Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration Day

Waking up at 6:30 in the morning on Inauguration Day was like waking up at noon on a regular day. All the good stuff was already out of reach.

The DC metro counted close to 200,000 riders by then, and they were all heading to the National Mall for a primo spot to see Barack Obama take the oath of office and become our 44th President.

If I had managed to get to the metro at 6 am, let's say, maybe I would still be standing there frozen in my boots -- but happy that I had a chance to hear the President's address, and take my place as a witness to history in the making.

Instead, I was under the covers, Walt (the cat) was purring beside me, and my room was as dark as a cave (cabo) at midnight.

I did hear Barack's address on television, and that television was about 6 miles from the Capitol Building. That's how far away Takoma Park is, or how close, depending on whether you're feeling cold just thinking about being outside for 5 hours with 2 million other tried-and-true citizens.

The Chief Justice's flub of the oath of office seemed odd for someone who is supposed to be a stickler for detail. You could tell the soon-to-be President knew the oath by heart. Oh well. The oath still counted. And the President just completed his first day on the job.

I feel better already.
P.S. This image comes from the early campaign days last spring.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Eating Healthy

You never know when a mega-crunch carrot stick or a sweet little strawberry might just save your life.

In this weather the critters that live around our deck -- the wild ones, not Scout, Walt, and Maynard G -- seem to manage with whatever drops down in the spaces between the boards.

Don't get me wrong, picnics are not high on my list when it's 20 degrees outside.

But sometimes I walk out on the deck with a cookie or an apple to scan the trees with my binoculars for a couple of minutes before my toes go numb and my hat blows off into the neighbor's yard.

And a crumb or two or an apple core makes its way to the ground. It's organic right? I don't consider it littering . . . actually I'm exercising my place in the natural scheme of things.

I guess things will be changing next week. With the Inauguration of President Barack Obama, us humans will have to act a little smarter than we have the past 8 years.

Staying inside and studying about how we'll recover from an apparent trillion-dollar deficit, might send me running back outside where the wild things are.

They can join me on January 20 as I make my way down to the National Mall to wish the new President good luck in this heroic endeavor. We have faith . . . and binoculars.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year, New Day

Here's to the promise of a new year . . . Resolutions? Hmm . . .

I'd like to spend a week on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, go to Maui for the 2009 Humpback Whale Count, and finish writing that book about Rhode Island in the 50s . . .

Oh, right, and I do have a job to go to. Luckily I enjoy that work and being part of a great team of writers and designers. It's hard to find a job you really enjoy. I'm lucky.

Did I tell you my first newsletter project was in 4th grade? Yes, you remember, The Knotty Oaker -- our school newsletter.

If I remember correctly, I was editor of that newsletter throughout 4th grade -- that was back in 1957.

A grammar school for first grade through 8th grade, the Knotty Oak School was originally constructed as a high school for kids in the Coventry area.

That same year, my dad led the new high school's baseball team to it first division championship in more than a decade. I was the team mascot and bat girl. I had a mad crush on the team's pitcher, Kenny Wilkinson, and all the cheerleaders were jealous that I got to sit on his lap before the game.

Fourth grade was my first year at Knotty Oak. Quidnick School, not far from my grandpa's place on Hazard Street, was my school for grades 1 to 3. Surviving 3rd grade with one of the Barr twins is a whole other story that includes "What Happened to Bradley Leonard Behind Miss Barr's Upright Piano." She'd step out from behind there with her ruler high in the air hissing, "Who's next?"

I guess most of us made it through 3rd grade -- skinned knees, poison ivy, schoolyard battles, losing your best baseball cards (Willie Mays). By the skin of our teeth, I figure.

On a more current subject, everybody I know is psyched for the new president.

Kate Clinton is calling all hands to participate in a "clean up" at the White House on the eve of the Inauguration on January 19, which is also Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

We're all supposed to bring "cleaning products" down to the Elipse, and then start scrubbing the old guard out and the new administration in.

Should be fun! For more information, visit Kate's Web site at