Friday, January 23, 2009

Inaugural Prayer

I know this will be a controversial post--such are the polarizing feelings of the last presidential election. But my oldest friend Ed sent a copy of (Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire) the Right Rev. Gene Robinson's inaugural prayer and I feel a real need to post it.

Ed's love and compassion for all people, regardless of age, ethnicity, sexuality, or religious affiliation is my inspiration. I try to be a better person every day because of his example. My life is blessed because he has been my friend for every day of my 48 years on this earth.

Whatever your feelings are at the present moment, I hope that in reading this you will take away even just a little something and apply it to your life today. Even if it's just a smile to a stranger different from you. It is in small ways that we change the world.

As Mother Teresa said--"We can do no great things...only small things with great love."

Opening Inaugural Event
Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC
January 18, 2009

Delivered by the Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson:

"Welcome to Washington! The fun is about to begin, but first, please join me in pausing for a moment, to ask God's blessing upon our nation and our next president.

O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will…

Bless us with tears – for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women from many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS.

Bless us with anger – at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Bless us with discomfort – at the easy, simplistic "answers" we've preferred to hear from our politicians, instead of the truth, about ourselves and the world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.

Bless us with patience – and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be "fixed" anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah.

Bless us with humility – open to understanding that our own needs must always be balanced with those of the world.

Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance – replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences, and an understanding that in our diversity, we are stronger.

Bless us with compassion and generosity – remembering that every religion's God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community, whether across town or across the world.

And God, we give you thanks for your child Barack, as he assumes the office of President of the United States.

Give him wisdom beyond his years, and inspire him with Lincoln's reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy's ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King's dream of a nation for ALL the people.

Give him a quiet heart, for our Ship of State needs a steady, calm captain in these times.

Give him stirring words, for we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.

Make him color-blind, reminding him of his own words that under his leadership, there will be neither red nor blue states, but the United States.

Help him remember his own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination, that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims.

Give him the strength to find family time and privacy, and help him remember that even though he is president, a father only gets one shot at his daughters' childhoods.

And please, God, keep him safe. We know we ask too much of our presidents, and we're asking FAR too much of this one. We know the risk he and his wife are taking for all of us, and we implore you, O good and great God, to keep him safe. Hold him in the palm of your hand – that he might do the work we have called him to do, that he might find joy in this impossible calling,
and that in the end, he might lead us as a nation to a place of integrity, prosperity and peace.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Birthday,CruiseGran!!

I said there were a lot of birthdays in January in my family--but here's the Birthday Girl of all Birthday Girls--because she's the reason I am here!!!

For CruiseGran's birthday, I thought I would just share a few photos from the past year....

With Nina on Crystal Serenity in April

And with our darling wine steward Oleg also
With yours truly in Guernsey in July
And flying on the London Eye a few days later
on Crystal Symphony's Avenue Saloon in July
and dressed up at French Dinner on Serenity
Dancing with grandson, Dude at the family wedding in San Diego in October
And the Three Generations at Stonehenge in July

Note to my darling daughter, Girl--
If you can live as full a life as your grandmother does, and do as much work to make this world a better place as she does, you will live a wonderful life. Use her as a role model. I have...and I am a better person for it.

And you are got her gorgeous legs!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


January is filled with birthdays in my family, and today is no exception...

IT"S BROTHER LARRY'S (mumble,mumble, mumble) TH BIRTHDAY!!

I don't have many pictures of Larry from childhood--and, yes, children, we did have cameras back then, but we didn't carry them with us 24/7. Yes we also had telephones, and electricity, and cars, and...well, we will discuss the dark ages BC (before children) later...

But here are a few visual offerings I have dug up today to honor my 15-months-younger-than-me brother!! Many happy returns of the day!!!!

A picture from my Uncle Bubby and Aunt JoAnn's, CruiseGran, what year was this 1967 or so???

I dragged up an old yearbook and found THESE pictures from when Larry was in 6th grade:
His official "class picture"

Look, nephew Dude--your father really played FOOTBALL!!

and he was very photogenic in a candid moment..

Yes is smile is still the same...

He attended the Plantation Ball in 1978 when I was presented as a graduating high school senior. Yes, it was the fashion in the seventies to wear powder blue tuxedoes all the time..

He was around 4 years later when I got married to Grumpy Guy--yes, that's Woo on the right

He even shared a moment of humor before the big event..

From the archives- a scanned copy of Christmas with Santa in 2001

Photos become much more frequent with advent of digital cameras and annual get togethers

Rabbit, Jula, Panda, CruiseGran, Larry and Dude in St. Petersburg, Russia 2006

The Boys outside the Hotel Bauer in Venice 2007

Panda and Larry on Crystal Serenity in the Bay of Naples 2007

On the Cote d'Azur 2007

Dude and Larry on Crystal Symphony 2008

Larry and his best girl Jula in the Symphony's Crystal Cove 2008

Larry, CruiseGran and our wine steward Mario in the Crystal Dining Room on Symphony 2008

And a happy guy and his mom..on Serenity in the Mediterranean 2007