21 January 2009

Yes we can!

Last night was all about hope and glory.

I had the privilege and great pleasure of being among American and Venetian friends while watching Barack Obama take over his new office (the Oval one, that is). I'm told people were talking to me during his speech, but I was utterly caught up in the moment - still not believing what was happening right before my eyes. I dimly heard someone in the room say, "She's hypnotized..."

Lovely friend “V” and her charming husband and son made an all-American buffet supper party for us. She provided a classic gumbo (made with real okra!), red beans, and rice. Another friend “D” served up the crispy southern fried chicken and a deep-dish apple pie. I cannot possibly express how delicious these familiar treats tasted, especially while we were watching our new president and his wife walk toward the White House. I’m sure I will never forget such a satisfying evening.

My list of American friends in Venice has become quite long. It’s interesting to see how they straddle both countries, both cultures. Some manage by way of marriage; others by their work. Me, I haven’t yet found the way to make Venice a permanent part of my life. In fact, I’m beginning to feel the dim panic related to another upcoming “expiration date” – March 1st, this time.

Anything could happen between now and then, I know. But if I must go back, at least it will be to a country headed by a man I can respect and admire. I can return with real hope (if not much glory).