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Sunday, September 23, 2012


In one of those little slices of small town (OK, suburban in our case) American life, the city of Falls Church's Department of Public Utilities held an open house this Saturday morning. "Come and see the equipment and utilities demonstrations!" announced the flyer that my daughter had brought home from school a couple of weeks earlier. "I want to go" announced my daughter. And so my daughter and I went, and so Amber had a good time. There were plenty of free goodies for the young ones, including a plastic hard hat, a "City of Falls Church Public Utilities Open House" T-shirt that Amber wants to wear to school on Monday and an eraser shaped like a dump truck. I myself made off with a free mouse pad that had the customer service number for the public utilities department printed on it:

As promised, there were utilities demonstrations. Here, Amber tries her hand at pipe cutting. She also got to maneuver a heavy piece of pipe using a control panel:

The highlight of the morning, though, had to be the opportunity to sit behind of the wheel of a variety of equipment and vehicles, including backhoes and dump trucks. Amber tried all of them out:

Following the end of the open house, the two of us went to a local park, where Amber rode around on her bike for a while, and then finished the afternoon with a fittingly apt dip in the apartment complex's pool. Single people might smile wryly at the thought of a visit to the local public utilities department as being the highlight of a sunny Saturday, but when you're six years old, there can be few finer activities than getting a free hat and being allowed to act like a working grownup for one short morning.

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