- The beyond belief crowds of people packed so tightly in the streets and metro that a person didn't walk but instead was part of one moving organism.
- The incredible calm of the crowds--no pushing, fights, ugliness, unpleasantness.
- Ninety pound Casey being lifted high on the shoulders of a very tall man, reporting what was ahead, where signs were, providing direction and answers for hundreds of us who had no idea what way to go, where we were, which way the living organism should turn. I so regret not getting a picture of this moment.
- Finally entering through THE GATE and security into the hallowed ground for ticketed witnesses to history. The strange part being that at the end of the "getting there" ordeal, we weren't asked for our tickets. Whether that was unique to us or if anyone could have entered at that gate remains a mystery.
- Taking off my sweatshirt to give Casey another layer as he was so cold. I, miraculously, stayed warm.
- Casey's panicked fear of the crowds, tears streaming down his face, pleading to go back to the hotel. Knowing that if we could work through his fear with him, he would be OK and glad that he stuck it out.
- Casey's exuberance and joy once the fear left and he focused on the magic of the moment.
- Casey's jumping up and down, wahooing at what was said--sometimes ahead of those around us. He was truly listening.
- The oneness of the people as Barack Obama repeated the oath and spoke to the Nation's citizens.
- TheAfrican-American man who beared hugged Casey and me in one great embrace at the end of the oath--or maybe it was the speech--I can't quite recall.
- The friendships developed in two minute elevator encounters. There being no such thing as a stranger.
- Sharing breakfast, hope and anticipation with other hotel guests in the lounge each morning.
- The movie producer who gave me one of his two treasured copies of the Washington Post on January 21.
- Taxi rides taking long minutes to go 1 mile.
- Walking, walking, walking miles and miles, not needing the gym's treadmill for those days.
- Standing in the mall, watching Bono on the jumbotron, envying those who could see the real thing.
- Casey on his knees at the Vietnam War Memorial, reading notes left for loved ones, sensing the magnitude of the losses in the names there.
- Seeing the two young women in the elevator, dressed in their gowns, excited about the ball where they were going.
- The blocks and blocks of orderly lines as people waited to pass through security on their way to pick up ceremony tickets.
- The magnificent stage at the capitol with its flags and color--majestic!
- Casey's boredom at the Capitol tour.
- The vast numbers of African-Americans who converged on the capitol to witness, savor and know that the truth was real--to witness what had seemed so impossible.
- And..most of all...the awe that we were witnessing the culmination of the unexpected moment when the nation decided that the most qualified person to be the President of the United States was a young, brilliant African and American man. It is as if the far future arrived ahead of schedule.
God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Things I will remember about our inauguration experience: