Four Days in North Carolina

April 23, 2014
Every morning we drove Jan, Robert’s dad, to work and every evening we picked him up. That was the frame of ours days there. The time in between we spent doing other things, with very little planning. Twice, we went to Sarah’s Duke Garden. Not much teaching there. We walked around a pond in Japanese section watching turtles, ducks, and a female black necked swan. We rested on the benches under crab apples and did nothing. One might call it relaxing, but Doing Nothing sounds much more appropriate. Priceless.
We walked and got lost in the Native Plant section. We found an educational, vegetable garden and amazing White Garden filled with white blossoms watching us from flowers, shrubs, and trees.
Twice we went to The Life Sciences Museum. We went around lunch time, when many groups of school children were aiming at cafeteria for lunch, so it was relatively quiet and most of the stations were approachable. We compared the capacities of different conics by filling them with gray “rice’ and pouring it from one solid to another. I don’t remember what else we did, except that we moved from one section to another trying this or that. we visited insects’ exhibits, watching different camouflages the strange insects used to stay undistinguishable from twigs and leaves. We let butterflies sit on our heads or shoulders. We walked through dinosaurs’ trail, wild animals section and wind section of the outdoors exhibits.
One rainy day wee went to see, Rio 2. Unfortunately, we had to wait very long before the movie started. Not just previews but also a short film, and theatre own never-ending advertisements delayed the presentation of the feature. By the time Rio 2 began, Robert was ready to go home. But he survived. Three times, however, he loudly called for his father. But when asked, if he wanted to leave, he said, “No”, so we stayed until the end.
The highlight of Robert’s stay in Durham was doing laundry in the hotel. It seemed that this was the activity he enjoyed most. Walking through hallways, applying a box of detergent, paying with coins, and setting washer and dryer cycles allowed him to continue with his home responsibilities in a new setting. By applying his old skills in a new situation, Robert was able not only to adjust to a new space but also to feel in control of it. In a way, he retrieved his compass.
we didn’t have to pay admission to the Life Sciences Museum as our membership in Boston Museum of science gave us free access.

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