Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Today it really didn’t matter where you were, as long as you weren’t alone. This was a day to share, regardless of your personal perch. Sharing the experience made it more meaningful and easier to absorb the reality of our national leadership change.

A few neighbors and friends came over late this morning to watch Obama being sworn in. We all wanted to hear his speech. We were locked in and open to his message. It isn’t hero worship, but rather relief that we all have a fresh start. Champagne glasses clinked and our brunch was tasty, but the company during a pivotal event is a comfort. We know the answer if we’re ever asked “Where were you when Obama was sworn in?”

I spoke with Alex, a dear friend who lives in Florida. Although we haven't seen each other since 1969 AND we have different political views, we love being in touch. Today we talked about the mood people are experiencing. She said there was a positive and happy atmosphere all over her area. That boys who were walking around with their pants at half-mast had placed their waist bands back at the equator and were opening doors for others. She has a renewed outlook and hope. She became overwhelmed watching this story unfold on television, even though Obama isn’t of her preferred political party.

In the DC metropolitan area we’ve dealt with major road closings, inconvenienced workers, and the world, in general, being turned upside down with a ba-jillion visitors flooding in. In this area, we are glib about big parades, balls, outdoor concerts, mammoth fireworks displays on July 4th and other milestones. This event, my friends, was huge, simply huge! Did the people have issues? Did inconveniences annoy them? Did they mind being a sea of red, white and blue handheld flags?

Long lines, standing outside for extended periods in freezing weather.
Limited port-o-potties (always a concern for this gal).
No food or drinks were permitted in the mall area.
Crowd control was highly enforced, but everyone was congenial, happy and kind.

Although I doubt it was said in the crowds, as one correspondent reported, the throngs were calling today


Woodstock was dirty and ill planned. It rained, food was limited, drugs were high and hygiene was low. It wasn’t all love and Hare Krishna daisies. Today is what Woodstock wanted to be. People did treat each other with warmth and respect from the early morning hours until well into the next day. Many cried with happiness and perfect strangers immediately understood. Strangers bonded. No arrests were made. Thirty children were separated from the adults they were with and all were reunited. Unfortunately, there were cases of hypothermia which needed to be treated. Ted Kennedy and Senator Byrd both needed medical attention for pre-existing reasons.

What a day of grace for our entire country. I really do pray that this attitude remains. I really pray that our country heals from all its wounds. I really pray for us all to regain our footing so we are ONE country in the greatest sense.

For me it is meaningful in many ways; but, one reason keeps coming to mind. Now when I teach history to fourth grade students about slavery, I have a new, positive ending point. Usually curriculum requires covering: early slavery; its dividing our nation through its impact on states rights; Civil War with its death count still greater than all the other wars American has participated in during its entire history added together; Reconstruction; Jim Crow Laws; and a frustrating Civil Rights Period.

Now I can punctuate all that negativity with a positive note. I can show students proof that we’re “walking the walk” and not just “talking the talk” about all men being equal.

George Bush is probably relieved passing the torch. He had his hands full. Of the two, George is ahead. But, I firmly believe that Obama will make the changes we need and enhance our national and international standing. We’re probably not through the worst of financial nightmares or other losses; but, we are working towards finding solutions.
Now, if the STILLERS win the Superbowl, then 2009 will be starting off with a bang.
On a slightly sillier note: during our time watching the Inaugural-A-Thon, we decided on a few words we thought would be worthy of a champagne sip. Not that we thought these words were so inspiring, but that they'd be repeated TOO often. Most people play this where the person who selects the word sips. Today I decided sips were in order for every word. Here's our selection: hope; change; history; service; responsibility; administration; and family. After the speech was delivered there were a few others we wished would have been added.
Quiz: How man presidents took the oath of office; but, were not inaugurated?
The first correct answer wins a Dixon No. 2 pencil in Pittsburgh Steelers' kellers.


  1. Although I know we don't share views on politics, this die-hard Republican couldn't help to be moved, inspired and hopeful (after all my 401(k) is sucking canal water). I was especially moved by watching the common folk in the crowd. There was one elderly black man that the camera focused on and he was wide eyed and watching intently every word that Obama spoke in the speech and tears were streaming down his cheek. What must his struggles have been.

    While I worried about Gar (whose MP Unit was activated for the festivities) and Stacey who was on somewhat of a lock down at the hospital because of impending.......whatever....all came home last night. Stacey a little exhausted and Gar a bit frozen, but home safe.

    Whatever our politics, we have to hope that he is the chosen one to help us through all the crap and he will be successful!

    I do enjoy your blogs!


    LOVE YA,