Today we inauguated Barak H. Obama as the 44th president of the United States of America.
I actually watched it.
Aretha Franklin sang "My Country Tis of Thee." Which is slightly odd, seeing as that is a British tune, originally known as "God Save the Queen." But it was nice, a nice gesture.
The crowd booed a few of the Republicans as they entered in the processional. I thought that was pretty poor.
I do have to give Barak Obama credit for taking office with dignity and poise. It doesn't leave the bad taste in one's mouth that the Clinton administration brought. There was a real attempt to make this a classy occasion. There was even an instrumental quartet that played: a pianist, Yo-Yo Ma on cello, Itzhak Perlman on violin, and an African-American (? well, African-something...) on, of all things, clarinet. He was good, though. I wondered how they felt about subjecting their instruments to the outside air in Washington D.C. in January, which was near freezing in the low 30's. The crowd seemed confused and disconnected, but polite, during this splash of culture.
When Supreme Court Cheif Justice John Roberts went to swear in President Obama, there were a couple of mix-ups and it didn't flow very smoothly. The press blamed it on John Roberts. It seemed to me that Obama jumped in and interrupted him before he had finished giving the first phrase to be repeated. I remember thinking, "My but he is eager to be president." I guess that's a good thing. I can tell you, I wouldn't want to be president of this country right now.
Best selling author of, The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren, gave the opening prayer. I thought that was really weird. I have never known quite what I think of Rick Warren, and I still don't. It was a pretty good prayer, but people clapped, once in the middle of it, and then again at the end. I may be an old stick-in-the-mud (probably), but clapping for a prayer seems inappropriate to me. I wonder if the angels in heaven were clapping? I wonder what God thought as He looked down on all this. Were we talking to Him, or was it just a vehicle for one more political message?
Former President Bush and Laura were gracious and respectable throughout (helped by the fact that poor G.W. didn't have to say anything--he is very skilled at looking gracious), and the most touching moment of the whole thing was when they got into a little plane and flew off until they became a tiny speck in the distance. I felt sort of sad and frightened, and bothered by the "good riddance" attitude of many of the bystanders.
Then I made bread and did laundry. I made a recipe of dinner rolls, and then I started a loaf of herbed cheese bread in the breadmaker. I did this because we are out of bread and the kids had my car so I couldn't get to the store. We were so out of bread that I had to make pancakes from scratch for breakfast this morning, and then make Jonathan a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich on leftover pancakes for his school lunch.
When you don't know what else to do, make bread. And pray, of course.