Miles to go before I sleep

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January 21, 2009

What a long, strange trip it’s been! Up by 5:00 a.m. Out the door by 6:00 to a waiting taxi for the trek to Dulles. There’s no good way to get to Dulles from Bethesda on the Metro and with the predicted crowds, we weren’t chancing it.

I figured we would be well ahead of the game for our “madrugada” but it turned out we were middle of the pack. We were at the airport before 7:00 and… wait for it… had to stand in a line!! For two and one half hours we shuffled along the invisible rope line, telling astonished newcomers where they would find the end of the line, before we would reach the counter to check bags and receive boarding passes.

The line for United Airlines ticketing stretched past the counters for every other airline in the concourse. Curbside checking was shorter, but outdoors, and we had had enough of that cold weather nonsense. So we stood in line. And were happy about it. Not really, but we’ve got a theme going here…

Then we (seriously) did the archetypal airport dash, weaving in and out of other travelers to make it to our gate just minutes before take off. “Mr. and Mrs. Corso?” They were expecting us!

We settled in our seats and pondered the last few days. Everything seems different to me now. It’s going to be a great morning in America again.

Back in ATL there were a few sobering jolts to this fairytale.

One of our two suitcases was lost in translation. I’ve been assured it will be delivered to me this evening.

Our lunchtime belly rumbling led us to the lovely Hall Co eatery “Grapes and Hopps” restaurant at the stroke of Noon, only to find it was open but empty – another reminder of the economic strain at every level. Lunch was truly delicious and anyone looking for a good meal with smart wine pairings should check it out.

Phaedra lured me into a barbershop and had me buzzed, explaining:
1. that I was a grownup and should look like one;
2. my candidate had won, so I couldn’t be anti-establishment anymore; and
3. she was just sure she had seen George Clooney with his hair that short.

Not quite time to pick up the kids. Grocery store? OK, haven’t shopped as a couple since we were newly wed.

And then to the que to pick up the kids. Yea! We missed them so. They were in the car for about two minutes before they shared this little nugget: When telling their classmates about their parents sojourn to the Nation’s Capitol to witness the inauguration, the reply from some of the children was that “Michelle Obama was going to start killing all the babies in the world.”

My heart hurts to hear such rubbish from the mouths of children. Clearly, they are merely repeating and/or misunderstanding the political proclamations of their parents. Still, it seems to me that this is how yesterday’s problems and barriers are carried forward generation after generation. This is what we must stop once and for all with tolerance and education and justice for all.

We’ve still got a lot of work to do.

Arturo


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