A weekend I won’t ever forget
Now that my extremities have thawed out and my house full of guests have all made it safely back to their respective homes, I can reflect on one of the most memorable weekends of my life. Earlier this week I was blessed to be among a crowd of over a million and a half people who got to see the first black president of the United States sworn into office. People joked that maybe hell did have to freeze over for it to happen. It sure felt like it did in DC last week. On January 20, 2009 I was colder than I can ever remember being from about 6 AM until 5PM. That whole weekend had to be the coldest weekend that DC has experienced in the past 6 and a half years that I’ve lived in the area. But for some reason I’m actually glad it happened that way. The day might not have been as memorable if it were a balmy 50 degrees, and the already barely manageable crowd might have doubled. Of course it’s much easier to say I’m glad it happened that way after my hands and feet finally thawed out. Because on that day I would have given anything for a 30 degree temperature rise. I want to give a special thanks to the charter bus driver who put that little sign in his bus window that said “warming bus.” Had I not have spotted that sign my cousin, her fiance and I might not have made it through the day. I could have watched the inauguration from the comfort and warmth of my living room. Maybe I actually would have seen Michelle’ walk out in her lovely mustard colored dress, or noticed when the oath was flubbed. But I wouldn’t have gotten to be one of the well over a million people who cheered together when his presidency was made official. How often do you get to share an occasion that special with that many people. Unlike my friends in the area who chickened out when they saw the subfreezing temperatures on the thermometer, I get to tell my kids “I froze my butt off, and by the end of the day every part of my body ached, but I was there.” Who wants to tell their kids “man I was gonna go but it was too danged cold.” On that day I wouldn’t have wanted to be any place else….except maybe in the purple or yellow ticketed area that was actually inside the capital grounds.
We watched from all the way back beside the Washington Monument. I took the picture above while standing on the steps approaching the monument.
My only regret is that I didn’t take more pictures. But my fingers were so cold that it was hard to operate the camera.
Almost as exciting as being a part of the inauguration crowd was getting to see my favorite old school singer in the club before the inauguration. I actually saw Stevie Wonder in the club. I partied with a real live legend! Here’s my video.