Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What a long strange trip it's been

And finally, here we are. First, a few observations, and then although I don't know if I can put into words how I'm feeling, I'll try.

Mr. Cool is now Mr. President. If you've wondered if he can maintain his composure when dealing with heads of state or with the inevitable crises, I think his handling of Chief Justice Roberts' flub of the oath of office should put your fears to rest!

Did you see my buddy Rahm? At the inaugural lunch, he and his wife sat at the same table as John and Cindy McCain. I wonder how that went?

How terrible...Senator Kennedy had a seizure at the lunch. I pray for him and his family.

Did you notice an aide put the riser out for Sasha to stand on while her Dad was sworn in? And did you see Malia tell her Dad after his speech, "Great speech. That was really good." Are those a couple of the cutest little girls you've ever seen? I hope their time as White House residents is a happy one, with no fear.

I loved seeing the crowd on the Mall, and the interior views of the Capitol. It makes me want to go back to D.C. for a visit. So much history there, and a great place to learn and appreciate more about our country.

I'd forgotten how much pomp and circumstance is involved in an inauguration. Trumpets and everything. I guess I tend to think of our government as just going about its business, and forget that there really is a lot of spectacle when it comes to affairs of state or special occasions. And getting back to visiting D.C., I was amazed to see the beauty of the buildings and architecture, the art and sculpture that abounded, and to see just how gorgeous the trappings are.

I think I'll even watch the parade! We have a local connection, as Culver Academies' Black Horse Troop will be participating in the parade. (My folks live in that area.)

I continue to be amazed by the Secret Service, as I watch them walk alongside the Presidential limousine.

I'd like to send a special howdy-do to all those who, when writing about him for the past couple of years, wrote our President's middle name in capitals. He used his middle name when being sworn in, and he is now President Barack HUSSEIN Obama.

As for Obama's speech, he managed to articulate exactly how I feel about our country and about the challenges we face. I've never subscribed to the belief that our country and world is on a one-way trip to hell, and I really do believe that we can make things better. We have the ingenuity, the intelligence, the creativity, and the majority of the time, the integrity, to do what is right and to make things better for all. I believe that, and I make no apologies for it. I'm an optimist, and I believe that if you raise the bar, you will inspire others to reach it. It seems that President Obama is an optimist, too, someone who believes in this country and its people.

Did you notice in his speech that he didn't mention how his administration or our government is going to solve our problems? WE are going to solve our problems together. He called on us to work hard, to work together, to work as a country to fix our problems, to right our wrongs, and to do things smarter and better. I remember the video that circulated about an Obama supporter who allegedly said that she's voting for him because he'll pay her mortgage and pay for her gas. That's not what she said. She said that she "won't have to worry" about putting gas in her car and won't have to worry about paying her mortgage, that if she helps him, he'll help her. I understand what she was saying. She's not expecting a handout--she's hopeful that he will improve the economic situation for the entire country, to the point where she doesn't lose sleep at night because she's lost her job, or can't buy food, or can't keep her house. She wants a life without fear. For anyone who still thinks that all of us who voted for Obama are expecting something for nothing, I hope that one day you'll understand.

We have faced times of crisis in the past. We will again in the future. But we have never given up, and I will never accept a defeatist attitude or the sentiment that our republic won't survive. It will, and I firmly believe that.

Today I hope.


  1. I adore the girls! It is a great time in our nations history and I'm glad to have been home sick to watch it!


  2. I agree with you the WE is important. Without everyone trying to do their own little bit our country would have never become as great as it is and will be.

  3. As both the Vice President and President were swore in, we stood, proud to part of history, even though it was from the warmth of our livingroom. As cold as it was outside, I would have flubbed the oath too. And with a maiden name like Prude, I don't make a big deal out of names.
    I also am proud of the gracious exist Mr.Bush made.
    Now the real work begins. And we here in the Reel house are praying for our new Presdient.

  4. I'm still watching! I can't stop. The parade is on now, and my TV is starting to smoke. But I don't think ANY Americans should miss a minute of this huge day in history.

