On Christmas Day afternoon the Loved One and I went for a walk – nothing major – just a couple of miles or so, 45 minutes up and down and around the hills of the neighborhood. We didn’t encounter a single moving car. For that matter we didn’t meet many moving, or walking, people, though we did eventually cross separate paths with two couples and one family group complete with oldsters, children and dogs. Every one was amazingly friendly.
This, I suppose, is the way it goes at Christmas. Even people who never put one foot in front of the other for the rest of the year decide this is the time when they need to get out, with or without family, and show what they’re made of, in the name of good cheer, or possibly to work up an appetite.
It seems that President Obama feels somewhat the same. The White House website tells us “In keeping with the President's vision to make the Obama Administration as accessible as possible, the White House is inviting the American People to sit back, relax, and follow along on his 2014 Hawaii Vacation.” And so (whether we’re American people or not) we can sit back, relax and watch him walk.
Above for instance, “Obama and family go hiking in Hawaiian island of Oahu.” This looks like a very, very extended family. There seem to be dozens of them (including one or two body guards I assume), and also it seems there were dozens of photographers too. This is actually a screen cap, and on the video you can hear shutters clicking off screen like a thousand noisy insects.
No doubt there were fewer photographers (possibly just one) and far, far fewer family members, on the President’s first morning in Hawaii, when he was able to pose for this picture “President Obama enjoyed a relaxing sunrise walk on Kailua Beach” the White House site tells us. Is he really going to walk and swim and read? A busy sunrise, for sure.
I don’t know what Obama got for Christmas, perhaps it tells us somewhere on the website, but I’ll bet he didn’t get one of these, which I did:
It’s an antique plate with an image of Felix the Cat – admittedly it looks like the caption says “Felix the Gat” but I can live with that; a creature who walks alone and doesn't seem all that cheerful about it.