Yes, the end of a very auspicious day has come. The President and the First Lady have danced their last dance of the Inaugural Ball extravaganza and so it's time to say goodnight........almost.
The news media has given their thoughts all day long so I am going to add mine before I toddle off to bed. A day like today will never come again in my lifetime, I am sure so I must share my thoughts. I just have to say that I thought today was just about as historic as a day could be. From the time our country was born, when we fought for freedom from the British, who would have thought it would take more than 200 years to see true equality in our country! Or that it would take more than 100 years to see the vote for women and Native Americans! And the Voting Rights Act that attempted to make it more clear wasn't enacted until 1965! What a long journey it was. And so, yes, we have come a long way, baby, but there is also a long way to go. President Obama has his work cut out for him but if there is one thing that is obvious about him....it is that he is ready to do the job. Oh, Martin Luther King would surely be proud of what transpired these last few months and culminated in today's celebration. And whatever your political leanings, you can be proud of the United States today. Hundreds and thousands of people have been given hope and perhaps that alone will give them cause to contribute their own talents and gifts to caring for the future of this country. As a baby boomer, it is good to see that "the torch will pass" to another generation.
When I look back, I see myself in the 60's, a young girl from a small town in central Iowa. It was a good life. I recall the hope that my parents saw in JFK and then the sadness that came with his death. I started high school one month after Martin Luther King delivered his "I have a dream" speech. I always believed that the day would come when the color of one's skin did not matter. Perhaps I was idealistic.
In the spring of 1968 Martin Luther King was assassinated and I think that for many people hope died or "withered on the vine". Only two months later Bobby Kennedy would be gone and it was hard to understand what was going on in our country. I was 19 and in the fall of that year I married, and then I saw "first-hand" the racism that Martin Luther King and others experienced all their lives. My husband was in the Air Force and assigned to Keesler AFB in Mississippi the summer of 1969. It was a very different place from where I grew up. I can still see in my mind so very clearly the first time I encountered bathrooms that said "men", "women", "colored". It made me so sad. I had never chosen my friends by their race or color. I chose them then, and now, by their laugh, their smile, their authenticity and by their encouragement and love. If you are fortunate to have friends and relationships, who cares the color of their skin, the accent they may speak with, the country where they were born or their religion? I am just glad I have friends and family! I dream that one day our heritage will be a thing of pride but not a barrier. I hope that Martin Luther King is smiling with Joy that perhaps sooner than he dreamed there is an African American in the White House. And yes, I voted for Obama and not because of his race but if I had to say why in one word, it would be "change"....and hope......and the fact that he, too, dreamed and he dreamed big just like Martin Luther King. Dreams and hope in tomorrow are the stuff that keep us going from day to day.
And humor helps in the "day to day", too. I watched a piece on Entertainment Tonight where the First Couple told how they met and what attracted them to each other. Clearly a sense of humor was high on the list and it is obvious that they are relaxed with one another and enjoy each other's company. So in the spirit of celebration and providing some humor, I decided to "dress" for dinner and celebrate like everyone in Washington, D.C. I went to my closet to see what I might have that would be appropriate and came up with this number that I bought at a garage sale when I was home visiting my mom this past summer. I am sure it's a little matronly but I added some "bling" with some vintage rhinestone jewelry (if they were diamonds I wouldn't be cooking, we'd be dining out!), put on some make-up, fluffed my hair, stepped into my black patent leather heels and I was ready for a dance..........but instead, as you can see in the photo, I am cooking. Well, warming up left-over homemade beef stew actually, and there are hot biscuits in the oven (definitely down-home food) for our supper. When my husband walked in from work, he did a "double-take" and asked where I was going? "No where, I'm celebrating and have dressed for the Inaugural Ball. Quick, take my picture so I can use it on my blog." He humored me and took the picture but not before he started to take just a "head shot" and I said "no, take a full view" and he said "but you'll look short." And I laughed and said "but I am short". I guess there's a sense of humor at work in our house, too. It surely does help!! Hope there is humor in your house and hope in your heart.
I leave you with my favorite quote from Martin Luther King and then I am turning out the lights and off to dream.............
In the words of, and in a call to action, by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ...........
".......we must learn that to expect God to do everything while we do nothing is not faith but superstition."
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