Tuesday, January 20, 2009

time for a fresh start...

i've tried it a couple of times (re-kick-starting this blog) - but this is the beginning of a new chapter in american history, so it's a good a time as any to start a new chapter on a blog...

my parent's generation will always have the answer to the questions: "where were you on the day JFK was shot?" (my mother was in high-school band practice.) my generation has the answer to: "where were you on the day the challenger blew up?" (3rd grade, mrs. sandborn's class, watching it all unfold on the t.v. screen. i remember mrs. sandborn put her hands to her mouth and quickly left the room.) this generation has: "where were you when the planes hit/towers fell." (driving between one job and the next, listening to a morning talk show - at first i thought it was some kind of sick joke. it was a bright, sunny day....) today, every generation has the answer to the question: "where were you when Barack Obama became the 44th president of the united states of america?"

it's incredible to think that, in the span of one adult lifetime (60 years,) our society - the entire human race - has gone from the Wright brothers flight to the apollo moon landing. our technological leaps and bounds have been astounding. and yet, it isn't until today, that our journey seems close to complete. my late grandfather, who died in early 2008 at the age of 98, couldn't have fathomed that he would live to see the new millenium. i wonder what he would say about today.

the significance of this day to our nation's history is irrefutable, and will be emphasized and analyzed and sermonized to death. for me, however, the impact of the day wasn't felt watching the processions or parades or (what passes for) the pomp and circumstance of the inauguration. there was no emotion that came from the recitation of the oath of office (rough as it was) or from Obama's speech. what hit me hardest was watching the faces of those in attendance, not the politicians and other privileged folks on the capitol steps, but the regular folks, who were standing in the crowd, who had waited since 5 am, who had travelled a long, long way. i choked up when i saw the faces of the Tuskegee Airmen, the father holding up his infant child to see, the soldiers standing amidst civilians, in solemn salute as others cheered, the young and the elderly side-by-side, the national mall a sea of colors and faces - all smiles - no protests, no anger, no violence on any face or in any eye. i can honestly say i never thought our country could be capable of achieving this much. i am so proud.

at the end of the day, although nothing has really changed (i still have reports to generate, calls to make, projects to complete and start anew,) there is a palpable difference in the air. part of me shudders to think of the endless gushing the media will do over this day, and part of me wonders how long this glowing good feeling will last. still, most of me can't help but look forward with an optimistic smile. those who know me know i am no optimist, but today i can't help it.

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101 Cookbooks

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Annabella's "slice of cyberspace"

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