  5. I liked the part about how we need to stop living beyond our means.

  6. I watched the inauguration in its entirety, taping it for a teacher friend who wants to show it in her class tomorrow... IF we are in school tomorrow. The only reason I could watch the event from beginning to end was because we had SNOW! and schools were closed. I was grateful that I was home after all, and that all the kids were either outside playing (as kids should be) or they were watching the event with their grandparents or some older relative... I hope. At any rate, I was proud of that young man... his mother and grandmother would have been so proud to see him on this day. I believe he will lead us well. With all the adoration I saw directed at him (and his wife)on Pennsylvania Avenue, I have no doubt that everyone (who wants to be part of this movement) will DO something in their own little part of the world to help him make his campaign promises a reality. May God Bless you and keep you, and may His face shine upon you, Barack Hussein Obama, our 44th President!

  7. Good comments, and I believe it's going to take all of us to make it work!!

  8. Lots of observations. I loved the fact the oldest was taking pictures to preserve those moments. I thought the whole thing was interesting. I bet the Obamas are going to be so tired tonight.

  9. I watched the inauguration today with a lump in my throat, his speech was amazing, and it wasn't just a message of hope it was calling all people to work together to make their lot a better one which can only be done if your unified. Great day for America.


  10. Hey Lucy, this is Ethel and I just wanted to tell you that I've been smiling all day! My cheeks are starting to hurt.

  11. Very well-written post. As I was watching the Obama daughters I was thinking not only how cute, but how well-behaved and poised they were for 7 and 10 years old. I think that they have a lot of class and that says much for their parents. I also believe that we can see how tight-knit and loving their family life is from watching those two. I hope they are able to have as sane and normal a childhood, growing up (at least for the next four years) in the White House as they possibly can, and I'm sure that to the ability that they are able to do so, their parents will see that they do.

  12. I've been glued to the TV since early this morning! I'm so excited.

    Hugs, Rose

  13. maybe we can finally leave the stigma of 'us' and 'them' behind.


  14. As you know I was watching every movement over here on TV. I have never in all my life had the slightest interest in the elction of your President so it was all new to me. Thank yo for sharing your thoughts on the day. It sure has been an emotional rollercoaster for you all.
    Much Love Sybil xx

  15. Hi Beth, I'm proud to have witnessed yesterday. It was an historical moment not only for the USA but for the entire world. I felt like being there as well. Mr Obama has taken on a very hard job, but I'm sure he is the best man for it in these difficult times. The Obama family is marvellous. Truly devoted to one another. An example to follow. The girls are sweet and lovely. I wish them best of luck. It won't be easy ...All the best to you as well, Beth. Ciao. Antonella

  16. I hope and pray you are right.
    Hugs, Joyce

  17. It was a wonderful day yesterday. Obama haS A HUGE JOB BUT i FEEL HE CAN DO IT. i DO THINK THERE ARE GOING TO BE A LOT OF PEOPLE that will do everything in their power to make him fail, possibly as many democrats as republicans but if they do they will be taking this country down. Lucy

  18. I was wondering at first if it would be close captioned. Sometimes certain stations won't provide it with live coverage. I had tears streaming down my face when I realized not only would I be able to watch this historical event, I wouldn't miss a single word.

    I'm still smiling, even today thinking about it. (Hugs)Indigo

  19. Beth, I so appreciate everything you had to say. Many accuse us of hero worship when that's not it at all. I truly believe the man is smart enough and selfless enough to get the job done. Obama is not God as people accuse us of believing, but I do think he's a good man with his heart in the right place. He's not perfect and it's not going to happen over night, but I do believe we are in a stronger position to get there with him at the helm than we would have been with anyone else. We have to all learn to be US, not right and left and I think that is Obama's biggest message. I hope the hoopla quiets down and those who feel on the outside because he won won't feel that way anymore. This election period caused a lot of hurt to a lot of people on both sides, myself included, I look forward to the healing. As is my mantra....Miracles happen!

  20. I was unable to see any of the it....and i have not had time to listen to what Obama said either but i do plan to listen. I had a good friend beg me to make sure i listen to it. It moved him to tears. He also gave me the speech, it was printed in a local paper. I snatched your Obama pic above. XO


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