day Obama was inaugurated❤️. The next six years were a blur of motherhood and days that are long and years that are short. At fifteen years in I built Tulusa, my dream business and am able to spend my days making art that I hope gives a little joy wherever it lands. Now we are twenty years in. My beautiful boys are 15 and 13. They roam the city and know the buildings and the monuments, and have been to every museum there is. I love raising my family here and can’t wait for our world to safely open up again. I’ve never lived anywhere for so long and certainly never in one house. All of this to say that after I looked up from that first year of “what in the hell did I do that for” I found that my Rocky Mountains were replaced by monuments with their own beauty. I found a closeness to my family who lives nearby that I had never known. Our children are grounded, that mountain man that I met is still mine, and this city, on brighter days is filled with music and people that I’ve come to think of as my family. While I think of the west as the place I was “born” (actually I’m a PA girl but I hope you know what I mean) DC is and will forever be our home.

I love DC for its cobblestoned alleys and those little carriage stepping stones, and its lovely old townhouses and the spite houses in between them. I love it for its constantly churning population of outsiders who all arrive with a fire in their belly for change. I love that it is a city of nerds and student council presidents and strivers. I love that it is bounded by rivers, one of which you know the British secretly sailed up the last time the Capitol building was ruthlessly attacked. I love that we citizens of DC have as our rallying cry the same one that gave birth to a nation (although they continue to ignore us). I love that even people who aren't employed by the government intimately know its workings, and which leaders live where, and that people opened their homes to peaceful demonstrators, and that four years ago lawn signs declaring "Hate Has No Home Here" went up and stayed up and are up now. I love that DC is small and with a good set of walking shoes you can get from one place to another pretty easily. I love the secret patch of blackberries we found along the river. I love that everyone in DC willingly wear masks and apologize and cover their faces if for some reason they don't have one and pass another resident on the street. I love the dog parks and front porch cocktail parties with neighbors and annual block parties to clean the street. I love that we have free museums and wide open spaces, and that we know how to parallel park and always stand to the right on the escalator. I love our farmers markets and food halls and bag fees and waiting in line at the Fort Totten dump. I love that you can put your unwanted things on the sidewalk and they disappear to a new home that will treasure them. I love the Little Free Libraries and the mutual aid fridges and stumbling home from a bar in the wee hours and seeing someone already up and out for their morning run. It's like time travel.

Winter Ice Skaters at the Sculpture Garden Strolling through quiet museums Red sunrises Spring Secret neighborhoods Cherry Blossoms Daffodil Hill Go Nats! Summer Kayaking on the Anacostia River Fireworks Neighbors hanging on the stoop Fort DuPont and Fort Reno Summer Concerts Fall Street Festivals and Block Parties Ginko leaves cover streets in golden hues Bike tours of DC breweries